The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
By Wendell Berry
A creative wellness retreat on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
October 15th - 20th, 2023
Quieten the Mind, Open the Heart
"Peace is your home, integrity is the way to it, and everything you long for will meet you there." – Martha Beck
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir
Retreat Program Description
Is something stealing your peace of mind?
Maybe you are finding it hard to make decisions or unsure of your next step. Do you feel internally divided?
Perhaps you are stuck in a cycle where you can’t see the wood from the trees.
Maybe you are feeling disconnected from the world and are unsure of your place in it.
We've all heard the saying, choose whatever brings you the most peace but how can you choose peace when you don’t even know what it feels like? Often we are so caught up in the every day of our own lives that it is hard to have perspective to make decisions or know what direction to go in. Whatever it is, the peace retreat offers you a space to get away from it all.
COME AND CREATE FROM A PLACE OF PEACE AND STILLNESS.
The time in nature will allow your thinking to shift away from busy life distractions towards a more creative self. Under the care and support of our expert teachers, explore the theme of ‘peace’ and what it means to you through walks in nature, reflection, daily creative writing workshops, group discussion and sharing.
The word retreat comes from the Latin word retrahere which means re- ‘back’ + trahere ‘to draw’ so to ‘draw back, withdraw, pull back.’ It was first used as a military term meaning to ‘fall back from battle,’ to a safe space.
During the retreat we will create a safe space for your stories to emerge as well as help you to foster a deep connection with the land that will bring you back to a place of wholeness.
Whether you are an experienced writer looking for inspiration or have no writing experience at all, everyone is welcome, all you need is a willingness to explore and experiment, amongst other like-minded people.
Who is the retreat for?
The Peace Retreat is for anyone who feels lost, anxious or burnt out by the demands of life. For writers and non-writers, creatives, artists and entrepreneurs. For people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives and people looking for guidance for that next step. It is for people in a life transition who are seeking the space to make a decision. It is for the curious and people who think there must be more to life than endless scrolling on instagram or being busy twenty four seven. It’s for people who want to be wowed by nature in all its magnificence. For those working on a creative project and needing to find that next spark. It is for anyone seeking the space to step back and hear their true voice in a place of peace.
The peace retreat is for you. It is time and space for yourself.
5 nights’ accommodation in a luxury Cabin at The Bracken Hide Hotel, Isle of Skye, including breakfast, an Estonian Sauna & Wild Plunge Pool
A bespoke private guided Tour of Skye including a Forest Bathing session & walk to the Fairy Pools
Carefully crafted writing for wellbeing workshops led by Sarah Packford (held at the Portree College Centre)
Time to write, share and reflect
A Farewell Dinner
What’s not included:
All international and domestic travel costs to and from the Isle of Skye
Travel or medical insurance
Schedule (may be subject to minor changes)
Sunday: Arrive by 5pm for a welcome reception at 7pm
Monday: Private Tour of Skye including a Forest Bathing session at the Fairy Pools (9am – 3pm)
Tuesday: Writing Workshop AM & PM
Wednesday: Writing Workshop AM & Free Time / Evening Reading
Thursday: Writing AM & PM / Farewell Dinner
Friday: Breakfast & Closing Ceremony, check out at 11am
Private Tour of Skye & Forest Bathing
Monday 8th October
Depart from the Bracken Hide Hotel
Forest Bathing walk at the Fairy Pools
Depart to the Talisker distillery based in Carbost is the only whiskey distillery on the Isle of Skye, the whiskey is a single malt Scotch, with a very distinctive Peaty-smokey taste. We shall go through the visitor centre (not on the tour) and if available sample one of the fine whiskeys produced hear, prior to our lunch.
Lunch at Dunvegan Castle. Visit the ancient MacLeod clan castle, set in beautiful gardens, and see for yourself the flag from fairyland which is dated between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D.
We continue to the Fairy Bridge, sitting between the peninsulas of Waternish and Dunvegan.
The bridge is said to mark the place where a fairy wife of a MacLeod chief said her final farewell to her husband and child before she left them to live amongst her own people. She wrapped the child in a magical fairy shawl, which brings protection to the MacLeod clan. This shawl was preserved; it is the famed Faerie Flag of the MacLeod clan, which can be seen today at Dunvegan Castle.
Return to Hotel
Forest Bathing at the Fairy Pools
Shinrin Yoku literally translates to “Forest Bathing” which is the Japanese practice of mindfully experiencing nature through the senses. In the early 1980s, the Japanese government sponsored several studies that showed that forest immersion has a wide array of health benefits including lowering the stress hormone cortisol, strengthening the immune system, and improving mood and cognition.
The Forest Bathing Guide will lead you on a gentle walk to the beautiful fairy pools, cultivating a sense of presence, and exploring nature’s capacity to ignite new realizations and creativity, inspire wonder, and help us heal. Participants often share that their stress dissolves, confusion lifts, hearts open, emotions surface, ideas spring — and they take home a renewed sense of connection, meaning, and purpose in their lives.
I can’t believe how much my writing retreat with True Elk changed my life. It far surpassed my expectations. I learned so much about myself, other people, and nature. I truly connected with myself and found myself. I learned who I’m supposed to be!
I loved the opportunity to connect with strangers through story, place and intention. Creating space for myself and others allowed for my own energy to replenish and be in flow again. Thank you.
Prices & Accommodation Arrangements
Please note all cabins come with one double bed, including continental breakfast each morning.
How to reserve your space:
To reserve a space on the ‘The Peace Retreat’ please fill out the reservation form here.
£500 GBP deposit payable on booking by bank card / PayPal to a secure place.
Full balance due six weeks before the start of the retreat.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
The Location & Logistics
Isle of Skye,
Bracken Hide Hotel Site,
Isle of Skye,
The Bracken Hide is a new four-star luxury wilderness resort hotel, which connects guests to the magic of the Island, the stunning land and seascapes and the nature that abounds.
With gorgeous Cabins, an Estonian sauna, wild plunge pool, a fabulous restaurant and the wonderful Whisky Hide bar - ample parking facilities and all within walking distance of the town of Portree.
Also known as the Misty Isle
The Isle of Skye (an t-Eilean Sgiathanach in Gaelic) takes its name from the old Norse sky-a, meaning ‘cloud island’, a Viking reference to the often-mist-enshrouded Cuillin Hills. It’s the second-largest of Scotland’s islands, a 50-mile-long patchwork of velvet moors, jagged mountains, sparkling lochs and towering sea cliffs.
Skye is one of the top locations in Scotland to visit. It is famous for its scenery and landscapes that will take your breath away.
How to get to Skye
There are many routes onto the Island
By air, by car, by bus or by ferry.
We will send you full details on the best ways to get to the Isle of Skye safely.
The nearest International Airport is Glasgow,
the second nearest is Edinburgh,
and the nearest Local Airport is Inverness.
Once you have landed in Scotland you may want to hire a car to drive to Skye.
"Sarah brings an elegant attention to details. Her planning and execution of True Elk events matches the grace with which she meets people in the moment. I've rarely met someone who has the genius of foresight to both vision and prepare for retreats, offering people a haven for their genuine selves to emerge."