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Angela locke MA




'If you can't find inspiration on Iona, it's time to chuck your quill into the Atlantic. This retreat at the Argyll hotel with Angela Locke, the novelist and travel writer, draws on the island's mystical rhythms and dune-fringed landscape to help writers find their muse.’ Jeremy Lazell, Travel Editor, Scottish Times.


The Universe Is Imagination Set Free...

These are the words at the heart of my organisation, where I seek to allow others to flower in their own creativity. It is a beautiful thing to see someone open like a flower, often having been crushed by circumstances for so long from expressing their true creative voice. They seem to change physically, even in a few days, particularly on special places like Iona, and it is an immense privilege to share in that process. For me, as a writer and teacher, creativity is at the heart of who we are. This may be expressed through words, through photography, painting or dance, or in so many other ways.

People say to me 'I don't have a creative bone in my body', and then go on to tell me how they have envisioned a beautiful garden or have a dream of the future by the sea, or of getting to the top of the mountain. Or sometimes they may say 'I once wrote a poem when I was a child, but I grew out of it, and I'm no good now... 'and that makes me sad. For where would the universe be without creativity? As Einstein knew when he said we should all be like children playing...

Keep scrolling to learn more about our range of courses...


Photograph by Malcolm McGregor.

The Dream of Iona

The dream of Iona….A magical, sacred island set in a turquoise sea. An island where generations of Scottish kings are buried, where Druids and Celts and early Christians shaped the landscape of myth and dream. An island made up of the oldest rocks on the planet, where crystal clear waters lap the white sands of empty beaches, a nature sanctuary where dolphins leap in the Iona Sound and sea otters run among the rocks.

This inspirational island is the setting for a series of unique residential Writers Retreats, where beginners and published authors alike are welcomed, based at the Argyll Hotel on Iona, and led by one of the U.K.’s leading innovative Creative Writing tutors, international author and poet Angela Locke MA. Angela co-led the first British/American Writing Retreat on Iona in June 2000, and has now been teaching her very successful and inspirational series of  Writers Retreats on the island for more than 20 years.

IONA Writing Retreat with Angela Locke AND Writing and Photography with Malcolm Macgregor and Angela Locke, are now running simultaneously between the dates listed below. For the Writing and Photography Retreat please refer direct to the Argyll Hotel Iona. For Writing Retreat alone please refer to Angela Locke.'

Image by Toa Heftiba
Edinburgh City


This three-day Writers’ Retreat will be centred in the historic Royal Scots Club, a beautiful building where I am privileged to be a member. The club is in a prime position close to the Royal Mile and the centre of Edinburgh, with private gardens opposite. There is the option of staying at the Club, which is very reasonably priced for Edinburgh, or to find accommodation nearby.


My American colleague, J. Michelle Newman will be working with me, and she and I have been doing extensive research into the literary links to this amazing city, inspiration to so many famous writers, including Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Kenneth Grahame, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, and latterly J.K. Rowling, who wrote her Harry Potter books in a café in Edinburgh.


I can’t wait to share this glorious city with you, and encourage your own inspirational writing!

Image by Jonny Gios

Lake District

I have just completed, in June 2021, a very exciting Lakeland Writing Retreat at beautiful Rydal Hall near Ambleside in the English Lake District, with its beautiful gardens and setting. What a stunning place to run a Retreat, in perfect weather with an amazing group of writers!

"The excitement of all being together in a supportive environment, talking and interacting safely, with everybody having been fully vaccinated, was so powerful that several of us are unable to sleep that first night. It was though something had been turned on in our brains, which we had had to turn off more than a year ago. I felt profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such inspiring people." 

Now we look forward to another successful Lakeland Writing Retreat in 2022!


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