Welcome to the Shepherds Dene website

If you are looking for space to reflect or to meet with others, then why not try Shepherds Dene?

Shepherds Dene is an excellent venue for a conference, away day, meeting or seminar. Alternatively, if you are simply in need of a day or a few days just to get away from it all, then come and feel the tension evaporate in the calmness of the house and grounds.

The house is an Edwardian country house, built in the Arts and Crafts style, and set in 26 acres of grounds. The estate was given to the Church of England in 1945 to be used as a retreat house and is within easy of reach of Newcastle, Durham and Carlisle. It is a spiritual place for peace and quiet and sometimes for fun and celebration as well.

Shepherds Dene serves the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle as diocesan retreat house. It provides a space to think, a chance to grow and to walk more closely with God. We welcome guests of all denominations and faiths – and those without a faith.


After five years and four months leading the Edwardian ‘Arts and Crafts’ retreat house, Shepherds Dene in the Tyne Valley, Warden/Director, Jane Easterby, will be leaving to move on to pastures new at the end of April.

Jane, who has been training for ordination with Lindisfarne College of Theology over the last two years, will be moving to Stockton-on-Tees to take up the role of Spiritual Care Chaplain at the University Hospital of North Tees and will serve her curacy in Durham Diocese. Jane’s ordination as Deacon will take place on Sunday 30thJune at Durham Cathedral at 10am.

“My time at Shepherds Dene has been extremely rewarding and I will be very sad to leave behind such a beautiful place and so many lovely people. I hope that many of our paths will continue to cross in the future, as I begin the new ministry to which God has called me in Durham Diocese. I leave Shepherds Dene in the safe hands of a wonderful staff team, who will continue to offer warm Northumbrian hospitality to all who come to the house.”

Jane has overseen a period of significant growth at Shepherds Dene, at a time when many retreat houses have succumbed to financial pressures and have been forced to close. Despite this achievement, such a valuable local resource which serves the spiritual needs of visitors from all over the country, remains a local charity in need of continuing support in these difficult times.

Jane’s last day at Shepherds Dene will be Tuesday 30thApril.

In the Steps of St. Cuthbert

Bishop David Thomson (recently retired Bishop of Huntingdon) is returning to Shepherds Dene from Monday 17th – Thursday 20th June  to lead an interesting and reflective retreat using photography to follow in the footsteps of St. Cuthbert. He will be joined by Revd. Steve Radley (Priest/Photographer) and the retreat will include a visit to Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Alnmouth, where tradition has it that Cuthbert was consecrated as Bishop of Lindisfarne), and Durham Cathedral

Follow the link to find out more about this retreat.

Thank You

Thank you to the All Churches Trust and the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Church of England Institute Trust for their kind donations towards the refurbishment of the lift at Shepherds Dene.

Thank You

Many thanks to all who came along to support our midsummer fundraising afternoon on 29th June. We raised a wonderful £950 towards the carpet and lift funds. Thanks particularly to members of Antiphon, who generously came along to sing a wonderful selection of songs during the afternoon. If you would like to make a donation towards our work at Shepherds Dene, you can do so by contacting us at info@shepherdsdene.co.uk .