To the Lighthouse Weekend Intensive in St Ives-One space available

Course NameLocationDurationDateTime
St Ives Lighthouse Intensive studySt Ives CornwallOne weekend with two hour prepWeekend May 17th-19th & May 12thAll day

“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”
― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse


Weekend Meeting with Monday preparation:

     May 17th – 19th 2019; prep meeting Monday May 12th 7:30-9:30

Meeting at Kentish Town Salon & St Ives Cornwall; facilitated by Salon Director Toby Brothers

Cost £140 includes notes and critical resources


To register, please use the Paypal button below to pay £140:


For the Salon study (deposit for the room to be paid directly to No4St Ives once your registration has been confirmed):

 This is something I have dreamed of doing since I first read Woolf’s magical book To the Lighthouse– it has haunted me always. The opportunity to study this work with a keen group of minds in the place that is so crucial to the writing is simply delicious…HUGE thanks to Sharon for being the organisational force here. 


Virginia Woolf:  “If life has a base that it stands upon, if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills – then my bowl without doubt stands upon this memory.  It is of lying in bed, half-asleep, haf awake, in bed in the nursery at St Ives.  It is of hearing the waves breaking, one, two, one, two, and sending a splash of water over the beach; and then breaking, one, two, one two, behind a yellow blind […}.  If I were a painter I should paint these impressions in pale yellow, silver, and green.  There was the pale yellow blind; the green sea; and the silver of the passion flowers.”

“Here is the past and all its inhabitants miraculously sealed as in a magic tank.”

“The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surace of a deep river.  Then one sees through the surface to the depths.  The past sometimes presses so close that you can feel nothing else.”

—“Sketch of the Past,” begun in June 1939.


Virginia Woolf spent much of her childhood in St. Ives.  The London Literary Salon invites you to join us in St Ives to explore this lovely coastal town and have it serve as a prism through which we will explore Woolf’s perspectives on landscape, domesticity and identity in her novel “To The Lighthouse.”

We will visit the iconic Tate St Ives gallery overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, built between 1988 and 1993 on the site of an old gasworks, and there will be an optional boat trip to Godrevy Lighthouse.

Lighthouse from Salon trip 9.18

We will also look at Talland House, now privately owned, her childhood summer home.  For several months of the year the elegant house overlooking St Ives Bay would be the Stephens’ family home until 1895 when Virginia’s mother Julia Stephen died.  Although the complete family never returned to St Ives following their mother’s death, her children travellled back in 1905 following the death of their father in 1904.  Talland House was then home to artist Thomas Millie Dow and his family.  Virginia returned again to St Ives and stayed at Trevose House, Draycott Terrace in 1908. Talland House is now hemmed in by new cottages built in the car park and general crowding all around, but we can get glimpses of the garden and view.  Real estate prices are booming in St Ives, and every square inch has become potential investment property, so not only the garden, but also the view, and more subtely the whole feeling of graciousness which used to characterize Talland House has been severely curtailed.

Salonsitas going to the Lighthouse

Accommodation:  We are working with No4 St Ives which is just steps from Talland House and has an elevated position overloooking St Ives Bay.  It is a 5 minute walk from the beach and St Ives Town Centre.  Depending on the number of participants, we may switch to an AirB&B site to reduce costs.

Approximate cost: 

 Rooms at No4 St Ives range from £110-£140 per night– if the room is shared, the cost is halved; breakfast included 

Train cost is approx.  £70  each way(cheaper if bought earlier) 

Salon cost is  £130– this includes a two-hour meeting Monday 24th of September to start the study before the trip — as well as copious notes & critical resources. 

We will enjoy dinner out on Friday and Saturday– lunch to be determined…other costs will include the optional boat trip & visit to the St Ives gallery. 

Getting there:  The train from London takes just over five hours, with one change at St Erth for the branch line to St Ives.


Walking Tour of St Ives by Ben Nicholson:

To the Lighthouse….