Residential summer Retreat
at mad dogs and vintage vans
27-30 June 2024
where is the retreat, what does it cost
and what can you expect?
The Freedom To Write Summer Retreat has a new home. We are now partnering with Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans, which has a gorgeous glamping site, nestled in a wildflower meadow in the grounds of a Grade 2 listed Old Rectory that looks directly west over the Wye Valley towards the Black Mountains and the Hay Bluff. Step back in time with a stay in a vintage caravan or treat yourself to a little luxury with a room in The Hayloft. It’s a place that’s full of charm and wonder, dappled light, big skies, spectacular sunsets and starry nights.
The Hayloft (shared by three/four people) has a fully equipped kitchen and two bathrooms. On the glampsite, there are two toilets, power shower and washbasins – it’s glamping, so they’re shared, but all are high quality and toiletries are provided. There is also a full-sized fridge and freezer on site.
The vintage vans have gas stoves, kettles and coolboxes. All are situated in a wildflower meadow facing directly West, enjoying fantastic views. Each comes with its own private seating area and firebowl to allow you to kick back and watch the setting sun. The vans are positioned near enough for guests to be able to visit each other but carefully and discreetly placed to make each van its own private haven.
The vans all date from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Staying in them is like stepping back in time, as they are kitted out with bespoke wooden furniture, original gas lights, cocktail cabinets and mini stainless steel sinks. They all have vintage quilts, crochet blankets and hot water bottles (though hopefully we won’t be ending them in June).
The site also has a Summer Kitchen, made from upcycled materials and timber, with floor to ceiling glass on the western side. There’s a log burner to keep things cosy. A professional caterer will provide much of our food, but we will also have opportunities to cook on the campfire. There’s a fridge and freezer for storing perishables.
The glampsite is environmentally friendly and is as sustainable as possible. Lighting is by way of low level solar, fairy lights, lanterns and candles making for a magical atmosphere.
Each day typically starts (after breakfast) with a tutorial. You will be set a writing exercise or two, which we do as a group, and then you’re free to spend the day writing your own material and putting into practice what you’ve learned. There will be one-to-one mentoring from the tutors as well – a chance to talk about your writing project and how you can achieve your ambitions for it. More teaching takes place late afternoon.
Accommodation consists of a range of options with different price points, as follows:
- Sybil – shared van for two, with two double beds at £625pp or £925 sole occupancy [RESERVED];
- Darcy – smaller one-person vintage van at £775;
- Elsie – one-person vintage van with power point at £845;
- Lotus Bell Tent with two comfy futons at £445pp [BOTH RESERVED];
- Gertie shared van for two, with two double beds at £625pp;
- Monty – large, shared van for two, with two double beds and large private balcony at £745pp;
- Twin room with single beds in The Hayloft at £695pp or £925 sole occupancy;
- Two sole-occupancy rooms with double bed in The Hayloft at £950pp [BOTH RESERVED];
- The Orchard Cabin – a self-contained cottage for complete privacy with double bed at £950.
Included in the prices are all tutoring, mentoring, and meals provided by a professional caterer.
This is perfect. I would do it again, preferably for longer. I can imagine writing my book in this setting, with support of others, engaged tutors and freedom from the rest of my life…if I was rating it, I’d be giving it all the stars!
MAD DOGS & VINTAGE VANS
27-30 JUNE 2024
Date early 2024 tbc