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Rydal Hall

Friday 8th to Tuesday 12th March 2024

Rydal Hall is a large but understated country manor set in over thirty acres of garden, woodland and natural beauty in the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site. It affords wonderful views over the Rothay valley and with the Fairfield Horseshoe and Nab Scar as a backdrop, Rydal Hall and its grounds are the perfect place to enjoy this beautiful part of the world. Imagine sitting in your cosy bedroom looking out over the Lake District finding inspiration in the same views that animated Wordsworth, Keats, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter! 


With a choice of bedrooms and sleeping arrangements we are sure that our offer will suit a range of budgets, whilst food, comfort and conversation will not be comprised! You will find a choice of places to get on with your writing,  be it the old library, the grotto (where Wordsworth found inspiration) the pub (onsite) and even your own bedroom! 

Writing is what we are here for and as the schedule shows, we will get on with it in a practical and uncomplicated way. There are opportunities for feedback but no pressure to read out work-in-progress. Most people find the workshops surprisingly helpful, and a means to both focus and accelerate their work. 


Jonathan and Miriam will host this retreat along with Pam Billinge and Wes Balda. Each facilitator and experienced author will be able to support your specific project such as writing a blog, book, memoir, article, dissertation, poems or journal. Our facilitators will provide advice and feedback on each person's writing, and will run workshops each day, bringing different perspectives and approaches. 


The Grotto where Wordsworth found inspiration

What to expect

Friday 8th March

Writers meet and greet

Time to settle in and unpack

Introductory workshop and writing session 1

Welcome drinks and dinner

Saturday 9th March


Writing session 2


Writing session 3


Writing session 4

Afternoon tea

Workshop (optional / writing session 5




Sunday 10th March


Writing session 6


Writing session 7


Writing session 8

Afternoon tea

Workshop (optional / writing session 9

Visit to Wordsworth's house for drinks, canapés and poetry reading 


Monday 11th March


Writing session 10


Writing session 11


Writing session 12

Afternoon tea

Workshop (optional / writing session 13




Tuesday 12th March


Writing session 14


Final workshop and retreat closing



Sir Thomas le Fleming and his family built the first Rydal Hall at St John's Knott in 1409. Although this site was defensible and remote it became too cramped as the family grew in importance. In 1600 William Fleming (the le prefix being dropped in the Tudor wars with France) built the Hall on the present site.  Rydal Hall was passed down through the Fleming family and in 1757 the fourth baronet Sir Michael assumed the original family name of le Fleming. It was Sir Michael who built the Georgian south wing which is the modern front of Rydal Hall in 1789.

After the death of the last Squire le Fleming, the Hall was let from the 1940s. During the Second World War, it was used as a school. Later Rydal Hall was let as a hotel and then in 1963, it was let to the Diocese of Carlisle as a Retreat House as a place of hospitality, tranquillity and spirituality for all.

Thanks to the efforts of Right Reverend S.C. Bulley (Bishop of Carlisle 1966 - 1972) and after a protracted period of negotiation, in 1970 the Diocese of Carlisle purchased Rydal Hall and 30 acres of the surrounding land. 



Cosy Accommodation

The bedrooms aresimply furnished with a feeling of peace and tranquillity. 

Although there are no televisions in rooms they do have good WiFi, or simply take in the Lakeland views for that ultimate digital detox.

The Garden View rooms have astounding views over our Thomas Mawson award winning gardens and to the valley beyond whilst other rooms offer views of the surrounding woodlands or mountains. 

There are many quirky and quiet spaces at Rydal where you will have the opportunity to relax and reflect- such as our oak panelled Library, intimate chapel or a visit to The Grot. 

We're delighted to offer a choice of single beds, twin and double rooms. 

Exploring the grounds at Rydal Hall

Designed and built by renowned landscape architect Thomas Mawson, the formal gardens are a fine example of Arts and Crafts design in a wonderful setting. The Grot, or grotto, was built in 1668 by Sir Daniel Fleming and designed as a place to frame and enjoy the spectacular Rydal Falls. It is one of Britain’s earliest examples of a viewing station. William Wordsworth was particularly fond of the Grot, writing about it in one of his earlier poems ‘An Evening Walk’ and visiting with his nephew shortly before his death.

Wordsworth Grasmere, Viewinghistorical items, Jerwood Centre.jpg

Wordsworth Trust

In 1799 William Wordsworth arrived in Grasmere aged 29, largely unknown and writing innovative poetry in a new style. Whilst living at Dove Cottage with his family, Wordsworth wrote many of his greatest poems and his sister Dorothy kept her Grasmere journal. The Jerwood Research Centre, the state-of-the-art library and archive next door to Dove Cottage, is home to the world’s single greatest collection of William Wordsworth’s original verse manuscripts, Dorothy Wordsworth’s now famous Grasmere journal, as well as manuscripts and books by other figures of Romantic literature. 

In addition to enjoying canapés and poetry is Wordsworth's own own there is a 

unique opportunity to spend time with one of their expert curators and discover some of their most treasured manuscripts and books. The Jerwood Research Centre, astate-of-the-art library and archive next door to Dove Cottage, is home to the world’s single greatest collection of William Wordsworth’s original verse manuscripts, Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere journal, as well as manuscripts and books by other figures of Romantic literature.  There is also a matchless collection of watercolours and books relating to the ‘Discovery of the Lake District’ from 1750 onwards.

Getting there

  • Travelling by car – with easy access from the M6 (J36 from the South – 23 miles, J40 from the North, 28 miles) A591 to Rydal, turn right at the sign of Rydal Hall (near Rydal Church), turn first right after 200 yards.

  • Travelling by train – There are excellent rail connections to Windermere station (via Oxenholme on the West Coast mainline) which is only 4 miles from Rydal Hall.

  • Bus (555) and taxi services are available at Windermere station.

Registration and Cost

To register and for any questions about the Retreat, write to

The fees include:

·    Writing workshops and advice sessions

·    Accommodation for 4 nights/5 days

·    All your meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners  

·    Morning and afternoon refreshments

·    Private tour and workshop at Wordsworth's house and museum

·    Use of wi-fi, sitting rooms, library, gardens, and local know-how


Please note we will add VAT to the prices shown below. 

Single room £995- FULL

Twin room (Single Occupancy) £1140

Twin room (Double Occupancy) £2000

Double room (Single Occupancy) £1250

Double room (Double Occupancy) £2200

Superior double room (Single Occupancy) £1300

Superior double room (Double Occupancy) £2300

Fees do not include airfare, travel insurance, additional accommodations or personal expenses.

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