Festive Bridge Players Holiday in the South Downs

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Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Bridge Holidays
Type: Festive Breaks

Specifically aimed at regular players of Duplicate Bridge at club level. This year's Festive Bridge will be played online, using Bridge Base Online. Please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.

Holiday Highlights

  • Morning BBO sessions with your HF Bridge Director
  • Each evening there is a serious (but still fun) Bridge competition
  • Free afternoons give time to relax or explore the local area
  • Gain EBU Master Points

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • Carefully-selected friendly, knowledgeable and EBU-qualified Bridge Director, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • All Bridge fees, stationery and prizes
  • EBU Master Points

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


As face-to-face Bridge has unfortunately taken a back seat this year, we are delighted to be bringing Bridge back in an online format with the help of Bridge Base Online. In order to keep everyone safe, we have removed the morning seminars from this holiday itinerary, replacing them with extra Bridge sessions in the mornings. 

Your holiday itinerary now follows the below timetable:

Mornings

Your days will kick off with an online Bridge session under the guidance of you HF Bridge Leader. You shall be playing in the public areas of the house on your own devices (either a laptop or tablet). Please ensure that your device is charged and ready to go as there may not be a plug socket available nearby. 

Afternoon

Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your afternoon free time. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, details about other places to visit as well as weather forecasts and public transport options.

Evenings

Each evening, your Bridge holiday continues with further online sessions. You'll be taking a break midway through for a fabulous 3-course dinner and coffee.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 en-suite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chanctonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

In Scotland and Wales physical distancing is still in place so this will be adhered to indoors and outdoors. Guests will need to wear face masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. The Scottish and Welsh governments are reviewing their guidance in August and we will adapt our measures in line with any updated guidance at this time.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

At this time the evening social programme has been replaced by individual or small group walks talks which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options with leaders. All of our swimming pools have opened as planned, except for Brecon and Glen Coe, which have delayed pool re-openings. Swimming pools are being operated in line with guidance provided by Swim England.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Better Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Abingworth Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room, which has a giant brick fireplace at its heart, hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local Sussex flavours. Look out for the Sussex Churdle, a traditional, meaty ploughboy lunch, local Chiddingly beef cooked with black olives and Sussex smokies, smoked haddock served in a prawn sauce. Cap it all with a Sussex Pond Pudding, a pud that’s part of the honourable tradition of British dishes with names to pique the interest more than the appetite, which is actually bright and zingy, suety and syrupy all at the same time

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Abingworth Hall

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Getting to Abingworth Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

All your Bridge stationery and equipment will be supplied. You may, however, like to bring a notebook and pen to make your own notes.

 

Julia Davies

About 15 years ago, my boyfriend at the time, Vince, announced that we should play bridge at a club. I had never played bridge before and he had played a few times before, in Kenya, with some friends. Wanting desperately to impress him, I agreed. He explained the basics to me and I remember downloading and reading up about duplicate bridge in my lunch hour. I explained with great enthusiasm, in the car on the way to the club, how to lay the quitted cards on the table, depending on who had won the trick. I’m sure you can guess how that first session went!

Not the initial foray that I would recommend to anyone wishing for a gentle and successful debut into the beloved world of duplicate bridge! And, for me, beloved it became and is. As is Vince, now my husband.
Following a very successful corporate career and a background highly suited to teaching (I started teaching my dolls at age 6), I changed career direction completely. I attended and passed the EBU Tournament Director course as well as the EBU Teaching course. I am now absolutely nuts about teaching both adult and junior classes and am most proud of heading up the Junior Bridge section at the UK’s most attended bridge club. I am starting five school bridge clubs in the autumn and direct regularly at three clubs, two of which are in the top five bridge clubs in England.

These are a few of my favourite things: bridge, meeting people and holidays. What more could anyone hope for?

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Bridge Holidays
Type:
Festive Breaks

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

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