Crafty Breaks: 10 retreats for creativity and mindfulness

Crochet retreat in Barcelona

Craft your way round the world on a making holiday. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best crafty breaks where you can meet like-minded people, reconnect with your making, or learn a new skill in stunning surroundings…

Crochet retreat

Crochet in Spain

The amazing Frank&Olive is heading to Barcelona for its next crochet retreat. Not only can you soak up the culture, but hook to your heart’s content, try delicious food and even visit all the yarn shops the Spanish city has to offer.

“This will be our first ever retreat abroad,” explains crochet designer Ruby McGrath. “An entire four days of seriously luxurious accommodation, delicious food, unlimited yarn, exclusive workshops, loads and loads of crochet and lots of prosecco too, all in the gorgeous city of Barcelona. Could you think of a more dreamy escape for a crochet lover?” No Ruby, sounds perfect to us!

Cost: Double Room for one person is £749, or £650 each for two people sharing a twin room. Price includes accommodation, return flights and transfers from Manchester, food, drinks, all materials, workshops, tours and a goodie bag on arrival.

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Dates: 3rd – 6th Nov 2017


Weaving workshops in Finland

Weaving in Finland

Discover traditional Finnish handicrafts at a weaving retreat like no other. Get close to nature in the idyllic countryside by Lake Saimaa’s archipelago, and concentrate on unhurried crafting to create something precious out of recycled materials.

“Sitting behind my looms in winter, after a busy season, feels like going to another reality,” says Pirjo, who runs the retreat. “Everything else fades into the background as I focus on colours, stripes and their rhythms. My mind relaxes and I lose track of time as I listen to the familiar clanking of the looms. This is the same sense of wellbeing that I want to offer those who join the retreat.”

Cost: €620 per person or €395 each if two people share. Includes accommodation in a lakeside cottage, hire of warped looms and instruction in weaving and designing. Flights not included.

Location: Savonlinna, Finland

Dates: Courses run between October and December 2017


Yarn holidays in Devon

Yarn in England

Yarn addicts listen up, this is the break for you! After all, what could be better than a weekend surrounded by luxury yarns, learning a whole host of new crochet and knitting skills?

Staying in luxury accommodation on the Jurassic Coast, just a five-minute walk from the sea, you will spend your time taking part in workshops hosted by Devon Sun Yarns. Dye your own yarn, sculpt your own crochet hook and make stitch markers. Go with friends or on your own to meet like-minded makers – and beginners are welcome, too.

Cost: Retreats start at £349, including all workshops, materials, accommodation, food and a goodie bag to take home.

Location: Lyme Regis, Dorset

Dates: Three-day retreats are available September – December 2017


Creative retreat in Mexico with Magic Jungle

Creative Business retreat in Mexico

If you run a creative business but are struggling to work out how to take it to the next level, this retreat is the perfect way to refocus your mind and your ambitions. The retreat begins with the Mexican celebration of the Day of The Dead and ends on the full moon.

Female artists, crafters, makers, bloggers and designers of any skill level are welcome to join in for group classes and one-on-one advice in an area of stunning natural beauty. There’s also yoga, beach days and plenty of time to explore Tulum, so you can clear your mind and focus on your future.

Cost: The retreat costs $2,500 and includes accommodation, all meals, transport, classes, activities and workshops, materials, daily yoga and a welcome gift. Flights not included.

Location: Tulum, Mexico

Dates: 31st October – 5th November 2017


Mosaic making holiday in Turkey

Mosaic making in Turkey

Get away from the crowds and be inspired by stunning views, glorious sunsets and delicious food, all while learning how to create your own mosaics.

In the mornings you’ll learn all you need to make your own mosaics – from tile cutting to setting – then the afternoons are for relaxing on the private beach, taking a dip in the swimming pool or discovering the culture and beauty of the peninsula.

Cost: The week-long break costs £499 per person and includes accommodation, airport transfer, all meals (apart from two dinners), excursions and all mosaic materials, tools and equipment. Flights not included.

Location: Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey

Dates: Weekly from 10th September to 31st October 2017


Quilting holiday in Japan

Patchwork and quilting in Japan

As well as attending Tokyo’s International Great Quilt Festival – a dream trip for all patchworkers – this tour lets you explore the very best of Japan’s textiles and sights.

Visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka via Mt Fuji, and travel on Japan’s famed bullet train. You’ll have the chance to meet local craftspeople and will even visit the famous Nippori Fabric Town. You’ll meet dyers and quilters and take part in workshops, as well as being guided and taught by Janice Gunner, an expert in Japanese textiles.

Cost: Prices start at £4,995 and includes flights, transfers, 14-nights accommodation, admission to the quilt festival, workshops, trips and some meals.

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Dates: 15th – 29th January 2018


Block Printing in Jaipur

Block printing in Jaipur

This once-in-a-lifetime trip to India lets you immerse yourself in local culture and learn a new skill, all while drinking in the sights of Jaipur.

Not only will you meet local artisans and take part in six different types of block printing workshops, but you can also take part in a pottery workshop, visit the sights and museums, hit the markets and visit local tailors. You even get to spend a day with elephants. We want to go now!

Cost: The 11-day trips costs £2,595 for a single room and includes return flights, all travel, workshops, bed and breakfast accommodation, plus some meals.

Location: Jaipur, India

Dates: 16th – 26th January 2018


Millinery workshops in France

Millinery in France

Set in the glorious French countryside, this creative break will have you learning new skills, enjoying lunch under the fig trees, then winding down by the private pool at the end of the day.

You’ll find out how to create couture hats of your choice with award-winning milliner Tracy Chaplin. The workshop covers free form blocking, with new techniques that will enable you to create individual hats without the use of a hat block. By the end of the workshop you’ll have created two or three unique and beautiful hats to take home with you, and a new, relaxed outlook on life!

Cost: Five-day workshops start at £1,350 and include accommodation, welcome drinks and dinner, foundation materials and daily lunches. Flights not included.

Location: Tolosane, France

Dates: 4th – 8th June and 2nd – 6th July 2018.


Printing and nature retreat in Aland

Printing in Scandinavia

Join designer Lotta Jansdotter on this magical printing retreat to her homeland, exploring the nature of Silverskär, a 40-acre island in the Åland archipelago, which lie in the Gulf of Bothnia between Finland and Sweden.

The print workshop retreat includes four half-day workshops, where you’ll gather inspiration from the beautiful surroundings. You’ll then create patterns and motifs, which you’ll print on paper and textiles. Afternoons can be spent exploring the stunning archipelago, which lies in-between Sweden and Finland and is made up of over 6,500 islands and skerries.

Cost: Lotta’s Åland  retreat costs $2,900 and includes accommodation, meals, ferry transport and all materials and tuition. Flights and day trips not included.

Location: Åland, Finland

Dates: 11th – 15th July 2018


Pottery retreat in Cornwall

Pottery in Cornwall

If you were inspired by The Great Pottery Throw Down or just want to squidge some clay, Caroline Winn’s pottery courses in her secluded 200-year-old traditional Cornish house is a treat for all the senses.

Courses run for five full days and are designed for any age or ability. They cover all essential skills, including hand building, press moulding and slab building, together with an introduction to throwing and glazing.

The house is set in a secluded three-acre garden in a moorland valley, within walking distance of the famous cliffs and coves of the Penwith peninsula. Trips to local attractions are part of the package, as are peace, relaxation and creative inspiration!

Cost: Prices start at £890 for a five-day course. Six nights accommodation, tuition, trips, food, drinks and materials are included.

Location: Penwith, Cornwall

Dates: 17th – 23rd March 2018