Four days on a peaceful, private island with
time to focus on your writing projects. Enjoy workshops, personal feedback
and guidance from published author, professor and certified business coach,  Jonathan Gosling.

2019 DATES

March 2019 (Finished)

Thu 5th to Mon 9th September 2019 (Fully Booked)


2020 DATES

Thu 19th to Mon 23rd March 2020


Imagine taking a boat across the Irish Sea to a small private island with a luxuriously appointed house; with time, space and structure to write your book, article, dissertation, poems or journal. It’s a rare opportunity and mid-winter, after the busyness of Christmas and New Year, is the right time for thoughtful and determined endeavour.  

The passage across the sea may be wintry, but the island welcome is warm and joyful, and the house itself is a treasure - designed and furnished by Edwin Lutyens, the architect of New Delhi and the Cenotaph in London. Each room has its own writing desk and there are many other fine places to write alone or with collaborators. Our chef for the retreat will be Lottie Brook, cooking delicious meals to sustain and excite the  imagination. Those wanting more spiritual inspiration can sip excellent Lambay Irish Whiskey, made with the island's own spring water and aged in cognac casks by the sea.


Writing is what we are here for, though and, as the schedule shows, we will get on with it in a practical and uncomplicated way. There are  opportunities for feedback but no pressure to read out work-in-progress. Most people find the workshops surprisingly helpful, and a means to both focus and accelerate their work.

Jonathan will provide advice and feedback on each persons’ writing, and will run workshops each day.








  • Writers' Meet & Greet in Gibney's of Malahide, Traditional Irish Pub (for those with flights into Dublin, we strongly recommend flights arriving no later than 11:30am)

  • Boat Transfer to Lambay from Malahide Marina

  • Island Welcome on the Pier by the Lambay resident family

  • Time to settle in with a hot drink and refreshments 

  • Welcome drinks and dinner in the White House

  • Breakfast in the White House

  • Writing Session 1

  • Light luncheon

  • Writing Session 2

  • Afternoon Tea

  • Optional Feedback Session with the group and Jonathan Gosling

  • Optional Tour of Lutyens Castle with the resident family (additional cost)

  • Drinks & Dinner

  • Breakfast

  • Writing Session 3

  • Lunch

  • Nature Walk to Summit & Nose of the island - chance to spot wallabies and variety of birdlife and to Walk & Talk

  • Time for a hot soak

  • Drinks & Dinner

  • Optional early morning coastal walk for seal spotting

  • Late Breakfast

  • Writing Session 4

  • Sunday Lunch

  • Writing Session 5

  • Optional Feedback Session with the group and Jonathan Goslin

  • Light Dinner

  • Breakfast

  • Boat transfer to mainland

  • Farewell lunch in Malahide (optional and at additional cost)

  • Final feedback and Q&A

  • Return to Dublin Airport (for those with flights, we strongly recommend flights departing no earlier than 16:30)

Tea/Coffee is available throughout the day on a self-service basis. Please inform us in good time of any allergies or dietary requirements. Hypo-allergenic bedding is also available on advanced request.


Each bedroom has a super-king bed capable of conversion to two single beds, with mattress protectors, duvets and two pillows per bed. Extra blankets are available should they be desired. Electric blankets are not permitted on the island's off-grid energy supply, however hot bottles are provided in case of cold weather.


The central and upstairs bathrooms have showers; the corner room en suites have bath-shower combinations and the end room luxury en suites have freestanding baths and separate showers.


Please let us know if you would like to request a particular bedroom.

The White House is an original Lutyens design, completed in 1933 the year before Cecil Baring’s death. It was the last building to be commissioned and executed by Cecil and Lutyens and was built for the enjoyment of Cecil's two daughters, Daphne Pollen and Calypso Liddell, who by then both had large families. It is still used as a holiday home during the summer by their descendants.


With its large Dutch-tiled fireplace, south facing sitting room, original furniture, family murals and collections, it is a unique and welcoming house comprised of a shared central section and two wings. There are glorious views over the sea to the mainland from the West Wing and from the south facing gardens in particular. There have been no major alterations to the building, so it remains an authentic example of this period of Lutyens’ work.


However, bathrooms have been carefully modernised with conservation in mind and curtains, carpets and new beds were installed in 2016. The heating and hot water systems have also been revamped, providing a level of luxury that does Lutyens’ designs great justice.


Private chef Lottie Brook will provide us with luxurious vegetarian meals throughout your stay.


Apart from the farming activity, Lambay is host to a wide variety of wildlife, including fallow deer, wallabies, rabbits, and notably, Atlantic and common seals.


The island is also one of the most important sea bird nesting colonies off the coast of Europe and has been designated a Special Protection Area. Cormorants, shags, guillemots, razorbills, puffins, kittiwakes and fulmars can be observed at close quarters with ease.


The glories of the island are the 16th-century castle, modified and extended by Edwin Lutyens between 1908 and 1910, and the gardens, originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Massive rampart walls encircle the castle, together with its terraced gardens.


In addition to the castle, Lutyens modified the farm buildings, bothy, chapel and Coastguard Cottages, which were built from local stone. In the 1920’s Lutyens was commissioned to build the Real Tennis Court on the sea front and finally, the White House in the 1930’s. Together these buildings form a harmonious architectural complex that complements the natural landscape. 


The island offers good walking with impressive views and, in the harbour, low tide reveals a large sandy beach, rock pools and a swimming area.


BOOTS - There is a large number of Wellington boots in a range of sizes, which you are welcome to borrow during your stay.

  1.  16th Century Castle and grounds

  2.  Real Tennis Courts

  3.  Horbour with sandy beach

  4.  Site of Bronze Age finds and Hiberno-Roman finds

  5.  Chapel

  6.  Fosse of Norman Fort

  7.  Cottage and residential complex

  8.  Seals

  9.  Shags, cormorants

  10.  Seals

  11.  Promontory fort

  12.  Promontory fort

  13.  Guillemots, fulmars, puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills

  14.  Neolithic tumulus

  15.  Axe-head sites

  16.  Seals

  17.  Shags

  18.  Seals

  19.  Kittiwakes, fulmars, shags

  20.  Seals

  21.  Tayleur Bay, scene of the wreck of RMS Tayleur

  22.  Razorbills, guillemots

  23.  Kittiwakes


Please make your way to Malahide when you arrive in Dublin. 


Dublin Airport to Malahide

Malahide is approximately 20 minutes by road from Dublin Airport; a regular size taxi costs approximately €15-18.


Dublin Ferry Port to Malahide

Malahide is approximately 35 minutes by road from Dublin Ferry Port; a regular size taxi costs approximately €30-35.

Directions to Malahide Town Centre

The meeting point is Gibney's of Malahide on New Street, a traditional local pub in the centre of Malahide town. This is well placed if you wish to collect supplies before travelling to Lambay. The Marina Centre is a five minute walk from Gibney's and the town centre.


If heading straight for the Marina, tell your taxi driver to drive through the Marina Village (under the arch) and straight to the end where you will see a giant anchor sculpture by the Marina Centre, and your skipper will meet you outside White’s Laundry. If it is raining you are welcome to wait inside the Marina Centre, which can be accessed through the double doors to the left of the giant anchor.

Scheduled Boat Transfer Outward (which you MUST make) on Thursday 25th January: 3pm

Scheduled Boat Transfer Return (which you MUST make) on Monday 29th January: 10am.

For those with flights, we strongly recommend flights departing no earlier than 16:00

20kg limit on luggage per person.


Weather in Ireland in January is chilly, so wrap up warm. Average day time temperature is around 5 °C and can get colder at nights. Days are often bright, cold and sunny, but weather on the island changes fast and you must be prepared for rain.


Bring layers and waterproofs to enjoy Lambay outdoors, and cosy slippers or socks for indoors where you can warm up by the cosy fire in the White House.


For fees and further information, please write to Miriam Gosling at

Questions about Lambay, the region or local travel? Write to Millie Baring at

The fees include:

·    Writing workshops and advice sessions

·    Accommodation for 4 nights/5 days

·    All your meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners  

·    Morning and afternoon refreshments

·    Use of island wi-fi, sitting rooms, library, gardens, and local know-how

Room Options

·    Single-occupancy super-king bedroom

·    Shared occupancy super-king or twin bed

Fees do not include airfare, travel insurance, additional accommodations or personal expenses.

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