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Lambay Writing Retreat, Just One Place Left

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lambay writing sunset retreat island

Miranda Baring

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Have you ever wanted to visit Lambay, the mystery-shrouded private island situated just off the coast of North County Dublin? Well, now you can – and what’s more, you can take your next writing project with you and enjoy five blissful days of peace, space and natural beauty to get your creativity flowing, all under the gentle guidance of professional writers and coaches.

Writers of all levels are welcome and it doesn’t matter what form your writing takes – it may be a novel, a PhD thesis, a business plan, a new life plan, a job interview, an article. Perhaps you just feel like there is a Writer in you and you just need a little help with getting started to see what comes out.

Certified business coach, university professor and published author Jonathan Gosling runs this magical writing retreat on Lambay for just 10 people to immerse themselves in their projects. This year, Jonathan is teaming up with award-winning and local Irish writer and editor, Ruth McKee – editor of Spontaneity.org and at Doire Press Publishing. Together with Jonathan’s daughter Miriam, Lambay resident Millie Baring and private seasonal chef Lottie Brook, Jonathan and Ruth provide a nurturing and inspiring environment like no other, immersed in the wildlife and ancient romantic history of the island.

The 2020 Retreat runs from Thursday 19 to Monday 23 March. This year it will begin with lunch at Malahide Castle, whose dedicated hospitality team have kindly provided Jonathan and Ruth with a private room for their introductory workshop, followed by a complimentary tour of the Castle and gardens. Creativity suitably awakened, you will then take a short boat ride across to Lambay from Malahide Marina. Boats must travel at specific times to fit with the tides – the first step to integrating yourself back into the natural world. On arrival at Lambay, you will be warmly received by Millie and Lottie who will guide you up to your beautiful island accommodation while your luggage is brought up by buggy.

Warm tea and homemade cake in the Whitehouse will accompany a brief introduction and orientation of the island before you settle into our rooms. The Whitehouse has 10 beautifully appointed bedrooms, each either with a private bathroom or an en suite shared with one other person. Most rooms are equipped with a writing desk and chair, but there is also plenty of space to work elsewhere in the house – wherever you feel most inspired and comfortable.

In the early evening on Thursday, the group will regather in the middle sitting room around the open fire, to discuss what each of you will be working on and how. Drinks and dinner to follow, with a chance to get to know your fellow writers.

All your meals, regular snacks and refreshments are lovingly provided by Lottie and Millie, with a focus on seasonal, local produce that will make you feel energised for your writing. Other optional activities between workshops and sessions include a Nature Walk to the island’s summit – a chance to spot wallabies, deer and many seabirds; a Tour of Lambay Castle with Millie or her brother Alex; a Nature Swim for the brave! And plenty of chances to explore the island in your own time and soak up some inspiration.

Participants are encouraged to share ideas and feedback with one another, as well as booking in one-to-one sessions with Jonathan or Ruth. And of course, personal time and peaceful sleep far away from street lights and traffic noise are high up on the agenda.

This retreat sells out well in advance, however this year a couple of spaces have become free again at the last minute, and Jonathan is offering a special 20% discount to local residents of County Dublin. More information on the course and how to book your space can be found at www.lambayisland.ie/writing – to avail of the special discount, simply include your address in your application.

>> 5 day all-inclusive rate – private room with private en suite: €1,600 (€1,280 with 20% discount)
>> 5 day all-inclusive rate – private room with shared en suite: €1,400 (€1,120 with 20% discount)

All dietary requirements and preferences can be catered for with advance warning. Make 2020 your year to write, starting with a magical private island retreat.

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