Be Wild and Free.
The House & The Hill is a nature, business and creativity retreat in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France.
We are at your service giving you precious time, space and a helping hand to slow down, connect with your sense of intuition and explore your creativity in the unspoilt natural landscape of a sleepy frontier territory called Les Fenouillèdes – The Fennel Hills, one hour from the Spanish border, the Mediterranean and a quick train ride to Barcelona.
In 2010 Emma Wallace and Anne Burniston escaped the bright lights of the city and headed to the peaceful wild mountains of the French Pyrenees to reconnect with a creative and intuitive life and explore what it would mean to be really free.
The House & The Hill is about storytelling, being together, doing together and the sacredness of shared history, objects and ritual. It's about how we connect through the ages with ourselves, each other, and the Earth.
And you are invited to come and play.
Stay at our lovingly made creative holiday cottage, use our artist/maker/crafter studio, join us for a workshop, class or retreat, hire us to work with you on your projects or just come and sit and share a story amongst friends.
You are always welcome.
"Space is the twin sister of time. If we have open space then we have time to breathe, to dream, to dare, to play, to pray, to move freely, so freely in a world our minds have forgotten but our bodies remember. Time and space. This partnership is holy." Terry Tempest Williams
More haste, less speed.
The House & The Hill began in 2008, when one day we woke up, opened our eyes and realised our work no longer satisfied us. For all the long hours and the blood, sweat and tears, we were sitting on the material profits and comforts of the middle-class dream; talented, stressed and unhappy.
Something was missing.
We felt trapped and agitated – our expansive, creative and intuitive natures had somehow got lost in all the deadlines, meetings and badly-lit office blocks. The politics of the concrete jungle were dissatisfying and restrictive. Impersonal and insensitive, the people, noise and traffic of urban England was closing in on us and it began to taste sour.
Stressed, depressed and frustrated, asking ourselves "Is this really it?".
We held hands and dreamt of a mountain where the sky was endless and blue. Where the ancient rocky land stretched out for miles all around, untouched by Man and his modern machines. We stood with our arms open, breathing in the cool, fresh pine-scented air and listening to the music of the birds and the wind in the trees.
Soaring like eagles in the open skies with the naked soles of our bare feet touching the warm red earth.
This was what it felt like to be wild and free.
WHERE DO YOU GO NEXT?
Seeking out our reason for being and what we are going to do with it is an untrodden path. Risky at times. Joyful and painful.
If we could choose, what would we do? What work serves best?
Where does the money come from? What does it mean to work for love? What does it mean to surrender, to trust?
What does it mean to do the work? The real work.
The work you were born to do.
How do we survive, eat and stay warm in the snow?
And who are we required to be?
Do we even know who we are anymore?
All these questions are more are presented when we choose to open our eyes and begin the journey to find our personal mission and to trust, completely in that. Sometimes it feels powerful and brave and courageous. Other times it feels ridiculous and stupid and pointless.
Being a pioneer with your own life is not an easy undertaking.
But really, all it took was a simple thing: to open our eyes and to dream.
And we can all do that. That's what makes us human.
We adapt and we grow and we survive.
We share this place, its transformative power to heal and the wealth of things we have learnt on our journey into the unknown over the last eight years. It is a place to bring your stories and your wisdom and to share it with others. We do this with our eyes open, knowing that we have no idea what they will see and who will turn up on the doorstep. That's the nature of the mission.
We believe this work is needed more than ever before and that the path can be a hard one to tread alone. We are all standing on the edge of "This could work. This could not work." and it is an ever moving, ever changing thing.
Our mission is to serve you as follow your path towards a wild and free life.
Break through, go bravely and tread softly, dear friends.
You are not alone.
Emma & Anne
Come and stay a while.
If you are looking for some peace and quiet to you can rent our self-catering holiday cottage for a private weekend escape, short break or longer.
Or come on one of the residential retreats we hold.
We also offer Barter Exchange for those on low incomes and crazy missions. We get you. And we've got your back.
For those closer to home or short on time, we run a series of non-residential short courses and workshops all year round with some inspiring teachers, mentors, artists and craftsmen.
HOLIDAY HOME RENTAL
The Loft is a boutique creative hideaway for single travellers or couples. Available all year round, this renovated stone barn is the perfect place to start (or finish!) that novel, release your paintbrushes or simply kick back and enjoy the countryside.
Times are hard and we don't want money to get in the way of the work. We offer a full or partial barter scheme around the year so you can come and stay for a while in exchange for helping us out.
WORKSHOPS & RETREATS
Our residential and short course retreats and workshops are open to everyone and follow our no-barriers, no borders framework for learning from nature. We collaborate with inspiring people to bring you or your team well-deserved time and space.
THE PIG SHED STUDIO
Making stuff makes us feel good and we love the freedom to play. The Pig Shed Studio is a rustic and cosy private artist and maker studio equipped with tools and materials for you to use during your stay.
How to find us
Within easy reach of the UK and major international airports of Barcelona and Toulouse, The House & The Hill is an accessible all-year round destination for weekend breaks, short holidays and extended retreats.
One hour from the white sandy beaches of the Mediterranean sea and the unspoilt Pyrenees ski resorts you can get to us by train from Barcelona in under 2 hours and we are 40 minutes from Perpignan International Airport and Perpignan train station serviced by the TGV from Paris.