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CreativCastle https://www.creativcastle.com The world's best coworking space, writer's retreat and creative refuge. In the world’s most fascinating castles. Thu, 27 Dec 2018 02:28:11 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7 https://www.creativcastle.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cropped-Depositphotos_146952887_l-2015-32x32.jpg CreativCastle https://www.creativcastle.com 32 32 85848063 Fairytale castle island in Ireland (is unfortunately a myth) https://www.creativcastle.com/fairytale-castle-island-in-ireland-is-unfortunately-a-myth/ https://www.creativcastle.com/fairytale-castle-island-in-ireland-is-unfortunately-a-myth/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 01:20:53 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=2812
Give me a tent or tiny home on that island over a mansion any day.
Daily row to town for groceries will keep me in shape.

It sounds like this castle property is owned by a famous actor – but he took out so much debt renovating a nearby castle that he defaulted on his loan. The bank sold his debt to a vulture fund, who tried to liquidate assets to recoup the loan… but the proceedings have been halted as the owner tried to get more funding, so the property is no longer for sale.

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Bestseller Bootcamp – Writing retreat in Mallorca https://www.creativcastle.com/bestseller-bootcamp-writing-retreat-in-mallorca/ https://www.creativcastle.com/bestseller-bootcamp-writing-retreat-in-mallorca/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:23:06 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=2770 One of the reasons I love castles is that they’re mostly in Europe. History. Architecture. Food.

I just always feel more creatively inspired if my surroundings are inspired.

We’ve spent falls in Europe for the past 3 years – and I’m going to be focusing on running more writing retreats so I can hang out with authors and help them sell more books.

This year (2017) I’m partnering with Esther Jacobs, the author of Write a Book in a Week, for a writing retreat in Mallorca focused specifically on book marketing for indie authors.

The Bestseller Bootcamp Retreat

Sept 25 – Oct 1st, Mallorca

Esther already knows Mallorca well and found us a nice villa (it’ll be my first time but it looks amazing).

I know book design and marketing, and Esther is a “no excuses” coach and co-author of 21 books. We’re both avid nomads who speak at conferences and events around the world.

If you’ve published a book but want to reach more readers, come to our retreat and we’ll help you double your sales.

Can I really finish a book in a week?

While it’s possible to finish a short non-fiction book or novella in a week, I think you’ll find the time better used for the planning and outlining stages. Almost always, the real problems authors face is with a book that just doesn’t hook or resonate with readers.

Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want your next project to be, but you’re sure you want it to be a bestseller that your readers love. We can help you comb through your vague ideas and find the diamond in the rough – then polish it up and outline it until it’s a very strong roadmap.

In a week, you can have a finished outline, the back cover or sales copy (for positioning and branding), the keyword and competition analysis, and the introduction or first chapter.

That’s a very successful week.

Or if your book is finished in manuscript form but you have no idea what to do with it next, we can help you with that too. We’ll figure out the best ways to design, publish and market your book, and can even help you launch to #1 bestseller while you’re enjoying the sun by the pool.

Sounds pretty good, right?

We only have room for ten people, so if you can make it to Mallorca at the end of September, sign up now!

Click here to view all the details of the writing retreat.


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How to find castles, cabins and other event spaces on AirBnB https://www.creativcastle.com/how-to-find-castles-on-airbnb/ https://www.creativcastle.com/how-to-find-castles-on-airbnb/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:14:49 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=2730 There used to be a feature in the Airbnb browsing options that let you choose a “type”. That’s not there anymore, but the search string still works. It looks like this (for Europe):



You can also do it by country:


If you’re looking for cabins, use this:

For chalets, you can use

If you’re looking for cabins, use this:


Happy hunting!



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Choosing the 2017 Nanowrimo castle https://www.creativcastle.com/choosing-the-2017-nanowrimo-castle/ https://www.creativcastle.com/choosing-the-2017-nanowrimo-castle/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:57:15 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=2728 Last year I rented a chateau in France for Nanowrimo. We got some great press coverage and had an amazing time. All in all, I think we did pretty well. I love the idea of running writing retreats in castles, so I’m doing it again this year.

This year, I’m going to keep things a little more casual. I won’t play up the luxury angle – as you might imagine, a month in a castle isn’t necessarily luxurious or comfortable. It is, however, a once in a lifetime experience… one I’d love to share with you!


Help choose the location

Watch the video to see my top choices…

Here’s where I need your help.

The castle I really want to rent is in Austria. It’s glorious – on the outside. Inside, the rooms are comfortable but sparse. It might be cold in November, and there aren’t as many indoor social spaces for coworking or group dining. It would be an unforgettable adventure, and the pictures would encourage more shares because holy cow that castle is incredible. More shares means more media coverage and visibility for all of us, though the actual experience may not be completely comfortable.

So recently I’ve been considering option 2.

It’s in Spain, not far from Barcelona. It may still be chilly in November, but probably not as cold as Northern Austria. There’s more space and a rustic charm. It’s not as impressive on the outside, but still pretty darn cool. (Plus, we don’t actually get ALL the rooms and spaces in the big castle above, so the one below may actually have more room – and since Spain should be warmer in November, we could spend more time outside).


Day trips could include some of the best-preserved Medieval towns in the world.

I would like to live in both of these castles, and it is possible, if we get enough interest, to do them both… but mostly likely I’ll choose one for this year and save one for next – or possibly do Spain for Nanowrimo and try to rent the other one in the spring or summer.

Which one do you like best?

Comment on my Facebook page!

How will this differ from other writing retreats?

Most writing retreats focus on craft – they help you tell the story you want to tell in the best way possible. I’m much more focused on reader-centric results… which means telling a story readers will love (and pay for). The vast majority of authors lose money publishing their books, and I want to help writers make a living with books that sell themselves. There won’t be a fixed program, but I will be sharing a lot of content from my Guerrilla Publishing course:

  • How to plot strong, satisfying stories that readers love
  • How to design a book that attracts your target audience
  • How to launch a book to #1 on Kindle
  • How to build a huge email list of eager fans
  • How to get more visibility for your books


Your hosts, Derek and Lanna.


Want to come?

I’ve managed dozens of retreats and event spaces, including hiring staff and cooking for hundreds of people. This retreat will be well-organized and I’ll make sure your stay is amazing. However, since you’ll need to pay for your own ticket to Europe, I wanted to keep prices low.

  • $750 a week
  • $1400 for 2 weeks
  • $2500 for one month

Most writing retreats charge around $2500 for just one week.

You’ll get your own bed (and possibly your own room, depending on timing) and half board: which means we’ll take care of most breakfasts and lunches, and there will always be plenty of snacks available. We’ll have a car and go shopping at least once a week, you’re welcome to join. There will also be excursions to local areas. Guests will take turns planning and cooking one dinner a week.

We will have classes on writing craft, publishing and book marketing, and I can personally help you with your book idea, plotting or outlining, or fixing up your author website or funnel, as needed: I’ll also be working on my own books, but we’ll have “quiet time” hours for work and optional “social time” where we can chit chat and I can help you with whatever you need.

Other than that, you’ll have zero obligations.


Let’s do this!

Dates: November 1st ~ November 31st.

This retreat would be perfect for someone who’s been “stuck” on their book and needs help organizing, outlining or plotting it; but it would also be useful for established authors with multiple books out who aren’t seeing the sales they want. In both cases, I’ll be able to figure out what’s blocking you or your book sales, and we can probably fix the problem during the event.

A few lucky writers will be winning a free stay, but I’m also going to invite some authors to help split the cost. Space is limited, so I’ll be taking applications this year. If selected, you’ll need to pay a 50% deposit (refundable until October 1st) and the rest two weeks before the trip.

If you’re interested in joining, either for a week or the whole month, fill out this form:

>> Click here to apply <<

If chosen, we’ll ask you to pay a 50% deposit and the rest 2 weeks before the event. Deposit is 100% refundable until October 1st. Travel to Europe not included.


PS. Feel free to email me with any questions – I will set up a more official page with all the details, if I need to, though I expect the rooms to sell out this week.

PPS. If you’d rather relax on a Spanish island, there’s still a few spaces in the Mallorca writing retreat I’m running in September.

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Parador Mazagon and Parador Oropesa: Two Amazing Spanish Castle Hotels https://www.creativcastle.com/parador-mazagon-and-parador-oropesa-two-amazing-spanish-castle-hotels/ https://www.creativcastle.com/parador-mazagon-and-parador-oropesa-two-amazing-spanish-castle-hotels/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 11:27:05 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=897 We’ve been looking at a lot of castles in England, Wales, and France. This time, the spotlight is on two Spanish castles, Parador de Mazagon and Parador Oropesa.

Parador Oropesa

Parador Oropesa has served as a refuge for all kinds of people, from monks to travellers. The castle was restored in the 15th century, and this restored version still stands today. The castle has its own restaurant, which specializes in a lot of interesting and delicious local dishes, and the chef will recommend some of them, including a partridge stew and their version of cream puffs.

Guest comments on the Parador:

We had a fabulous two night stay at Oropesa on the way down to Mijas. The parador and staff were excellent.
– Alison Staniforth

We arrived at the Parador of Oropesa having travelled through the Gredos mountains and as ever had a good welcome. The room as always was most satisfactory. The public areas were very interesting. The food was good and the hotel has an excellent position near to the town. The staff throughout were as usual helpful and happy. This will be another Parador we would visit again.
– M. Winborn

oropesa 1 oropesa 2 oropesa 3 oropesa 4 oropesa 5

All photos are from the parador’s webpage gallery. Visit the site here.

Parador de Mazagon

Parador de Mazagon is located near Huelva, Spain. This beautiful castle hotel is named after Christopher Columbus, or Cristobal Colon, who, for a time, lived in the area. The Donana Nature reserve and the Mazagon beach front are found nearby. The hotel’s restaurant serves all kinds of food, but specialties include fish dishes, particularly shell shrimps, prawns, and cockles found in the area. A lot of interesting places surround the parador – churches like the church of San Pedro and La Merced, and the Monestary of La Rabida, are places worth visiting.

Guest comments:

My wife and I spent a lovely week here in September this year and would recommend it it anyone. The location is stunning, the room was superb (with a terrace overlooking the gardens and pool for reading and sunbathing). The staff were welcoming and always friendly and helpful.
– John Costello

As usual the Parador hotels are excellent and the staff are also very good and attentive to your needs. Rooms are excellent and we had a sea view. Easy car ride into Huelva which has good night life and restaurants. many local places of interest and a day trip to San Antonio also recommended.
– Mr. and Mrs. Berry

mazagon 4 mazagon 1 mazagon 2 mazagon 3


All photos taken from the parador’s webpage gallery. Visit the site here. 

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3 Beautiful English Castles to Visit https://www.creativcastle.com/3-beautiful-english-castles-to-visit/ https://www.creativcastle.com/3-beautiful-english-castles-to-visit/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 07:44:06 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=889 Can’t get enough of beautiful castles? We have three English castles on the list that are worth seeing!

1. Raby Castle

One of the best-preserved castle’s in North East England, Lord Barnard’s home provides over 600 years of history and a glimpse of life throughout the ages. With examples of fine interiors and architecture spanning the Medieval, Victorian, Georgian and Regency periods providing a magnificent backdrop for the stunning art collection.
– from the castle’s website

raby a

Credit: “Raby Castle (spring)” by GlenBowman – Flickr.com. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –


Credit:  “Raby Castle, County Durham” by Hugh Mortimer – geography.org.uk. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

2. Auckland Castle

Steeped in over a thousand years of history, Auckland Castle is one of the most important episcopal palaces in Europe, and the magnificent home of England’s only Prince Bishop.
– from the castle’s website

auckland 1

Credit: “Auckland Castle 8” by Pit-yacker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

auckland wall

Credit: “Auckland Castle 6” by Pit-yacker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

3. Cholmondeley Castle

The romantic gothic castle – a product of the early 19th century – stands on a high rise above a lake. The castle is surrounded by sweeping lawns and a variety of mature trees, including Cedars of Lebanon, Oak, and Chestnut. The gardens surrounding the castle provide a lovely mix of colour and height, with intriguing walks around the lake. There is a Temple Water Garden, Rose Garden, a variety of mixed borders. Plantings are planned to provide colour at all times of the year.
– from the castle’s website

cholmondeley 1

Credit: “Cholmondeley Castle” by Peter Craine. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

cholmondeley 2

Credit: “Temple Gardens, Cholmondeley Castle” by Peter Craine. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

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Bonshaw Tower and Carberry Tower: Two Great Scottish Castle Hotels https://www.creativcastle.com/bonshaw-tower-and-carberry-tower-two-great-scottish-castle-hotels/ https://www.creativcastle.com/bonshaw-tower-and-carberry-tower-two-great-scottish-castle-hotels/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 07:23:27 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=895 On a trip to Scotland, or planning to hold an event in the country? You might want to check out some amazing castle hotels!

1. Bonshaw Tower

Situated in 20 acres of private mature gardens and ancient woodlands, Bonshaw Tower is a new, exclusive and exciting wedding venue where you can choose to have your ceremony outside in the beautiful secluded gardens or inside the tower, either in the imposing Chief’s Room or down in the atmospheric barrel vault, complete with original prison!
– from the castle hotel’s website

Bonshaw Tower is an amazing castle hotel that can be booked for both wedding- and non-wedding-related matters. It is located at about ninety minutes away from Glasgow and Edinburgh, and gives access to a lot of other castles and museums to visit.

(For booking inquiries, go here.)

bonshaw 1 bonshaw 2 bonshaw 3

All images are taken from the gallery of the Bonshaw Tower website.

2. Carberry Tower

Carberry Tower, a sumptuous hotel, just 7 miles south of Edinburgh, boasts 30 luxurious bedrooms, tastefully furnished in keeping with traditional classical styles, but with a bright and spacious feel to create an atmosphere and aesthetic that truly is fit for royalty.
– from the castle’s website

This castle hotel is a great venue for weddings as well as corporate and social gatherings.

(For booking inquiries, please go here.)

Carberry Tower Scotland carberry 2 carberry 3


All images taken from the castle hotel’s website.

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A 13th Century Castle for Sale in France https://www.creativcastle.com/a-13th-century-castle-for-sale-in-france/ https://www.creativcastle.com/a-13th-century-castle-for-sale-in-france/#respond Sat, 16 May 2015 13:11:30 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=877 For anyone who’s interested at castles for sale, here’s an interesting one in France. This one is located at Languedoc-Roussillon, Gard, Alès, and is priced at €850,000.

This dominating 13th Century Castle is located in the greater Alès area, in a village with all amenitites in the Languedoc Roussillon. This beautiful Castle with its yellow stone walls reflecting the sunlight  has been in the current owner’s family for three generations. Very private yet just a short walk to shops and restaurants, this wonderful castle offers a stately home in the sunny South of France and presents many great opportunities. There are numerous outbuildings to be converted if desired and a pretty garden comprising of rambling shady areas under ancient trees.
– from French Property’s website

Check out the castle here. Check out the pictures below (they’re all from the castle’s French Property posting).

ales i ales ii ales iii

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5 Really Cool English Heritage Castles in England https://www.creativcastle.com/5-really-cool-english-heritage-castles-in-england/ https://www.creativcastle.com/5-really-cool-english-heritage-castles-in-england/#respond Sat, 16 May 2015 13:02:17 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=869 Before we look at the list of amazing English Heritage castles in England, it pays to know what English Heritage really is:

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of the empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.

We are a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 07447221, registered in England.
– from the website

You can visit their website here for more details.

Now for some castles!

1. Pendennis Castle

pendennis keep

Credit: “Pendennis Castle”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – 

pendennis plan

Credit: “Plan of Pendennis Castle” by St. J. O’Neill, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office – Castles: An Introduction to the Castles of England and Wales. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – 

This castle is a Henrician Castle at Falmouth in Cornwall. It was built by Henry VIII during the middle of the 16th century to defend the surrounding areas from threats of naval attacks by the French and the Spanish.

2. Barnard Castle

barnard castles

Credit: “Barnard Castle” by Ben Gamble. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

This is a ruined medieval castle found in County Durham, and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The castle was besieged during the 13th century by Alexander II.

3. Chester Castle

chester castle

Credit: “Chester Castle – geograph.org.uk – 1022086” by John Allan. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

chester agricola

Credit: “Agricola Tower” by BrianP. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

Built in 1070 by the first Earl of Chester, Hugh Lupus, this castle once served as a prison for some interesting people – Richard II and Andrew de Moray, to name a few.

4. Longthorpe Tower


Credit: “Longthorpe Tower1” by Julian Dowse. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

Longthorpe Tower is a 14th century tower housing a well-preserved set of murals, which were done at around the 1300s and depict religious and moral themes.

5. St. Catherine’s Castle

catherine 1

Credit: “Stcatherinescastle” by Ulli1105 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

This castle was commissioned by Henry VIII. It was part of the naval defense castles that Henry VIII had built during the mid-16th century.

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Château de Falaise: William the Conqueror’s Birthplace https://www.creativcastle.com/chateau-de-falaise-william-the-conquerors-birthplace/ https://www.creativcastle.com/chateau-de-falaise-william-the-conquerors-birthplace/#respond Wed, 13 May 2015 01:21:58 +0000 http://www.creativcastle.com/?p=861 Presenting: another castle in France! The Château de Falaise, found in Calvados, Normandy, France, is medieval castle – and it just happens to be the castle where the famous William the Conqueror was born. His descendants kept the castle until the 13th century, when it was taken by King Philip II of France. Today, it is considered a historical monument in France.

falaise big
Credit: “Falaise chateau guillaume conquerant 2” by Ollamh – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This castle was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. Henry I of England began construction of the castle during the 12th century, starting with a grand donjon, and later adding a smaller keep. The 12th century tower built for the castle had a chapel, a hall, and a room for the head, but no other rooms.

1840 marks the beginning of the castle’s being a historical monument, recognized by the French Ministry of Culture. A restoration program for the castle happened at around 1870 to 1874. The castle suffered effects of World War II, though three of its keeps remain.

falaise air
Credit: “Chateau de falaise 4” by Viault – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Falaise draw
Window detail
Credit: “Fenetre.donjon.Falaise”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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