• Angela Locke

Rydal Hall weekend 2022

I have just said regretful goodbyes to a talented group of writers who took part in my annual Writers' Retreat 2022 at beautiful Rydal Hall this weekend. It is really an amazing and inspiring place, full of ancient trees, impressive formal and informal gardens and an OM chapel overlooking a waterfall which Wordsworth and Coleridge loved. Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount just up the lane and raised his family there. The de Flemings at Rydal Hall were his landlords. Many people only know Dove Cottage in Grasmere but Rydal Hall was the family home for Wordsworth and his family ( including Dorothy) for many years and Wordsworth designed the magical gardens in tune with his theories aabout the flow of Nature. We usually use Rydal Mount too for inspiration. It is only a weekend course but is always popular and this time was voted the best ever, which was wonderful feedback for me to hear. The weather was mixed but we are always assured of a warm welcome and a great atmosphere and excellent food. We were able to get outside despite cloudy days and a few spots of rain. The trees, including one sweet chestnut which is 600 years old, were a particulay inspiration, as was the magnificent view down the Vale of Ambleside with the glory of the Lake District fells framing trees and meadows full of sheep. On the last night, as one of my writers was playing Debussy's Clair de Lune on the grand piano, an almost full moon shone in the great picture windows illuminating the circular fountain below with its sparkling silver light. Wow! What a very special spot in which to write. I feel very lucky to have that lovely Retreat centre as well as Iona, where I can bring writers for peace and, I hope, inspiration!


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