The Bridport Retreat

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

To coincide with the wonderful Bridport Literary Festival, an all-inclusive writers' retreat in a beautiful manor house in rural Dorset, not far from the sea.

The 2018 Retreat takes place Tuesday 6th to Sunday 11th November 2018.

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 and your coach Louise Dean.

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

Guests can be collected from Crewkerne train station by arrangement free of charge.

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 receipt of deposit on a first-come-first-served basis. Each bathroom is shared by no more than 2 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 shop on site.

There is a games room on site, 13 acres of garden and woodland, a shop, total peace and quiet and stunning scenery, plenty of parking and hosts available 24/7. 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 will be delivered to the cottages. 

Breakfast basket includes bread, croissants, butter, jams, eggs, juice, cereal, yogurts 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 in the cottage kitchens at 4pm.

Supper will be delivered to alternate cottages each night so all guests can come together at the end of the day. Two courses plus a cheese board.  Sparkling water will be provided but guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. With four people in each cottage guests are asked to share the clearing after supper and treat the clearing up after meals as they would in their own home. (All cottages have dishwashers.)


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 - dinner

On Sunday 11th the retreat will end with lunch (optional) at a local pub with Louise.

Guests can depart any time between 12pm on Sunday and 9am Monday morning.

All inclusive price of £495.00 per person.

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


The pub lunch on Sunday is not included in the price.

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.

Venue: Marshwood Manor

In the glorious West Country sits the stunning county of Dorset. Its coastline is the world famous Jurassic Coast; a Natural World Heritage site with beautiful beaches, ancient cliffs and craggy caves all providing an excellent stomping ground for holidaymakers. It is perfect for those in search of rural idylls, spectacular scenery, cosy country pubs and some of the best food in the U.K. The county of Dorset resonates with the romance of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin and Daphne du Maurier all of whom used it as a backdrop in their works.

Dorset enjoys some of the best weather in the UK as the West Country bathes in the gentle warmth of the Gulf Stream. It has green, rolling hills, romantic country lanes and a starkly beautiful coastline. 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 Merril 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


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