Buddhist retreat centre in Suffolk up for sale - could it become a hotel?

The retreat has now gone on the market

The retreat has now gone on the market - Credit: Lambert Smith Hampton

An award-winning Buddhist retreat centre has been put up for sale - and experts say it has the potential to become a wedding venue or hotel.

The Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre in Walsham Le Willows is now on the market and is being sold by estate agents Lambert Smith Hampton. 

It's not clear how much the site is up for with the price only available on application. 

The retreat covers over five acres

The retreat covers over five acres - Credit: Lambert Smith Hampton

The retreat has only been open for four years having been completed in May 2016 at a cost of more than £4 million. 

The retreat is set on a site of 5.7 acres and features a number of different buildings including a repurposed 1900s farmhouse with a modern extension.


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Most of the retreat was built in 2016; including the accommodation blocks, a double height providing a communal dining area/lounge and a shrine room. 

A house on the site was refurbished in 2016

A house on the site was refurbished in 2016 - Credit: Lambert Smith Hampton

There are also landscaped gardens, two summerhouses and other outbuildings as well as feature statues.

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The agents for the site suggest that it could be turned to a number of different uses including a wedding venue, school, training centre, hotel or outdoor centre. 

All of these uses would require planning permission for a change of use. 

Particulars for the property note that it has been put up for sale by liquidators for Pure Land Limited which owned the property. 

The property includes a number of different buildings 

The property includes a number of different buildings - Credit: Lambert Smith Hampton

The retreat was closed for large parts of 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.

The London Buddhist Centre ran the retreats at the site and was offering winter retreats at the site as late as October for the New Year period. 

However, with further coronavirus restrictions put in place since then it's unclear when the last visitors were at the retreat. 

It was contacted for comment on the situation at the Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre but had not responded at the time of going to print. 

The retreat has previously won a 2017 RIBA National Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects in recognition of its architectural excellence as well as a number of other awards for its design. 

At the time judges said it had “both a feeling of sparseness and sensuousness”.

“This is an extraordinarily well conceived building which has arisen from close collaboration between client and architect and is delighting its users,” they said.

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