Play Ukulele Beginners Holiday in the South Downs
With just four strings - and at a lower tension – the ukulele is much easier to learn than the guitar. It’s an inexpensive and portable instrument and great fun to play. Aimed at complete beginners, on this break we’ll tackle tuning, chord shapes and strumming patterns to accompany simple songs – anything from folk songs and music-hall favourites to pop classics by The Beatles. You’ll need to bring your own ukulele – most beginners start with a soprano (the smallest), although concert and tenor models are fine too. You’ll play in practice sessions each morning and after dinner. Afternoons are left free.
- Play a simple accompaniment in your very first session
- Learn the 'three-chord trick' which enables you to play thousands of songs
- Enjoy learning together, laugh together, encourage each other and have a lot of fun
- Full-board en-suite accommodation
- Full programme of tuition from our knowledgeable leaders
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
Enjoy mornings of expert group tuition with a break for tea & coffee.
Afternoons are free for you to practise independently or perhaps explore the local area. We have a wide selection of walk directions at our in-house Discovery Point.
Enjoy informal after dinner playing sessions.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
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 ensuite 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 Chantonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.
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, 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.
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
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
You will need to bring a ukulele. Most beginners start with a soprano uke, that's the smallest one, but the larger concert and tenor models are also fine as they are tuned the same (G,C,E,A) and are identical to play. The baritone uke is tuned differently and not suitable. If you're buying, go for a cheap wooden-bodied uke. Any good music shop will advise you. Most are of Far Eastern origin and will cost you around £15-£30. A spare set of strings is also a good idea. The banjo ukulele or banjolele, while fingered the same, is a noisy beast, more expensive to buy and probably best avoided at the learning stage.
You will also need to bring a music stand. The final evening may include an informal concert; if you would like to play something at this, please bring some music for a ‘party piece’.
Chris McShane formerly worked for Barnsley Music Service as Curriculum Development Officer for Guitar, Keyboard, Vocal studies and Music ICT and is now a freelance musician and instrumental teacher. In recent years, Chris has been active in promoting and teaching the ukulele. This teaching has ranged from full classes of 30 children in schools to groups of seniors in retirement homes. Chris also runs workshops at festivals and summer schools. He also runs a monthly ukulele club which is in its fifth year with over 60 members attending. Chris is also the musical director of the Uke Power festival.
A most enjoyable course. I learned a lot and Chris was very patient, thoughtful, good humoured, sociable and funny.
All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person. Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
26 Oct - 30 Oct
|4||Ukulele Holiday - Beginners - South Downs||£389 £359||Save £30 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
4 nights from £389pp £359pp
...or call 020 3974 8865