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Milford Writers' Retreats

Laptop in windowOur first retreat took place in February/March 2018 and we experienced the worst weather Trigonos has had for the last 30 years, with snow and high winds, which closed local roads due to fallen trees. Sensibly we've moved the retreat dates to later in the spring. We need to book a long way ahead to ensure that we get the dates we want (hence having to take a June week instead of a May one in 2020).

The retreats are just as written on the tin. We all take meals together, but there are no critiquing sessions. Your time is your own. There are tables and chairs in each bedroom, or you can find a quiet corner in the main house for you and your laptop. There are plenty of walks if you like to mull over plot bunnies while enjoying the local countryside.

We think retreats work best with ten to twelve people, though if Trigonos has room, we won't turn you away.

Future Retreat Dates

  • Milford Retreat 2019: 5th - 12th May (Sun to Sun .) Two places left.
  • Milford Retreat 2020: 6th - 13th June. Booking open now.
  • Milford Retreat 2021: 8th - 15th May.

HERE'S A BOOKING FORM for MILFORD RETREAT

  • The total price for 2019 is £646. There's a reduction of £35 for vegetarians.
  • Apart from a small Milford admin fee of £10, this sum represents your booking with Trigonos for accommodation.
  • The venue requires a deposit, so no booking is considered firm until you have paid your deposit and sent us a Milford booking form. Please note that the Milford committee does not hold your deposit, Trigonos does. It's a non-returnable deposit in the event you decide to cancel, but fully returnable if you are on the waiting list and are not allocated a place.
  • Once the Milford Retreat is fully subscribed you can join the waiting list by sending your booking form and deposit. This deposit is held by Milford and is returnable in the event of a place not opening up for you.
  • All booking forms should be returned to: Jacey Bedford to the postal address on the form or by email to jacey(at)jaceybedford.co.uk
  • Questions anytime? Email the secretary: jacey(at)jaceybedford.co.uk
  • If booking from abroad, you can send a money order in pounds sterling, drawn on a British bank, or do an international money transfer in UK pounds. (Check out www.transferwise.com for cheap money transfers.) Email the treasurer <tina.anghelatos(at)live.co.uk> for our bank details.

What happens after you book?

  • When you have signed up for a Milford Retreat and paid your deposit you will receive basic information about the coming conference by email.
  • A few months before your Milford week you will be given the email addresses of your fellow attendees. We suggest you set up an email distribution list so we can get some group conversation going. This is for you to get to know each other beforehand, for newcomers to ask questions and for old hands to offer sensible advice.
  • The main houseThe venue is: Trigonos, Plas Baladeulyn, Nantlle, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL54 6BW
    01286 882 388
  • Instructions for getting there are all on the Trigonos website. If you are coming by public transport the last little bit is tortuous by bus, but taxis are available from Bangor or Caernarvon. It's often possible to taxi-share from Bangor station, or car-share with people and this is usually arranged via the email distribution list. If you are flying in from abroad your nearest airports are Manchester and Liverpool. Kind people with cars will often offer to meet people at major train stations or (sometimes) Manchester airport.
  • The venue is a community business, and a conference centre, not a hotel. Your room is your own responsibility for the week. We are largely left to our own devices, though staff are around (in the office or the kitchen) in emergencies during the day.

What to Expect

  • Indoors it's always toasty warm and there's an open fire in the library at night (our social room) if we want to light it.
  • If you haven't been to North Wales before, please be aware that the weather can be changeable. Outdoor shoes and a raincoat are advised, even in spring. Dress is whatever you feel comfortable in. Trigonos has its own grounds and you can walk down to their beautiful private lakeshore... through long grass, sheep droppings and a certain amount of mud depending on the weather.
  • The accommodation is full board, that's continental breakfast, light lunch (soup and salad), dinner, elevenses, fourses, plus 24 hour hot drinks available in the dining room. Beds have linen and towels. There's shower gel and handwash, but bring your own extra toiletries and hair dryer. There are some rooms in the main house (upstairs) and some in a newly converted cottage next door. All rooms are ensuite. Let us know if you have a problem with stairs or prefer a bathtub to a walk-in shower and we'll accommodate you appropriately, taking the greatest needs into consideration first.
  • Dining RoomFood is locally grown and organic and there is a vegetarian ethos, but we've arranged for meat meals for those of us who want them (at an extra cost of £35 per person per week). It's wise to state a preference if you have one. There's always a wide choice of seasonal vegetables and side dishes. Meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner beginning with dinner on the first Saturday and ending with breakfast on the last Saturday. Meals are self-service from the buffet board and we all eat together at one big table. Breakfasts are continental, not full English, with home made bread, eggs, cereal, porridge, toast, fruit, cheese and a selection of preserves. Lunches are vegetarian, usually home made soups (delicious) often with home made bread, and salads. Evening meals are two courses + a cheese board. There's not a choice of main meal, though if you have specifically requested vegetarian or have special requirements, the chef will prepare something separately for you. Ditto if you have an allergy to, or intolerance of, the specific food on offer.
  • There are no kettles in the rooms, but hot drinks are available in the dining room 24/7 with a range of teas and instant coffees. They make real coffee for us at breakfast and at breaks - usually with biscuits in the mornings and home baked cake in the afternoons. (Cake o'clock is 4 p.m.) There's always a fruit bowl available, usually with some home grown fruit depending on the season.
  • There's no bar, but you can bring your beverage of choice. Note, though, booze is not obligatory.
  • If you need a run out for supplies, someone with a car will invariably make the trip and you can get a lift if you've come by public transport. There are no shops in Nantlle, but Penygroes is about 2 miles away and has a small Co-op, post office, hardware shop, pharmacy, and newsagents etc. Caernarfon is the nearest town of any size, about 6 miles north. It has a huge castle and a range of small shops and cafes and the inevitable Welsh tourist gift shops (some very nice), but don't expect department stores or M&S. There is a Tesco and a Morrisons supermarket on opposite sides of town. Heading south, Porthmadoc is about 10 miles away and has touristy and local shops, a supermarket, an excellent little bookshop and its very own Purple Moose micro-brewery for locally made beers.

Please Be Aware

  • Trigonos is nestled in a valley in a mountainous region. There is very little-to-no mobile telephone reception, though you can get a signal by walking up the hill opposite Trigonos, in certain areas of the car park) if you are on the Orange/EE network), or in Penygroes
  • There is a payphone in the main house. It accepts incoming calls.
  • The ethos of Trigonos being one of get-away-from-it-all, but since 2015 there is wi-fi in every room. Some of us don't tell people we can now be reached by email, so we'll keep your secret if you'll keep ours. If everyone tries to use it at once it can be sporadic.

Afterwards

  • You can contnue to keep in touch with your fellow attendees via email.
  • You can write a piece for our Milford blog at wordpress.
  • And please come back and join us another year, ot come to the Milford Conference in September..

Web site design by Jacey Bedford