Holistic Retreat Centre Embrace

Holistic Retreat Centre Embrace

Our Story

Our Story

Over the last 4 centuries many generations adapted this family property to the needs and requirements of the times. They extended, enriched and transformed this beautiful, unique farm and true to this tradition Jim and Juliette Stewart, the current owners, added their contribution when they decided to transform Connolly Farm into a Holistic Retreat Centre.

After being confronted by a potentially life-threatening illness in 2010, they personally felt the restorative benefits living on their peaceful 95 acre farm…….and so a little seed was planted.

Before Juliette’s retirement in December 2022, she offered Keep Fit and Yoga classes for the over 50s, as well as Physiotherapy, Reiki and Energy Medicine in her on-site clinic.

A lake for coarse fishing, overnight accommodation , as well as other facilities and beautiful views of the Mourne Mountains & the surrounding countryside already existed, which made the owners realise they had the foundation for a Retreat and Well-Being Centre right on their doorstep.

Consequently they made the decision to share their peaceful oasis with others.

Over the next few years the existing facilities & buildings were lovingly restored and, in the autumn of 2014, Holistic Retreat Centre Embrace opened its doors. The ecologically minded owners have, since 2010, gradually planted tens of thousands of trees.
In May 2019 the planting of all 95 acres with a variety of native Irish trees was completed, bringing the total number of trees now between 75,000 and 80,000!
They have also installed solar panels to provide some of the electricity required.

Embrace facilities are available for rent by 3rd parties looking for a quiet and peaceful setting for courses, retreats and classes. You can find out more about the facilities we offer for rent and book here.

We are an unincorporated private business, driven by a mission to help people (re)gain optimal Health and Well-Being of Body, Mind, Spirit and Emotions. To that purpose we are putting a large amount of our profits back into maintenance and repairs  of our facilities and land, so “Embrace” can continue to benefit those who visit us.

Who are we?

Jim Stewart’s family has lived on the farm for around 4 centuries. His own working career started as a farmer and later on developed in many different directions. At present, in retirement, he is responsible for all necessary repairs and maintenance at Embrace.

His Dutch wife, Juliette, was born and lived in The Netherlands until the age of 24. She studied Physical Education for 3 years, followed by 4 years of Physiotherapy and  qualified in 1979.
After working for 5 years in Switzerland, to gain experience in her profession, she moved to Northern Ireland to marry Jim and in 1986 set up her own Private Physiotherapy Practice, in premises which are now part of Embrace.

Using her additional qualifications as an Energy Medicine and Reiki Practitioner, in addition to her Yoga Teacher Training, she worked for many years as a volunteer in the Marie Curie Hospice Belfast, treating patients as well as carers and staff, but it was only after her personal experience of caring that the extend of the impact of illness and stress on the carers as well as the patients really became clear.

She started a local Carers Support Group on the farm in May 2012 (supported by Unltd Ignite) and the whole idea of Embrace was  originally developed around the needs of carers and cancer patients.