The Walsingham House Team have welcomed young people on retreat for more than thirty years, firstly at Chingford, then at Canvey Island, and now here at Abbotswick. As a young adult team, usually aged 19-25, supported by staff members who have years of Youth Ministry experience, the Walsingham House Team live the model advocated by Pope St John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, who have each expressed the deep truth that “the best evangelisers of young people are other young people.”

A residential retreat, especially, offers time, space and opportunity for personal prayer, and reflection, and for a group (be it school class, part of a year group, or a parish Confirmation or youth group) to bond in new ways, to discover each other’s gifts and talents. Our retreats are centred in prayer – and prayer is brought alive for young people. On the wall of our main room there is a cross made of 72 pieces of wood from around the world, expressing unity in diversity, and our mission as people sent by Christ, just as the original seventy two were sent. In our chapel, a place of beauty and tranquillity, young people Adore the Blessed Sacrament, celebrate Reconciliation and meditate in ways guided by the team. Young people are also encouraged in the theme of “Laudato Si”: our fourteen acres of magnificent grounds give plenty of opportunity to discover God in creation. We use art, and drama, to help different aspects of faith, and different Scripture passages, to resonate in the lives of the young people. Each residential retreat includes Mass – usually the culmination of the retreat.

For younger groups, and youth groups, we can offer a blend of retreat activities and “outward bound” or teambuilding activities. Local to us there is an outward bound centre, Stubbers, as well as a farm, and we can arrange our programme around trips to these places if that is helpful. Please call us to discuss these options further.

Day retreats offer a flavour of the residential opportunity; the day retreats are tightly packed with reflective activities and drama, as well as times of prayer and reflection. We offer day retreats at Walsingham House at Abbotswick – and we are just 30 – 40 minutes from almost anywhere in Essex and East London.

2022/23 Retreat Prices for School Groups, Confirmation Groups and Youth Groups

*Please note that from January 2023 we are unable to offer residential retreats for either school or parish groups due to staffing. We hope to return to residential retreats in 2023/24.

All residential retreats include meals, accommodation, guided discussions, workshops, activities and times of prayer. Included in the price are two free places for leaders; all groups must be accompanied by a minimum of two leaders, aged 18+, and further details about leader requirements will be given to you at the time of booking.

Weekend retreat (8pm Friday – 2pm Sunday) £93.50 per person
Two night midweek retreat (4pm Weds – 2pm Friday) £74 per person
One night midweek retreat (10am day one – 2pm day two) £49.50 per person
One night midweek retreat (4pm day one – 2pm day two) £44 per person


Day Retreats

*Please note that from January 2023 we can take a maximum of 1 class per day (approx. 30 students). We will give priority to Secondary school groups from January – May, and the Primary schools in June and July.

*For Confirmation groups we can offer a day retreat on a Saturday (10am-5pm) – for more information please email Claire at [email protected]

We are now fully booked for School retreats this academic year.

We will open bookings for 2023/24 in May/June once we know what we can offer. 

Day retreats work best with small groups, ideally a class size. This allows maximum contact time for young people and the very best use of our retreat team. We know that class sized retreats are not always possible for schools and so adapt our programmes accordingly for larger groups where necessary. With a maximum of eight team members for a retreat, we advise that the absolute maximum size of a group is 100; we understand this may mean splitting a year into two halves, but experience shows that the large groups lose the intimacy of “retreat” and it becomes more of a “conference.”

Day retreats at Walsingham House are timed flexibly, to suit you – please do indicate times of arrival and departure upon booking to help us design the programme effectively. Students are required to bring a packed lunch on day retreats.

In House – Per class (typically 30 students) £390.00

For information about expectations, roles and responsibilities and other visit information please see the document below:

Useful Info for Leaders

For Schools:

Walsingham House offer a set programme for each year group. For Secondary Schools we have worked to tie our programmes into the “Outstanding” criteria for Section 48 and the current Religious Education Curriculum Directory (these will be updated with the new framework during 23/24, to be ready for 24/25). Below are some sample programmes for primary schools (please be aware these are subject to change) and our retreat booklet for secondary schools (covering 22/23 and 23/24):

Sample Year 5 DR        Sample Year 6 DR

Retreat Programmes for Secondary Schools at Walsingham House at Abbotswick 2023-24

Price List 2022-23 update


LOtC Quality Badge:

Walsingham House at Abbotswick has now been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge. When schools complete their trips and visits requests to county (often the Evolve forms) Walsingham House at Abbotswick will now be listed as an approved provider:

Equality, diversity & inclusion

We are a Catholic youth retreat centre and therefore rooted in the charism and teachings of the Catholic Church. However we know that there will be students of other religions and none within your schools coming on retreat. Please know that we welcome everyone to our House.

It would be helpful to know in advance of any particular needs within your group. Disabled access is provided to the main House and Chapel.


All data is held in accordance with GDPR policies. It will be kept securely, confidentially and destroyed in a timely manner.