Welcome to Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat

High on a heather-covered hillside awaits Anam Cara,* a tranquil spot set apart to nurture and to provide sanctuary for those who create. Whether you come to work on a writing or artistic project of your own or as part of a workshop or special interest group, you will find support, creature comforts, and peace – all you need to produce your best work.

Anam Cara, an Irish retreat for writers and artists overlooking Coulagh Bay and
the mountains and farmlands of the sub-tropical Beara Peninsula in West Cork

To help fulfill Anam Cara's purpose and to let the breezes off Coulagh Bay clear your creative path, we recommend a stay of at least a week. Your hostess, Sue Booth-Forbes, an experienced writer and editor who began her editing career at Cambridge University Press, creates an ambience and a daily schedule that will help you concentrate your energies on your artistic endeavor:In the evening, you may want to share your work in conversation with others in front of a turf fire or watch the sun set in the magical west-of-Ireland sky.


  • Morning meals* taken with other residents
  • Quiet working hours from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. with mid-day meals shared with others or on your own
  • Evening meals* taken with other residents
  • Smoke-free environment 

**Meals feature slow-cooked, comfort food prepared using produce and products from local gardeners, butchers, and fishermen.


In the evening, you may want to share your work in conversation with others in front of a turf fire or watch the sun set in the magical west-of-Ireland sky.

sunset1         sunset2

Photo by Russell Tomlin &  by Mary L. Bradford

Since 1998, artists and writers have been having that conversation — inspiring and supporting each other as they have worked through their own creative processes. To extend the conversation, this web site includes comments, excerpts and samples of their work, and web links to the creative community of people who have been in residence. May they and their work inspire and support yours.

*The name Anam Cara means "soul friend" in Irish; it was chosen, in part, to pay tribute to the work and writing of John O'Donohue.

While attending Anne Lister's (South Wales) songwriting workshop at Anam Cara, Teddy Black wrote the lyrics and the aire to "A Beara Welcome" as a celebration of Anam Cara and the people and beauty of the Beara Peninsula. I so appreciate this incredible gift of his talents.

Teddy is a well-known Irish storyteller steeped in lore handed down orally from old -timers; he is a repository of intimate local history and characters -- a seanachai in the venerable Irish tradition. Growing up as a boy in Castletownbere in West Cork, long before television had had any influence in Ireland. Teddy experienced people gathering in neighbouring houses (this kind of house was known as a rambling house) passing on the stories and songs they had heard from their old folk. (www.teddyblack.net)

"This video, which was located in part at Anam Cara, is in the first episode in a seven-part series called "Wild Camping," as seen on the Travel Channel."

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