Fern & Oak


Wild Art Retreat, Dorchester, June 2016

I was lucky enough to go on a wonderful, nourishing and soulful art retreat. It was an amazing weekend and just what I needed and it was actually like it had been created just for me! At the start of the year I decided I would take myself on a solo retreat for my birthday. I had fairly specific criteria, for my dream retreat, so figured I’d cast my dream out into the universe and see what it returned! I was looking for; a retreat that focuses on art, mindfulness and creativity, in June either in UK or Europe. Oh, and fitting it my budget ;).

On a whim I posted my dream in one of the many Facebook groups I am part of, and who should raise their hand and quietly say, “come to my retreat, it ticks all your boxes!” but the lovely Catherine of Velvet Barnacle, whom I already knew and trusted. And yes! Her and fellow creative Lisa’s joint creative venture, Wild Art Retreats was the perfect, most wonderful thing my soul had been seeking!


The retreat was for 3 days, and was held on the ground of the Kingcombe Nature Reserve in Dorchester, Dorest. So waaaaay out in the luscious green depths of the British countryside. Fantastic.

There was a small unified group of creative women and we split our time between wandering through stunning meadows, admiring an array of delicate British wildflowers and striking insects (side note: who knew moths could be so beautiful?) and working in our handmade art journals, capturing moments of wonder and joy.

Everything was provided for – plentiful cups of tea and biscuits to keep us going through our art journaling sessions and all the food was cooked on-site using local fresh produce. And my goodness, it was good food! ;) During the evenings we sang songs around a bonfire, and one night we all got stuck into some shamanic drumming; something I’ve never done before and it was a real thrill to lose my inhibitions and let go and just have fun!

There was a very heart warming sense of community during the retreat – everyone had met each other previously but I never once felt like the odd one out or “new girl” – I was embraced with open arms, which really made the whole long weekend so utterly enjoyable. Probably the best thing for me was just spending time doing what I love, creating, with other woman who love that too. It was magical!

I’m already desperate for Catherine and Lisa to cook up another retreat, now I’ve experienced my first one I know this will become a regular experience for me. To me, this took self care up to a whole new level – I built connections, explored new art techniques, wandered the wonderful British countryside and let go of daily worries and niggles. Quite frankly, I just played all weekend! And it was exactly what my soul had been crying out for! So a massive thank you to Catherine and Lisa for their hard work putting the retreat together and also a massive thank you to all the ladies who partook and made me feel so welcome ☺

Please note, this is not an affiliated or sponsored blog post, I am simply recommended a wonderful experience ☺