Creative Writing Retreats/Programmes

Patterdale Hall has been hosting high quality creative writing courses for the past 5 years. Using specialist tutors including published authors, programmes are tailored to meet the needs of the school and individuals.

Students gaining creative inspiration on Ullswater Lake Steamer ride to Aira Force Waterfall

Whilst schools can offer an excellent English Literature and Language provision, we understand how difficult it can be to meet the full cross section of the curriculum topics whilst remaining in the classroom. Using our comfortable residential centre in an inspiring location, coupled with highly specialised tutors, we want to empower students to become confident, skilled and original writers (and we hope teachers will become writers too).

Student testimonials

“The Writing Retreat has been one of the most eye-opening and amazing experiences. I feel like I came an amateur and left a writer”. (Y9 student)

“This has definitely been one of the best trips I have been on. My writing skills have developed dramatically as has my confidence, and I look forward to coming back next year”. (Y11 student)

“My experience here at the Writing Retreat opened my eyes to new ways of thinking”. (Y9 student)

“I have loved this trip so much because it has enhanced my writing skills greatly. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to write, eat, make friends and have fun”. (Y10 student)

What we offer:

For KS 2 and KS 3:

  • Innovative writing prompts  
  • Experimentation with language
  • Strategies for increasing originality
  • Encouraging a love of reading
  • Freedom to explore the imagination
  • Increased understanding of the writing process

For KS 4

  • Fun and engaging creative tasks
  • Increased confidence in their own narrative voice
  • Strategies for enhancing originality and discarding cliché
  • Ideas and tips on story writing for GCSE Language
  • Decoding unseen poetry for GCSE Literature
  • Ownership of literary techniques as both readers and writers
  • Demystifying classic poetry
  • Reconnecting with the world of the imagination

Who is for?

All ages can benefit from our writing retreats!

Retreats can be ideal for sixth formers who want to make their writing more economical and lucid by receiving one-to-one editing advice from skilled professionals.

GCSE students will gain plenty of ideas and tips on story writing and responding to unseen poetry, as well as finding that their confidence in their own imagination grows significantly.

Younger pupils, from Y5 upwards, will enjoy the innovative writing prompts which encourage them to experiment with language. In fact, our tutors can tailor their tuition to your particular requirements.

Meet the tutorial staff

Photo of Jane Kingsford- Creative Writing tutor

Mrs Jane Kingsford

Specialist Creative Writing Tutor

“A transformative teacher”

Jane has taught English and English Literature at Bolton School Girls’ Division for 30 years and is the lead for Creative Writing. In addition Jane has hosted open mic nights and poetry festivals featuring students and guest poets such as Simon Armitage, Caroline Bird and Mike Garry.

In the words of the Headmistress, Jane’s creative work for the School has been “transformative”. Jane has developed her own writing under the tutelage of Peter and Ann Sansom and the Arvon Foundation and is passionate about sharing her love of poetry and creativity with others.
Jane regularly hosts creative writing retreats at Patterdale Hall and students come back year after year.

Peter Sansom is an accomplished poet and tutor. His publications include On the Pennine Way (Littlewood, 1988) and Everything You’ve Heard is True (Carcanet, 1990), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His poem commissions include for The Guardian, The Observer, Radio Three, The Big Breakfast and a billboard in the centre of Lancaster.

Over the last 25 years along with working with Patterdale Hall, Peter has led writing workshops in hundreds of schools and workplaces, been Writer in Residence for Marks & Spencer and The Prudential and regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation.

Peter taught the MA Poetry at Huddersfield for 10 years, was Fellow in Creative Writing at Leeds University. 
He is a director of The Poetry Business in Huddersfield, and co-editor of The North Magazine and Smith/Doorstop Books.

Further information about the other tutors we use is available here

The Cost

We will design a programme that meets your needs and aspirations. You may decide that you want to mix in some adventurous outdoor activities whilst you are with us. Please use the following prices as a guide only:

Weeklong Residential: Five days, four nights, two specialist tutors, guided walk around Aira force with lake steamer ferry journey, 8 facilitated sessions comprising whole group workshops and 1:1 tutorials. Includes two free visiting leader places.

Groups SizeCost per person
16 Students £500
20 Students£485

Extras: Groups may wish for a facilitated visit to Dove Cottage in Grasmere as a wonderful start to the visit. You’ll meet the tutors there, stopping en route to the Hall in your own transport (coach or minibus). £10 extra, highly recommended.

Adventurous Outdoor Activities can be built into your programme, perhaps a couple of hours out to go Gorge walking, Climbing, Canoeing or any of the activities we offer on site. Additional costs may be incurred for this.

Interested? Please get in touch with us to explore this further. enquiries@patterdalehall.org,uk or 017684 82233