6 Famous Writer’s Retreats You Can Rent When You’re Ready to Write That Novel

6 Famous Writer’s Retreats You Can Rent When You’re Ready to Write That Novel

By Kathryn M.
Explore the homes that inspired some of the best literary minds of the past two centuries.

Some of a writer's best ideas come from the senses and feelings of being enveloped by a certain place. The spots that inspired some of the world's most famous authors are now perfectly preserved museums—but a few are available for rent.

We rounded up a list of six famous writer's retreats where you can stay for a night, week, or even a month. Our picks include the real-life neverland that inspired Jim Barrie's Peter Pan; Jane Austen's restored family home in Bath, England; and a New Mexico retreat frequented by the likes of Aldous Huxley and D.H. Lawrence. The literary journey offers stops in Scotland, England, Jamaica, and the United States. Keep scrolling to see more.

Jane Austen’s Restored Family House in Bath, England

Jane Austen's restored family home in Bath, England, is now a rental on Airbnb. Sunlight from a central courtyard pours into the living area, which features a cosy seating area and several nooks for writing or reading.

Nineteenth century English novelist Jane Austen apparently first found her writer's muse at this home in Bath, England. As her family's residence from 1801 to 1805, the home is where Austen began work on her early and unfinished novel, The Watsons. Today, the space is a restored, two-bedroom flat with rustic touches and a central outdoor courtyard. Current owners Maxwell and Anna have incorporated their own touches with generational antiques and shelves of books. Nightly rates start at £152.

A look at one of the two bedrooms. The flat also offers one full bathroom.

Scottish author J. M. Barrie spent summers on the island of Eilean Shona in northwestern Scotland. A free ferry service from the mainland brings you to the island's shores, where multiple restored structures—including this old schoolhouse—await your stay.

It's easy to see how the enchanting and remote island of Eilean Shona is called the real-life neverland. Author J. M. Barrie is thought to have written both the screenplay of Peter Pan and the ghost story, Mary Rose, while staying for summers on the island in the early 1900s. Located on the western edge of Scotland—about a four-hour drive from Edinburgh or an overnight train from London—the former hunting ground is now a collection of cottages available for rent. Plan to stay for at least one week, with plenty of on-site activities to keep you busy. Prices start at £750/week.

Like all of the restored structures, the interior of the school house features a modern and bright aesthetic. The cottages range in size from one bedroom up to a nine-bedroom main house.

Author Ian Fleming's home on the island of Jamaica is offered as an all-inclusive compound with a main house and several adjacent cottages. Fleming wrote the iconic, 14-book James Bond series while living at the property.

The enduring story of James Bond begins on the north shore of Jamaica in Oracabessa Bay. It was here, in a house he designed himself, that former WWII intelligence officer and journalist Ian Fleming wrote all of the Bond novels. Designed in the local style, the main house features three bedrooms, with traditional louvered shutters, covered lanais, and a private pool to make the most of the island sun and breeze. Rates vary based on season and packages. About the site, Fleming once said: "Would these books have been born if I had not been living in the gorgeous vacuum of a Jamaican holiday? I doubt it."

Bedrooms in the main house look out on a lush landscape and distant ocean views.

Novelist Rudyard Kipling's landmarked retreat in Brattleboro, Vermont, near the Massachusetts border, offers two homes and extensive grounds for rent. Kipling wrote several of his most best-known books at the property before returning home to England a few years after its construction.

The Vermont home built for British poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling in 1892 is now a historic rental complete with the original furnishings. Named "Naulakha," the landmarked property is where Kipling wrote several of his works, including The Jungle Book and The Days Work, as well as The Seven Seas, and Captain Courageous. In fact, guests at the property can sit at the very desk where the famed author wrote these stories. Options include a four-bedroom main house and a detached, two-bedroom carriage house, along use of the gardens and Kipling’s original clay tennis court. Prices start at ~$300 for the carriage house.

Here, a look inside the larger and main house. The shingled exterior continues inside, where much of Kipling's original furniture remains—including his writing desk.

The Aldous Huxley cabin in New Mexico was once home to the English author and is today a nightly rental on Airbnb. The cabin is part of a larger retreat that includes another cabin visited by D. H. Lawrence.

There must be something about the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in New Mexico that attracted several writers over the years, including English writers Aldous Huxley and D.H. Lawrence. Two historic cabins from the area are today housed on the grounds of a eco goji berry farm and retreat near the town of Taos, about two hours by car from Albuquerque. Current owners Elizabeth and Eric note having found watercolors and letters in the attic of the D. H. Lawrence cabin, which is today a one-bedroom rental on Airbnb. Aldous Huxley at one point lived in another cabin on the property and also built an outhouse that is intact. Both structures, along with eight other rentals, sit on 40 lush acres featuring multiple ponds and orchards. Nightly rates start at $68.

A look at one of the property's other cabins, all of which were built at the turn of the nineteenth century and have been renovated to offer modern amenities.

Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck once owned this compound of cottages in the coastal village of Pacific Grove, California. Today, owners Kevin and Vicky offer the two structures as monthly rentals on Airbnb.

"I bought a small house and garden in Pacific Grove...," said American author John Steinbeck in a 1940s letter published in his later book, A Life in Letters. Today known as 'The Steinbeck Cottage," the one-bedroom 1920s structure offers original architectural features and is located next to a smaller writer's studio, also available for rent. The coastal location is within walking distance to Monterrey and the Pacific Ocean. Prices start at ~$2,000 per month for the smaller studio, not including fees.

A pitched ceiling in the living area is one of many original details in the Steinbeck Cottage. The 900-square-foot abode is surrounded by a private garden with an outdoor area for guest use. 

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