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Terms and Conditions

In making a booking for an Arvon residential course or retreat, by phone, post or online, you agree to the following terms and conditions:


All bookings must be accompanied by the appropriate deposit. You should not consider your booking as definite until we have confirmed it in writing or by email. The balance of your fee is payable no later than six weeks before the course or retreat starts and we do not send reminders. Unpaid or late balances may be treated as a cancellation. If we do not receive your balance when it’s due, we reserve the right to offer the place to someone else.

Travel insurance

We cannot reimburse travel costs or other losses incurred by you in the event of cancellation by us or you. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to cover potential loss arising from cancellation or other eventuality affecting your booking, including reimbursement of fees, travel or other consequential costs. You should check that any policy you take meets your needs.


Cancellations of bookings will be accepted up to six weeks before the course takes place. Your deposit will be returned less a £50 cancellation charge. If you cancel your booking after this time, we will retain the full deposit. For cancellations later than six weeks, we will do our best to find someone else to take your place and, if we succeed, the balance of your fee (less the full deposit) will be returned. If we cannot re-fill your place, we will retain the full fee.


At our discretion, you may be able to transfer your booking to another Arvon course or retreat at the same or another Arvon centre, subject to availability and payment of any difference in the fees due. Where we agree to the transfer and the fee for the new booking is less than the fee for the original booking, we will refund you the difference less and administration charge. We will normally accept transfers up to six weeks before your retreat begins, and all of the fee paid will be allocated to the new course or retreat. If we receive a request to transfer a booking after this time, we will do so only if we have already received the full fee from you and we are able to re-fill the place on the original course. If either of these conditions is not met, we regret we are unable to transfer the booking. Our cancellation terms will apply. Please note that we can only transfer a booking to a course or retreat within the same year, and that once a booking is transferred, we are unable to offer any refunds for subsequent cancellation, or further transfers. We cannot accept transfers from a residential course or retreat to a non-residential course.

Changes to the programme

Arvon reserves the right to make changes to the advertised programme and tutors. As we plan the Arvon programme in advance, changes will inevitably occur to some courses, and occasionally the original tutors are unavailable. We always endeavour to replace tutors with someone of similar experience, and to give you as much notice as possible. On very rare occasions we may need to cancel a course; in this case we will offer you an alternative course or return all of the fee paid. Please note that where we have to change tutors, you do not have additional rights of cancellation and our standard terms still apply. We cannot pay travel or other costs, which you may however be able to reclaim from your travel insurance policy, and our liability to you in all cases is limited to the course fee you have paid.


Arvon courses and retreats rely on a supportive environment that depends on tolerance and understanding of all participants and tutors and their creative work. We therefore ask that you are thoughtful and respectful of the other writers and help foster an atmosphere conducive to creativity.

Arvon reserves the right to refuse a place and/or to exclude from a retreat any writer who, in the opinion of the Centre Director, behaves in an abusive or disruptive manner or engages in any discriminatory conduct. No refund will be given if exclusion is made for these reasons.

Damage and cleaning

Arvon’s buildings and grounds are your home during your stay; please treat them with care and respect. We will seek reimbursement for any damage caused to the centre or excessive cleaning required as a result of your stay.


Please note that pets are not permitted anywhere at the centre.


Smoking is not permitted anywhere in side Arvon’s buildings, and only in designated smoking areas.


A place on a course or retreat may be used by the named booker only. It may not be transferred to another person without agreement in advance from Arvon. Please note that you are not permitted to have guests or visitors on site during your stay.

The Hurst

The Hurst is an active writers centre with two facilities on site: the Hurst house, which runs residential courses and group retreats, and the Writers Retreat at The Clockhouse. During your stay at either facility, we ask that you respect the privacy of activities at the other and do not enter those buildings. Residents at the Writers Retreat may visit the office in The Hurst. A Writers Retreat booking does not entitle you to participate in our courses, to interact with the tutors or participants, or to attend readings, meals, workshops or other activities taking place within The Hurst. Conversely, a course booking does not permit entry to the Clockhouse or its immediate ground. However, the extensive grounds at The Hurst are shared between all the activities on site and you are welcome to walk and write throughout the gardens and woods.

Child Protection

Arvon takes the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. We believe it is every adult’s responsibility to help ensure the wellbeing of young people and vulnerable adults. The Hurst is a busy writing centre and you may be present at the same time as young people, including minors, who are participating in a course or other activity on site. If you encounter young people or vulnerable adults on site or in the grounds, we ask that you behave sensitively and avoid any situation which may give rise to a safeguarding concern. If you witness any situation involving a young person or vulnerable adult which causes you concern, please notify a member of Arvon staff as soon as possible.


Over 16s who are under 18 may be accepted on Arvon’s residential courses at our discretion, with a suitable consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Under 18s will not be accepted on Clockhouse Retreats.

Where under 18s are accepted on courses, you agree that Arvon will not be considered to be in loco parentis, and that parental responsibility remains with the parents or legal guardians. Under 18s will not be permitted to drink alcohol.

Privacy and data

By booking, you agree that we may collect and store personal information about you and your interactions with Arvon. These include: your personal contact details; gender; details of your booking and booking history, including any access and dietary needs you have told us about; records of payments (not including credit/debit cards numbers etc.); details of any grant applications, any correspondence and any other information we need to keep in order to administer your booking. All personal information is kept securely on electronic systems. We do not store payment card details. We will use this information to communicate with you about your booking and we may, unless you tell us otherwise, communicate with you occasionally about our work and other courses and support for writers that we offer. We never share or sell information about our course participants with any third party, either in aggregate or in individual form.


Arvon cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense sustained by students as a result of an event or circumstance whether arising from natural cause, human agency, or beyond its control otherwise. Where Arvon is unable to provide the place to you for any reason, our liability is limited to return of the fees paid.

At all times, our liability to you is limited to the course or retreat fee you have paid.

Participation and access

Arvon is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment to all while leaving you to work as uninterrupted as possible. During your stay, you will be expected to live and work independently, as if in their own home, including basic domestic duties such as washing up and cooking.

Arvon staff will provide limited general support and will be available in emergencies.

Depending on circumstances, we may be able to accommodate a personal care assistant on some weeks. While we offer some accessible facilities, our centres do vary considerably and we regret we may not be able to accommodate some requirements. If you have specific needs, it is important that you discuss these with the centre prior to booking, to establish whether your needs can be met.

Comments and complaints

While Arvon makes every effort to maintain high standards and provide high quality experiences for all writers, you may on occasion want to offer comments or make a complaint. At the end of every Arvon stay, we give you the opportunity to provide feedback through our evaluation form but if you feel this is not sufficient, you may wish to make a formal complaint. A copy of our complaints procedure can be found here. Note that all complaints should be made, in writing, within ten working days of the end of your course or retreat.