Set in the lush Cévennes mountains of the Languedoc region, Abri offers a program of residential creative writing courses suitable for all abilities in a variety of genres.
At Abri (‘shelter’ in French) - the writing ‘wing’ of Gardoussel Retreat - we provide a place of calm and natural beauty where writers can get down to the business of their craft without the distractions of crowds, traffic or TV. With its picturesque valley views, its meandering river, its wide open spaces and a profusion of wildlife, it is the perfect writers' retreat.
Tune into your writing muse with the help of our experienced tutors and in the company of like-minded writers. Or maybe you would prefer a solitary writing retreat if you have a particular project to work on.
Surrounded by glorious pine and holm oak forests, Abri courses take place in a picturesque hamlet set in 45 acres of private meadow and woodland, just 1 hour from Nimes and 2 hours from Montpellier. The hamlet is secluded yet within easy access to pretty villages.
We have our own private river swimming spot, several garden spaces with tables and chairs for writing, as well as hammocks, a fire pit, and new for 2017 a BRAND NEW rotunda lounge (see below). There's also the option of a market trip on
All our writing holidays are full-board with a maximum limit of 12 people (some events are limited to lower numbers) to ensure quality teacher-student time. Guests are accommodated in single rooms when possible (doubles and twins also available). Meals are delicious, home-made and vegetarian - mostly organic - with local wine on tap.
I have never been anywhere like Gardoussel. Its location is magical - both the surrounding hills, complete with impressive crags and natural waterfalls and the grounds of the retreat itself, which is a kind of childhood paradise of hammocks in trees, bonfires, and the Buddha Garden, an idyllic outdoor space where we wrote and relaxed on couches. The grounds have everything: yoga decks, sunlit meadows, and a picturesque river ideal for swimming or spending afternoons relaxing in a deck chair. (Alicia Pau-Keane, 'Open Writers Retreat' 2013)
For a listing of upcoming creative writing holidays and Open Retreats at Abri see our Calendar.
October 2016: Our brand new rotunda had just arrived and is being built as I write! This 6m diameter circular building will serve as a guest lounge, with comfy chairs, coffee tables and teas & coffees available all day. It will also function as a workshop space for our writing courses. We hope to install a wood burning stove for cosy evening gatherings.
It will look something like this: