Participate in a creative weekend that ignites your curiosity and opens new perspectives.
If you’re feeling that you’d like a fresh, creative alternative for a weekend away, we provide an experience that will be developmental, unusual and interesting. The weekend will be rooted in nature and will cover exploration of place and landscape utilising the outdoors, photography and literature.
At the southern end of the beautiful Llanthony Valley in the Black Mountains stands Llwyn Celyn, a Grade 1 listed building and historically an exceptionally important house. Recently restored by The landmark Trust at a cost of £4.2m it is a very special building. It was built in 1420 on the lands of the Llanthony Priory and is a very rare survival. The site also houses a small museum and has hosted artists in residence during its restoration.
Element’s Sense of Place weekend uses this ancient homestead as an inspiring base to explore the physical and cultural landscape through a blend of creativity, adventure and curiosity.
The Threshing Barn is a wonderful inspiring airy space. It’s filled with art, light and architectural interest. It provides the perfect backdrop for the weekend.
You should leave stimulated, enthused and enriched with new connections and we hope ‘buzzing from it all’!
The venue of Llwyn Celyn is in itself wonderfully unique. May is a stunning time of year with the bluebells flowering, the hawthorn blossoming and long days. October is equally and differently lovely with surrounding woodland colours and the heather on the fells.
The two days will consist of a mix of activities and there will be space around events for you to relax, chat, connect, be with friends or explore on your own.
We will cover:
- Exploring A Sense Of Place
- Documenting: Looking To See More
- The Journey As Well As The Destination
Expect activity and discussion, questions and humour, depth and breadth. Think of it as ‘flexing muscles in new directions’. It’s about trying new things – exploring and curiously reaching into new enquiries in a stunning location.
Please note, You do not need any specific level of fitness to participate in this weekend. And, any form of camera is fine including a phone.
Ruth is Director of Element. She is a former international level mountain runner with a literature background and a previous career in international education. Curiosity, exploration, challenge and an appreciation of the value of the natural world sit at the heart of what her courses offer via active days and inspiring wilder ways. She writes, has travelled widely and worked abroad, run up and down big mountains and keeps bees. She likes to say, “The journey continues…”
As a photographer and writer Mikaela has been featured in a range of publications and has exhibited in a number of venues; she also has an MA with distinction in Photography. A highly qualified outdoor instructor en-route to her IML (International Mountain Leader Award) she is no stranger to exploration. Well travelled having led expeditions around the world including India, Nicaragua and more recently sub-Saharan Africa, she also cycled from Derby to Poland with her father – not without its trials and tribulations!
The Landmark Trust’s Llwyn Celyn (pron. Lewin Kelin), Stanton, Cwmyoy, Nr Abergavenny. Monmouthshire. NP7 7ND
Abergavenny is the closest train station approximately 5 miles away.
We will start at 9.30 am on Saturday morning 11th May
We will finish around 4.30 pm on Sunday 12th May
You choose the level of accommodation that you would like for the weekend.
Overnight accommodation provision is available on site at The Bunkhouse for £20p/p for the first 12 Women takers. The sleeping arrangements here are simple and communal but they are brand new and very clean. Downstairs, there are two showers, toilets, a well-equipped kitchen and a dining area with indoor and outdoor tables where you can cook and relax. You will need to bring pillows and bedding.
Please email Ruth [Ruth@element-active.co.uk if you would like to book a bed here]
Camping is also possible.
Other local accommodation: If you prefer to book somewhere else to stay overnight in the area, there are many lovely places very close by at a range of prices. Here are some suggestions for starters:
- Rona has the immaculate ‘Quarry Man’s Cottage’ at Bwlch with a double room for one night: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/8407141
- Hilary Davies has both a lovely double room with separate entrance in Bwlch: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/11617748 and a two bedroom holiday let: http://www.glanpant.com
- Julia Hindley has a wonderful choice of B&B rooms and cottages in Llangottock: www.theneuadd.com or http://www.theneuaddbandb.com
- Emma at The Star Bunkhouse (http://www.starbunkhouse.com) has brilliant budget accommodation in Bwlch for one night stays.
- Linda has a great B&B near Crickhowell: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/4327898
- Alex Yorke has Black Mountains Hideaway close to Llwyn Celyn (double & twin room) – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/921342
- Helen Knifton has a 2-person tiny cottage the Black Mountains Bolthole very close to Llewyn Celyn: https://www.sugarandloaf.com/cottages/black-mountains-bolthole
- There’s Airbnb if you type in Forest Coal Pit or Crickhowell orAbergavenny area offering a very good range of one and two night places to stay; or for hotels and local B&B’s the Crickhowell Tourist Information Centre has a good list: http://www.visitcrickhowell.co.uk/where-to-stay/
- And if you’d like to go ‘top end’ there’s the wonderful Gliffaes Hotel: https://www.gliffaeshotel.com or the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny: https://www.angelabergavenny.com
- [Please note – we have reserved the bunkhouse solely for women to encourage women who might be coming on their own to have somewhere easy to stay. It’s not suitable for mixed accommodation.]
And, of course, if you’re close enough to home you can return overnight.
Cost of the weekend:
A fresh and healthy lunch on both days is included as are all drinks and snacks during the day.
Element, as ever, puts its emphasis on delivering a quality weekend.
“You create a very special atmosphere” Steph Buckle
“It was brilliant once again. We have so many lovely memories. Thanks as ever for your attention to detail.” Sophia Christie