IGCSE descriptive essay | 2008 May-Jun | Describe the discovery of your own secret hideaway. It could


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

Describe the discovery of your own secret hideaway. It could be an overgrown garden or a deserted shack. Concentrate on the detail and atmosphere of the place.

Model Essay

I stumbled upon my secret hideaway quite by accident, one summer afternoon when the sky was a brilliant shade of blue and the air was thick with the scent of blooming jasmine. I had been wandering through the outskirts of our sleepy town, exploring paths less trodden, when I noticed a narrow, overgrown trail leading off the main road. Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to follow it.

The path was barely visible, hidden beneath a canopy of intertwined branches and vines. As I pushed my way through the dense foliage, the sounds of the town gradually faded, replaced by the soft rustling of leaves and the occasional chirp of a distant bird. The trail wound deeper into the forest, and I soon found myself surrounded by towering trees, their branches forming a natural archway above me.

After what felt like an eternity of walking, I emerged into a small clearing bathed in dappled sunlight. At the center stood an old, abandoned shack, partially hidden by a tangle of ivy and wildflowers. The wooden structure was weathered and worn, its once vibrant paint now faded and peeling. Despite its dilapidated state, the shack had an air of mystery and charm that drew me in.

As I approached, I noticed a rusty metal sign hanging crookedly above the door, bearing the faint outline of the word “Haven.” Intrigued, I pushed open the creaking door and stepped inside. The interior was dimly lit, with shafts of sunlight streaming through gaps in the walls and roof. Dust motes danced in the air, creating an almost magical atmosphere.

The shack was a single room, filled with remnants of a bygone era. An old, wooden table stood in the center, covered in a thick layer of dust. Beside it, a rickety chair lay toppled over, as if abandoned in haste. Shelves lined the walls, still holding a few forgotten trinkets – a cracked porcelain vase, a rusty lantern, and a stack of yellowed books. Each item seemed to whisper secrets of the past, hinting at the lives once lived within these walls.


Despite the shack’s forlorn appearance, there was something comforting about it. I decided to make it my own, a secret hideaway where I could escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Over the following weeks, I returned often, cleaning and restoring the shack bit by bit. I mended the broken chair, polished the table, and even brought in a few cushions and blankets to make the space more inviting.

One corner of the room became my reading nook, where I spent countless hours lost in the pages of forgotten books. Another corner served as my art studio, with a small easel and a collection of paints and brushes. The shack became a sanctuary, a place where I could retreat from the world and immerse myself in creativity and solitude.

The surrounding forest added to the enchantment of my hideaway. Just beyond the clearing, a small brook babbled gently, its clear waters reflecting the sunlight. Wildflowers of every color imaginable carpeted the forest floor, and the air was filled with the sweet scent of nature in full bloom. Birds and squirrels became my occasional companions, their presence adding to the sense of peaceful seclusion.

Discovering my secret hideaway was like finding a hidden treasure, a place where time stood still and the worries of the world melted away. It became a haven of tranquility and inspiration, a space uniquely my own. The shack and its surroundings, with their rich history and natural beauty, provided me with endless moments of joy and reflection, making it a cherished part of my life.

Word Count: 610