IRISH CASTLE WRITING RETREAT
SPRINGFIELD CASTLE, LIMERICK, IRELAND
2- 5th December 2022
SOLD OUT – TO JOIN WAITING LIST EMAIL:
Immerse yourself in creativity in a setting brimming with inspiration.
Join Noelle Harrison for 3 nights on her restorative creative writing retreat in historic Springfield Castle surrounded by 200 acres of woodland in the south west of Ireland.
We invite you to a bespoke retreat experience. Totally immerse yourself in your own writing world with the option of joining two creative writing workshops, and a 1:1 session on your writing with author Noelle Harrison.
On our retreat, we will have Springfield Castle all to ourselves with its elegant furnishings, portraits and antiques. On offer are luxurious bedrooms, with views across the 200 acre estate. Numbers are limited on our retreat, for an intimate and nurturing experience.
Included in the retreat, is daily brunch and a three-course dinner together in the dining room (Vegans are catered for).
Afterwards we gather by the fireside in the drawing room. Fruit, tea and coffee will be available throughout the day.
We will also be offering the options of experiencing the ancient arts of archery and falconry, particularly useful for any historical novelists!
Early December is a perfect time to dedicate yourself to your writing. During this time of mid-winter, hibernate in our historic surroundings and join Noelle on our Irish Castle Writing Retreat to restore your imagination, building focus and vision for your creative writing.
Our Irish Castle Writing Retreat is suitable for all those who wish to write whether you are beginning to write or working on a novel.
Map of Springfield Castle, created by artist Cliona Croke
Our bedrooms are elegant and comfortable. We have single occupancy and shared rates if you’d like to come with a writing pal. Most rooms have private bathrooms.
All prices below include your accommodation, brunch and three course dinner, fruit, tea and coffee, morning meditation, two creative writing workshops (optional to attend) and fireside share each evening. (Please note wine/ alcohol is not included, but you are free to bring your own on the retreat.)
For an additional £90, you can choose to have a 1:1 session on your writing for one hour with Noelle. There are only six 1:1 slots available over the three days so please book yours as soon as you can.
Not included in any of the rates: transportation to and from Springfield Castle, and optional archery and falconry. Alcohol is not included either.
There are eight bedrooms available in the castle 3 bedrooms in the East Tower on our creative writing retreat. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to book your preference as soon as possible.
King-size 4- poster bed with en-suite bathroom: £ 550 p.p. / £875 (single occupancy) – SOLD OUT
King – size / twin room with private bathroom and private sauna: £600 p.p. / £950 (single occupancy) – SOLD OUT
Queen-size bed with en-suite bathroom: £775 (single occupancy only) – SOLD OUT
Twin bed with private bathroom: £550 p.p. / £875 (single occupancy) – SOLD OUT
Queen- size bed with shared bathroom:£625 (single occupancy only) – SOLD OUT
Single Room with shared bathroom: £575 – SOLD OUT
To book your place, please email email@example.com for booking details.
We ask you to please pay a non-refundable deposit of £100. Bookings can’t be confirmed without the deposit.
In the event of cancellation due to changes in Covid regulations, we will re-schedule the retreat, or you will be given a full refund. We cannot refund travel expenses and do advise you to take out private insurance.
Balance for the retreat will be due on or before 1st October 2022. Please read terms and conditions below.
How to Get There
Our Irish Castle Retreat is situated at Springfield Castle, Drumcollogher, County Limerick in Ireland.
The closest airport is Shannon Airport. If you wish to arrive by public transport, we can arrange a minibus pick up at Shannon Airport at a pre-arranged time for the group for an additional cost.
There are daily flights from London to Shannon, and on Thursdays from Edinburgh, returning on Sundays.
Car hire is also available at Shannon Airport. The west of Ireland is magical and if you have the time we would recommend taking time to explore the area either before or after the retreat. If you’re coming from the U.K. you might like to take the ferry if you have a car.
There is also the option to fly to Dublin Airport and hire a car, or take the train to Limerick and on to Charleville. From there a taxi can be arranged for the 35 minute drive to Springfield Castle.
Staying in Springfield Castle you will feel like you are stepping back in time. The beautiful drawing room is filled with antiques and works of art perfect for our fireside gathering in the evening.
The elegant large dining room with its rich red walls, and fine silver candelabra lighting up the large mahogany dining table provides us with a stunning backdrop for our meals.
The study is a cosy, sitting room with leather sofas and an open fireplace, and next to a small library. The perfect nooks for a writing hideaway. The large kitchen with its “always on” 4 oven AGA cooking range is a welcoming space for to make your own tea or coffee or snacks.
The East Tower is entered through an archway to a private courtyard with a wonderful fountain in the centre and encircled by the stone walls and buildings, some dating back to the Norman times in Ireland. With a view of the Norman Tower House, East Tower also has a large dining room where we can change location for our evening meal, a big kitchen and underfloor heating. The kitchen door leads out onto a large patio facing west with barbeque and herb garden and a fire pit.
Upstairs the huge living room is airy and bright perfect for our Morning Pages. Downstairs there is an amazing basement room with stone walls built on to the foundation rocks hewn from the limestone hill on which the castle stands. We can use this space for an evening gathering and create our own little pub atmosphere. It has a solid oak medieval style castle door leading to a private garden.
At the castle and in the East Tower leisure facilities include a full sized snooker/billiard table, table tennis, a hard court tennis court, boules, archery and our newly installed hot tub.
The Food philosophy at Springfield: they grow as much of their own produce as possible in the walled kitchen gardens.Whatever they don’t grow or produce is sourced locally, from a range of excellent local suppliers. While the food is local the inspiration for their meals come from around the world with their family diaspora bringing home dishes from across the world. On our retreat, Vegans are catered for. Please let us know if you have any specific food allergies.
The estate has many ancient trees up to 400 years old. There are fields of quietly grazing deer and acres of woodland walks tempting you to explore. Springfield is a prime example of an Irish Castle with gardens. The organic farm, woods and gardens at Springfield are all yours to roam. Pathways trail through a giant broadleaf forest offering the chance to take time to wander in nature and take inspiration from your surroundings.
Springfield castle aims to be as sustainable as possible with their own woodlands, sustainable organic farm and gardens.
The story of Springfield Castle is associated with the patronage of poets. The legacy of storytelling in the castle and tower house is the perfect setting to ignite our creativity.
Steeped in history, it is the ancestral home of Lord and Lady Muskerry, whose motto Forti et fideli nihil dificile which means “nothing is difficult to the strong and faithful” underlies over 700 years of family history.
Please Note: Prices below include accommodation, guided morning pages, creative writing workshops, fireside share, brunch and dinner for three nights 1-4th December 2022
To book 1:1 session for one hour with Noelle add an additional £90 on your final rate
Please let us know if you require to be collected from the airport for an additional fee.
Plus if you would like to take part in archery and falconry for an additional fee. Please note alcohol is not included but you free to bring your own wine if you wish it with your evening meal.
To book your space or for more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Baroness’ Room Queen Bed with en-suite bathroom – Booked
Single Occupancy £775/ £450 p.p.
The Baroness’s room with it’s rich colours and fabrics overlooks the lawns to the west of the castle. It has a 5ft (queen) half tester bed and an en-suite bathroom which has a gigantic bathtub with hand held shower.
Barons Room King-size four poster bed with en-suite bathroom – Booked
Single Occupancy £875/ £550 p.p.
The Baron’s room is a beautifully light room with a 6 ft (king sized) four poster bed. The windows overlook the front of the castle with a great view of the mature trees (sometimes the herd of red deer can be seen grazing in the field) and along the avenue. It has a spacious en-suite bathroom with a walk in shower and a freestanding slipper bath as well as a sofa.
The Garden Room with Queen Bed and en-suite accessible bathroom – BOOKED
Single Occupancy £775 / £450 p.p
The Garden room on the ground floor is a lovely airy room with a 5ft (Queen) bed. The beautiful fern pattern fabric in the curtains is taken from a design by the early 20th century American interior designer, Elsie de Wolfe. There is a very large en-suite tiled shower room suitable for wheelchair use. As the bedroom and bathroom are on the ground floor it is well suited to guests with less mobility.
Green Room King Bed or Twin Beds with private bathroom with sauna – BOOKED
Single Occupancy £950/ £600 p.p.
The Green bedroom can be made up for you as either a 6ft (king) bed or two single beds. The room overlooks the front of the castle grounds. The bathroom is situated just across the hall and is very large with a sauna and walk in shower as well as a very large bathtub. This spacious bathroom overlooks the courtyard.
Grey Room King/Twin Beds with en-suite bathroom – Booked
Single Occupancy £875 / £550 pp
The Grey bedroom, also at the front of the castle, is an elegant coloured room with a very high ceiling. This room can also be made up as either a 6ft (king)or as 2 single beds to suit your needs. It has its own shower, toilet and sink.
Oak Room – Booked
Single Occupancy £575
The Oak bedroom with it’s large and luxurious ornately carved antique 4 poster single bed is a pleasure to sleep in.
Shares a bathroom with the Yellow Room.
Yellow Room – Queen Bed – Booked
Single Occupancy only £625
The Yellow bedroom is a cosy double room with a queen bed and lovely view. Shares bathroom with the Oak Room.
Arch bedroom queen bed with en-suite bathroom – Booked
£775 single occupancy only
Located over the archway into the courtyard, the arch bedroom is a charming retreat with slit windows and a 5′ queen bed. It has its own bathroom with bath and handheld shower.
Bedrooms in The East Tower
The Clock Suite – BOOKED
The clock suite is on the first floor leading off the long sitting room. It has two bedrooms one is a large double room with a 5′ queen sleigh bed and colonial travel trunk furniture. The other room has two single beds. These share a lovely bathroom with a generous bathtub and a luxurious walk in rain shower. Built in the walls of the old clock tower in the courtyard the bathroom features a double glazed window with a view of the clock works.
Tower Room One – Booked
£775 single occupancy only
The first floor tower room features a fine brass 4 poster bed (5′queen) and has a lovely bathroom with a victorian style slipper bath with views over the walled gardens and courtyard fountain. It also has a large balcony overlooking the herb garden.
Tower Room Two – Booked
£775 single occupancy only
The second floor tower room is a french style room with a french (5′queen) bed and wardrobe and it also has a victorian style slipper bath. It looks out over the walled garden and on a clear day to the Galtee mountains.
Tower Room Three – Booked
£775 single occupancy only
The third floor room has a rich mahogany 4 poster bed(5′queen) and wardrobe and has a shower room with a vast walk in rain shower. The tower windows frame views to the woodland and courtyards. The room is light and airy with skylights in the ceiling.
Irish Castle Writing Retreat
(please note slight variations might be made to this schedule depending on booking times for archery and falconry)
Friday 2nd December
Arrival between 4- 6 p.m. (or earlier by agreement)
Welcome Circle with Noelle 6- 7 p.m.
Three Course Dinner (Vegans catered for)
8-9 p.m. Fireside chat
Saturday 3rd December
Fruit, tea, coffee, & toast available in kitchen.
8.00 a.m. Optional guided meditation with Noelle in East Tower Long Room leading into personal writing time.
9-11 Writing time for you (or 10-11 1:1 session with Noelle)
11- 12 Brunch is served. (Vegans catered for)
12- 2 p.m. Optional Workshop: Creating Characters & Emotional Authenticity with Noelle
2- 4 Optional falconry
4- 6 Time to write or explore (or 1:1 Sessions)
6.30 – 7.30 3 course Dinner
7.30 – 9 p.m. Fireside share in Castle Drawing Room guided by Noelle
Sunday 4th December
Fruit, tea, coffee, & toast available in kitchen.
8.00 a.m. Optional guided meditation with Noelle in East Tower Long room leading into personal writing time.
9-11 Writing time for you (or 10-11 a.m. 1:1 session with Noelle)
11- 12 Brunch is served. (Vegans catered for)
12- 2 p.m. Optional Workshop: Symbols and settings with Noelle
2- 4 Optional archery
4- 6 Time to write or explore or 1:1 Sessions
6.30- 7.30 Dinner
7.30- 9 p.m. Fireside share in Castle Drawing Room guided by Noelle
Monday 5th December
Full breakfast 9- 10 a.m.
Closing Circle and Check Out
About Your Tutor – Noelle Harrison
Noelle Harrison is a fiction writer and extensively published author. Her novels and short stories have been translated and published in thirteen different countries. She has taught creative writing in Ireland, UK & Norway for both adults, teenagers and children in schools, and for organisations such as The Inkwell Writers Group in Dublin, Meath County Council in Ireland, The Big Smoke Writers’ Factory in Dublin, and Litteraturhuset in Bergen, Norway. Noelle has a Masters in Creative Writing with Distinction & an Associate Fellowship in Higher Education both attained at Edinburgh Napier University. She has lived and written in Ireland, Italy, Norway, and Scotland, and brings an array of cross-cultural skills to our retreats. Noelle’s most recent novels The Gravity of Love was published by Black and White Publishing in May 2018, and The Island Girls and The Boatman’s Wife were both published by Bookouture in April 2020 and January 2021. Her most recent novel The Girl From Across the Sea was published by Bookouture in November 2021, and her forthcoming novel The Witches of Vardø will be published by Bonnier Zaffre in January 2023 under the pen name Anya Bergman.
Noelle is also a qualified Yoga Teacher specialising in Yin, Restorative, and Menopause Yoga as well as Journaling. You can check out her weekly classes on www.restandrise.co.uk
Check out Noelle’s website to read more about her writing & books here.
You can follow Noelle on Instagram@noelle.harrison5
Booking Terms and Conditions
To book your place please pay deposit of £100. Email: email@example.com for bank transfer details. Your booking is confirmed once we have received the deposit.
All deposits are non-refundable. If we are forced to cancel due to Covid Regulations we will reschedule the retreat, or and in this situation you will have two months grace to receive refund of your deposit too.
Full payment is due by 1st October 2022. After this date we can’t offer any refunds unless we find someone else to take your place on the retreat, or the retreat has been cancelled by us. We cannot refund any travel costs in any situation and recommend you take out your own private insurance.
You are welcome to pay for the retreat in installments if this suits you better as long as the last payment is made by 1st October 2022.
No participants under the age of 18 years of age are allowed on the retreat, and no pets. There are three resident dogs at Springfield Castle.
All participants take part in the writing retreat and we ask you to only bring partners or friends who wish to write as well.
To create a relaxed space for everyone on our retreat, we are taking all precautions and procedures for a Covid safe environment. We request that if you are not vaccinated with booster, you take an antigen lateral flow test at the most 24 hours before the retreat.
Testimonials for Aurora Writers’ Retreats
‘Noelle’s Pure Fiction writer’s workshop turned into Pure Inspiration. Spending the weekend with an incredible author who freely shared her vast knowledge was simply amazing and by Sunday evening I felt like a completely new person. New doors of wisdom had been opened to me. I learned concrete techniques I could implement straight away, got loads of invigorating encouragement, and have been busy writing ever since. You’ll know where to find me the next time Noelle’s in town.’ Hilde, Bergen, Norway.
‘I took part in Aurora Writers’ two-day writer’s retreat in Lauder, Scotland in February 2017 with Noelle Harrison and Melody Nixon. Their approach was clear, practical and inspiring. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced writer,
the teaching catered to every level. Noelle and Melody’s experience, knowledge and know-how leaves you roaring to write. If you get the chance to attend one of Aurora Writers’ Retreats don’t pass it up!’
Ila, Bergen, Norway
‘I first of all want to thank you both for a wonderful Sunday. I often struggle to spend an hour doing such worthwhile things, to have a day retreat was BLISS! Lizzie and Noelle delivered everything they promised, and more! I felt connected and held and I was surprised at how connected I was to the other goddesses!’
‘A wonderfully nurturing and creative day. I found the pairing of yoga and writing very evocative. Thank you!’
‘Such an enriching experience with a great bunch of women.’
‘I love yoga but had never seen myself as at all interested in creative writing – indeed I hadn’t written anything that wasn’t for study or for work for more than 40 years, and wasn’t sure it was something I could do at all. Noelle and Vanessa put together a wonderfully integrated day where different kinds of yoga and prompts to writing flowed together effortlessly. And I’m not sure how, but a poem flowed out of me – leaving me delighted and refreshed that a seam of creativity had opened up. ‘
‘I’m now going to incorporate yoga into my writing routine as I left the retreat feeling positive and relaxed. I can’t wait for the next retreat, I’ll definitely be going back. I met a lot of welcoming lovely people who I hope to keep in touch with. We also had use of the spa at David Lloyd afterwards which rounded off a perfect day. I highly recommend Aurora Writer’s retreats.’
You can read a full review of Jodie’s experience on our Beltane Retreat day on her blog right here
‘After a day at Aurora Writers Into The Light Yoga & Creative retreat in Edinburgh, I am adorned with the armour of my intrepid warrior self, the peaceful warrior and the creative warrior. No longer shall I walk this journey of literary and creative discovery on my own. No longer shall I be the lackey of self-doubt and trepidation. With my new literary companions from Aurora’s Writers’ Retreats forever by my side, fuelling me with the memories of an unforgettable and powerful session and a connectivity that stretches from Harrogate to Scotland, across to Norway and around the world, bringing together all women who have a bloody good story to tell.’
Francesca, Harrogate, U.K.
You can read Francesca’s full review of the retreat day on writing.ie
‘Noelle gives you confidence and holds space for everyone to ask questions, develop their knowledge and intuition. The exercise and meditations were a new way to connect to my deck and my readings have become clearer since I started the course. I would highly recommend this course for anyone that would like to learn about tarot or even deepen their knowledge of it.’ (Anais)
‘Both courses were extremely in depth and engaging, and have given me a new appreciation for the Tarot. There’s really nothing I can fault about the classes; the notes were extensive, the subject matter was beyond interesting, and your calming and knowledgeable presence gave the courses a very welcoming atmosphere.’ (Euan)
‘This course was excellent! I learned so much about Tarot and Noelle was a fantastic teacher. Of course, you can’t expect to do this and suddenly be amazing at Tarot reading. It takes practice but Noelle and everyone else on the course were so supportive and I was always made to feel very welcome. The sessions were manageable to attend via Zoom and it was nice meeting new people with a common interest.’ (Jess)
‘This retreat put me in the autumn spirit while giving me an invaluable tool for creative writing and development. The symbolism, imagery, and energy of the Tarot are a perfect vehicle for creative thinking. Noelle and Becky’s expert guidance has enabled me to use Tarot in my regular writing practice to generate new concepts and ideas, as well as develop current projects and overcome blocks. My current project already feels more nuanced and meaningful after the insight I gained from the retreat. Thank you!’ Brittany
“My experience with Noelle, both working with her and attending PICTURE THIS!, is that she is a devoted and charismatic teacher. She connects with participants in a very special way so that the creative work is focused. Noelle has built very structured yet dynamic and enriching courses. The fact that she guides you step-by-step make her courses particularly attractive. The result is that you get to experience what she is teaching rather than hear about it. Creative blocks and fear of writing melt away and creativity kicks in. By taking one of Noelle’s writing courses, I believe you get a deeper understanding of what the craft of writing is and what your role should be in wanting to master it.” Karen Rosenstock, Litteraturhuset Bergen & Skrivekunstkollektivet
Last year I did a short story course with Noelle Harrison at Aurora Writers. I wrote The Spirit of the Lake, an idea that I had been tolling with for a while. But Noelle managed to make me focused and together we turned the story into something that I am really proud of! If you have time and chance to do a course with Noelle, don’t hesitate!! Nina, Bergen, Norway.
PICTURE THIS, NOVEMBER 2017
‘This has been a fantastic month. I’ve learned so much from you both and I was at a stage where I knew I needed focus. I got that. Targets were set, never in stone, so there was no pressure which was an enormous help. I learned not just to write the story, but to write more free flow which not only helped that, it made me look at different ways of expression.
The self care was not something I’d ever looked at in tandem with writing. I didn’t realise how much it’s necessary to be able to nurture yourself, take the time to say I matter. It has taught me so much and the group was amazing in its support of each other. It is a writing tribe and we all need our tribes. Thanks for your help, advice and support throughout. You have both been fantastic and are not only lovely people but are amazing teachers. I consider you both fantastic mentors.’ Angi, Scotland.
NOELLE with our PICTURE THIS! group in Norway 2017