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Incredible Writers Retreats set in the Most Inspirational Places



Every writer needs peace, quiet and space in order to be creative, and at Quality Unearthed, our gorgeous glamping structures just so happen to be tucked away into the most natural tranquil havens available in Britain, offering up the perfect peaceful writers retreats.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to get some headspace to mull over your ideas, are craving the inspiration of the beautiful British countryside or just need a quiet space to get all of your ideas down on paper, we have a structure and a location that is sure to fit every writer’s style of creating their masterpiece.

Head away from the noise and distraction of everyday life and make your way to the bucolic countryside that’s inspired millions of authors before you…and even take inspiration from famous writers of that region! Whether it’s relaxing in a hot tub high above the trees in one of our luxury treehouses or grounding yourself in nature at creature level in a traditional yurt, we can provide the creative space you need to develop ideas and harness your focus and passion.

Great locations for a Writers Retreats

Each patch of the UK has affiliations with authors, writers, and literary festivals. Here are our top locations for a truly inspiring stay.


1. The Writing Shed, Carmarthenshire

This stunning 1-bedroom log cabin nestled into the hills of Carmarthenshire could not be a more perfect writing retreat if it tried. It ticks everything on a writer’s “Ideal Writers Retreats” list: down a country lane, off the beaten track, plenty of natural light, panoramic country views, cycle paths all around and even an ancient burial chamber. This gorgeous cabin is the perfect place to get lost in nature in the morning and lost in pages in the evening, with a log burner to brighten each productive evening. And when your brain needs a rest, you can put your pen down and head out to feed the alpacas who live on the 20-acre farm that this creative cabin calls home.

The beauty and history of West Wales, with its magical mountains and breath-taking coastline, i has inspired writers since the time of Welsh folklore. At this location, you’re a mere 20-minute drive from The Boathouse in Laugharne, home to West Wales’ most famous son, Dylan Thomas. He lived in The Boathouse, right on the edge of the river Taf, for the last five years of his life, having based his fictional town of Llareggub in his play ‘Under Milk Wood’ on what he called the ‘timeless, beguiling island of a town’. There are many tributes to Thomas’ writing in and around this area, including Laugharne Weekend, an annual literary and arts festival held in the Spring to celebrate the literature and music that have spawned from this stirring area of Wales.



2. Major’s Lodge, Crieff, Scotland

This adult’s only 5-star accommodation is nestled quietly in a remote and ravishing area of the Perthshire countryside. A tiny, eco-friendly luxury cabin - styled on Nordic cabin designs - offers everything you would need while crafting your masterpiece whilst also allowing you total peace and quiet to do so. The only distractions you’ll get in this natural space are the deer and pheasants popping a curious head up now and again. At night, nearby Culdees Castle is backlit to add a little drama to your hot tub views. All this is superseded, of course, by the views of the majestic Highlands beyond. Scotland’s stunning natural beauty has historically inspired writers, poets, painters, and artists, but this most inspiring of writers retreats is not far from the home of J.M. Barrie, Scotland’s prominent playwright and creator of the world-famous beloved children’s character ‘Peter Pan’. Barrie was born and buried in Kirriemuir, a short drive from your home-from-home, and as well as the Brechin road museum to Barrie and The Hill with Neverland park nearby, most notable is the statue of Peter Pan himself that stands in the centre of this ancient Pictish town.

Whilst secluded to offer the perfect environment to while away the time and focus on writing, Major's Lodge is part of a trio of Nordic-style cabins on the Culdees Castle Estate, with Spiers Lodge and Drummond Lodge also present, offering the same space to accomplish your masterpiece.



3. Grange Stables, Warwickshire

Warwickshire is one of England’s finest counties, known for its deer parks and country estates, home to stately homes to rival those of literary fame such as Pemberley. Grange Stables upholds that same grandeur; set on the Edgehill Escarpment on a secluded private estate, this stunning renovation and its beautiful gardens sit resplendent within ancient Horton stone walls. If this most grand of writers retreats doesn’t inspire you to create your own period drama worthy novel, then nothing will! Staying in a stable sound like something local lass George Eliot (real name Mary Ann Evans) would have written about – think The Mill on the Floss – but this gorgeous property has been sensitively renovated to include all the relaxing mod cons all budding writers could need, including Wi-Fi and the use of a heated swimming pool and a hot tub for all-important breaks.

Warwickshire is well-known for one of Britain’s most famous literary figures, William Shakespeare. A visit to the cobbled streets of Stratford-upon-Avon is a must for any bookish guests – you can see Shakespeare’s influence everywhere, from the ancient buildings he described in his plays to his wife, Anne Hathaway’s classic English cottage, complete with rose bushes and thatched roof. Also a major part of the Cotswolds, a quintessential destination on anyone's UK travel bucket list.



4. Oyster, Devon

If you’re looking for off-grid writers retreats with an inspirational difference, then this nautical beauty on the Devonshire waterway is perfect. This unique structure allows you to enjoy the calm serenity of the estuary on which is sits, rising with the passing tides and retreating to its shingle bed on the foreshore. This quiet estuary spot, where the water meditatively laps the shore and the leaves rustle gently around the waterline, is the perfect place for contemplation and collating ideas, a swaying silent spot for jotting down notes or losing yourself in the creative process. Be sure to bring your notebook as there is no pesky Wi-Fi to distract you from your visionary thoughts.

Over the years, Devon’s south coast has been the inspiration for many great literary works, including the prolific portfolio of South Devon novelist and overall best-selling British novelist, Agatha Christie. Her summer residence, the Greenway Estate in nearby Dartmouth is where Agatha used to hold novel recitations and is now run by the National Trust as a museum to her family’s book collections.



5. April Rise, The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are famous for quintessentially English country villages with their honey-stone cottages, hills that gently fold into one another and meadows of British wildlife that stretch for as far as the eye can see. Sitting peacefully in this idyllic backdrop is April Rise, a beautifully renovated off-grid shepherds hut that both stands as a bold, historic heirloom to this countryside’s agricultural past and yet melds perfectly with the tranquillity of the sepia fields that surround it. Of all our writers retreats, this particular structure is set into a landscape that inspired our most famous authors, from Jane Austen to Lewis Carroll, and is the stomping ground of Children’s classics writer, Beatrix Potter.

April Rise, however, is aptly named after a poem by the Cotswolds’ most famous writer, Laurie Lee. As you soak in the natural beauty of this place, not far from traditional market town Tetbury, it’s easy to see Lee’s beloved rural backdrop for “Cider with Rosie” – you can even follow the Laurie Lee Wildlife Way and take in the same inspirational scenery that created this best-selling author’s own work.



6. Larch, Norfolk

There’s nothing more magical and intuitive than sleeping under canvas. Our pick of writers retreats in the beautiful county of Norfolk is this traditional glamping structure, the mighty yurt. But this is a yurt like you’ve rarely seen one before; with your own heated shower and WC, this is the perfect blend of the innate and the luxurious. For creativity to flow, there’s nothing more important than a good night’s sleep, and with only the owls and the bats keeping watch over the starry skies above and with a king-sized bed, sumptuous goose down duvets and pure cotton bed linen.

Usually associated with its royal connections and great estates, Norfolk is littered with literary locations. Arthur Conan Doyle based many of his books in small Norfolk towns, Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty rode the hillsides around Great Yarmouth, and David Copperfield visited Dickens’ favourite Norfolk port in his most famous novel. But it’s Norwich that is a must-stop place for all aspiring writers holidaying on the East coast, as it is a UNESCO City of Literature. The county town is one of only 6 across the world to hold such acclaim and writers, novelists and poets come from all over the 4 world to speak at the Worlds Literature Festival held here every June, making this county a hotspot for writers retreats.



7. Oak Apple Lodge, Dorset

Speaking of the joy of canvas stays, this beautiful Safari Hut set in paddocks deep in the Dorset hills is an absolute joy for any budding author. The sweeping green valley below fills with bluebells in the spring, and with the canvas structure billowing in the gentle breeze and the swallows and swifts swooping overhead, you can almost hear T.E. Lawrence say, “I could write for hours on the lustfulness of moving swiftly”. Indeed, this peaceful oak coppice is at first glance a steady space with a decked veranda for taking in the sunshine and fresh air and an open plan living area for relaxing, editing and meditating on characters, plots, and themes. After a while of sitting in these private, natural surroundings, though, you soon discover that nature is buzzing about the place – buzzards will cry above, rabbits will dash for cover and, if you sit long enough at dusk, deer will cautiously pick their way through the posey-filled field below.

While many literary greats have been wowed by the spectacular coastline and pastoral charm of Dorset, none described it quite so famously as Thomas Hardy. This Victorian author wrote primarily about the national and cultural heritage of the semi-fictional region of Wessex, which is largely based on the counties of Somerset, Devon and his beloved Dorset. Hardy’s Cottage, where the poet and novelist was born in 1840 and from where he wrote “Under the Greenwood Tree” is not far from your glamping escape and is now a National Trust run property. Its cob and thatch vernacular building surrounded by a rose-adorned cottage garden is now a visitor centre and Hardy museum that you’ll definitely want to check out.



8. Hazel Dome, Powys

Despite being on a site with other similar structures, this striking geo-dome really gives you the feeling of privacy and space whilst also being totally steeped in nature. You can go alone or take your family of up to 6 people to this surprisingly spacious and totally unique structure for a break on the Powys, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire borders. Hazel Dome sits in one of the UK’s only designated dark sky areas, meaning it’s one of the most perfect writers retreats for stargazing, dreaming up ideas, and immersing yourself in both the creative and the ethereal. This site is also off-grid, so there are no distractions from modern technology – it’s a detox for the mind and a clear space in which to begin your next best-seller.

Powys might not spring to mind as the first place to stay for literary inspiration, but don’t underestimate it as an influence on some of our most well-loved stories. Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and his many adventures, came to stay at Baskerville Hall in Clyro, south Powys, and based his most famous story, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ on a local legend of a ferocious hound that stalked the moorlands of the county. It is also said that Shakespeare used to come to Powys to write when London became too loud, and WW1 poet Alfred Russel Wallace’s work was inspired by his surveys of Radnorshire for the Tithe maps.

 


9. The Round House, Cornwall

This unusual, rounded structure is inspiring enough – staying within its cylindrical space gives a different perspective on a stay away from home. This cabin resembles a wooden yurt, complete with a wheel of timber ribs collecting at a central sky port in the eco grass roof above a beautifully 5 decorated living and sleeping space. This luxurious take on the traditional also has its own personal hot tub and is designed with relaxation and luxury in mind. It is in this comfortable setting that you’re free to explore the inspirational and dramatic scenery of Cornwall, one of the UK’s most desirable holiday destinations which have attracted artistic types since Neolithic rock art was found in caves not far from your glamping spot.


It’s the more modern writers that we think will attract you to these shores. Virginia Woolf spent a lot of time in Cornwall, finding inspiration enough along its crashing coastline to pen an entire book about the view of a well-known landmark, ‘To the Lighthouse’. Perhaps the most prolific author of this area, though, was Daphne du Maurier. Despite her books being described as romance novels, du Maurier seemed to have a life-long love affair with the culture and landscape of Cornwall, which she immortalised in her novels; perhaps most famously in ‘Rebecca’. From her house in St Austell Bay, you can see how passionately this enduring writer captured the landscape that inspired her in every way:

"I walked this land with a dreamer’s freedom and with a waking man’s perception – places, houses whispered to me their secrets and shared with me their sorrows and their joys. And in return I gave them something of myself, a few of my novels passing into the folk-lore of this ancient place."


We hope that you’re inspired by our suggested list of writers retreats across the UK. Don’t forget that if the region sounds perfectly inspiring but you’d rather a different structure, we have a wealth of properties available the length and breadth of the country and beyond. Just take a look at our ‘Destinations’ page for more information of your ideal writers retreats.

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