Starting in January 2020 I’ll be offering writing retreats in Switzerland’s spectacular Bernese Oberland, a region which inspired Goethe, Turner, Conan Doyle and Tolkien, amongst others. The retreat will enable you to focus on your writing – whether you’re completing a novel or you’ve always yearned to set time aside to draft your first short story.  There will be a 90-minute writing workshop in the morning and then you’ll be free to write in your own time. The option of one-to-one sessions with me is available.


Why a writing retreat?

  • To have time and space to write: by immersing yourself in the process, you produce not only more, but better-quality, work
  • To enjoy the company of like-minded people at various stages of their writing journey, in an atmosphere of mutual inspiration, encouragement and support
  • To develop your writing skills and/or project with the guidance of a tutor.


Why this retreat?

  • Taking place in the Bernese Oberland – specifically in the unspoilt Hasliberg area of the magnificent Jungfrau Region, a timeless source of inspiration for authors and other artists
  • A vast choice of well-maintained paths allows you to enhance the day with a walk to stimulate both your creativity and the problem-solving involved in good writing
  • Hosted by an author with solid credentials: a published novelist; experienced tutor; reviewer; curator of the Hampstead Arts Festival’s literary programme
  • A maximum of 3 guests, which guarantees peace and personal attention
  • An option in the evening, at no extra cost: (1) readings by the tutor to illustrate and discuss aspects of writing; or (2) those who wish to receive feedback from the group and the tutor may read out extracts from their work
  • One-to-one sessions available for a fee
  • Very comfortable accommodation: large apartment in modern chalet in a village at approx. 1070 meters above sea-level Slide3
    • Double bedrooms put to single-occupancy use, all with stunning views of the mountains (including Engelhörner, Wellhorn, Wetterhorn and Eiger), and high in natural light; 3 bathrooms
    • Spacious shared sitting room with log-burner
    • Shared large kitchen-diner. A continental breakfast, a light lunch and a home-cooked dinner are included in the price of the retreat. Dinner will be prepared each evening by the host with the help of participants, using the high-quality ingredients provided
    • Easy walk to the local café and shop.


  • Retreats are planned for January and March 2020.

Length: flexible (the schedule below is for illustrative purposes only)


  • Dependent on length of stay.

Further information and bookings:

  • Email: valeriavw [at]
  • Or via the form provided here.
Ken Howard OBE RA, Wellhorn and Wetterhorn, 2016, oil on canvas, private collection

‘Every now and then you find a subject so perfect that were you to stay in that one place for the rest of your life you would find enough to keep you painting for all time.’

Ken Howard OBE RA, from Ken Howard’s Switzerland – In the Footsteps of Turner, Royal Academy of Arts, 2013


Photos © the author.

Wellhorn and Wetterhorn, by Prof. Ken Howard OBE RA, reproduced with his kind permission.

Quote from Ken Howard’s Switzerland – In the Footsteps of Turner, reproduced with Prof. Ken Howard’s kind permission.