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 £520.00


Non Member: From £575.00



Enjoy two gentle rambles: one of which is all day exploring the Thames Path between Clifton Hampden and Abingdon, the other, an afternoon ramble on the Ridgeway enjoying the spectacular views in the White Horse area.

Gentle exercise, line and country dancing are also included, all of which are FUN!

On Wednesday the minibus will take us to Clifton Hampden for the start of our all day ramble. We shall enjoy walking along the Thames Path to Sutton Courtenay before rambling to Abingdon and exploring the area.

On Thursday afternoon we will be taken up to the Ridgeway where we shall have spectacular views as we ramble in the vicinity of the White Horse.

Coffee, tea and picnic will be provided for the all day ramble; and  tea, coffee will be provided for the afternoon ramble.

Gentle exercising and dancing to music, all of which are FUN, will be at your own level and alternative/modified movements will be given if necessary in order that you can exercise safely and effectively.

Notes for Students

Please bring:

  Suitable footwear for walking – sturdy, comfortable boots or strong lace up shoes

  Appropriate clothes for walking – be prepared for all weathers!

  Walking sticks if required

 Binoculars if required

 Water bottle if required

  Loose clothing for exercise eg T shirt, leggings, tracksuit

 Trainers or soft shoes for exercise

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



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 £445.00


Non Member: From £485.00



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 £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



This course is for bridge novices, or people who have had a go, but not really found their feet. We will play bridge hands almost from the first moment, because we will dispense with the bidding phase of the game. You will discuss and reflect on how the game works and then have a go in a no fear environment. Suitable for complete beginners or those who have played a little social bridge. There is no need to book with a playing partner: there will be plenty of like-minded people and helpers to play with.

WI Member: From £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



Bridge is a stimulating and enjoyable game, and it can be played at all levels. Increasing your knowledge and understanding can result in better results, and more fun! The course will establish or rediscover what you already know, and build on theoretical discussions and reflection with pre-prepared hands. You will begin playing hands in the first session, putting into practice what you have learnt, and there will be opportunities to compare the effectiveness of specific techniques.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Whether you remember them or have only heard of them, these years formed one of the most influential and controversial decades of the 20th century. Following a political and economic overview of the period, aspects covered include consumerism, youth culture and the women’s movement together with the debates engendered by them. Also considered are popular culture and the Arts, the rise of environmentalism and the emergence of new beliefs and alternative lifestyles. Memorabilia welcome. 

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Join our Lepidopterology expert David, for a fascinating course where you will learn about the colourful world of butterflies and moths, their ecology and the important role they play in the ecosystem. This course will include a colour slide presentation to illustrate the diverse range of species in the UK. There will be daytime butterfly walks around the Denman grounds to study the local species and habitats. At nighttime electric observation lights will also be operated to attract a wide variety of moths to study the following morning. Hints will also be provided on how to attract these beautiful creatures to your own garden. 

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



Sullivan and Gilbert gave us a whole new operatic heritage. Enjoy their ever popular operas, through discussion, audio recordings and DVDs. Discover the life and background of these extraordinary men.

WI Member: From £530.00


Non Member: From £590.00



A course looking at the history, exotic objects and obsession with the East. Visits to Claydon House, the Ashmolean Museum and Sezincote House will be included.

WI Member: From £375.00


Non Member: From £415.00



Come away for a break before Christmas!  Treat yourself to a relaxing few days with the girls, learn something new and even pick up some inspiration for starting a new hobby next year.  Start your weekend with a cocktail, choose 3 workshops from our exciting offer, enjoy our Saturday night entertainment and go home on Sunday refreshed for the Christmas preparations.

Select three workshops from the following:

Flower Arranging Timeless Flowers with Christine Pearce

In this workshop you will create a lovely Christmas table design using candles and fresh seasonal foliage and flowers. We will also add some Christmas bling to give your design a sparkle

A Christmas Ring in Ribbon Embroidery with Marilyn Pipe

A beautiful seasonal ring in simple stitches, suitable for beginners as well as the more experienced embroiderer.

Lino-Printing Christmas Cards with Abi Burt


Design your own Christmas card and print an edition, using the simple process of Lino-cutting. Lino-printing is a technique of printmaking from the last century, and is the modern continuation of wood-block printing, a beautiful technique which has been used for decades.
 
Participants can take home their lino masterpiece and continue to print as many Christmas cards as they want at home

 

Truffle Topiary Tree with Louise Talbot 

I'm sure we all have childhood festive food memories at Christmas time - for me it has to be a silver tray with a selection of nuts, crystallised ginger, cherries (Southern hemisphere!) and Mother's homemade fudge and truffles.

During this workshop you will make some of my favourite truffles - Port & Prune, White Chocolate & Pistachio, and Rum & Raisin.  I'll also show you how to display them on a very special 'truffle tree'. These all freeze very well so can be a job done for Christmas"

Booking Your Workshops:

Please select your preferred 3 workshops from the choices above, then ring Guest Services on 01865 391 991 to book. Workshops will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All final information, including workshop timings, will be sent out to you two months before the start of the course. 

WI Member: From £375.00


Non Member: From £415.00



A special weekend for the ‘new wave’ WIs emerging across the UK. This is not only the perfect getaway with the girls, it is also a unique opportunity to experience a selection of workshops covering all the latest trends in craft, cookery and lifestyle. This includes three workshops with all materials or ingredients, two nights of accommodation, a demonstration on the Friday night, Saturday night entertainment, welcome drinks, breakfast, lunch and three-course dinners.

Please note: No discounts will be applied to this event, except for Friends of Denman.

Select three workshops from the following:

Tai Chi: An Introduction with Alan Baker

Is it really possible to get fit and healthy without the discomfort that usually accompanies exercise? Unlike other forms of exercise, Tai Chi requires students to practice in the most unhurried, gentle and relaxed way possible in order to gain maximum benefits.

Modern Calligraphy with Jane Lappage

You will have seen this on trend script everywhere. The beauty of learning this script is it is easier to master and personalise, making it unique to you. You will be using a fine point nib which is perfect for left handers too. Practising the skills in this script, you will gain your confidence and finish the day by making a small beautiful piece for Christmas, such as a card, place name, gift tag etc. Using fantastic metallic inks with calligraphy, your work will look a million dollars.

Family History Taster Workshop with Jessica Feistein

The full description for this course is not yet available.  It will be added shortly. 

Unique Christmas Cards in Mixed Media with Marilyn Pipe

A fun workshop experimenting with papers, stamps and other materials to create unique Christmas cards which will delight the recipient.

Silver Clay - Make a Fine Silver Pendant with Louise Simmonds

This is a really exciting and creative form of Jewellery making using Silver Clay, which when fired is transformed into Fine silver.  Fine Silver is a precious metal with a Silver content of 99.9% -  a higher purity value than Sterling Silver which is  92.5%. Silver. You will use a mould to make an intricate Silver replica choosing from a range of items  such as decorative charms,  shells and many other found objects. This will then be fired polished and finished ready for you to take home. 

Chocolates for Christmas with Katie Churchard

Chocolate is a beautiful thing. Temping, teasing and beguiling us! It has also become a food we should avoid, but this workshop is all about enjoying chocolate!

Drum for Fun with Heather Summers

A fun workshop of drumming and body beats. Drumming fulfils a very primal need in most of us and is a powerful way of making music with other people. Working in a drum circle, you will start with rhythm games and body beats, and end with polyrhythms and pile ups. This is a workshop for beginners or those with some experience. Heather will provide a selection of hand percussion and drums including djembes, tubano, cajons and darbuka, as well as bins and drumsticks, and percussion instruments from around the world. Feel free to bring along a favourite drum.

 

Booking Your Workshops:

Please select your preferred 3 workshops from the choices above, then ring Guest Services on 01865 391 991 to book. Workshops will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All final information, including workshop timings, will be sent out to you two months before the start of the course.

WI Member: From £230.00


Non Member: From £260.00



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 £148.00


Non Member: From £164.00



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 £264.00


Non Member: From £296.00



WI Member: From £0.00


Non Member: From £0.00



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 £0.00


Non Member: From £0.00



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 £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



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 £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



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 £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



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 £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



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 £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



Ever wanted to write your autobiography? But where do you start, and how do you turn fact into compelling (non)fiction? Autobiographies and biographies are still stories, and whether you are writing your life story to share with your family or with a wider audience, this one-day workshop will help you make it a page-turner. You can use personal memories, photographs, genealogy or even a will as the source of your facts, but learn how to be a master of breathing life into bare bones and applying the skills of a polished writer to transform facts into fantastic (non)fiction. 

WI Member: From £300.00


Non Member: From £340.00



Research tells us that writing expressively is therapeutic, relaxing and good for you. It enhances well being and boosts self confidence. So, whether you have never written anything but shopping lists or you have been a secret scribbler for years, escape to Denman and take time out to experience the gentle joys of creative expressive writing and find your own unique inner creative voice. Nurture your writerly talents and see how they will blossom! This course is relaxed and friendly, and suitable for all ages and abilities, including those with no experience of writing.

WI Member: From £150.00


WI Non Member: From £170.00



What do you do with your novel once the first draft is complete? Here’s the secret… This course covers how to edit your novel, and what to look for in the editing process. It introduces Debrah’s own special editing system, enabling authors to critically review and organise the mass of work that potentially needs to be done to polish a manuscript ready for publication. The course is supported by practical exercises, 1:1 tutor feedback and information and resource sheets.  

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Research tells us that writing expressively is therapeutic, relaxing and good for you. It enhances well being and boosts self confidence. So, whether you have never written anything but shopping lists or you have been a secret scribbler for years, escape to Denman and take time out to experience the gentle joys of creative expressive writing and find your own unique inner creative voice. Nurture your writerly talents and see how they will blossom! This course is relaxed and friendly, and suitable for all ages and abilities, including those with no experience of writing.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Do you remember your first love? Did you marry your childhood sweetheart? Did you have a glorious affair with a secret lover?  Is your love story a fairy-tale ‘Happy Ever After’, is it simply shades of grey, or is it tragedy and heartbreak all the way?

 

Join us to write about REAL women in (and out of) love, using your own life experience, wishful thinking, or a subtle blend of both!   And because love isn’t just about romance, what about celebrating the other loves in your life?   Your passion for your home, garden, music, parents, pets, children, your car, or a beautiful view?  The good news is that there are hundreds of competitions at home and abroad for poets and short story writers, and during the course we’ll be learning insider tips and tricks about the fun and the pitfalls of entering those LOVE(ly) poetry and short story writing competitions.

WI Member: From £490.00


Non Member: From £540.00



Dig out that unfinished writing project languishing in a drawer or, if you're a beginner, come along to get inspired and start writing at Denman this winter. Overcome writer’s block and enjoy working in a supportive, tutor-led classroom group and in programmed one-to-one sessions on your short stories, memoirs, life stories, sketches, plays, articles or novels.

WI Member: From £150.00


Non Member: From £170.00



Voices – two of the most difficult aspects of a novel to crack – yours and your characters’! In this one-day workshop you will learn how write credible dialogue that drives your story forward and also examine what makes up your own unique way of storytelling – your author’s ‘voice’. The workshop will include practical ways to make your dialogue – and your characters – ‘real’, and how to use 1st, 3rd and the Omniscient POV (Point of View) for dramatic effect to tell your story. 

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Whether you want to add colour to your writing or just to make people laugh, there is no better way of holding your readers than humour. In this course, which is suitable for both beginners and more experienced writers, you will discover how you can “write funny”. Witty prose, comic characters and amusing ideas will make your fiction, articles or life writing more readable and saleable, and are more within your range than you may think.

This course is suitable for writers at all levels of experience and of both fiction and non-fiction. You will look at the different humour genres, learn some essential techniques and find your comic voice.

Over two days you will find your humorous point of view and look for ideas and stories from everyday life. You will practise the great comic staples of exaggeration and incongruity, create your own comic characters and pick up some valuable tips on using witty and vivid language. By the end of the course you will have written a short humorous piece of prose.

There will be hand outs, discussions, practical exercises and we will study classic examples of humour.

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



Join the Denman jury and after listening to the evidence, then discussing it with your fellow jurors, you will able to pronounce your verdict on three separate, real life murder cases, which occurred in England between 1900-1975. The cases have all been personally researched by the tutor and chosen for the insights they can give us on our judicial system and social history. (Although these are all real cases, no distressing crime scene photographs will be used.) Come equipped with a pen, a notebook and an open mind...

WI Member: From £264.00


Non Member: From £296.00



You the Jury! returns to Denman with fresh cases for your consideration.

Join the Denman jury for Denman Casebook 2. After  listening to the evidence, then discussing it with your fellow jurors, you will able to pronounce your verdict on three separate, real life murder cases, which occurred in England between 1900-1975. The cases have all been personally researched by the tutor and chosen for the insights they can give us on our judicial system and social history. (Although these are all real cases, no distressing crime scene photographs will be used.) Come equipped with a pen, a notebook and an open mind...

WI Member: From £330.00


Non Member: From £370.00



You the Jury! returns to Denman with fresh cases for your consideration.

Join the Denman jury for Denman Casebook 2. After  listening to the evidence, then discussing it with your fellow jurors, you will able to pronounce your verdict on three separate, real life murder cases, which occurred in England between 1900-1975. The cases have all been personally researched by the tutor and chosen for the insights they can give us on our judicial system and social history. (Although these are all real cases, no distressing crime scene photographs will be used.) Come equipped with a pen, a notebook and an open mind...

WI Member: From £445.00


Non Member: From £485.00



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 £148.00


Non Member: From £164.00



WI Member: From £230.00


Non Member: From £260.00



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. 

Students need to bring something to write with and some rough paper, and £15 for the course book Learn How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords, which is an integral part of the course.

WI Member: From £230.00


Non Member: From £260.00



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 we 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 £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



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 £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



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 £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



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 £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



The revival of a much loved and well known course features completely new songs and fresh choreography. Enjoy Exhilarating dance and performance with like-Minded company

 

WI Member: From £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



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 £360.00


Non Member: From £400.00



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 Single Room: From £2000.00


WI Member Shared Room: From £1950.00


Non Member Single Room: From £2100.00


Non Member Shared Room: From £2050.00



Join Denman tutor Simon Gregor on his second "Denman on Tour" course, this time visiting the historically fascinating city of Berlin. The trip will include a full day walking tour where you will visit The Victory Column, Brandenburg Gate, Bebelplatz and many other sites of interest. The second day will include a visit to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, and the final full day will (subject to availability) be spent visiting further memorial sites. You will be accompanied throughout by Simon and Denman's Volunteer Manager, Tracy Strain. 

The course includes all flights, transfers, meals and hotel stays and a night at Denman either side of visiting Berlin. 

The full itinerary can be downloaded here: DenmanWI-ItineraryV2-5DayBer-29Apr-3May19.pdf

WI Member: From £620.00


Non Member: From £680.00



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.