Summer Herbs for the Body & Soul

A gentle & practical immersive experience meeting the herbs
around us and making tonics, treatments & extracts

In beautiful south Wales       7th – 10th June 2024

With Vivienne Campbell BSc (Hons) MNIMH Herbalist

Kindly hosted by Gaby Holford

 ~Herbs ~ Nature Connection ~Rest ~Nourishment ~Gentleness

This event is FULLY-BOOKED (thank you!)…

…but you can join the waiting/cancellation list and/or receive an early notification if we run it again. Please scroll down for details.

Day 1: Exploring the Seasonal Herbs Around Us for Herbal Medicines & Wild Foods

A day exploring and making medicines

with the summer herbs in season around us.

Elder flower, red clover, honeysuckle, daisy, chickweed, plantain, yarrow, thyme,
calendula, borage, comfrey, mint, wild strawberries, lady’s mantle, tormentil, wild oats,
herb robert … there are so many herbs that we might find at this time of year.

Herb Walk: Together we will take a gentle stroll along the hedgerow and explore some of the medicinal and edible herbs growing on this beautiful land in Wales. Vivienne will
point out key identification features to help you to develop your confidence in picking
the correct plant. We will collect some of these, learning how to harvest them
sustainably. We will taste wild edible plants and will prepare herbs for drying and other
traditional methods of preserving them.

Medicine-Making Session: Using the herbs we collect we will make some medicinal
remedies and treatments such as a medicinal infused vinegar, a floral glycerite etc. We will also brew and taste proper medicinal herbal tea blends (these taste very different to drinks made from shop-bought herbal tea bags!). A great chance to get hands on and enjoy the sensual experience of working with wild herbs.


PHOTO: Salad with roses, clover, calendula & other summer herbs.

Day 2: A deep dive into working with Rose

Herbal medicine & ally for the emotions & soul

Roses are very familiar but few people realise what wonderful medicine and tonics can be made with them. Whether they are wild or cultivated, any variety of rose (in the Rosa species) can be used to make herbal tonics, eat as foods or applied as skincare.

Roses hold a very special place in herbal medicine: They can be a wonderful tonic to help us during times of emotional distress, turmoil and grief. They are Vivienne’s favourite medicine to help people through some of the worst things that we can experience in life. She often refers to them as ‘emotional first-aid’.

Connect Deeply: We will be joined by yoga teacher Siân Dafydd who will guide us with a  special yin restorative meditation to help us to relax and connect more deeply with Rose.

Practical extract-making: Making extracts we can use helps us to ground our connection with rose into our body. We will make beautiful medicinal rose extracts for body and soul. Some of these we can drink, others are aromatic and can be applied via the skin or used in a spray. As part of this day, we will make our own rose infused oil: a beautiful, simple and inexpensive way to capture its special scent and bring it with us when we need it. This is easy to make at home using dried rose petals.

How to dry your own: Roses can be tricky to dry. We will learn how to do this properly.

Eat: Roses will also be on our menu today. They make delicious additions to drinks, salads and desserts. Real rose extracts bear no resemblance to the artificial, synthetic rose waters that are commonly available in shops. Taste and smell the real thing today!

DAY 3 : Applying Herbal Medicine via our Skin

Touch with medicinal & aromatic herbs can be deeply therapeutic and helps to ground these herbs into our body.

When we have extracts that we can apply via our skin, we can reconnect to these therapeutic allies whenever we need to.

On our final day together we will experience making oils, poultices, compresses, balms, herbal foot baths and other topical extracts so that we have the tools to recreate these therapeutic treatments at home.

Topical extracts can be of great benefit to the skin and hair. However, we can also use them as ways to experience herbs that can help our mental and emotional health. There is a lovely feeling of care, tenderness and comfort that comes from treatments applied this way.

In this practical session, we will revisit some of the herbs that we’ve met over the weekend, this time focusing on ways we can extract and apply them via the skin. We will combine herbs with oils, waxes or plant butters and dried ingredients to make them into therapeutic treatments.

Chill out in our Spa Session: Relax as we try out the treatments and products we’ve made during the day, while luxuriating in an herbal footbath.

Bring Home: Samples of some of the extracts we have made over our 3 days together, as well as recipes and instructions so you can make them again.

Note: The recipes and techniques we use can easily be re-created at home using dried herbs that you buy: you won’t need access to a herb garden or wild herbs in order to continue making these treatments and extracts.

The Land

This herbal adventure with Vivienne takes place at Fforest Barn Retreat: our renovated barns nestled in the beautiful black mountains of Wales, near Abergavenny.  We sit on 19 acres of farmland where we grow all our own produce which you will eat while on retreat. There is plenty of space to roam and connect with nature and meet our Alpacas.

The Accommodation

Each of the four bedrooms in the barn have their own distinct character, and all the accommodation inside the barn will be in twin rooms except for the Owl loft which has a double bed.

Outside in the ‘Fforest glen Glamping’ area we have, two gypsy caravans a safari tent and a tree house set between two giant oak trees, for maximum grounding. There are two more outside huts available. All the outside accommodation will be singles.

Enjoy Relaxing & Restorative Treats

We have a Hot tub, steam shower and an outdoor bath to relax in your free time.

The Food

Joki our chef grew up on a Hvar (a little island in Croatia)in a family of herbalists and healers. From an early age, she understood the importance of healthy, organic, fresh, clean food. Food as energy and food as medicine is the motto she grew up with.

I look forward to hosting you and sharing our magical part of Wales while we learn together what growing in our natural environment and how we can benefit from the plants.

Both Vivienne and I have a natural affinity with the Rose, I am very excited as we will be immersing ourselves in Rose on Sunday while Joki creates us a Rose inspired menu.


>> Click here for more details about our beautiful venue




~~ How to Book ~~

Date & Time:

~ Arrival:We will gather together on the evening of Friday 7th June.

   You are welcome to arrive after 4 pm that day. Dinner will be served at 7 pm.

~ Saturday & Sunday:We spend full days together, working with herbs. Includes free   time giving you the opportunity to relax, go for walks, enjoy the hot tub etc.

~ Monday:Our final day working with herbs. This session will finish by 3.30 pm to help to facilitate people travelling home again.




  • The total price of this Herbal Retreat is £690 per person.

  • This includes 3 nights’ accommodation and 3 meals a day @£330 per person.

  • And 3 days of herbal classes (including the teaching fee, materials [glassware packaging, certified organic materials etc.], printed recipes and instructions for how to make your own herbal extracts etc.) @£360 per person.



Deposit & Booking:

  • A deposit of £230 (1/3 of the total price) is payable in order to book your place.

  • The remaining balance can be paid in full (£460) or with 2 more installments of £230.

  • The full price of the retreat must be paid by Friday 7th May 2024, i.e. 1 month before the retreat begins.



  • Cancellations received before 12th April 2024 will receive a full refund (including the deposit).

  • Cancellations received after 26th April but before 8th May (i.e. 1 month before the retreat) will receive a partial refund (the deposit will not be refunded [unless your place gets refilled] and an admin fee will be deducted).

  • No refunds will not be made after 8th May 2024. This is because we will be in full preparation for the retreat with travelling arranged, materials ordered for all the participants etc. (If there is a waiting list and we are able to fill your place then you would receive a refund, minus your deposit and our admin fee).

  • However if after this date you find that you will not be able to attend as expected but you know someone who would enjoy it then you are welcome to send someone in your place (please contact Gaby or Vivienne to arrange this).

To book/register your interest:

~ Our 2024 retreat is FULLY BOOKED! Thank you so much for all the interest.



It often happens that someone who has booked a place can’t make it when the time comes. In such circumstances, places can become available again.

If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available then please email Vivienne ( with the following info:

* Wales Retreat (as title)

* Your name

* Your phone number (so that you can be contacted quickly; event details would be sent via email).

If we run this event again then you will receive advanced notice so that you get the chance to book in before it opens up for general booking.


~~ Herbalist ~~

  Vivienne has worked as a herbalist ever since qualifing back in 2003, initially setting up her clinic in the west of Ireland. She teaches classes on herbal medicine, wild food foraging and natural cosmetic-making in Ireland, Portugal & the UK and teaches worldwide via her online courses and e-classes.

  She is a popular speaker at conferences & events, and has appeared on Irish television numerous times, including doing a weekly foraging spot on a cookery programme with Richard Corrigan.

  She loves teaching people how to use herbs simply, effectively and joyfully so that they can genuinely incorporate these enjoyable and supportive tools into their lives.

For more info click here to visit her website.

~~ Author & Yoga teacher ~~

Siân Melangell Dafydd is an author, poet and yoga teacher originally from North Wales. She writes in Welsh and English. Her PhD examined combining the processes of yoga & creative writing.

She currently lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Bangor and The American University in Paris and previously at Bath Spa University.

She will guide us with a special yin restorative meditation during our Rose Day to help us relax and deeply connect to Rose.

We hope that you can join us!