write. write more

creative writing retreat with leigh russell

"All my adult life has been spent reading, writing, teaching writing, and thinking about writing"

Our next writing retreat will take place on 13th-19th April 2022 and be led by the acclaimed author and creative writing tutor, Leigh Russell.

Explore your creativity in the unique setting that is Chateau de la Motte Henry - cut off from the world and all its stresses, immersed in nature and surrounded by wildlife.  In the tranquility of our Chateau and the surrounding wonders of the Loire, you will stay in luxurious, boutique style accommodation and enjoy delicious homemade food. There will be plenty of time to focus on your own work, relax in our grounds and explore the charm, beauty and heritage of the Pays de la Loire.

Leigh Russell has written nearly thirty books, working with several publishers. Her long running series has been optioned by a major television production company. Leigh writes the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series, as well as psychological thrillers, dystopian and historical novels. She is looking forward to hosting your retreat, where she will guide your creative writing, and explore your ideas and frustrations, in a group and one to one. You will leave us with fond memories and a clear understanding as to how you can reach your potential as a writer.

All bookings in 2022 still benefit from our comprehensive Covid Guarantee.




Luxurious en-suite accommodation in the recently refurbished, 'fairytale' Chateau de la Motte Henry

Nutritious, specifically designed menu, including 3 meals per day, readily available snacks and all drinks

Great social and relaxation areas - lakeside decking, walled garden, woodland paths, secret picnic spots

Carbon offset of your trip to see us, paid for by us

Comprehensive Covid refund policy, if your attendance is rendered impossible due to Covid.



Ready access to explore your ideas with our host, Leigh Russell, a published author experienced in nurturing a love of reading and writing

Initial Skype or phone consultation to introduce ourselves, discuss our approach and your objectives

Informative group and small group discussions and creative writing practice

Time to reflect and relax in comfort, with excursions to local places of interest


inspiring host

Hailed as a ‘rare talent’ by the Daily Mail and ‘unmissable’ by Lee Child, Leigh Russell is the author of nearly 30 books, including the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel crime series, several psychological thrillers, a dystopian novel and, recently, a historical novel set in the sixteenth century. She studied literature at the University of Kent and spent several decades sharing her enthusiasm as a secondary school teacher. As a Consultant Royal Literary Fellow, she supports adults with academic and professional writing and is Chair of Judges for the Crime Writer's Association Debut Dagger Award. She also set up and runs the critiquing service for the CWA  and is an experienced editor and creative writing tutor. Passionate about writing, she loves sharing what she has learnt on her journey so far.


exclusive venue

Our guests benefit from exclusive use of the gorgeous, mid-nineteenth century, Chateau de la Motte Henry in the Pays de la Loire, France. Our secluded estate, is accessible from the UK and Continental Europe, close to the ports of Normandy and Brittany, with a well-served plane and train network.

The Chateau itself, provides luxury, boutique-style accommodation and superb social spaces, decorated with period antiques. On site there are superb exercise facilities, welcoming relaxation areas and an ability to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Chateau is set within 9 hectares of beautiful woodland grounds, with a lakeside terrace, trail paths, walled garden and 25 metre swimming pool.


hassle free

We offer personal transfers from local airports and train stations. Your whole experience is tailored to you, addresses your challenges and is truly relevant from the moment you arrive.

Your stay will provide you with plenty of time to explore the local area, with optional excursions included in your package. At the Chateau, you can relax by the pool or lake, join in a restorative yoga class or enjoy a massage.


delicious food

Throughout your stay all your meals and snacks are freshly prepared and served in our wood-paneled dining room. We will consult with you to ensure that your dietary preferences are catered for, even incorporating your food favorites in our menus, whilst avoiding foods you dislike. Utilising the very best in local ingredients, from the 'Garden of France', each eye-catching meal will support your lifestyle, but also be tasty, culinarily rich and exciting.


Chateau de la Motte Henry is a beautiful, 19th Century Chateau set in over 9 hectares of glorious parkland in the Pays de la Loire. Easy to get to from the UK and mainland Europe, the Chateau is equipped with first class health, fitness and leisure facilities to allow guests to relax and reenergise. The spacious accommodation remains true to the Chateau’s heritage, updated for modern convenience.

See the Venue



Our nutritionist and chef have designed an eye-catching, delicious menu, founded in local, organic produce. We serve the highest quality, locally sourced organic food to produce an energising and detoxifying menu throughout your stay. Vegetarians and vegans catered for.




Signature home-made Granola

Fresh fruit platter

Scrambled eggs with smoked trout & dill

Oat & Chia seed bircher pots with mixed berries

Wake up energising smoothies

Fresh orange and pink grapefruit juice



Moroccan Spiced Turkey Breast


Puy lentil, sun-dried tomato and feta salad

Minted cucumber & tomato salad

Chick pea & pomegranate cous-cous

Green Salad



Roasted tomato & basil soup

South American sweet potato & haddock fishcakes, with a lemon & thyme sauce

Wilted Spinach

French Beans

Glazed Carrots

Raspberry & Chia Pot


Write, write more

2024 dates to be confirmed | Creative Writing Retreat

From £1,500
Single room supplement £300.

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