19th – 24th March 2018
Course Date

Shake off those winter blues and escape into the peace and beauty of The Yorkshire Dales. Leave all distractions behind. Start, develop or finish that project, enjoying simple, comfortable surroundings with excellent food.

Un-tutored retreats provide a great opportunity to kick-start a project; to move writing on; or simply to get something finished!

The Garsdale Retreat gives writers the time and space often lacking in daily life, and frees them from the interfering pressures of the modern world.  It offers simple but comfortable accommodation. Each bedroom has a writing desk and there are two ground floor, en-suite bedrooms. The Retreat also has a sitting room in the main house and a workshop space in the coach-house. Excellent locally sourced food is cooked for the writers who can also walk straight out into The Yorkshire Dales where they can draw inspiration from the tranquil and remote beauty of the local landscape.

A maximum of seven places are available on each retreat, all of which run from Monday at 4.00pm to 10.00am on Saturday.

The domestic arrangements and meal-times are the same as for the courses (see structure of the day). All food is catered and there are no domestic duties to stand in the way of creative work. At the Garsdale Retreat, writers can devote themselves totally to writing.

PRICES Retreat (untutored) fee includes accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).

Single – En-suite £550
Single – Shared Bathroom £500

TO BOOK £150 deposit payable on booking by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque, to secure place, balance due six weeks before start of course.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
Accommodation Sheets & Towels
Boots/outdoor shoes/trainers suitable for walking on rough paths.
A waterproof jacket or coat.
Warm Clothes
Writing materials: your personal writing preference – laptop, paper, pens etc.
USB memory stick: for printing your work. (We do have air printing)
Musical instruments and drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc. (optional!)
Drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc.
Cash: for books written by the tutors, alcohol, taxis or sundries. The nearest cash machine is in Hawes, seven miles away.
START TIME Please arrive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Monday 19th March 2018.
END TIME After breakfast, 10:00 am on Saturday 24th March 2018.
LOCATION The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW

Nearest station: Garsdale – direct line from Leeds.


The Garsdale Retreat provides an inspiring place to develop as a writer. Our courses offer opportunities for new, emerging and experienced writers. The tutors, all professional writers, lead workshops and also give one-to-one tutorials to help the individual student. In the remote and beautiful setting of The Yorkshire Dales, The Garsdale Retreat gives a wonderful opportunity to escape from the daily stresses of life and to draw inspiration from fellow students, tutors and the landscape itself.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 4.00 – 6.00pm and finish after breakfast on Saturday, 10.00am

Course Structure

Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course, students can generally expect the following outline:

Each day begins with a morning workshop at 9.30am where students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. Tutors also write alongside the students, sharing and developing work with participants. The immediacy of hearing or reading an expert’s emerging work gives invaluable insight and inspiration into the art of writing. All students have opportunities to share their work with the tutor and fellow writers in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment in which individual work is respected and confidence developed.
There is a mid-morning coffee break and the session finishes at lunchtime (1.00pm)
After lunch, participants are free to do whatever they like, such as: relax, go for walks, enjoy The Dales, draw, paint, read or work on individual writing projects.
All students have at least one individual tutorial which usually takes place in the early evening after tea and homemade cake.
Each evening there is an after-dinner event. The precise nature of this varies according to the type of course but participants can typically expect a tutor reading on Tuesday followed by a reading from a guest writer on the Wednesday evening. There is an informal activity on Thursday such as a student ‘open-mic’ night, or a tutor devised activity. On Friday, students and tutor take part in a reading of their work from the course-produced anthology.

All courses end after breakfast on Saturday.

Poetry Course Anthology

An integral part of poetry courses is the production of an anthology of writing produced in the week. It is, of course, accepted that work may not be completely polished and there is an element of work-in-progress about it. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course by both tutor and participants and to provide them with an attractive record of their time at Garsdale. The Retreat stores copies of anthologies in the library, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.

Spring Retreat - The Garsdale Retreat