Play Harmonica - Next Step Holiday in the Brecon Beacons

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Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Making Music

Further your skills with our extra addition of Play Harmonica at Brecon. You'll learn scales, position-playing, note-bending and other techniques, plus tone control and some tunes. Be part of a small group where are dedicated leader will be making sure you're getting the practice and enjoyment playing the harmonica, as well as time for solo tuition and a group performance. Suitable for those who have enjoyed our Play Harmonica holiday or have relative experience.

Holiday Highlights

  • 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"

What’s included

  • Full-board en-suite accommodation
  • Full programme of tuition from our knowledgeable leader

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Arrival day

You’re welcome to check-in from 2.30pm (1pm for better and best rooms). Please join us for afternoon tea.

During your stay

Mornings

We’ll start playing each morning from 9.30am, and have a nice cup of tea halfway through.

Afternoons

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.

Evenings

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?

Departure day

Leave (on a high note) after a leisurely breakfast.

Nythfa House

Pretty country pile Nythfa House stands above the traditional mid-Wales market town of Brecon and sits within easy reach of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Having spent its early life as a large private house, the building has been converted into a comfortable country hotel. The interiors look like they’ve evolved naturally over time, staying rooted in the local area and house architecture while being filled with contemporary furniture and colours. As well as 28 rooms and a range of public spaces and an inviting indoor pool to tempt you, there are pretty grounds and a short walk to the streets of Brecon itself. The contrasting countryside close by provides challenges including sweeping ridges, an ascent of the Black Mountains and scaling Pen-y-Fan as well as more subtle strolls through the river-carved landscapes of the Melte Valley, along the trail of a series of awesome waterfalls, or time dawdling through the second bookshops in Hay-on-Wye.

 

Rooms

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

Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house or in one of the handful of garden rooms across the grounds. With 28 rooms, Nythfa House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Opt for Rooms 6 or 7 in the main house for delightfully decorated, spacious places to stay, each with sumptuous views over the garden and Brecon Beacons. Room 21 is a quirky ‘Better’ room up in the eaves, with a separate sitting space and cosy bedroom, just mind your head on the low ceiling. Look out for the fresh floral designs in the pretty garden rooms too, which have their own small deck.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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, indoor swimming pool, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring cascade country or the Beacons, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. At the front of the house there’s a pretty garden to pause in, with a putting green and croquet lawn attached. Duck into the conservatory to enjoy views out over the gardens from under the twisting branches of an old vine. Across the way in a separate building is a good-sized indoor swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling windows at one end. Whether you relax in the lounge, or get together with other guests for a board game or great conversation, make sure to make time for the cosy bar, and try a dram of award-winning whisky from the local Penderyn distillery, which uses water from the Brecon Beacons National Park. There’s also a Welsh gin that’s wonderfully well regarded.

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 Nythfa House is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room in the converted barn hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. Make a beeline for the big bay window table to try Cawl Cennin, a leek broth, served with a Welsh Rarebit finger, followed by Tatws Pum Munud, a sort of Welsh stew, or double roasted Welsh lamb. The kitchen offers up an Asian influence as well courtesy of the towns Gurkha community, and you might enjoy Nepalese momos (dumplings) or fillet of sea bream marinated with Nepalese spices for an alternative take on local tastes. Whatever, round your evening off with South Wales marmalade sponge with lashings of Penderyn whisky custard.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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Getting to Nythfa House

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

More Information

What to Bring

You should be able to play single notes fairly reliably, and perhaps a few tunes. We’ll be using Richter-tuned 10-hole diatonic harmonicas and looking at folk, pop and blues styles. Bring harmonicas in the keys of C and A plus any others you have (not essential). D and G harmonicas are good for folk styles and Bb and Eb are great for jazz.

Please bring your own music stand.

Robin Andrews

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.

Robin is a fantastic musician and teacher.  I loved every minute and have wonderful memories with the CD he kindly gave to all the guests.  A wonderful memorable experience.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Making Music

4 nights from 0pp

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