Take your first steps learning to play the Harmonica at Malhamdale, learning the folk/blues harmonica, including breathing, finding chords, and single notes, 'chugging' and simple tunes and blue riffs. Build confidence with guidance and teaching from our professional leader, 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
Retaining its 19th century grandeur Newfield Hall is our most stately country house. With excellent accommodation and facilities, it's a popular location for walking and leisure activity holidays.
Newfield Hall has 48 bedrooms located either in the main building or in the tastefully converted coach house.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 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
• Two lounges
• Dining room
|• Multi-purpose activity room
• Range of board games and books
• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
• Heated indoor swimming pool
|• Extensive gardens with views of the Yorkshire Dales
• Outside there is a walled garden and putting green
|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.
Newfield Hall is fully accessible to wheelchair users and has a bedroom specifically designed for wheelchair access.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
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!
Discover the Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales contains the quintessential landscape of Northern England. Enjoy the surrounding scenery of green patchwork fields, drystone walls and wild moorland hills.
Newfield Hall sits in rolling open countryside. The nearest village with facilities is Gargrave where there is a pub and shop. The market town of Skipton is about seven miles away. Here you’ll find a full range of facilities including supermarkets, shops, banks, chemists, pubs and cafes.
During your visit to the Newfield Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Just 10 to 15 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall is the dramatic Malham Cove, just one of the iconic limestone sights of the Yorkshire Dales. If you are not visiting the cove as part of your holiday, it's well worth making the short walk from the village.
The market town of Skipton, about 20 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall is a vibrant place to visit. Dominating the the town is its well-preserved medieval castle. www.skiptoncastle.co.uk
Visit the parsonage in Haworth, the home of authors Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. Many of their most famous works were written here, including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Haworth is around 45 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall. www.bronte.org.uk
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
This preserved steam railway runs from the centre of Keighley to Oxenhope via the ‘Brontë’ village of Haworth. The line is still well-known as the setting for the 1970 film ‘the Railway Children’ and boasts an impressive selection of steam locomotives. Keighley station is around 35 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall. www.kwvr.co.uk
Settle to Carlisle Railway
Ride England’s most scenic railway through the Yorkshire Dales from Hellifield or Settle station. Heading north over the iconic Ribblehead viaduct you could head to the small market town of Appleby, or the border city of Carlisle. www.settle-carlisle.co.uk
This impressive World Heritage Site contains the dramatic ruins of Fountains Abbey, the largest monastic ruins in the country. There is an exhibition of life in the medieval Abbey. Adjacent to the abbey is Studley Royal water garden – England’s most spectacular Georgian water garden.
White Scar Cave
Located near the village of Ingleton, about 40 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall, White Scar is Britain’s longest show cave. The underground tour reveals spectacular caverns, waterfalls and stalactites. www.whitescarcave.co.uk
See the curious formations of Brimham Rocks above the valley of Nidderdale; around an hour's drive from Newfield Hall. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks
RHS Harlow Carr Garden
Situated near Harrogate, about 50 minutes' from Newfield Hall, are the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Harlow Carr. The gardens have been planted to suit the challenging growing conditions of the north. Wander and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr
The spa town of Harrogate has fabulous shopping, fine cuisine and glorious gardens. Visit the Turkish baths & health spa, Royal pump room and museum, Valley gardens and Betty’s tearooms.
Set in 175 acres of parkland near Ripon, just over an hour's drive away, Lightwater Valley has big thrill rides including the ‘Ultimate’, the longest rollercoaster in Europe. The park has over 40 rides and is fantastic fun for all the family. www.lightwatervalley.co.uk
One of Britain’s most attractive historic cities, York is about a 1½ hours' drive from Newfield Hall. Attractions include the city walls, Minster, National Railway Museum, and Yorvik Viking Centre. www.yorkminster.org www.nrm.org.uk or www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk
Fountains Abbey image ©National Trust ImagesAndrew Butler
Travel to Malhamdale
Our address is: Newfield Hall, Airton, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 4AA
The nearest train station is at Skipton. 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 Skipton station and Newfield Hall. The pickup is at 4.10pm from Skipton station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Skipton station by 9.35am. This transfer costs just £12 return, however a place must be reserved at least 7 days in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 8½ mile journey from Skipton to Newfield Hall can be made by taxi. pre-booked taxis cost approx £15 per journey. 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 Newfield Hall Manager.
From the south, follow the A65 from Skipton to Gargrave. Leave the A65 by Eshton Road, signposted to Malham and pass Eshton Hall on the right. Newfield Hall is approx 2½ miles further on, on the right and before the village of Airton. Look out for our sign.
From the north, exit the M6 at junction 36 and take the A65 towards Skipton. In Coniston Cold village take a sharp left into a narrow road between houses, signposted to St Peters Church and Bell Busk and Malham. Pass under a railway viaduct, then after a mile bear right over a small bridge. After a further mile turn right at the junction, cross the narrow bridge then shortly after turn left through the gateway onto the drive of Newfield Hall. Look out for our sign.
Travelling from overseas
There is a local airport at Leeds/Bradford which is served by European flights. From here take the aiport bus to Leeds station, then on by train to Skipton. Alternatively a pre-booked taxi direct to Newfield Hall would cost around £60.
Manchester Airport has a much wider range of long-haul flights. There are direct trains every hour from the airport to Skipton with one change at Leeds. Allow 2 hours to Skipton - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 4½ hours to reach Skipton. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London Kings Cross station. From here take a train to Skipton (1 change at Leeds) - 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.
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.