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  • Writer's pictureAngela Locke

Springtime writing in the English Lakes...

Photographs by Alicia Lester - Rydal Hall May 2023-05-21

We had a wonderful Rydal Hall Writers Retreat weekend this year at the beginning of May 2023, with the English Lake District in all its Spring finery. Beds of statuesque white tulips in the formal beds of the spectacular gardens of Rydal Hall, spring blossom everywhere, the young leaves of the beech trees filtering sunlight, lambs gambolling in the surrounding fields, a 400 year old Sweet Chestnut tree surrounded by bluebells, the lake glittering in the valley beyond and the view of burgeoning Spring across the beautiful Vale of Ambleside, one of the most stunning views in England. Just an incredible setting for what was a truly inspiring course. Serious writing, laughter and the magic of words, all came together. One participant had just come back three days before from delivering medical equipment to Ukraine and she wrote so movingly about her experience, and the absolute contrast of the blessings of peace in an English garden when she returned. All against a backdrop too of the 5Coronation of King Charles, which participants were able to watch if they wished) on a big screen in the Hall. A children’s Coronation party in the barn and an air of festivity all contributed to a very special atmosphere. The verdict this time for Rydal Hall May 2023? Overwhelmingly positive. The course was greatly enjoyed by everyone. Could they have extra days next year? It had all gone too quickly! So many thanks to the lovely writers who took part. They were all an inspiration!

So many historical moments must have passed in this house which, until the 20th century, was owned by the de Fleming family, Wordsworth’s landlords. His house, Rydal Mount, with its spectacular gardens designed by Wordsworth himself, is just a step or two up the path. I am so grateful to have had the privilege of being able to run a yearly Retreat at Rydal Hall in such a fabulous setting and with such lovely accommodation, and exceptional, dedicated staff. Now this year, by popular demand, in September, I am also running a weekend course for Writers: In the

Footsteps of the Romantics, with Professor Grevel Lindop, formerly Professor of Romantic Studies at Manchester University, a well known and respected poet and biographer (see the brochure on my website). The English Lake District is the cradle of Romantic poetry and we will be at the heart of where it all began. The course weekend will take place from 22nd-25th September, another magical time of year in the Lake District.

Then, next year, I will be running a Rydal Hall Writers Retreat in late May 2024, just into summer…May 24th to 27th. Just let me know if you are interested. Lots to look forward to… Just email me through the website. You will be very welcome indeed!

All best wishes

Angela Locke MA

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