Creative Writing holidays with the French House Party, Carcassonne
Location: Pexiora nr Carcassonne, Languedoc Roussillon, France
Holiday / Activity Overview:
The French House Party is recommended in the National Geographic book 'The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life." These are the ultimate in holiday courses, from top-of-the-range accommodation and food, first-class instructors and an all-inclusive price - which also includes chauffeured transfers from Carcassonne or Toulouse Airport.
Our much-praised Creative Writing courses, led by author and professional tutor Sarah Hymas, promise the exploration of new techniques. The daily workshops will expand the imagination using writing games and exercises that rely on play, memory and a sense of adventure.
Reading as well as writing, talking, thinking and offering feedback - our focus will be to limber up, stretch ourselves and write with renewed vigour and joy.
Guide / Holiday Course Tutor
Sarah Hymas lives in Lancaster. She is primarily a poet – her poetry collection, Host, was published by Waterloo Press in 2010 - but she has also published a collection of short stories, written plays for the stage and a libretto for an improvised opera. Her play, I Wish You Love, a conversation between Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf, has toured across Europe. She is the editor and coach for Lancaster’s Literature Festival and their publishing imprint, Flax, as well as being the North West Co-ordinator in the UK for the Poetry School. She facilitates writing workshops in the community for adults and in schools with children. She has collaborated with other writers and artists. Her writing has appeared in single collections, anthologies, magazines, multimedia exhibits, dance videos and theatre brochures. She also performs her work, with a musician and singer, as Mouthtrap, alone and with puppets. Sarah is an accredited coach (PCT) and has coached one-to-one sessions for over 100 hours. More information and examples of her work can be found at her blog, Echo Soundings (link to http://sarahhymas.blogspot.com/
These are all-inclusive vacations. All lodging, meals with wines, course materials and transport in France – including the bonus of chauffeured transfers from Toulouse or Carcassonne airport – are contained in the price. Some sightseeing trips - for example, to the medieval World Heritage walled city of Carcassonne - are also included.
Flights are not included. Group discounts available from 7 or more people Early booking discount of 5% for bookings made 20 weeks or more before course date Returning clients' discount of 5%.
Creative Writing Holidays
- Individuals on a 5 day tutored Creative Writing package
Just 15 minutes from Carcassonne in the Languedoc Roussillon region of South-West France, we provide exclusive, villa-based arts, cookery, corporate and leisure group breaks for people who are searching for a European holiday with a different approach; people who place a premium on superior quality of accommodation and personal service.
The spacious 8-bedroomed country house with beautiful views of the Pyrenees is close to the Canal du Midi – ideal for an invigorating cycle-ride or stroll. It has a large private swimming pool, a tennis court and a boules pitch. Smart, roomy bedrooms are double or triple-sized. All the ensuite bedrooms are individually-designed and air-conditioned. Towels and linen are provided and each room has a hairdryer, CD player and coffee-making facilities. The house has a wireless internet connection (for which we make a small charge if you wish to make use of it).
As well as our swimming pool, all-weather tennis court and boules-drome, we have a games room with pool-table and 1950s juke box. Guests may borrow our bicycles. A chauffeured private wine-tasting outing to a nearby vineyards is included in the price.
Help and advice can be given if guests are staying in the region and require information about places of interest - for example, the "Holy Grail" hillside town of Rennes le Chateau (inspiration for Dan Brown's "De Vinci Code" book) or the many hilltop stronghold castle sites of Cathar resistance in the 13th Century are less than an hour's drive.
About the local area:
You might want to spend your French House Party free time chilling-out. Explorers, on the other hand, will find plenty to see and do further afield. This beautiful part of the Languedoc, centred on the medieval castle stronghold city of Carcassonne, has a rich artistic, literary, culinary and historic heritage.
This is a geographical region of many personalities: plains and magnificent mountains, lakes and breathtaking gorges, elegant cities, numberless sprawling vineyards, hot-scented sunflowers in field after field. The Canal du Midi is very close to the house and we enjoy fantastic views of the Pyrenees, which can still be white-capped, even into May.
This region is steeped in the bloody history of the Cathar genocide by the Pope's Crusaders in the 13th Century and there are numerous preserved hilltop castles within easy reach, the jewel in the crown being the astonishing Cité of Carcassonne.
We have splendid local wines (Minervois and Corbieres are said to be de rigueur for the Noughties). Wine-sampling during escorted private vineyard visits, is - naturally - a French House Party included highlight.
How to Get Here:
We are only 20 minutes from Carcassonne Airport and an hour from the beaches of the Mediterranean. The nearest large town is Castelnaudary, the birthplace of "Cassoulet" (a sort of bean casserole). This busy old town has bars, restaurants, plenty of shops, a weekly market and regular festivals.
Even closer is the small town of Bram, site of a Cathar stronghold until 1210 when it fell to Papal Crusaders during the massacre of the Cathars. Toulouse is 45 minutes away to the west and Albi, birthplace of the artist Toulouse-Lautrec, about 90 minutes' drive north.
Contact Creative Writing holidays with the French House Party, Carcassonne
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