We approached Alnmouth in the rain, but when we arrived at our room in The Red Lion, owner Jane gave us a warm welcome; she had prepared a glowing log fire and even placed arrangements of fresh flowers on each table.
Everyone arrived (including someone from Sussex via Warkworth!) and we soon settled into our comfortable room and began to write. I had gathered a few things from the shore at a recent visit to Bamburgh, bits of rope, shells, charred wood from a barbecue, an earring; I laid these out on a table together with some books of photos in case anyone needed prompts.
Just before lunch, a few of us wandered out for a walk. It was by now bright sunshine but with a keen wind so we wrapped up warm and walked north along the beach, the sand blowing horizontally into our backs. We returned over the dunes, having worked up an appetite.
We sat together in the pub to eat, chatting over our delicious food and absorbing the wonderful character and atmosphere of the place. On returning to our room, each person shared what they were writing about. It was wonderful to hear of everyone’s diverse writing projects; some people were established writers and others were just starting out. We then used our collective experience for mutual help and advice.
After a further writing session, we were rewarded with a plate of melt-in-the-mouth flapjack for afternoon tea, prepared by the chef at The Red Lion. Everyone agreed that they had a fantastic day and loved the venue.
I hope to run another retreat at The Red Lion in Alnmouth later this year so keep an eye out in the newsletter. In the meantime, there are a few places left on our Auckland Castle Retreat on Sunday 31st May 2015.