Getting Away

Last weekend, my mum and I went on a wild swimming and yoga retreat in Anglesey, in North Wales, which was hosted at Plas Cadnant, an estate that has the most amazing ‘hidden gardens’. We had actually booked this retreat back in January, but were extremely doubtful it was going to go ahead until the last minute given the new lockdown restrictions, which made it a lovely surprise (I have been living temporarily with a friend in Northampton for the past few weeks, and intend to continue doing so for some time, so fortunately am not subject to the local lockdown in the north-east of England!) Even more serendipitously, the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

We had yoga classes every morning and evening, and went on two wild swimming expeditions: to Llyn Padarn, which hosts a rare population of Arctic charr, isolated in the lake since the last Ice Age, and to Llanddwyn beach.

It was brilliant, given everything that’s been going on in the world, to be able to sit in the gardens or curl up by the fire in the evening and read Tana French’s newest crime novel, The Searcher, and Nicola Griffith’s sixth-century historical novel Hild, which I’ve been wanting to get to for a very long time.

Have you managed to get away at all in September? And did you read anything especially suitable if so?

22 thoughts on “Getting Away

  1. Beautiful photos! I used to go on holiday with my family to North Wales every year as a child and really it has the best rivers and lakes for swimming that I’ve ever seen. I’m stuck inside self-isolating at the moment so I especially appreciate seeing people’s pictures of the great outdoors!

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  2. I’m going for a seaside long weekend in Herne Bay today! Bringing two books: Susanna Clarke’s newest, Piranesi (which I’m THRILLED about), and Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, which I said I’d read for #ripxv and have been curious about for actual years. Hooray!

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  3. What a lovely experience! We have only gotten away for short breaks to Dorset/Devon and Wales, but even just 2-3 days is so welcome as a chance to reset. Looking back at trips I’ve taken in the last few years, it feels like September is one of the most reliable months for good weather in the UK.

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    • I’m sorry to hear that, Annabel. My teacher friend is finding it bizarre to be surrounded by people at school then unable to socialise at all outside work… How is your daughter getting on at uni? I hope there haven’t been any outbreaks near her.

      Oh, I’m definitely going to read Piranesi! Look forward to hearing your thoughts on Shiny.


  4. Pingback: Winding Up the Week #138 – Book Jotter

  5. How wonderful! Lovely to hear about your retreat and it must have been so restoring.

    I’m in Birmingham, and living in an area very near to the hotspots within our hotspot, so not doing much at all unfortunately. We have a week off the week after next and were planning some day trips at least but have dialled those back for the time being.

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  6. Yes! My husband and I rented a cozy cabin in the woods for a weekend and spent our time hiking, relaxing by the fire in the wood stove, sitting on the deck with tea and a thick blanket for bird watching, and reading. It was lovely. I have been reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – not a relaxing read, but very informative and heartbreaking.


  7. This sounds amazing!! Tonight I’m going to be dreaming of a yoga/swimming retreat – two things I love.
    I have to ask… how was the water there? Cold? Warm? (I’m obsessed with the temperature of water in different locations. I have no idea why. Maybe I’m planning ahead for my retirement location?)

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