Songs of the sea

Learn a range of songs connected with the seas and oceans from different cultural traditions across the globe. From Corsica to New Zealand, from Britain to the Americas, all in the beautiful English Lake District.

stormy sea and rocks

"I think we did amazingly well to learn so many songs to the level we did and have such fun doing it! Thank you for your relaxed, good humoured teaching and a great selection of songs." Participant on a 2023 singing weekend

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Friday 5 July 2024 5pm to Sunday 7 July 2024 2pm
Glenthorne Quaker Centre and Guest House
Easedale Road
Grasmere LA22 9QH

Click here for venue accessibility information.

Cost: £260 (en suite twin/double/single) | £240 (standard twin/double/single) | £280 (single occupancy of en suite twin) PER PERSON
if booked and paid for by 5 April 2024, otherwise £20 per person more

NB. There are only five en suite singles, and three standard singles. After they have gone, you will need to book single occupancy of a twin room. Standard rooms are not en suite, but have a shared bathroom.


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Glenthorne Quaker Centre, Grasmere Glenthorne Quaker Centre is a long established guest house and meeting place in Grasmere. It is open to anyone who is seeking a relaxed welcoming atmosphere, comfortable accommodation, and delicious home-cooked meals in stunning surroundings. Located within five minutes walk of the centre of Grasmere village on the road towards Easedale Tarn, Glenthorne is surrounded by nature with easy access to footpaths into the surrounding countryside.

Glenthorne bedroom Glenthorne offers double, twin and single rooms, the majority of which are en-suite; all are simply and comfortably furnished. Recently added are two additional rooms, designed to the highest standard for wheel-chair users. Tea/coffee making facilities are available in all rooms and wi-fi is accessible in most of the building. All bedrooms are situated at ground or first floor level, some in the main house and others in the adjacent Bankside. A comfortable lounge and sun room are available to relax where afternoon tea and cake is served, with tea and coffee facilities available throughout the day.

Glenthorne bedroom Breakfast includes cereals, porridge, fruit, tea, coffee, etc. plus cooked breakfast options. Please note that lunch is in the form of a packed lunch which can be eaten at the centre, or taken on an afternoon walk on the Saturday. Dinner is home-cooked, with many of the ingredients being locally-sourced. Wines, beers and a variety of soft drinks are available to purchase with your evening meal. There are spacious gardens which are ideal for relaxing while enjoying stunning views at all times of the year towards Helm Crag and Silver How. Glenthorne has a large car park adjoining the centre.

Glenthorne Seafaring nations and island states all have songs connected to the sea. The sea is part of everyday life for many living on the coast. It gives rise to myths and stories, strange half-human creatures, sunken cities. The sea often provides livelihoods or is an ever-present danger (rising tides and invaders sailing in). But in all cases, there is a strong awareness of its power to give and to take away.

Glenthorne dining room Songs of the sea are many and varied: work songs (to aid turning the capstan or rowing a large boat); songs of weather and the elements (storms and turbulent seas, becalming); songs of the life in the oceans (songs about seals and whales and shoals of fish and pearls); songs of loss and loneliness (sailors lost at sea, waiting for a lover to return from a long fishing trip or ocean voyage).

Glenthorne sun lounge We will learn a range of songs connected with the seas and oceans from different cultural traditions across the globe, from Corsica to New Zealand, from Britain to the Americas. All songs will be taught by ear in the traditional way. No previous experience is necessary, just a love of singing. This will be a relaxed, informal and fun weekend of group harmony singing. You will be surprised and delighted by the rich and stunning harmonies we will produce in a relatively short time. There will also be opportunities to explore the local area and soak up the summer sun.

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Feedback from 2023 singing weekends:

"This was the first Natural Voice workshop that either of us have been to. We very much appreciated your expert and enthusiastic leadership. The choice of songs from different countries and in different styles was excellent. It was exciting to be surrounded by so many more experienced singers and we learned a lot."

"Many thanks for another joyous weekend of singing. Absolutely wonderful."

"Thank you for a great weekend which I really enjoyed and I must say for the miracle of being able to sing all those songs I did not know at the beginning! I don't sing regularly so it was all a bit daunting but you made it fun."

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