Where the wild words are

No workshops or classes

Just days on end of blissful writing to focus on your own project.

Your own room

(Unless you want to share with a friend/partner – supplement applies).

Three or six nights

Arrive in the afternoon so you can find us while it’s light, and leave at noon on your last day.

Rural bliss

15 miles/30 mins/£30 taxi from a mainline station (Tiverton Parkway in Devon).

All food included (and some wine!)

No cooking, no cleaning. I look after you so that you can focus on writing.

The Hideaway is a serene place to think, create and just be. With barely another house in sight, you can sit on the swing seat and feel like you’re in a bubble, far away from normal life. It’s rustic, imperfect, and just a little bit magic.

Set on the edge of a beautiful valley, we have a big woodburner to heat the house, water from our own spring, solar tubes on the roof to heat the bath, a large veg patch to grow food in and a friendly cat.

We even have good wifi most of the time (no TV, but that’s not what you’re here for).

I’m sorry, but the Hideaway is not accessible. Please take a look at the FAQ section to see if it’s suitable for you first, as it does have some quirks.

Time to think

Get away from the stresses of everyday life and just write

A place to relax

I’ll take care of boring practicalities like food so you can just work

Space to write

Your own double room, with a desk and a comfy chair

Summer 2019 - Writing Retreat Dates & Prices

Writing Retreat Dates and Prices

Dates go up in batches every few months, so pop your details in the big turquoise signup box just above this to hear about new dates. They do sell out quickly and writers who have been before get priority booking, but if you want to be added to a temporary waiting list for a sold-out session, let me know.

For pictures and more details, just keep scrolling…


Summer 2019 Dates 

All catered Hideaway retreats start from 3pm on your first day and end at 12:00 noon on the final day so that you can arrive before dark and get a full morning of writing on your last day. If your retreat ends part way through a week (normally Monday), you will need to vacate your room briefly to allow us to clean it, but you can use the communal tables and work in your room again once we’ve finished.


Fri 26 Jul – Thu 1 Aug (6 nights) Fri 26 – Mon 29 Jul (3 nights) Mon 29 Jul – Thu 1 Aug (3 nights)
Room 1: SOLD  Room 1: SOLD  Room 1: SOLD
Room 2: SOLD Room 2: SOLD Room 2: SOLD
Annexe: SOLD Annexe: SOLD Annexe: SOLD


Fri 2 – Thu 8 Aug (6 nights) Fri 2 – Mon 5 Aug (3 nights) Mon 5 – Thu 8 Aug (3 nights)
Room 1: SOLD  Room 1: SOLD  Room 1: SOLD
Room 2: SOLD Room 2: SOLD Room 2: SOLD
Annexe: SOLD Annexe: SOLD Annexe: SOLD


Fri 30 Aug – Thu 5 Sep (6 nights) Fri 30 Aug – Mon 2 Sep (3 nights) Mon 2 – Thu 5 Sep (3 nights)
Room 1: SOLD  Room 1: SOLD  Room 1: SOLD
Room 2: SOLD Room 2: SOLD Room 2: SOLD
Annexe: SOLD Annexe: SOLD Annexe: SOLD


Summer 2019 pricing

6 nights 3 nights

£625 cottage

£665 annexe (ensuite)

£330 cottage

£350 annexe (ensuite)



About the house

Room 1

This room has a double bed with an orthopaedic mattress, desk and armchair. It has windows on two sides so gets lots of light, including sunset views. It’s warmer in winter, but usually noisier because it’s above the kitchen.

Room 2

This room has a comfy double bed with a memory foam mattress, a desk and an armchair. It’s heated via a hole in the floor above the fireplace in the main living room. It has a lovely view and slightly better wifi.

Shared spaces

Living Room

The living room is large, with a table to work at at one end and cosy sofas and a big woodburner at the other, perfect for curling up next to with a good book.


The shared bathroom in the cottage has a new shower, a bath and a lovely stained glass panel in the ceiling so you can lie in a solar-heated bath and watch the sky…


The annexe is a cute and quirky self-contained building immediately next door. For catered retreats you’ll eat with the group in the main cottage and can use the living room and kitchen there, but you’ll also have your own kitchen, bathroom, living room room and bedroom with vaulted ceilings and verandah.


The annexe is just finishing renovations. Things will continue to change, but here are some updates…

Unconventional spaces...

Looking from the living room into the bedroom. Who needs boring, regular sized doorways?

Calming bedroom

 With a brand new comfy Eve mattress and 100% cotton bed linen

Living room

With a desk, sofa, and wood burner to keep you cosy


With a walk-in shower and possibly the best view-from-a-loo in Devon


Still a bit of a work in progress! The gorgeous new work surface used to be a school chemistry bench

Quirky touches

Stained glass window above the living room mezzanine

Rooms are first come-first served, and please make sure you check availability before filling in the booking form.

Once you’ve booked, I’ll email you (this can take a few days) to confirm I’ve got your request and to send an invoice, and you’ll then have a week to transfer the money in order to secure your room. Rooms can’t be held without payment.

Cancellations and date changes must be made six weeks ahead of your retreat start date for a refund. If you cancel or change dates between three and six weeks ahead of your retreat date you’ll be entitled to a 50% refund. After this date, no refunds or changes are possible. All cancellations and booking changes are also subject to a £30 admin fee.

Please make sure that you have travel insurance as soon as you book in case you’re unable to come to the retreat at the last minute, have trouble on the journey, etc.

You’ll arrive from 3pm on your first day (no earlier please), and you can stay until noon on your last day to give you a little more writing time.

Please note that I’m a home cook and can’t deal with severe food intolerances or particularly difficult requirements. If you think you might fit into this category, please contact me before booking.




So just how rustic is it? What's it like?
The Hideaway a spacious old two-bedroom farm cottage with a lovely rustic feel – think original beams, wooden floors, and reclaimed material everywhere. My partner, Nick, and I live in the barn further down the site.


HEATING: It’s true, we don’t have central heating. Gasp! Our heating comes from the woodburner and the Everhot stove in the cottage kitchen. It’s definitely a woolly jumper and slippers type of house and it does tend to be chilly in the morning when the fire has died down, but honestly it’s not as bad as it sounds! I’ll bring the fire in the main cottage back to life each morning in winter and keep it going, and you’re always welcome to throw more logs on. If you’re in the annexe, I’ll show you how to drive the fire. We also have plenty of blankets and hot water bottles, and I made thermal curtains (ooh). Room 1 is perhaps a little warmer because it’s over the range-heated kitchen and the woodburner feeds a radiator in this room. Room 2 has our unique vertically integrated convection system, a.k.a. a hole in the floor above the main fireplace. And we do have backup plug-in radiators!

BATHROOMS: The cottage has a shared bathroom with a brand new bath and shower. The bath water is primarily heated by solar tubes and the woodburner, meaning that it tends to be warmest in the evening – perfect for a nice pre-dinner bath. The shower heats its own water at any time though, and there’s an immersion heater too.

ANNEXE: The annexe is a self-contained one-bedroom retreat with everything you’ll need. It is also fed by spring water and heated by fires, and is perhaps a step more rustic…

WIFI: We do have wifi but be aware that we are very rural and things can go wrong with the system quite easily. It’s pretty good when things are running smoothly though, good enough for video calls.

WATER: The water comes from a spring, not the mains. It’s UV filtered and delicious. However, if you have the slightest concerns or your immune system is compromised at all, then we have a Brita filter you are welcome to use.

NOISE: We’re set in the middle of farmland with a carpenter close by and we may need to do our own work on the land, so obviously we can’t guarantee quiet. It’s an old house with poor sound insulation (and a heating hole in the floor!) so we ask writers to be considerate about noise levels, partly for the benefit of your fellow writer and partly because you don’t want everyone overhearing your phone conversations. Having said all that, this is one of the most peaceful places I know.

THE SITE: You’re very welcome to roam our 3 acres. We have paths down into the little wooded valley and along the river a little way, and a very friendly cat who might come with you. It has hazards aplenty (the bridge is slippery!), but hey, you’re an adult. We trust you to be sensible and safe.

ACCESSIBILITY: I’m really sorry, but there’s no getting around it: this is not an accessibility-friendly place. There are steps to the property and inside the property, and the whole thing sits on a precipitous slope.

ACCESS: The road really is one-car wide for a few miles from town, with grass growing up the middle and a lot of potholes. Do not bring your low-slung sports car.

NEARBY: You might wonder what facilities are nearby – er, none. The nearest pub is a 10/15 minute drive, the nearest shop a bit further, 5 miles or so. You probably wouldn’t want to walk it unless you really like hills. Did I mention it’s hilly round here? If you’re worried about it, the Country House is generally a bit more accessible both for people with limited mobility and in terms of access to services like healthcare and fancier facilities.


What's included?
Your own room including bedding and towels plus three meals a day including a glass of wine or two with dinner. And, of course, snacks. If you’re lucky, cake might be involved. It’s likely that most lunches and at least one evening meal will be vegetarian. Some will be simple – sandwiches or a bowl of pasta perhaps – some will be fancier. You’ll forage for your own breakfast (but you still don’t have to wash up, hooray). We grow food without pesticides or chemicals and I’m hoping to increase the amount of home-grown goodies you get fed over time. You’re welcome to bring anything else you’d like to have on top of what’s provided, and you’ll also take care of your travel arrangements, toiletries and any additional trips you’d like to make.

Will I get my own room?
Yes, and each room has a lock. All rooms are normally for single occupation but if you’d like to share with a friend, get in touch and I’ll let you know what the current situation is (the charge is normally £150 per 3 nights for an additional writer, but be aware you may need to share a bed). You’ll normally share a bathroom with one other writer or two at the most, unless you’re in the annexe, which has its own.

Is there a room-sharing discount?
Most people don’t want to share with a stranger, so I don’t offer this option and the prices online are all for one person in each room. However, if there is a suitable room available and you want to share a room with a friend/partner, the second person can come for a discounted price of £150 per 3 days (and I can split the invoice however you wish). I don’t currently have any spare/camp beds at the Hideaway, but if you’re happy to share a double bed and want to bring a fellow writer, contact me.

Is it accessible to wheelchairs or people with limited movement?
I’m really sorry, but the house is not accessible to wheelchairs and may be tricky for those with limited movement. It’s located down (and then up) steps, both bedrooms are upstairs and the entire site sits on a steep slope. If you’re wondering whether it will be suitable for you then contact me with your needs and we can talk about whether it’s suitable.

Can you deal with my food allergies/intolerances/weird aversion to broccoli?
Possibly. I’m an untrained home cook, and I can’t deal with severe intolerances or allergies, or with any other serious medical issues. If you have difficult food or medical requirements, you’ll need to contact me before booking. If you’re not sure if your needs count as difficult, please click the booking button and fill in the form but also email me. I’ll do my best to fit around people’s needs and dislikes because I’d much rather serve food that people can eat and will like, but it isn’t always possible. At bigger retreats I can normally provide options for, say, vegetarians and meat-eaters, but at The Hideaway we will all eat the same as far as possible. This means it’s likely some main meals and most lunches will be vegetarian. I figure that I’ll do my best but that you’ll understand if I still go ahead and serve your pet hate because, you know, you understand that juggling lots of food requests isn’t easy and anyway hating broccoli is weird. Broccoli is amazing. If there’s ever a meal you don’t like though, you’ll always be very welcome to make yourself egg on toast. Believe me, nobody’s going to starve around here.

Er, how about you tell me about the writing now?
Okay, fiiiiiine. Your schedule is entirely your own. There are no classes or workshops, just acres of time to write, read, walk, etc. This retreat is about going you time away from the distractions of your everyday life so that you can settle down and focus for an extended period of time (something that’s increasingly rare). It’s about your project, giving you the space and support to help you actually do it. There aren’t set quiet times and the number of people around is small, but please be considerate of noise as other people might be working. You’ll have a desk in your room, and there’s a table in the kitchen and another in the living room. There are also a couple of old folding school tables with proper teenage (i.e rude) graffiti that you can put in the conservatory, the living room, the garden or anywhere else that takes your fancy. Start work early, spend long hours walking or reading in the bath, whatever you fancy. This time is yours.

What are check in/out times?
You can arrive from 3pm on your first day, meaning that if you’re driving you can arrive in the light and hopefully find us (!) Departures are at noon, so you can get a few extra words in before leaving. If you’re leaving on a weekday (normally Monday), we may need to sneak in and collect your bedding before then, but we’ll try not to disrupt you.

Can my writing group hire the whole place?

Absolutely! There are 3 bedrooms between the cottage and annexe, each with a double bed, so I normally take 3 writers at once.

It’s possible to take more if you’re happy to share though. There’s an open reading nook in the attic -i.e. no door – we could put a single mattress on the floor for someone on a tight budget, and/or a mattress on the living room mezzanine of the annexe (or depending on how up-to-date this is there may even be a daybed up there).

You can either come on a set retreat week/weekend that has nobody currently booked, or contact me with a list of dates that might work for you and I’ll see if I’m free.

You can get me on hello@urbanwritersretreat.co.uk, and either I (Charlie) or Emma (the admin fairy) will get back to you.


Is there wifi?
Yes, and it’s pretty decent, but, ehhhhhhh, this is the middle of the countryside so it has been known to vanish after storms, in high winds or just because it’s Tuesday. The signal is better in the East room – it works well in the West room at the desk, but you probably won’t get signal in bed.

How do I get there?
I’ll send the location after you’ve booked, but it’s a 30-ish minute taxi ride (14 miles) from Tiverton Parkway, which is on the main train line between London and Paddington. Tiverton Parkway is a 15 minute bus ride (leaves hourly but not always well-timed) from Tiverton itself. Taxis are £30 from the station, and I’ll ask if I can put you in touch with your fellow writer/s in the hopes that you can share taxis.

If you’re driving, it’s a 20 minute drive west of Tiverton on country lanes. We have two sets of directions, one for the stout of heart and one for those less used to the countryside. It’s only fair to be completely honest about this, we are on a very narrow, winding road with plenty of hills and fewer passing places than you’d like. It’s only one car wide for a long way, and there are a lot of potholes. Even with directions you might think you’re lost at least once (if we can share a WhatsApp pin it’s much easier – google maps seems to go a bit skewiff around here). Think of it as an adventure, or the price you’re paying for rural bliss…

BARTER: it may be possible at some times of the year to barter your skills for writing time and a place to stay. This would probably mean that you’d get to stay with us (self-catering mostly) in exchange for 4 hours of work a day on the land or on admin and/or marketing. Enthusiasm and a conscientious nature are probably more important than specific skills for this, but a love of gardening or DIY wouldn’t hurt. We could arrange this so your afternoons were free to write. CARETAKER: these spaces would come up when we need to be away. There would be less work to do (probably only garden tasks that need to be done that week and caring for the ducks, chickens and cat) but obviously more responsibility if we’re leaving our home in your hands. We are very remote and it’s critical that we have a self-sufficient problem-solver with practical skills caring for the place, in order to deal with any issues that arise when we’re away. A car would be essential, and there will be a vetting procedure. Your lodgings would depend on who else was on the site at the time, and there are varying degrees of rustic here (i.e. only the main cottage has hot water and a standard water-flush loo)! If this sounds interesting, email me at hello@urbanwritersretreat.co.uk and let me know what you’re interested in, if you have any relevant skills and if you have particular timeframes or need a certain amount of notice. I’m not sure what’s likely to come up, but let’s chat.