Lifestyle Courses


Lifestyle courses at Denman are developed to cater for the mind, body and soul. The range includes something for every interest – historical visits, photography, T’ai Chi, flower arranging, computer skills, fashion and a whole array of music and singing courses. The courses are designed for the complete beginner to the more accomplished practitioner – everyone is welcome to stretch their mind and fill their senses at Denman.

Online booking is now LIVE! Our phone lines are incredibly busy so please bear with us! Skip the queues and book online below!

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Learn about posture improvement, stress alleviation and how to relieve the tensions and discomforts held in the body. This is a practical course for the whole of you – mind and body. You will get hands-on guidance from the tutor.

WI Member: From £340


Non Member: From £380



Explore the world of G.F and Mary Watts through a visit to the artists’ village where he made his studio and home in Victorian England. Visit the gallery where his permanent collection is displayed in the Arts & Crafts studio designed by celebrated Victorian architect Sir Ernest George. Also explore the Grade 1 listed Arts & Crafts masterpiece, the Watts chapel rich in symbolism, the creation of Mary Watts.

WI Member: From £180


Non Member: From £200



Your individual look is influenced by colour. The choices you make can be swayed by the manufacturers, fashion trends, your moods, personal favourites or even the persuasion of others. This course looks at the shades that compliment your colouring, have a nod to the trends, can fit in with your moods and the impression you wish to give. You will cover the traditional meaning of colours; colour analysis and shades for the capsule wardrobe. Colour for jewellery, hair, glasses and accessories are also discussed to ensure that your wardrobe best reflects you.

WI Member: From £105


Non Member: From £125



You will look at the basics of setting up your iPad tablet, joining networks, understanding how to use it and get the best from it. You will also investigate apps, photos, music and books. Lots of work, but it will be fun too!

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Thinking of getting an Apple iPad or perhaps you recently got one? This is the course for you! It's a simple beginner's course that will allow you get going with settings, email, photos and apps. This course is not suitable for android tablet users.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Do you have an iPad or thinking of getting one? Have you been on a beginner's course? This is for all those who want to go beyond the basics. This course is not for android tablet users.

WI Member: From £445


Non Member: From £505



This course looks at what to do to promote and sell your book when it is published or about to be published. It is equally applicable to self-published and traditionally published authors, as even if you have obtained a traditional publishing deal they rarely include promotion and marketing budgets or support. By the end of the course, you will have taken the first steps towards setting up your author platform and becoming visible to the world of readers. You will undertake practical exercises and receive mentoring feedback directly from the tutor throughout the course. Your author career starts here…

WI Member: From £105


Non Member: From £125



Ever wanted to write a novel? This course provides an introduction to the art of novel-writing and the essential skills an author uses to craft an engaging and intriguing novel. It will take participants from first inspiration through the basic techniques of novel writing, with practical exercises along the way, and most will leave with a debut novel underway. The course is supported by practical exercises, 1:1 tutor feedback and resource sheets.

WI Member: From £445


Non Member: From £505



Started writing your novel and got stuck? Started writing your novel and can’t seem to find the time to continue it? Started writing your novel and need help editing, reviewing or rewriting elements in it? Then this is the retreat course for you, with a mix of formal guidance, practical exercises, 1:1 sessions and time to simply write… Get that stuck writing project moving whilst also gathering hints and tips on technique, style and editing considerations as well as 1:1 mentoring from an award-winning author.

WI Member: From £445


Non Member: From £505



This course covers how to tackle that terrifying problem of editing your novel, and what to look for during the process. It introduces Debrah’s own specific system that can be used to edit, enabling authors to critically review and organise the mass of work that potentially needs to be done to polish a manuscript ready for publication. It also covers how and where to submit your manuscript for traditional publication. The course is supported by practical exercises, 1:1 tutor feedback and resource sheets.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



Since the 1860s, London has led the world in public transport and 2018 will see the completion of the engineering marvel known as Crossrail. This course traces London’s public transport through the ages and into the 21st century. The course will include a day exploring the London Underground’s past and present. Please note: This out and about course involving a reasonable amount of walking, therefore good mobility and stamina are required.

WI Member: From £180


Non Member: From £200



Learn how to solve cryptic crosswords on a course that is designed for beginners and delivered in a relaxed and friendly manner. The course starts with the simplest ideas and easiest types of clue, and gradually builds to the more advanced aspects of solving cryptic puzzles. How cryptic clues work is clearly explained, and supported by practical activities in which we work together on developing solving skills. This course is engaging and interactive, and will teach you a new skill that is both enjoyable and stimulating.

WI Member: From £180


Non Member: From £200



This practical course is for anyone who understands the principles of how cryptic clues work and how to solve them, and is now seeking to improve their solving expertise. During the course you will work on progressively more challenging puzzles. Before each practical session, there will be a short review of theoretical aspects of clue construction to extend knowledge and solving techniques. At the end of the course you will be familiar with the tricks of the trade that regularly feature in the national broadsheet puzzles.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Cryptic crossword solving may seem like a black art – especially if you have been baffled by the concept. This course will introduce you from zero level, to extracting intellectual pleasure from the beast! There is a solvable connection between a cryptic clue and the answer (there really is!) The rules governing the compilation of cryptic crossword clues and the methods that one can employ to find the solution to a clue will be demonstrated and discussed at length. All you need is an enquiring mind and a sense of humour!

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Dance and sing the marvellous melodies from Evita, Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Cats. This is a course for those who enjoy performing and are looking for ideas for concerts or entertainment, as well as those who take pleasure in music.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Have a go at a variety of dance styles including ballroom, Latin, Bollywood and burlesque. And learn dance routines to some popular, party classics!

WI Member: From £105


Non Member: From £125



Uplifting dance and music from around the world and across the ages. Friendly relaxed group. For both beginners and experienced dancers. Some basic steps to learn and each dance expertly taught.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Uplifting dance and music from around the world and across the ages. Friendly relaxed group. For both beginners and experienced dancers. Some basic steps to learn and each dance expertly taught.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



The World of Flamenco course is for everyone, not just for dancers. Flamenco is exciting, dramatic, passionate and powerful. Come and learn about the dance, costumes, culture and history of Flamenco. You will be taught basic Flamenco dance technique plus a simple, level appropriate dance. This course includes an Illustrated lecture with film clips, a session on Flamenco costumes (including dressing in full Flamenco costume) and session on Flamenco accessories (castanets, fans, shawls) so you won’t be on your feet all the time. There will be a Spanish themed dinner on the second evening and a Flamenco dance performance by the tutor and her Flamenco guitarist. Ole!

WI Member: From £540


Non Member: From £600



Come to Denman and enjoy our brand new relaxed Creative Writing Summer School, You’ll have all the time, space and support you need to kick start your writing project or continue something you’ve already begun. With a new confidence in your ability to write creatively we’ll explore the different genres of creative writing (short story, novel, memoir, life story, poetry, features, sketch and play writing etc.) and consider which suits you best. You’ll enjoy inspirational tutor led sessions with tricks and tips to help you build believable characters, breathe life into them with great dialogue, and create convincing plots. You’ll have some quiet writing time; opportunities to give and receive constructive feedback when sharing and discussing your work with other writers, and be supported in confidential ‘one to one’ sessions with your tutor. The creative writing summer school is suitable for beginners and more experienced writers.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Take photographs to be proud of. Gain confidence in the use of your camera. No technical jargon, just hints and tips and ideas for those special shots. Different subjects, different angles, perfect pictures.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Improve your skills taking digital photographs and using computers to edit and manage your shots. We’ll use the grounds to improve your technique then either bring your own laptops or use the Denman computers to use a variety of software applications to make the most of your pictures. We will attempt to create practical solutions and not to get too technical, it’s aimed at all users with whatever digital camera you use. Feel free to contact me for further information.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Improve your skills taking digital photographs and using computers to edit and manage your shots. We’ll use the grounds to improve your technique then either bring your own laptops or use the Denman computers to Photoshop Elements predominantly to make the most of your pictures. we will look at alternatives so don’t buy before the course. The course is aimed at all users with whatever digital camera you use and Windows or Mac computers are catered for (Denman have PC’s) Feel free to contact me for further information.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



This is the time of year when we begin to think of our Christmas card list. So why not impress your family and friends by photographing and printing your own? Bring your camera and take a series of Christmas themed photographs, which you will download on to a computer. From there, you will do some simple manipulation techniques before printing them as Christmas cards.

WI Member: From £105


Non Member: From £125



On this course you will learn why you might want to do a DNA test for family history, and also why you might not want to! What are the different kinds of test and who are they suitable for? What will they tell you? Who in your family should take the test? You may have other questions too. If you decide to do it, there are several different companies that you can use, and we will look at the advantages of each one. After you have made the decision, sent off your sample, and got your results, there are several things that you need to do to get the best from your results. We will help you to share your family tree so that matches to other people can be discovered. This will all be explained by the tutor, and you will be supported to take each step. Make those exciting connections that will help you expand your family tree and find long-lost cousins and ancestors!

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Drumming is great fun, very focusing, a powerful way of making music with other people. It is accessible way into music as well as being a music genre in its own right. Working in a drum circle, you will start with body beats and percussion, rhythm games and activities, and learn how to make our own rhythms, polyrhythms, and African drum rhythms. This is a course for beginners or those with a little experience.

WI Member: From £105


Non Member: From £125



A full introduction to researching your own family history, taking a professional approach to help you create a family tree to be proud of. This informal course will give you an understanding of various methods and sources, make you aware of some of the pitfalls involved in family history research, and equip you with tips and advice. Students must have a basic knowledge of using a computer and the internet so that they can work on their own.

WI Member: From £330


Non Member: From £370



A full introduction to researching your own family history, taking a professional approach to help you create a family tree to be proud of. This informal course will give you an understanding of various methods and sources, make you aware of some of the pitfalls involved in family history research, and equip you with tips and advice. Students must have a basic knowledge of using a computer and the internet so that they can work on their own.

WI Member: From £105


Non Member: From £125



This day school is for you if you have started your family history and would now like to take it to the next level. Building on the work you have already done, the tutor will help you identify the next steps you can take, equipping you to get more from the Internet and from the available records in your areas of interest, whether your ancestors lived in the UK or further afield. A basic knowledge of using a computer and the internet would be helpful.

WI Member: From £505


Non Member: From £565



The National Archives is full of documents and records that will help you research your family history. Some of them can be seen online, but most of them require a visit to Kew. Although it is free to go in, it can be daunting to go on your own. Where do you start? What do you look at? What can you expect when you get there? This course gives you the chance to make that first exploratory visit, supported by your tutor and with a group of like-minded students and friends.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



This course is a chance to meet up with other students researching their family trees, share information and success stories, and you will have plenty of time to do more research with support from your tutor. This course is suitable for anyone who has previously attended one of Jessica's courses at Denman.

WI Member: From £495


Non Member: From £555



Twenty years of vastly contrasting costume due to the influences of WW2 – from ‘make-do-and-mend’ to the explosion of fabric of the ‘New Look’, you could not get a more radical change in the look of costume in such a short space of time!

WI Member: From £495


Non Member: From £555



Look at how we lost our waists and raised our hems! No more waists, short cropped hair, short skirts and hardly any underwear let alone corsetry! What a fast moving and radical time the 20s to 30s was in respect of costume change. You will visit museums to see costumes of the period and also attend a specialised study group where we can look at items not usually on display. As well as this, you will be able to touch, feel and see examples of authentic dress, beaded bags, accessories and underwear of the time.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Born in London to affluent American parents, Taylor first caught the eye of Hollywood with her flashing violet eyes and pretty looks as a child. Propelled to stardom in National Velvet in 1944 she made the transition from child to adult actor with apparent ease. Come with Claire on a journey through her men, films, activism and her famed relationship with Richard Burton. With a screening of one of Taylor’s films on the second night with wine and popcorn you’re in for a sumptuous Hollywood treat!

WI member: From £455


Non Member: From £515



This is your opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, all of which are FUN and suitable for all ages and abilities.
Exercising and dancing to music will help to improve circulation, keep the body supple, tighten slack muscles and improve posture as well as balance and coordination. Exercising to music will also help you to relax and relieve everyday stress. Everyone will exercise at their own level, and alternative/modified movements will be given if necessary in order that you can exercise safely and effectively.
Talks/discussions/workshops may include nutrition, posture, osteoporosis, stress management. If there is another topic you would like covered, please let Gill know, and she'll come prepared!
Enjoy the relaxation, as well as a basic massage carried out in pairs.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



This is your opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, all of which are FUN and suitable for all ages and abilities. Exercising and dancing to music will help to improve circulation, keep the body supple, tighten slack muscles and improve posture as well as balance and coordination. Exercising to music will also help you to relax and relieve everyday stress. Everyone will exercise at their own level, and alternative/modified movements will be given if necessary in order that you can exercise safely and effectively. Talks/discussions/workshops may include nutrition, posture, osteoporosis, stress management. If there is another topic you would like covered, please let Gill know, and she'll come prepared! Enjoy the relaxation, as well as a basic massage carried out in pairs.

WI Member: From £180


Non Member: From £200



Successful pruning of ornamental shrubs is guaranteed to bring the best results from your plants, emphasising their flowering and foliage qualities and keeping them healthy. We will consider which tools are most helpful, the optimum time of year and the skills needed. With walks in Denman’s glorious gardens for practical plant identification and inspiration, you will go away with the knowledge to prune with confidence.(Fruit pruning not included in this course)

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



A chance to meet up with course participants from Letta’s previous courses, and compare notes on how your cuttings are growing, your low maintenance gardening is progressing, your plant identification improving and to tell us about how garden visiting has inspired you. Enjoy the company of enthusiastic fellow gardeners and sharing experience. Plenty of time for questions, queries, advice, support, and an opportunity to bring plants for identification. With talks, group activities, refresher sessions and walks in Denman’s glorious gardens to delight you, this is a course for all keen gardeners who want to learn more.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Making a garden less labour intensive, yet still attractive, all year round is the dream of many garden lovers. This course will explore how, by changing the layout and planting, a garden can become easier and cheaper to look after.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



The Life and times of ‘Capability’ Lancelot Brown (1716-83) Humphry Repton (1786-1818) and Vita Sackville -West (1892-1962) will be explored with a visit to Blenheim Palace grounds to walk Brown’s landscape and see his special trees. Please note this course involves considerable walking and standing

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Choosing the best plants for your conditions and ornamental effect is the key to successful gardening. We will look at soil, aspect, and position for trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants considering size, shape, seasonal features, colour, fragrance and wild life interest. If you would like to know what will thrive in your own garden, container or window box, then this course is for you. With walks in Denman’s glorious gardens for practical plant identification and inspiration, you will go away with a personalised garden plan to implement once back home.
There will be a£10 charge payable to the tutor for a soil testing kit.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew offer us a fabulous opportunity to delve into horticulture, garden design and botany past and present. Research the rich history of this 300 acre garden prior to a day long visit to explore its diverse collections of plants outside and under glass. View a selection of the historic buildings such as Kew Palace, the Pagoda, the Orangery, the Alpine and Palm House together with its fine avenues, borders, trees, lakes and views across the Thames. Practical plant identification and plenty of inspiration will also be provided.

WI Member: From £525


Non Member: From £585



The full description for this course is not yet available. It will be added shortly. In the meantime, if you require further information, please contact Denman on 01865 391991

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



Explore the history and development of Oxford college gardens from their monastic foundations to the glories we see today. From tantalising glimpses of gardens experienced by Alice as she fell through the rabbit hole, to glorious deer parks – Oxford has it all. Visits will be made to several gardens and others will be experienced through discussion and colourful presentations.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



This is a course packed with surprises, offering the chance to explore Rousham, an 18th century Kent masterpiece, and compare and contrast it with Tom Stuart-Smith’s design for Broughton Grange from 2001. These two delightful gardens, plus a variety of others, will be explored in a colourful presentation.

WI Member: From £530


Non Member: From £590



This delightful course visits 4 intriguing and very different gardens in the Cotswolds and countryside nearby. Rousham an 18th century Italianate William Kent masterpiece, Broughton Grange with its contemporary walled garden by Tom Stuart-Smith, Boughton House and Sezingcote an Indian inspired house and garden.These and other gardens will be explored in a colourful presentation on the final morning.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



Arts & Crafts gardens such as Kelmscot were a fantastic source of inspiration for William Morris in his wallpaper designs. We will visit Hidcote Manor garden (NT) created by Lawrence Johnson in the early years of the 20 century. The world famous Arts & Crafts garden forms a colourful array of garden ‘rooms’ set against the north Cotswold landscape. We then visit Snowshill Manor also with lovely views of the Cotswolds. These two delightful gardens, plus a variety of others, will be explored in a colourful presentation.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



Writing your life story is a wonderful reflective and enjoyable occupation. This course is designed to give you the help and inspiration you need to plan, write and organise your own unique life story, creating an enduring record of your life and times.

WI Member: From £445


Non Member: From £505



Writing your life story with a supportive group of like minded people is a wonderful reflective and enjoyable occupation. With help from an experienced specialist life story writing tutor you will plan, write and organise your story in the way that is best for you. You will revisit and recapture tales from the older generation of your family, along with memories of your childhood, school days, work and family life. Writing your life story adds a new personal dimension to your family history project, it is a wonderful way of passing on your family’s unique heritage and connecting with children and grandchildren. No experience of writing is needed, and all the folders and stationery you will need are included. For further information please see www.lifestorywriting.co.uk

WI Member: From £180


Non Member: From £200



Rachel will introduce you to maintaining healthy posture, with gentle movement. This inspiring course will include easy posture tips, physical relaxation with breathing, meditation and visualization exercises along with massage and nutritional advice. You will also have the opportunity to develop your own personal goals for the future, using life-coaching skills. Come along and have some fun!

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



Bath at Christmas is a magical experience of history, theatre and fun. Come and enjoy visits to 1 Royal Crescent, the Assembly rooms and museum of costume for the drama of a Georgian Christmas.  After lunch a gentle stroll to the Abbey and surrounding streets to sample the delights of the Christmas markets in all their festive brilliance.We will travel to Bath by coach and visit No.1 Royal Crescent, decorated in Georgian splendour as it was in its heyday. We will also visit the nearby Assembly Rooms, scene of many a romantic dalliance, and view the fabulous collection of costumes in the Museum of Fashion.

After lunch by students own arrangement we shall spend the afternoon browsing around the historic centre of Bath with the backdrop of the majestic Minster and Roman Baths and Spa. Here and in the surrounding streets sample the delights of the Christmas market stalls, enjoy mulled wine and mince pies or a Sally Lunn bun and marvel at the street perfomers in front of the Pump Room. Then back on the coach for the return trip to Denman and free time to socialize.
 
Lots of walking involved

 

WI Member: From £525


Non Member: From £585



On this course we discover how John Churchill started from nothing to become one of the most famous men of his day; how his wife's friendship with Queen Anne assured the building of Blenheim Palace; Discover what it means to be a duke and how the Palace has been brought into the 21st century. Following an introductory session we spend a full day at Blenheim exploring the Palace and its grounds. We will also visit Bladon churchyard where more recent members of the family, including Sir Winston Churchill, are buried.

On the final morning we flesh out the bones to talk about the architecture of the Palace and discover a lot more about the family.

Information for students:
This course is not suitable for those with limited mobility as there will be a considerable amount of walking and standing involved, including rough ground and steps. Please wear stout/comfortable footwear for the visit(s) out and be prepared for the British weather.

WI Member: From £515


Non Member: From £575



The full description for this course is not yet available. It will be added shortly. In the meantime, if you require further information, please contact Denman on 01865 391991.

WI Member: From £355


Non Member: From £395



A look at memorials in churchyards old and new. Discuss famous burials in Oxfordshire and learn about the different designs and materials used over the last 400 years. Includes a full day outing

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



Visiting the elegant World Heritage, Roman and Georgian city of Bath is truly something special. Glimpse how the Georgians lived, where they socialized and then take in the spectacular Minster alongside the Roman baths and spa.

We will travel to Bath by coach and visit No.1 Royal Crescent, newly refurbished in Georgian splendour as it was in its heyday. We will also visit the nearby Assembly Rooms, scene of many a romantic dalliance, and view the fabulous collection of costumes in the Museum of Fashion.
After lunch by students own arrangement we shall spend the afternoon browsing around the historic area in the centre of Bath with the backdrop of the majestic Minster and Roman Baths and Spa. Nearby the café and shop selling the famous Sally Lunn buns and marvel at the street perfomers infront of the Pump Room where the waters were taken for your health. Then back on the coach for the return trip to Denman and free time to socialize.

WI Member: From £530


Non Member: From £590



Explore Oxford, the Medieval city of Dreaming Spires, home to Kings and Queens and site of the oldest University in England. We will explore the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library and the Old Schools quad. Lunch both days in one of the colleges and end the second day with choral evensong at Christ Church.

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



Oxford and the Pre-Raphaelites are inextricably linked. See Exeter college where William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones were both students and view their early work in the student union murals of King Arthur. Delight in tapestries and stained glass, which abound in Oxford, and see some wonderful art at the Ashmolean museum. Finally explore the wonders of the Ruskin inspired Pre-Raphaelite glory that is the university museum.

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



The Tradescants opened their home, the Ark, to all interested. Collectors, travellers, naturalists and gardeners of repute, their collection came to form the nucleus of the Ashmolean museum when it was first opened in 1683. This course will take you to visit the newly refurbished Ashmolean museum, the old Ashmolean and a stroll through Oxford to the Botanic gardens. You will explore the amazing lives of the Tradescants with a visit to the Museum of Garden History, Lambeth, close to where they lived and also their final resting place. So much to discover and explore through documented evidence and visits to see the remains of their incredible life collections.

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



Oxford is the home of the oldest museum, the Ashmolean. This and Christchurch picture gallery amongst others in the university, share a rich heritage of art. Visits to galleries mean so much more with some inside knowledge of the artists, subjects and history behind the foundations. We will visit the Student Union library to view the Pre-Raphaelite murals, the first public commission by William Morris, Rossetti and others, still fabulous even though their inexperience shows in the preparations they made before painting them. The Divinity school and Schools Quad the oldest part of the University and the newer Western Library with its exquisite Treasures exhibition.

WI Member: From £525


Non Member: From £585



As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria this course looks at the architectural development of the country houses of the period and those who built them.  Includes a visit to Waddesdon Manor.

WI Member: From £325


Non Member: From £365



This course explore the life and architectural writings of Sir John Betjeman. Best known as our Poet Laureate it is not so widely appreciated that he did more than anyone else to form our national view on the built environment. From his Guide to English Parish Churches to the Shell Guides and BBC films he showed us what to look for and explained how to appreciate the things around us. On this course we will visit some buildings associated with Betjeman and watch and discuss some of his iconic films. The tutor was lucky enough to have known Betjeman.

WI Member: From £485


Non Member: From £545



Five hundred years ago the country was dotted with monastic houses from enormous churches like Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, home to hundreds of canons, to the tiny Bilsington Priory in Kent, with only a handful. Yet their cumulative influence on the nation was profound. In the 16th century all 700 were closed and this course explores a representative selection to discuss their architecture and history. Includes visits to the beautiful Dorchester Abbey, now a parish church, Reading Museum to learn about the town's royal foundation and a working monastery, Douai Abbey.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



Celebrate the Advent season by walking through Oxford to see the Christmas lights before the glorious choral evensong at Christchurch Cathedral. The next day, after a visit to the Sheldonian Theatre and coffee in the festive covered market, you will explore the heart of the University. After lunch at Denman you will visit the festive Tree Barn at Christmas Common, a treasure house of Christmas decorations and nearby Henley before returning for late tea at Denman. On the final morning, Anna, who is also a floral expert, will guide you through the making of a festive advent ring to take away with you. Do not worry if you do not have any flower arranging skills as Anna will demonstrate and assist you. All materials will be provided and included in the cost of this lovely introduction to the festive season.

WI Member: From £300


Non Member: From £340



This Denman-based course aims to show the incredible amount of variation, history and amusement there is on London's streets through the medium of art. From memorials, statues, murals and graffiti, there is so much to make you think and smile. From the warmth and comfort of Denman we will travel around London, picking out hot-spots of art that fascinates both Londoners and tourists a like.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



We will explore the historic house and gardens of this NT C18 house, purchased by Lord and Lady Illiffe in the 1950’s. The Illiffe’s brought back Basildon Park to life filling it with a collection of fine furnishings and Old Masters. A famous location for films such as Netherfield Park and more recently Downton Abbey.

WI Member: From £365


Non Member: From £405



Whatever our historical interest, the English country house provides us with a rich history into which we can dip. The architecture of these buildings is often well known but its detail can tell us so much more than a casual glance allows. This course will look at the development of country houses and the people who lived in them. Expect some gossip and intrigue with examples from all over the country. Includes visits to two historic houses.

WI Member: From £485


Non Member: From £545



This course looks at the history of two unique residential developments in London, both completed in the 19th century due mainly to the presence of nearby royal palaces. It exposes how eager the Establishment was to reside close to royalty in London and how wealthy developers became as the result of such demands. The course includes a trip to London in order to explore both locations. Please note that this “out & about” course involves a reasonable amount of walking, therefore good mobility and stamina are required on the trip to London. Please wear stout/comfortable footwear and be prepared for the British weather.

WI Member: From £345


Non Member: From £385



John Churchill was born a commoner with no expectation of fame but through a mixture of good luck and skill became a duke and an internationally respected soldier and statesman who was promised a palace by his grateful queen. This course will look at his life and career, and the amazing house that is still home to his descendants today. Includes a full day visit to Blenheim Palace and Bladon Church where his most famous descendant, Winston Churchill, is buried.

WI Member: From £340


Non Member: From £380



Discover the story of John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, and his descendants and hear the history of Blenheim Palace. Each duke is discussed and the secrets of their family trees explained! This popular Denman course will, on this occasion, have a twist - your visit to this wonderful home will see it decorated for Christmas in ducal grandeur. If you have been putting off attending this course now really is the time to come – and bring your camera as photography is allowed at Blenheim!