Your writing retreat
Your retreat begins once you step on board one of the ferries that will take you to Bere Island. Bere Island Ferries departs from Castletownbere and lands in the West End of the Island at Oilean na gCaorach. Murphy’s Ferry Service leaves from the Pontoon and lands at the Village at the East End of the island. You can check the ferry schedules here: http://bereislandferries.com and http://murphysferry.com/timetables-fares/
You will be picked up from the ferry on arrival and brought to your accommodation. Take a little time to settle in and find your bearings and you will then be off to begin your writing journey.
You arrive at the Heritage Centre for a meet and greet with your fellow writers and award winning author Adam Wyeth. Have a relaxed chat and some refreshments while you listen to an introduction to the island itself and the plan for your next four days.
On day one your workshop beings at 11 a.m You will work until lunch which is taken at 1 p.m at the centre with the rest of your group. After lunch we will take the military history tour at Lonehort battery. The route there takes in part of the Bere island parkurn (recently voted the most scenic in the world). This is a relatively easy flat walk but should you have any difficulty transport can be made available. The parkrun route takes in Lonehort, views of a Viking boatyard, superb views across to the Carbery Peninsula and the remains of a bronze age wedge tomb.
Bring your notebook and pen as they will be lots to stimulate the imagination. After the tour you can take in the remainder of the parkrun route or if you prefer you can be driven back to your accommodation. You can take some time here for private writing or relaxation.
We will meet again for dinner at 7 p.m. at one of the local spots that serve great food. After dinner you can retire to your accommodation or perhaps continue the conversation in one of the local pubs.
You will be picked up again from your accommodation after breakfast or bike hire is also available should you wish to cycle.
Your workshop begins at 10 a.m. You will have a refreshment break at 11.30 a.m. and work again until lunch at 1 p.m. Adam will arrange private one to one time with you should you require this.
Lunch is taken at the heritage centre or perhaps if the weather is really good we can take lunch with us to our next destination which is a walk to the Gallán, the standing stone at the centre of the island where we will see the Ardagh Martello tower in distance.
We will then walk to the Holy Year Cross which was erected in 1950 by islanders. On a fine day there is no better place to have lunch with a panoramic view down Bantry Bay and to the mainland. This walk is a little challenging as it is uphill and takes about 20 minutes. If you feel that you can’t walk this don’t worry as we can arrange to get you to the top by jeep.
Again you can continue your explorations after our walk or return to your accommodation to avail of some private writing time. You will be picked up again for dinner at 7 p.m.
You will be collected from your accommodation to begin your workshop at 10 a.m. There will be a refreshment break at 11.30 a.m. and you will write again until 1 p.m. Again we will have lunch at the Heritage Centre and go on our walk this time to the west end of the island to the Ardnakinna Light house. The route is relatively easy but does go off road. You will have plenty to write about here.
After our walk we will head back to your accommodation as our dinner will be at the earlier time of 6 p.m. We will meet again at the Heritage Centre at 8 p.m. for a reading with Adam and we would love to hear you read with him if you would like to do so. We will open this reading to a small number of people from our community who will be interested in hearing some of your work. There is no pressure to read. It’s totally up to you!
You will be collected from your accommodation to arrive at the Heritage Centre at 10 a.m. to begin our final workshop.
Bere Island community radio transmit their weekly Sunday programme and may love to hear about your retreat and your visit to the island. We can arrange this with any of the participants who may be willing to have a chat on local radio.
After your short break at 11.30 a.m. you will resume your workshop . We will have lunch at 1 p.m. and return for the final part of the workshop until your pick up at 3 p.m to return to your accommodation.
You will take the return ferry to the mainland at 4.30. p.m. By this stage you will have filled your notebook, made new friends, visited a new place or looked again at one that you already know and most importantly you will have taken unexplored roads on your writing journey. We look forward to welcoming you.