Don’t Crowd Me; I’m Having a Big Thought

Calling all budding creatives. Is the neighbour’s TV preventing you from writing that poem? Is the local park no longer suitable for finishing that song? Are you yearning to spend time in an environment that will give you full rein to your creativity?

Not surprisingly, lots of other people do too and there’s now quite a competition going on to find truly inspiring locations, ideally in really remote places. Check out these five creative retreats that could help your relieve your writers’block.

Fordypningsrommet is located in the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. Among the ‘stilted dwellings’ is a sauna, kitchen house, studio, bathhouse, sleeping houses and a ‘tower for big thoughts’. Presumably little thoughts are things like ‘have I packed my thermals’ and ‘have I spelt the name right on my post card home?’

Wagon Station Encampment, California, USA. This one is truly dotty and features tin can-style wagons with lift-up lids and beds just big enough for one person. Set in the stark and cactus-dotted landscape of Joshua Tree National Park, the 12 ‘stations’ are available to those ‘seeking inspiration from the high desert’. As well as trying to be a baked bean?

The Bothy Project, Scotland. Closer to home, these cabins are based on traditional Scottish bothies which were basic shelters found in remote areas and left unlocked for passersby to use.

Ocean Sound Recording Studio, Giske, Norway. A  second entry from Norway would suggest that the country should be pretty good at creativity. Alas, Abba came from neighbouring Sweden but they might have appreciated this shoreside recording retreat which features windows offering panoramic views across the sea and double-height ceilings that can amplify the studio’s acoustics.

Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This one is truly off-the-grid and occupies a remote crop of land off the north-east coast of Newfoundland. Guests can stay in four cabins which are set on metal stilts and scattered across the landscape. Each hut is powered by solar panels and heated by wood-burning stoves although naturally high-speed internet is still on hand. There’s being creative but there’s also season three of ‘The Crown’ to watch.


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