Adventure with a difference: participate in a weekend that ignites your curiosity, opens new perspectives and has unexpected challenges.
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. 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 as an inspiring base to explore the physical and cultural landscape of this ancient farmstead through a combination of creativity, adventure and curiosity.
If you’re feeling that you’d like a fresh alternative for weekends away, we provide an experience that will be developmental, unusual and interesting. The weekend will be rooted in nature and will cover exploration of landscape in its widest sense utilising the outdoors, photography and literature.
You should leave stimulated, enthused and enriched and we hope ‘buzzing from it all’!
The venue of Llewn Celyn is in itself very inspirational and May is the most wonderful time of year with the bluebells flowering, the hawthorn blossoming and long days. We use indoor and outdoor sessions to explore this beautiful landscape.
The two days will consist of a mix of activities and there will be space around events for you to relax, chat, be with friends or explore on your own.
We will cover:
- Exploring A Sense Of Place
- A Documenting Of Place
- Walking The Bluebells: 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 – pushing outwards physically and mentally, exploring and curiously reaching into new enquiries in a stunning location.
You choose the physical level that you work at and we evolve our activities specifically with this in mind. You do not need any specific level of fitness to participate in this weekend. Please note – any form of camera is fine including a phone.
Our Workspace: The Threshing Barn is a wonderful inspiring airy space. It’s filled with art, light and architectural interest. It provides the perfect backdrop for this weekend.
Ruth is Director of Element. She is a former international level mountain runner with a literature background and a former career in international education. She feels strongly about depth, breadth and exploration and a self-aware appreciation of the value of the outdoor world. This sits at the heart of what her courses offer via active days and inspiring wilder ways. She has travelled widely, worked abroad, speaks Italian and keeps bees. As she likes to say “The journey continues…”
Mikaela is passionate about outdoor education, visual communication and storytelling. A highly qualified outdoor instructor en-route to one of the ultimate outdoor accolades the IML (International Mountain Leader Award) she is no stranger to exploration. 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. 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!
Where Does It Happen?
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 12th Oct
We will finish around 4.30 pm on Sunday 13th Oct
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 kitchen and a dining area with indoor and outdoor tables where you can cook and relax. You will need to bring pillows and bedding. You can book this on the Element site when you book the weekend.
Camping is also possible.
And, of course, if you’re close enough to home you can return overnight.
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: 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: www.theneuadd.com or www.theneuaddbandb.com
- The Star Bunkhouse (http://www.starbunkhouse.com) has great budget accommodation a 20-minute drive from us 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 by (double & twin room) – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/921342
- Helen Knifton has a 2-person tiny cottage the Black Mountains Bolthole: 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 Angel Hotel in Abergavenny: https://www.angelabergavenny.com
Cost of the weekend:
Lunch on both days is included as are all drinks during the day.
Element, as ever, puts its emphasis on delivering a quality weekend.
“You create a very special atmosphere” Steph Buckle
“I just wanted to thank you again for such an amazing weekend – loved everything about it. I’ve come back revitalized and in a much better frame of mind. We’ve all been buzzing on the group chat and can’t stop saying how much we’ve enjoyed ourselves.” Nicola Christian
“It was brilliant once again. We have so many lovely memories. Thanks as ever for your attention to detail.” Sophia Christie