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The top 10 inspiring holidays for creatives

Ruth Hartnoll   —   31 May 2016   —   Creative & Design

The top 10 inspiring holidays for creatives

It’s Monday and your to do list is looking distinctly familiar.

You’re staring at the same tasks you’ve been avoiding for weeks and the ideas just aren’t coming.

What you need is a break, and not just a quick scroll around Pinterest either, a real break.

A break where you talk to like-minded people and debate about ideas that matter. An inspiring holiday full of conversation, good food and your best work. You need a creative retreat.

Take a look at our ten picks for inspiring, galvanizing, creative mini-breaks. It’s just what you need to tackle that to do list with a new joie de vivre.

Writing: Arvon foundation

Devon, Shropshire and The Pennines

A house surrounded by trees

Via Arvon Foundation

Write a play in John Osborne’s manor house, pen a poem in Ted Hughes’s old mill or start your novel in the idyllic Devonshire countryside. Sound like heaven? Then The Arvon Foundation should be your retreat of choice. Arvon courses have been inspiring writers to create their best work since 1968. It’s even rumoured that Mark Haddon started A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime on an Arvon course.

Tutored by some of the best writers in the country, (2016’s rotation includes Simon Armitage, Luke Kennard, Jean Sprackland and Mimi Khalvati). Arvon is a space to live with other writers for a week, talk ideas and get work done.

Painting: Whitehouse studio


Whitehouse studio painting

Via Whitehouse studios

Escape the city and reconnect with yourself - the Whitehouse Studio allows you to do just that. Snap branches underfoot as you trail some of the most beautiful Scottish scenery, all whilst working on your next big piece. With expert tutors leading sessions, the Whitehouse Studio artist retreats are a great option for those looking to recharge their creative batteries.

Writing: Cabin on the Hill

Forest Row, East Sussex

Snowy cabin

Via Cabin on the Hill

For those that take the Niall Griffiths approach to creating (the writer famously shut himself away on a Welsh farm for three months to write a novel, with nothing but sheep for company) then Cabin on The Hill could be the place for you. This sparse retreat enables creatives to truly focus on their work. It’s puritanical in its approach; solitary confinement for those that get easily distracted. Grab that pen, sit at the desk and just write. It’s all you can do there.

Photography: Human Camera

Various locations

"Enjoy a magical activity holiday, engage with creative learning and meet new people

Human camera’s philosophy is to ‘experience yourself through photography’. Take their Ethiopia tour, for example. You get to explore the highlands of Africa with an expert photographer, all whilst hanging out with fellow photographers and talking about the thing you love most. It’s not a retreat, it’s a photographer's sanctuary. See the world differently; it’s the best way to see your work from a fresh perspective.

Music: The Bali Mountain Retreat


The Bali Mountain Retreat

Via The Mountain Retreat

If staying in the UK feels a bit too familiar, then why not do something totally out of the ordinary and visit a mountain top in Bali? The Bali Mountain Retreat offers a music retreat which showcases traditional Balinese culture and teaches you how to play Balinese instruments. Culture shock yourself into thinking about your practice completely differently. Visit an unfamiliar place and discover something new about yourself.

Painting: Coombe farm studios


Outside painting group next to a river

Via Coombe Farm Studios

For a tranquil escape along the Devonshire coast Coombe Farm Studios is a great choice for those looking to escape during summer. Paint by the water, feel the earth beneath your feet and collaborate with like-minded artists. With visiting artists for every kind of discipline you’re sure to find something that reconnects you with your medium.

Writing: Skyros

Various locations

Walking along flower petals

Dubbed as ‘the holiday you can take home with you’, Skyros offers some of the most comprehensive creative holiday packages around. Their locations are as widespread as Trinidad and Thailand. You can choose the location to suit your needs and get that novel started, finally. Write in a stunning setting and experience parts of the world through your own words.

Photographic: National Geographic Expeditions

New Orleans

National Geographic Expedition - New Orleans

It’s 30 degrees. There’s street food cooking on a stall next to you and you’ve got a camera in your hand. A National Geographic holiday sees you touring one of the liveliest and most colourful parts of The States with a professional photographer in tow. Sounds like heaven? We thought so too, which is why our top pick out of National Geographic's offering was the New Orleans Photography trip. Capture carnival season, snap the area’s iconic brass bands and eat some sugary Beignets.

Creative: Cannes Lions festival


Cannes Lions festival information

Via Cannes Lions.

Even if you haven’t been shortlisted for an award there is nowhere more inspiring for creatives than Cannes Lions. Watch inspiring talks, drink in some of the best work in the business and truly wake up any  creative muscle that’s gone dormant. It’s the catalyst you’ve been waiting for. Travel to Cannes and rub shoulders with the best. The ticket is a bit pricey though, so this one is a real treat.

Where do you go to re-energise your creative batteries? Let us know on Twitter.

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