Guest House Frequently Asked Questions
What type of people come to stay?
Guests who come to Quarr Abbey for many reasons and from many backgrounds. We welcome men and women. Some people come for traditional silent retreat, others come to just be away for a while from the world. Others are seeking to discern their path in life or to seek help. What all these share is a desire in many varied forms to come apart and seek inner peace. Because of the pressure on rooms we cannot offer holiday accommodation
What facilities can the Guesthouse offer ?
The Guesthouse has ten single rooms. Three are en-suite, two of which are on the ground floor. One of these has full disabled facilities. The other rooms have H/C water in the rooms and there are ample shower/toilet facilities. There is a common room where guests can enjoy each others fellowship. There are tea/coffee making facilities. Apart from in the Common Room an atmosphere of silence is encouraged. All bedding and towels are provided but guests will need to bring their own toiletries. We do welcome women but as a rule we only give them en-suite rooms so that means we have three rooms suitable for female guests. If a group wants to book the whole guesthouse and it consists of men and women it is up to them to work out room distribution.
Can meals be provided?
We offer full board. Breakfast is eaten separately from the Community. Male guests eat lunch and supper in the monastic refectory. Female guests are served their meals in an annex just off the refectory. Special diets can be catered for within reason but it is essential to let the guestmaster know in advance.
The Coach House
This is a self-contained flat which can sleep three adults, one double bed and a single, and two children, in bunk beds. It has full kitchen facilities so is usually self-catering. Sometimes at the discretion of the guest master some meals can be provided in the refectory annex.
Are children welcome?
Children and anyone under 18 can only stay if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian or a responsible adult but we very much welcome young people. Small school groups are welcome as long as the school provides adequate supervision and child protection.
While Quarr Abbey has a small guesthouse we are very happy to welcome small groups. For example we have had several very successful university groups and group retreats from parishes.
We do not receive guests between 12.45-2.30pm. It is useful to know if you plan to arrive morning or afternoon . While we understand delay can happen generally we would like guests to arrive by 7.45pm at the latest. If circumstances force you to be later please can you try and let the guestmaster know.
Can guests share in the worship of the Community?
The life of the Community revolves around the seven services in the Abbey Church . Guests are very welcome to attend any of the services they wish to. It is hoped that Catholics will attend Lauds, Mass and Vespers. We are very happy to welcome Christians from all denominations but we do follow the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church which says that only those in communion with Rome can receive Holy Communion. The Church is open all day and all guests are very welcome to use either the main church or the Pilgrim Chapel for private prayer during the day.
Is there a priest readily available?
A priest is available either for the Sacrament of Reconciliation or for spiritual counsel.
How much does it cost?
There is no fixed charge for staying. No one need feel they cannot stay for lack of means. Donations are accepted to help pay for the running of the guesthouse but the amount is entirely up to the guest. There is no need to pay a deposit.
How do I book?
Booking is easy, but you must first enquire to see if space is available. You can use the enquiry form on our website by clicking here, or you can either write to 'The Guestmaster ' at 'Quarr Abbey, Ryde, Isle of Wight, P033 4ES or email at 'email@example.com ' giving what dates you would like to stay. Maximum stay is two weeks but most people stay a week. If the dates you want are available the guestmaster will confirm the booking. Before confirmation we need a full postal address. We do not accept bookings by telephone unless backed up by either a letter or an email. Email is safer than telephone but if you want to make initial contact by phone the number is 01983 882420 ext 212.
How do I get to Quarr Abbey?
Quarr Abbey lies about three miles from Ryde on the north coast of the Island.
If you are coming by rail or coach from London book to Portsmouth Harbour. There are fast trains from Waterloo. The passenger Wightlink ferry leaves from the end of the station platform. There is a free phone at the Portsmouth Harbour Ferry terminal for you to order a taxi to meet you at the Ryde terminal. Otherwise at the land end of the pier catch a No 9 bus to Newport and ask to be let off at Quarr Abbey. If you come by Hovercraft cross over the bridge at the Ryde end to the bus station.
Coming on foot from Southampton to Cowes: If you come by Red Jet passenger ferry catch the No 1 bus from Cowes Terminal to Newport then change to No 9 to Ryde and ask for Quarr Abbey. If you come on the car ferry catch a No 4 bus to Ryde and ask for Quarr Abbey but be warned this bus is an hourly service. It is always better to by a through bus ticket as it works out cheaper. Southern Vectis does not issue return fares. If you are likely to be using the bus regularly it is cheaper to buy a rover ticket.
Travelling by car: There is a car ferry from Portsmouth Harbour to Fishborne run by Wightlink. Turn towards Ryde when you reach the main road and the Abbey drive is very soon.
The Red Funnel ferry from Southampton to East Cowes: Again follow the signs to Ryde and Quarr is just past the turning to the Fishbourne terminal.
There is parking at Quarr but it is worth pointing out it can be very expensive to bring a car to the Island.