View from the window of Moniack Mhor

Retreats are such a privilege – a way of stepping back from the demands and details of your day to day life and focusing entirely on your writing. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing retreats recently, since I’m putting together options for future Spark retreats at the moment. Whilst those are brewing, here are some great options if you need to make some space and time to write:

Moniack Mhor is in a beautiful setting near Inverness. Formerly part of the Arvon stable, it’s now independent, but still offers a mix of taught courses and tutored retreats.

The Lint Mill is for those looking for a bit of solitude, combined with pampering. You will have access to an artist’s studio, a baby grand piano, and, very importantly, more home made and home grown delicious organic food than can possibly be entirely good for you.

Cove Park is in Argyll, overlooking Loch Long and hosts writers, artists and musicians from all over the world (I was involved in arranging Margaret Atwood’s stay there several years ago) – they run funded residencies but you can also self-fund.

I’ve been to Moniack, Cove Park and The Lint Mill and highly recommend all of them, but here are a couple that look lovely but which I can’t personally recommend (although a friend came back raving from the Banff Writers’ Centre a few years ago):

La Muse is a writers and artists’ retreat near Carcassonne in the south of France.

The Banff Writers’ Centre hosts an internationally famous writing programme. There’s a fantastic opportunity for Scottish-based writers here at the moment – a funded residency. Find out more here.

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