Busy, busy being creative..!

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Five go to Lundy Island

Lundy Island - here we come!

Running a retreat has been a dream of mine for some time and having successfully run a number of online courses I felt ready to take the leap to create something bigger. Something much bigger!

It was to be A Creative Adventure with all the excitement of a Famous Five book, but for adults. 

Set on a secret (ish) Island where we could explore, create, laugh and have fun (maybe meet a mad professor and solve a mystery?)

Somewhere that would challenge us and where we could drink lashings of (alcoholic) Ginger Beer…

Somewhere we’d hopefully spot some Puffins.

Lundy Island. The mystical isle off the coast of Devon that’s only three miles long and half a mile wide. A tiny place that’s a world of its own. This was where I wanted to hold my first retreat. Somewhere that would hold a real sense of adventure and yet wasn’t actually that far away. Oh and had a feel of The Famous Five about it…!

In fact the ‘Mystery’ would be ourselves. I saw this as an opportunity to offer some ladies a creative break away from day to day life and step away from distractions to focus on themselves and what they wanted in their lives. Combining my Creativity, Adventure & Nature (CAN) ethos I created something that I hoped would also speak to others who were looking for a retreat with a bit of a difference.

Dates were booked for May, Four lovely ladies signed up and off we went….!

We were due to arrive by boat – but the weather meant that we had to arrive by Helicopter. The Adventure was off to an exciting and unexpected start.

The views were absolutely stunning. I was lucky enough to go up front with the pilot. I felt very lucky.

Our luggage would follow so we set about making our way to The Old Lighthouse where we were staying. Straight up the lighthouse we went to survey the island from the highest point.

Old Light, completed in 1820 and obsolete by 1897, was designed by Daniel Asher Alexander. Built of Cyclopean blocks of granite, it stands on the highest point of the island. The keepers' quarters are still divided into the two original flats, Lower and Upper. Unusually for Lundy, they look out over the northern part of the island. It was soon discovered, however, that this lighthouse was in fact too high and often obscured by fog so wasn’t very effective. Another light house was built at another point lower down.  We were staying in the Old Light Upper.

Being right at the very top of the island like this meant we could see the full island from here. It felt very magical indeed. Even the sound of the wind sang to us as we were buffeted about – it can be rather windy here! We had warm clear days and lots of sunshine.

The two days on the island actually felt so much longer. There was no TV in the lighthouse or Wi-Fi. There was a connection sometimes but it was very patchy and really we wanted to be engaged in our surroundings. Not be online.

Ours days were a mix of creative explorations individually and as a group, eating together, one to one coaching and sometime was spent down the pub, The Marisco Tavern. The local and only pub on the island which has won Pub of the year since 1986…!

We had space to explore, to create and to challenge ourselves.

For such a small island it held so much wonder. We were also there the same time as the Anthony Gormley sculpture LAND celebrating 50 years of The Landmark Trust who have looked after Lundy since 1969.

Sadly I didn’t get to see any puffins on this trip – other than the ones on the stamps and the pencil I bought as a momento, but that really didn’t dampen the wonderful time I had running the retreat and seeing the transformation of each of the ladies over the few days that we were together. I felt really honoured. It was fun, it was exciting, it was calming, it was enlightening, it was magical.

Here’s what the 'Puffineers*'  had to say about the trip:

"A delightful combination of holiday, inspiration, freedom and creative fun with a lasting impact of new directions and happy memories. I would do it again tomorrow!"
Alison Stephenson, Costumier


"Morwhenna inspires with brilliant adventurers and gives opportunities to really question yourself in a fun, safe group of supportive fellow artists & puffineers! Had the best fun."
Rhian Wyn Harrison, Illustrator


"I came needing space to rediscover me – needing to re-connect with my first love, photography. Needing to get some clarity on my work as an artist and on balancing aspects of my life and integrating them. 
And thanks to The Creative Adventurer and the magic of Lundy, I have!"
Lisa Tregenza, Textile Artist


"Windy, Wild, Friendly, Sheep. Had some lovely Creative Adventurers in our brief time here. Hoping to spy some puffins today and adventure some more!" 
Justina Hart, Novelist & Poet

- a person who goes looking for puffins and creative adventures on Lundy Island.


I’ll be running one again next year so if you’d like to be the first to know when I’ll be taking the next Creative Adventure to Lundy Island – please make sure you are signed up to my playletter – or reply to this post so I can put you on first refusal. There will only be four places available. I can’t guarantee we’ll arrive by helicopter next time although I can guarantee a Magical Creative Adventure!

This is really only a snapshot of the trip – but one that I hope makes you think – “I want to go next time!” ps You don't have to be an artist to enjoy this Creative Adventure!

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