The Bridport Retreat

Heaven On Earth For Writers: A Six-Day Writers' Retreat. 

 The all-inclusive writers' retreat in a beautiful manor house in rural Dorset, not far from the sea.

All the things you could ever want for your dream writing retreat (lovely rooms, log fires, personal writing space, great food, beautiful scenery, lively chat or rural solitude) offered alongside the chance to attend literary events throughout the week and spend time with fellow novelists.

Facilities include:

Private rooms in shared cottages. Some rooms have writing spaces (desk and chair) in the room. For those without, another private designated writing space will be allocated to each writer. Some rooms are twin, some double, some king and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Each bathroom is shared by no more than two people.

Toiletries, luxury bedding, all towels and free wifi are available in all cottages. Each cottage has a utility room with washer and dryer at guests’ disposal.

Full kitchens with dishwashers.

The cottages have large, communal sitting rooms with log-burners and tv but we ask that TVs/laptops/radios are only used with headphones when other guests may be writing.

Licensed bar on site.

There is a games room on site, 13 acres of garden and woodland, total peace and quiet and stunning scenery, plenty of parking and hosts available around the clock. Pubs close by. Bridport is packed with wonderful cafes and restaurants if you are going to an event at the literary festival. 


All meals are home cooked using local ingredients wherever possible and dietary requirements can be accommodated.

The cottages will be stocked on arrival with tea, coffee, milk, fruit teas, full fruit bowl, full biscuit tin. 

Breakfast and supper are served in the Victorian Barn.

Breakfast includes bread, croissants, butter, jams, eggs, juice, cereal, yoghurts and one or two other treats. Guests can prepare whatever they wish.

Lunch is left up to you. There are fridges in the cottages if you wish to bring food or snacks or there are pubs nearby if you wish to get out.

Tea. Cake will be available at 4 pm.

Supper includes courses plus a cheese board.  Sparkling water will be provided but guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

Guests are asked to help clear their table after breakfast and supper.

Sample dinners: 

Fish Balti, lentil dahl, basmati rice, cucumber raita. Port & Redfruits Jelly with cream.

Chicken & green olive Tagine, Morrocan vegetable and chickpea Tagine, couscous. Citrus and orange flower fruit salad with greek yoghurt.

Hickory ribs, steamed corn-on-the-cob, cornbread muffins, real baked beans
Lemon and poppyseed cheesecake.

Vegetarian Chilli, sour cream, avocado, fresh salsa, cheese, rice and nachos
Honey Parfait with Honeycomb chunks


Writing days.

Writers will be at leisure to keep their own hours, writing sleeping, walking as they wish. Breakfast and supper and tea will be at fixed times and all are optional.

Trips into Bridport for lit fest events will be available to those who wish to go.

Tuesday  - arrival any time after 2pm

Guests will be able to book in for an hour’s coaching with Louise in advance, looking at work in progress, discussing the novel in hand and plans for future publication.

7pm Saturday - a special dinner.

Guests can depart any time from Sunday until 9am Monday morning.

Only 10 places are available - so book your spot now!


Massages/treatments, personal trainer sessions are available if any guests wish to book them.

Your host:

Romla Ryan, the proprietor, is one of the first members of The Novelry. When she is not writing a novel, she attends to the needs of her guests at Marshwood Manor. She is an accomplished cook and has 4 years experience in hosting yoga retreats and Bootcamp weekends. Her husband Julian Ryan shares her passion for the beauty of the Marshwood Vale and providing their retreaters and year-round guests with a blissful stay in their lovely home and cottages.

Essential Packing List

  • slippers
  • wellington boots (for walks)
  • sweatpants and jeans (for walks)
  • a big coat with a hood (for walks)
  • laptop, charger, notebook and pens
  • bubble bath and your favourite pyjamas and robe!

You can provision your cottage if you wish in addition to the eggs, milk, butter, coffee and tea provided by making a grocery delivery with

Venue: Marshwood Manor

Getting here:

Put the postcode into Google Directions for various options.  If you're coming via public transport, please head to Crewkerne station. Various Taxi companies are available via Google search.

You can book online with MP Cars here.

We recommend Craig's Taxis- and you can call them on 01308 861000

The Vale of Marshwood is a very unique and special place still farmed in much the same way, with its ancient small fields, as it was during the Iron Age. The Vale’s remoteness brings a level of peaceful tranquillity that is hard to find in England today and, with it, some excellent star-gazing on clear nights.

Although Marshwood Manor Cottages are surrounded by green fields it is only 10 minutes from the coast at Seatown or Charmouth and 15-20 minutes away from three towns of great character and charm.

Bridport – A wonderful place to spend the day. Its streets are full of galleries, booksellers, cafes, antique shops and boutiques. On Saturdays, there is a street market with stalls selling everything from local food to antique ironmongery. There is a wealth of good restaurants too and we will be happy to advise you on these.

Lyme Regis – The famous seaside resort is as charming as ever with its famous cob; setting for the becaped figure of a wan and windswept Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and its quaint streets and choice of good pubs and shops. It also boasts an excellent local cinema.

Crewkerne – Just over the county border into Somerset is the old market town of Crewkerne. Home to many high street shops such as Boots and Waitrose, it also has a wealth of smaller boutiques and an auction house that provides excellent antique hunting with its weekly sales.


Marshwood Manor

Cancellation Policy:

Neither The Novelry nor Marshwood Manor offer, or include a charge for holiday cancellation insurance.

Travel insurance

We cannot reimburse travel costs or other losses incurred by you in the event of cancellation by us or you. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to cover potential loss arising from cancellation or other eventuality affecting your booking, including course fees and travel or other consequential costs. You should check that any policy you purchase meets your needs.

Thank you.

Changes to the programme

The Novelry reserves the right to make changes to the advertised programme and tutors. As we plan the programme in advance, changes will inevitably occur to some courses, and occasionally the original tutors are unavailable. We always endeavour to replace tutors with someone of similar experience, and to give you as much notice as possible. On rare occasions we may need to cancel a course; in this case we will offer you an alternative course or return all of the fee paid. Please note that where we have to change tutors, you do not have additional rights of cancellation and our standard terms still apply. We cannot reimburse travel or other costs, which you may however be able to reclaim from your travel insurance policy, and our liability to you in case of a cancellation by The Novelry is limited to the course fee you have paid.

Conduct and safety on site

The Novelry reserves the right to ask a writer to leave the course or retreat if the tutor judges that it would not be in the interests of the participant or others in the group, or that it would be otherwise unsafe for that person to remain on site as a result of their mental or physical health, behaviour or apparent state of mind. Any refunds made in these circumstances will be at the sole discretion of The Novelry.

Damage and cleaning

Our provider's buildings and grounds are your home during your stay; please treat them with care and respect. You agree to reimburse us promptly on demand for all reasonable costs incurred by us as a result of any damage caused by you to the centre or excessive cleaning required as a result of your stay.


Please note that with the exception of assistance dogs, pets are not permitted anywhere at The Novelry's residential courses. There are dogs who reside in the host accommodation and therefore the courses are not suitable for anyone unable to tolerate the presence of dogs.


A place on a course or retreat may be used only by the participant named in the booking. It may not be transferred to another person without agreement in advance from The Novelry. Please note that you are not permitted to have guests or visitors on site during your stay.


The Novelry cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense sustained by participants on courses and retreats as a result of an event or circumstance whether arising from natural cause, human agency, or beyond its control otherwise. Where The Novelry is unable to provide a course or retreat place to you for any reason, our liability is limited to return of the fees paid.

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Happy Writing.

The Novelry.