About Us

I am Deborah Dooley, and I’ve been a freelance journalist, columnist and writer for over 25 years, and count myself fortunate to have had a career that I’ve loved, and which has fitted well around raising three children. Over the years I have written on a huge variety of subjects, including health and medical issues, baby and child care, as well as hundreds of features and stories on the endlessly fascinating aspects of people’s lives.

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Retreats for You began when the departure of our children from the nest left my partner Bob Cooper and I wondering how best to use our rambling thatched house. Set in the village of Sheepwash, a tiny village in rural North Devon, it had been a wonderful family home, and now seemed strangely redundant. A clever friend had the answer. ‘Writers need space’, she said. ‘The peace of the village and the beauty of the countryside makes this the perfect place to write – and as a working writer, you can offer support.’ And so Retreats for You was born, offering a comfortable space to write with no interruptions, full board – to avoid the need to think about meals, as well as the opportunity to discuss work in progress.
Retreats for You has gradually blossomed into a place for anyone who needs some time out, and whether a guest wants to write, paint, walk, or simply reflect, the ethos remains the same. A warm welcome into our home, a calm, supportive and nurturing environment, plenty of good homecooked food, and the choice of being sociable or solitary.
The latest development at Retreats for you is Bob’s furniture making workshops. Restore a family heirloom or make something beautiful, with guidance from a craftsman with years of experience.
My favourite definition of the word retreat is ‘a safe, quiet and secluded place.’ And that’s what Retreats for You is all about.