Play Harmonica at Church Stretton
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Begin playing the Harmonica at Church Stretton, learn the folk/blues harmonica, including breathing, finding chords and single notes, ‘chugging’ and simple tunes and blues riffs. Teaching is by ear, and we’ll be working in small groups with time available for individual tuition and a group performance.
Suitable for beginners.
- Music sessions every morning, late afternoon and evening
- Afternoons are free to explore the local area
- Work towards an informal performance on the final night
- Small groups of up to 12 guests
- Full-board en-suite accommodation
- Full programme of tuition from our knowledgeable leaders
Longmynd House is set in a wonderful elevated location above the town of Church Stretton. With excellent walks on the doorstep, and extensive public rooms, it's an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
Longmynd House has 50 bedrooms, all in the main building. There are also 8 brick-built lodges in the grounds - a popular alternative for families or couples, with all the facilities you would expect from HF Holidays.
Choose your room
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Extensive public rooms
• Large dining room with outstanding views of Stretton Valley
• Lounge bar with outstanding views of Stretto Valley
• Central lounge
|• Three additional rooms, can be used for other purposes
• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms and bedrooms
• Range of board games and books
|• Large heated swimming pool (open May to September)
• Woodland walks on the slopes beneath the hotel
• Sculpture trail
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times.
- Fire evacuation notices are displayed in the bedrooms and throughout the hotel. Each room has its own smoke sensor and fire alarm. In the event of a fire a very loud continuous alarm sounds and emergency lighting comes on. We have portable Deaf guard fire alarm system for those who are hard of hearing. This consists of a vibrating pad to go under the pillow and a bright strobe light. The Deaf guard is triggered when main alarm is activated.
- In the case of evacuation there are fire exits in every function room, bar and restaurant as well as the main front entrance. On the first, second and third floors there are fire exits at either end of the corridors which open to an emergency fire escape stairwell.
- Please advise reception on check in if you think you would require assistance in the event of an emergency. Door hangers are available in the rooms which can be used to indicate a need for assistance. Fire extinguishers are found throughout the building, as are fire call points. If you discover a fire please call 9-999 from your room phone, raise the alarm and alert a member of staff.
Musical experiences are always better when shared. Enjoy creating wonderful music with other like-minded enthusiasts. This holiday is for complete beginners. If you already play a little so much the better, but we will start with the absolute basics. We’ll cover breathing and note production, getting a good tone, vamping and accompaniment, articulation and playing tunes. We may get onto some position playing and note-bending for blues styles.
You’re welcome to check-in from 2.30pm (1pm for premium rooms). Please join us for afternoon tea.
During your stay
We’ll start playing each morning from 9.30am, and have a nice cup of tea halfway through.
Enjoy lunch together, then you’ve got some free time. There are fantastic walks right on the doorstep and our Discovery Points are ready to make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way. Or you can always get some more rehearsal time in by yourself.
There’s more practice before dinner from 5.30pm and again after, so you can spend the evening doing what you love best!
There’s usually an informal concert at the end of the holiday. Why not show off your new repertoire to other guests in the house?
Leave (on a high note) after a leisurely breakfast.
What to bring
This holiday is for complete beginners. You’ll need 10-hole Richter-tuned diatonic harmonica in the key of C major. Some of the well known models are made by Hohner, Seydel, Suzuki and Lee Oscar. There are many others. It will cost you about £35. Any good music shop will advise you. If you want to bring a harmonica in other keys please do. The best keys to get - after C - are A and D, which work well for blues and folk.
How to play if you’ve not tried it before
It’s worth trying to purchase your harmonica a little while before the start of the holiday, and trying to produce some notes from it. The low notes are on the left as you play it. Breathe through it, blowing out and drawing air in, not too hard. Make a good airtight seal with your lips.
You’ll hear two or more notes together, which harmonise, as this is the way the harmonica is laid out. There are two basic ways to isolate a single note; by puckering your lips, or by blocking the left side notes with your tongue, leaving a channel between your tongue and your right cheek. Eventually you should be able to do either. Have fun experimenting with this!
During your stay at Longmynd House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Shropshire:
The attractive small town of Church Stretton is around 10 minutes' walk away. After the arrival of the railway, the town grew in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and became known as 'Little Switzerland' due to the dramatic hills on both sides of the valley. Today the town retains its bygone charm and has a range of facilities including a variety of small shops, banks, cafés, pubs and a supermarket.
Easily reached by train, or around 20 minutes' drive away, Ludlow is a particularly attractive market town. The historic centre retains many of its medieval buldings, and is towered over by its well-preserved castle. In recent years the town has developed as something of a gastronomic centre, being home to celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants and many acclaimed local food producers. www.ludlowcastle.com
A little further afield, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, are the many excellent museums of Ironbridge Gorge. Known as the 'birthplace of the Industrial Revolution' it was here that Abraham Darby perfected the manufacture of cast iron which was later used to build the area's iconic iron bridge across the River Severn. Today there are 10 museums in the gorge including the Museum of Iron, the Coleport China Museum and the excellent Blists Hill Victorian town. www.ironbridge.org.uk/
Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway is one of Britain's premier steam railways. This lovingly recreated Great Western Railway branch line is now run largely by volunteers and is home to an impressive collection of locomotives. As its name suggests the line follows the rural valley of the River Severn from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. The nearest station at Bridgnorth is about 40 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.svr.co.uk
Acton Scott Working Farm
Situated just 10 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, the Acton Scott Working Farm Museum is a living museum based around a restored Victorian farm. In recent years this has featured in the BBC2 series Victorian Farm and Escape in Time. www.actonscott.com
Also easily reached by train, or a 30 minute drive, Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire. The town centre is particularly attractive featuring many black and white timber houses dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The small town of Much Wenlock, about 30 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, is particularly attractive with many black and white timbered houses. Despite its small size the town can claim to be the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games.
The cathedral city of Hereford, is just under an hour's drive away, and can also be reached by direct train from Church Stretton. Hereford Cathedral houses a chained library and the famous Mappa Mundi, a 13th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org
A grand 18th century house surrounded by an extensive deer park, located outside Shrewsbury, around 25 minutes' drive away. Now managed by the National Trust you can visit the ornate rooms and explore the walled garden and grounds. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park
This former medieval fortress has been remodelled over more than 400 years – each generation adding to the magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. Theworld-famous garden is overhung with clipped yews, and shelters rare and tender plants. The castle is located near Welshpool, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle
Just under an hour's drive north of Church Stretton, Chirk Castle is a fine medieval fortress completed in 1310. As well as military displays, the castle was also a domestic home for many centuries, and is surrounded by excellent gardens. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle
Powis Castle image ©National Trust/Andrew Butler, Chirk Castle image ©National Trust ImagesMatthew Antrobus
Travel to Church Stretton
Our address is: Longmynd House, Cunnery Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 6AG
The nearest train station is Church Stretton, which is less than a mile from Longmynd House. However the house is at the top of a very steep hill (it has great views!) so a taxi is recommended, particularly if you have heavy luggage. Please note that Church Stretton is a small town and taxis are not always available.
For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
HF station transfer - great value!
Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Church Stretton station and Longmynd House. The pickup is at 3.15pm from Church Stretton station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to the station for 9.15am or 9.45am. This transfer costs just £7 return, however a place must be reserved 7 days in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer it is possible to book a taxi. Taxis can be limited so please pre-book. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Longmynd House Manager.
Follow the A49 to Church Stretton. At the traffic lights turn off the A49 into the town. At the first T junction turn left into the High Street. Go straight over the mini-roundabout, and then take the next right into Cunnery Road. Follow the road up a steep hill and around a hairpin bend. Longmynd House is at the top of the hill on the left hand side. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport has the quickest onward connections to Church Stretton. Trains from the airport take 2 hours, with one change at Crewe. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Church Stretton by train. There are a variety of routes, but the most convenient is to change at London Paddington and Newport as this avoid crossing London. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Robin is an Outdoor Education Teacher who lives in the Lake District. He plays harmonica (national champion 1999), guitar and percussion as well as ukulele. You can often find him at weekends in a pub, playing washboard with the Sun Street Stompers or performing with his Blues partner, Rex Haymes. He plays gigs and jam sessions around the north-west of England.
Passing on his skills and enthusiasm is now his passion, and he has recently completed a Certificate in Music course at Lancaster University. He has great fun playing and teaching the ukulele, a wonderfully accessible and versatile little instrument.
The success of the 'Play Ukulele' holidays has prompted him to branch out with holidays devoted to the Blues.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|28 Sep 2018||CSMPH - Play Harmonica - Church Stretton||3||£359.00||£329.00||Book Now|