Idyllic artist retreats in Ireland

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The Beekeepers

If you’re dreaming of taking time out to focus on your creative projects, or perhaps your usual workspace is no longer available to you due to coronavirus restrictions, than an artists’ retreat could be your perfect getaway. There are lots of stunning spaces around Ireland available for artists to book into or apply for residencies, where you are guaranteed the peace and quiet you need to work distraction-free. Here are some to consider when you’ve a deadline to meet or a project to focus on.

The Beekeepers

Set up by musician Daithí and his partner Norma, The Beekeepers is a tranquil house located in a the Burren in Co. Clare, with Ailwee Caves and sea swimming spots nearby. The house sleeps six, and offers everything a traditional holiday rental provides, in addition to a basic music recording facility, a film and media room, a large, spacious garden and broadband internet (that can be easily disconnected if you need to switch off). The space is designed with the utmost solitude in mind, so creatives are free to focus on what matters. Artists may also avail of a discount rental rate in order to ensure that the entire process is an affordable one.

Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Theatre maker William Tyrone Guthrie founded this residential retreat in Monaghan. It has room for 11 guests, as well as room for six others in the refurbished farmyard cottages. The centre also has eight studios, a performance space and a print studio. To stay, apply via their website, and once accepted you can stay in the main house for up to one month. The unspoilt landscape and the characterful house filled with quiet nooks and interesting details will help inspire work and recharge the creative spirit.

Old Rectory Retreat

The Old Rectory is a creative retreat in Westport, where artists, writers or musicians can enjoy a quiet space to work. You can socialise with others or be a total hermit, and there is even a full self-contained writer’s cabin you can book too. The rooms look out on the front garden, and there are tables outside where you can work or reflect too. If you don’t head out into Westport town in the evening, there is a cosy sitting room with a log-burning stove to enjoy.

Cill Rialaig Arts Centre

The pre-famine village of Cill Rialaig in Kerry was reimagined as a retreat for creatives, and it is a truly inspiring setting. It has seven studios, a meeting house, library and utility house, and thousands of artists from around the world have stayed there since it was founded in 1991. Apply for residencies here.