Join us on one of our retreats. Here’s what people have to say…
“If you’re wondering about whether to go on a writing retreat then all I can say is do it. You won’t be disappointed. The retreat organised by Jan Birley of Writer’s Retreat UK was the first one I’d ever been on and I had a brilliant time. I don’t imagine it will be my last.
The retreat was held in two attached cottages in the picturesque town of Gilcrux in the Lake District and ran Saturday to Monday. The arrival time was fairly open, with writers arriving late morning or early afternoon. I was greeted at the door by Jan, who it was lovely to meet in person since we follow each other on Twitter (@Nadine_Little_ and @JosieKingBooks if you’re interested). All meals were catered, with snacks available if the tasty, home-cooked food wasn’t enough for you (believe me, you won’t starve). Hot beverages were always on the go. Meals were a great time to chat to the nine other writers and get to know what people were working on. Dinner was the best as everyone was relaxed after a good day of writing. Or maybe it was the wine. The evenings were either open for more writing if you were in the zone but I chose to watch movies in the excellent home cinema room that came with theatre-style chairs and a huge projector screen.
As for the writing, there was plenty of quiet space in the cottages to choose from or you could write in your room (my preferred choice as I’m a bit of a hermit and get way too distracted by what other people are doing). Over the weekend, I wrote three chapters of a new book, about 5,000 words in total. It may not have been much more than I would write on a normal weekend at home but it still felt like an achievement.
So, do it. Go on that retreat. Write words and mingle with other writers. I highly recommend Jan and Writer’s Retreat UK. You will have a fantastic time.”
“Just a note to thank you for such a lovely weekend. You looked after us beautifully and it was wonderful to meet so many interesting people.”
“So, I’m not a big traveller but this was just the chance to get away from all the distractions of work and family life, go away and write unhindered. So, I took a bus and three trains, and I wound up in Aspatria where I was picked up and brought to Hollybank Cottage in Gilcrux ready to spend a weekend writing.
The venue was just lovely. Probably about forty-five minutes from Carlisle, in a quiet little village, it consisted of three cottages sort of stuck together. They were very clean, very modern and very comfortable, quite easy to find your way around in them. My bedroom was comfortable, plenty of closet space and a nice view surrounding it. On the surrounding area, it was certainly very picturesque with plenty of places to go off for a morning or afternoon walk to help with inspiration.
There was always plenty of nibbles about for during the day, plenty of tea and coffee and soft drinks available at all times. As for meal times, the three main meals were all exceptional, the breakfast had a large amount of choice available, from cooked food to colder options, lunchtime was a buffet with a generous choice and the evening meals were excellent, as well as plenty of complimentary wine to wash it down with. As any writer will tell you, it’s not always fun and games, it’s a serious business and sometimes you need to relax. There were televisions in every room, a pool table in one of the cottages and an on-site cinema room with a large, if slightly eclectic, collection of DVDs.
Would I come back? Yes, absolutely. Without a doubt. Already looking forward to my next visit. Got a ton done, met some nice people and Jan, the lady organising it, is absolutely lovely, made it really enjoyable. Nice relaxing atmosphere conducive to working. Highly recommended in every sense of the word.”
“I wanted to thank you for the huge effort you put into making this weekend a happy memory for all the writers. From the special welcome goodie-bag and card on the pillow, to the delicious meals, we were all made to feel welcome and I’d go as far as to say cosseted. I can’t recall when anyone last asked me several times a day if I’d like anything to drink or eat between meals. Quite a novelty!”