Plas Tan y Bwlch

Public Courses, Plas Tan y Bwlch

Plas Tan y Bwlch

Public Courses - Learning Through Leisure

We are pleased to be able to offer you new and exciting courses this year led by new local experts as well as a wide range of other popular courses led by our regular team of enthusiastic tutors who have a wealth of experience and knowledge on different subjects between them.

Our courses are open to everyone, and no background knowledge is required in most cases only an interest in the subject and a willingness to learn.

Below is a list of links to all of our courses, and are categorised in groups according to subject. They are:

« Walking
« Craft
« History and Archaeology
« Wildlife
« Painting and Illustration
« Photography
« Special Interest

Walking

Coastal Walks (© SNPA)

Snowdonia Coastal Walks

2 April to 6 April 2018

Journey along Snowdonia’s scenic and historic coastline and nearby hills whilst walking part of the Wales Coastal Path during the spring transition. Appreciate the wildlife, dramatic views and stories of smugglers, wrecks and much more from the Dyfi estuary to the Harlech area.

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Trwyeryn (© SNPA)

Rambling for Welsh Learners

27 July to 29 July 2018

An opportunity to learn something about the history of the area and some of the folklore while practicing your Welsh. On your walks, learn more about words, their meaning and how to use them.

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Through The Keyhole (© SNPA)

Through the Keyhole

12 October to 14 October 2018

Who lived there? How old is that house? Why is it here? Just some of the questions that we hope to answer whilst walking and listening to the history and folklore of some of the old houses in the area.

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New Year Walking (© SNPA)

New Year Walking

10 January to 14 January 2019

Discover the heritage of the National Park through a series of walks to appreciate the unique qualities of its landscapes and find out more about the natural environment and history of the area.

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Craft

Spinning Wheel (© SNPA)

Spinning Retreat – Woollen and Worsted. NEW

9 February to 11 February 2018

Woollen and Worsted techniques form the basis of so many yarns. Understanding the difference between them will expand your skill set. During the weekend there will an opportunity to use the specialised equipment needed for each technique such as wool combs, hackles and hand cards. Once your fibres are prepped you'll be ready to try a long draw or a measured short forward draw.

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Spinners Retreat

Spinning - Felt a Spindle Bag. NEW

23 March to 25 March 2018

Come and join us in making a felted spindle bag. Using the wet felt technique we'll show you how to make a unique project bag for your favourite spindle. Once the bag has been constructed surface decoration can be used to enhance your design. You will be spinning your own embroidery yarns and using them with basic embroidery stitches.

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Embroidery

Embroiderer’s Guild

6 April to 8 April 2018

A week-end of embroidering.

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Spinners Retreat

Supported Spindling for Beginners

1 June to 3 June 2018

This weekend will cover all the techniques you need to get you spinning on a supported spindle. You will also have the chance to test out which spindle and dish works best for you. All spindles and fibre will be provided. There will be a £5 charge for fibres. Spinning experience beneficial but beginners are welcome.

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Rag Rug

Stash Busting Combo Spin

20 July to 22 July 2018

Are you guilty of buying those enticing colourful 100g plaits of fibre? Are you fed up trying to find projects that use only 100g of finished yarn? Bring 500g - 1kilo of fibre with you and learn how to combine them into enough fibre for a larger project - maybe a jumper or blanket? Some spinning experience is necessary.

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Spinners Retreat

Drop Spindle Spinning for Beginners

3 August to 5 August 2018

From getting started right through to finishing your yarn using top whorls and wool roving you will learn the ancient art of spindle spinning. Suitable for beginners with no experience and spinners wanting a more portable form of spinning. Teaching spindles

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Cross Stitch

Cross Stitch Workshop

13 August to 17 August 2018

An opportunity to design and stitch your own crossstitch in inspirational surroundings. Although there is an emphasis on design and originality, you are welcome to bring along projects that you enjoy which are not necessarily original. Visits to skilled needlecraft enthusiasts in their own surroundings also included.

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Woven Basket

Textile Basketry- Woven Forms

19 October to 21 October 2018

This is an opportunity to explore and experiment with the technique of twining, with the aim of creating a range of woven forms from small baskets, to pods and pockets. Working with a range of natural and man-made materials, there will be an opportunity to learn the technique and experiment with colours, patterns and textures. Suitable for anyone with an interest in textiles or basketry, beginners and more experienced and returning students are most welcome.

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Embroidery

Return of the Craft Weekend

2 November to 4 November 2018

Brush up or learn a new crafting skill just in time for Christmas.

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Wool (© SNPA)

Sock Knitting For Beginners

9 November to 11 November 2018

If you have always wanted to tackle ‘knitting in the round’ then this weekend is for you. From casting on to binding off, I will lead you through the techniques needed for creating your very own handcrafted socks. If you know how to knit and purl, you can knit socks. The mysteries of double pointed needles, ‘turning a heel’ and Kitchener stitch will all be revealed. Yarn and needles will be provided at an extra cost.

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Spinners Retreat

Drop Spindle Spinning for Beginners

8 February to 10 February 2019

Learn the art of spindle spinning and different spinning techniques. Suitable for beginners and spinners wanting a more portable form of spinning. Teaching spindles can be provided and purchased. £5 charge for fibres.

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Wool (© SNPA)

Sock Knitting For Beginners

22 March to 24 March 2019

If you have always wanted to tackle ‘knitting in the round’ then this weekend is for you. From casting on to binding off, I will lead you through the techniques needed for creating your very own handcrafted socks. If you know how to knit and purl, you can knit socks. The mysteries of double pointed needles, ‘turning a heel’ and Kitchener stitch will all be revealed. Yarn and needles will be provided at an extra cost.

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History and Archaeology

Dinas Emrys (© SNPA)

Folklore (course taught through the medium of Welsh)

26 January to 28 January 2018

Names early please to ensure a place on this highly popular convention run jointly with Cymdeithas Llafar Gwlad.

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Snowdonia Slate Quarry

Slate: ‘The Good, The Bad and the Inbetweens’.

18 February to 23 February 2018

The course intends to demonstrate that there is no typical slate quarry and that business success is not often reflected in the industrial remains.

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Cantre'r Gwaelod (© SNPA)

Tales of the Mabinogion

16 March to 18 March 2018

Wales’ Tales of the Mabinogion feature prominently among the most important mythologies of ancient Europe. They are action-packed stories of Celtic gods and heroes with many of the named locations in some of these tales occurring in and around central and northern Gwynedd. During the weekend we will explore the background to the tales and visit the sites.

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Slates to the Sea (© SNPA)

Slates to the Sea

25 May to 27 May 2018

A short walking course tracing the route taken by the slate quarried in Blaenau Ffestiniog to the port in Porthmadog. Along the route, participants will learn about some of the trials and tribulations of transporting slate before the introduction of the Ffestiniog Railway.

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Gloddfa Ganol, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Practical Industrial Archaeology

27 May to 3 June 2018

This year we are continuing our investigations and recording of the quarries to the west of Llanberis, sites giving glorious views and so offering the opportunity for new participants to explore the old industry of this wonderful region. New members are welcome.

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Maritime (© SNPA)

Maritime

8 June to 10 June 2018

A look at the Maritime history around Porthmadog and the connection to the slate industry. For a hundred years, Porthmadog was a busy harbour, exporting slate and importing timber, flour, coal and household goods. Come to examine its unique history, and its links with Hamburg and Szczecin.

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About Welsh (© SNPA)

About Welsh

15 June to 17 June 2018

Are you looking for a gateway into Welsh language, literature and song from earliest times to the present day? Come to explore some quirks of Welsh language and literature in a fun and accessible way. It is suitable for people with no previous knowledge of Welsh, but also gives new insights to Welsh speakers of all levels.

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Ffestiniog Railway

Heritage Railways

5 August to 11 August 2018

Spend a week exploring the preserved railways of North and Mid Wales. Come to have a behind-the-scenes look at workshops and look at current and proposed developments of the railways, which are located in spectacular scenery. Illustrative evening talks on railway topics will also be held.

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Snowdonia Slate Quarry

A Glimpse at the Slate Industry

24 August to 26 August 2018

A short introduction to the slate industry in north Wales. The globally significant industry shaped the landscape of Snowdonia and roofed much of the modern world; it is now a candidate for World Heritage status. This is your chance to learn more about the technology and social history of this fascinating industry.

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Pont Scethin (© SNPA)

Drovers & Drovers Roads

12 September to 16 September 2018

We shall follow some of the old upland drove roads of Eryri, and with the aid of historical records and many anecdotes which have survived as family traditions, recreate a picture of the drover’s life.

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About Welsh (© SNPA)

About Welsh

14 September to 16 September 2018

Are you looking for a gateway into Welsh language, literature and song from earliest times to the present day? Come to learn about the Welsh language and literature in a fun and accessible way. Suitable for people with no previous knowledge of Welsh, but also gives new insights to Welsh speakers of all levels.

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Early Railways (© SNPA)

Early Railways 2

28 September to 30 September 2018

A look at some of the first railways in North Wales. Join us for another look at the fascinating history of some of the earliest railways in Snowdonia and elsewhere in Wales, before the coming of the steam locomotive.

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Penrhyn Castle circa 1880

Snowdonia and the Empire

9 November to 11 November 2018

A look at how British imperial expansion shaped the landscape of Snowdonia and brought money to north Wales. Come to examine the dark legacy of British imperial expansion, as it is evident locally.

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Dinas Emrys (© SNPA)

Folklore (through the medium of Welsh)

8 February to 10 February 2019

Names early please to ensure a place on this highly popular convention run jointly with Cymdeithas Llafar Gwlad.

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Snowdonia Slate Quarry

Slate: Yet More Diversity

17 February to 22 February 2018

Together with visits to familiar slate quarries, the course will also call on non-familiar stone quarries and metal mines.

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Cantre'r Gwaelod (© SNPA)

Tales of the Mabinogion

15 March to 17 March 2019

Wales’ Tales of the Mabinogion feature prominently among the most important mythologies of ancient Europe. They are actionpacked stories of Celtic gods and heroes with many of the named locations in some of these tales occurring in and around central and northern Gwynedd. Come to explore the background to the tales and visit the sites.

« more details

Wildlife

Northern Lapwing (© Wikimedia)

Winter Birds

19 February to 23 February 2018

By now the winter bird population will still be at its maximum. From Plas Tan y Bwlch we have easy access to several good estuaries, other coastal habitats and inland lakes, all set against the impressive backdrop of the mountains of Eryri. We can certainly find a good selection of winter birds as well as chough and birds of prey – diversity being the name of the game!

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Spring in Plas Tan y Bwlch (© SNPA)

Springtime in the Gardens of Snowdonia and North Wales

14 May to 18 May 2018

A fascinating springtime course on the gardens of Snowdonia. Dependent on season, flowering and weather conditions, the group will visit a selection of the following gardens: Aber Artro, Bodnant, Crug Farm Plants, Nanhoron, Penrhyn Castle, Plas Brondanw, Plas Cadnant, Plas Newydd, Plas Tan y Bwlch, Plas Yn Rhiw and Portmeirion.

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Butterfly (© British Wildlife)

Butterflies and Moths

23 July to 27 July 2018

Learn more about Lepidoptera in Snowdonia through site visits and illustrated talks. Learn more about the habitats of the Silver Studded Blue, Grayling and Dark Green Fritillary, or moths such as the Ashworth’s Rustic and Weaver’s Wave together with information on the National Scarce Species.

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Fly fishing (© Pixabay)

Fly Fishing

19 August to 24 August 2018

Join this amazing and wonderful fishing experience in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. Visit some of the most beautiful places, and learn about all aspects of fly fishing from small still waters, large reservoirs and river fishing for wild brown trout and grayling. Tutors are none other than World Fly Casting Champion Hywel Morgan and Welsh Commonwealth Team member, Trevor Jones.

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Woods & Water (© SNPA)

A Closer Look at Trees

21 September to 23 September 2018

This is an informative, entertaining and enjoyable introduction into the world of trees. Aimed at nonprofessionals it will cover native trees, evergreens, deciduous trees, ornamental garden trees and conifers.

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Autumn in Plas Tan y Bwlch (© SNPA)

Autumn in the Gardens of Snowdonia and North Wales

22 October to 26 October 2018

An opportunity to visit some of the finest gardens in Snowdonia and north Wales. In each garden, you will learn about the history, design and plant collections, as well as experiencing autumn colours at their best. Gardens will include Plas Brondanw, Portmeirion, Bodnant, Penrhyn Castle, Plas Cadnant, Plas Newydd and Plas Tan y Bwlch.

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Northern Lapwing (© Wikimedia)

Winter Birds

18 February to 22 February 2018

By now, the winter bird population will still be at its maximum. From Plas Tan y Bwlch we have easy access to several good estuaries, other coastal habitats and inland lakes, all set against the impressive backdrop of the mountains of Eryri.

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Painting and Illustration

Exploring Still life. NEW

17 November to 20 November 2017

The aim of this course is to portray a variety of still life groups using a variety of mediums. Watercolour, Acrylic, Mixed Media and collage are all areas that can be explored. The emphasis will be on drawing skills, composition, tonal values and colour mixing.

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Moel Siabod

Spring Painting Experience!

19 March to 23 March 2018

A painting course/workshop which will enable you to relax and enjoy five days exploring a variety of subjects and painting media.

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Mixed Media

Painting for Beginners and Improvers Weekend. NEW

23 March to 25 March 2018

A short practical and enjoyable course with one-to-one tuition and the opportunity to begin to paint with confidence and style in whatever media you wish to use.

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Ellaphie Ward-Hilhorst

The Society of Botanical Artists Residential Course

6 May to 11 May 2018

In association with the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma Course, tutors Billy Showell SBA, will demonstrate working on vellum and Simon Williams SBA will be using watercolour or gouache techniques on white watercolour paper or coloured support. Available to non SBA Distance Learning students.

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Selwyn Jones

Picture Making for Beginners

25 May to 28 May 2018

For those who prefer a varied diet of going to different places, drawing, sketching or painting and with a diverse and imaginative approach to instruction and practice. Join us on daily excursions which can bring variety and opportunities to use skills to differing surroundings. The landscape, rich in inspiration and ideas, ranging from lakes to estuaries, from mountains to quarries and the magnificent grounds of Plas Tan Y Bwlch itself will feature as components of the course.

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'Study of willows' by Thomas Gainsborough

Buildings and Gardens in Pen and Wash

8 June to 10 June 2018

Come to learn more about drawing skills, perspective, tonal values and colour theory and weather permitting we will be taking our inspiration in the beautiful grounds of Plays Tan Y Bwlch. Demonstration and one to one tuition will be ongoing.

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Botanical Art in Coloured Pencil: Summer in Full Bloom

29 June to 1 July 2018

Select fruits, flowers or vegetables to portray in a mixed or single study. Try a variety of coloured pencil types, or different papers and find out how to create botanically accurate studies. Through informal demonstrations and individual tuition, you can work at your own pace. Suitable for beginners and those with more experience.

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'Study of willows' by Thomas Gainsborough

Pen & Ink and Pen & Wash Weekend

20 July to 22 July 2018

Work with brush, ink & water wash, water colour and water colour pencils in different colours. We will develop lines using pressure and release to vary the thickness, shading with dots, hatching or cross-hatching together with exploring the use of diluted ink as a shading material.

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Jan Bruegel, Bouquet (1599)

Botanical Painting

22 July to 27 July 2018

Come to learn more about advanced techniques of botanical painting including drawing observations, pattern understanding, composition, watercolour and gouache painting techniques.

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Franz Marc, 'Deer in Woods'

Challenging Reality – Expressive Imaginative Painting

29 July to 3 August 2018

This is an opportunity to continue discovering new ways to develop painting skills and subject awareness and move your work to the next level. We aim to establish impact from the first brush stroke and provide that extra creative nudge allowing you to depart confident and anxious to continue with new genre. Early booking is advised.

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Selwyn Jones

Painting in Snowdonia

27 August to 31 August 2018

A course of painting and drawing out of doors in the varied Snowdonia landscape, with the accent on its weather – from sunny calm to cloudfilled drama. A chance for you to find an artistic response to nature’s changing moods in the hills, on the coast, along the estuary and river banks. Outdoor studies will serve as inspiration for studio compositions and experiments. 28

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Creating Quick Powerful Paintings and Drawings with rollers and other non-art implements

31 August to 3 September 2018

Make wonderful drawings and paintings using small rollers and scrapers, and discover an ideal way to express ideas quickly and loosely. The work produced has an immediacy and freshness about it, it demands little in terms of skill.

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Ellaphie Ward-Hilhorst

The Society of Botanical Artists Residential Course

16 September to 21 September 2018

In association with the SBA Distance Learning Diploma Course, this is a great opportunity to learn more about Watercolour or Gouache. During the week there will be evening talks by guests speakers and a visit to a botanical garden will be organised. Available to non-SBA Distance Learning students.

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Botanical Art in Coloured Pencil

Botanical Art in Coloured Pencil - Nature in October

21 September to 23 September 2018

Autumn is a glorious time to record nature either as a mixed composition or as an individual study. Try a variety of coloured pencil types and papers and find out how to create botanically accurate studies. Through informal demonstrations and individual tuition, you can work at your own pace. Suitable for beginners and those with more experience.

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Jane Frank

Exploring with Mixed Media and Collage

5 October to 8 October 2018

Autumn is a glorious time to record nature either as a mixed composition or as an individual study. Try a variety of coloured pencil types and papers and find out how to create botanically accurate studies. Through informal demonstrations and individual tuition, you can work at your own pace. Suitable for beginners and those with more experience.

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Mixed Media

Mixed Media Weekend

12 October to 14 October 2018

There will be plenty of colourful visual excitement again this Autumn; trees will be giving their annual display. Prepare to experiment and search out combining media such as Pen & Wash, Acrylic and Oil Pastel and watercolour. Prepare to experiment as much as you like, creating visual excitement as you go, working in beautiful surroundings and amongst friendly people.

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Moel Siabod

Mountains, Lakes, Rivers and Waterfalls in Watercolour

16 November to 18 November 2018

Using sketches and photographs inspired by the beautiful Snowdonia landcapes, you will learn how to create delicate, atmospheric or dramatic landscape paintings. Learn also about composition, aerial perspective, tone and colour theory and practical paint application. Demonstration and one to one tuition will be ongoing.

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Ellaphie Ward-Hilhorst

Spring Painting Experience!

15 March to 19 March 2019

Come to relax and enjoy five days exploring a variety of subjects and painting media. Composition, planning your work, drawing and painting skills, tone colour theory are all areas that are covered. This is a great opportunity to develop and practice your skills, experiment and explore new ideas and medium.

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Photography

Creative Landscape Photography (© SNPA)

Creative Landscape Photography using Digital & Film

16 March to 18 March 2018

Bring your camera and come and explore the magnificent Snowdonia landscape, with the early greens and clear light of spring. We will be visiting industrial ruins, waterfalls, ancient woodlands, rivers, valleys or sea coast – weather permitting. This course is suitable for all abilities.

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Landscape Photography (© Philip Evans)

Landscape Photography

16 April to 20 April 2018

Many things make up the landscape. In north Wales, a photographer finds subjects everywhere. As spring brightens the colours and days get longer, now is a good time to expand or consolidate your photographic knowledge. Join us on a visual feast of Eryri our wonderful National Park.Suitable for all ability levels.

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Wildlife (© SNPA)

Wildlife Photography Weekend

11 May to 13 May 2018

A beginner’s course in wildlife photography. You will learn how to get the best out of your camera, tips and tricks for nature photography and hear from wildlife experts too. A good quality hybrid style camera is recommended as a minimum to get the best from the course.

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Creative Landscape Photography (© SNPA)

Creative Landscape Photography

19 October to 21 October 2018

Bring your camera and explore the magnificent and varied landscape of North Wales where we will visit rivers, coasts, mountains and gorges. Weather-permitting we will also visit the ruined slate quarries nearby and possibly see a steam train! Suitable for all abilities.

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Woods & Water (© SNPA)

Woods and Water

22 October to 26 October 2018

Late autumn light is well known for its great beauty and luminosity and here is an opportunity to examine how trees and streams interact with that light. We shall examine both artistic and technical principles of photographic practice involved with our subjects. Come and enjoy a few days in a wonderful scenic area with like-minded folk enjoying a wonderful pastime. Suitable for all.

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Creative Landscape Photography (© SNPA)

Creative Landscape Photography

15 March to 17 March 2019

Bring your camera, come, and explore the magnificent Snowdonia landscape, with the early greens and clear light of spring. We will be visiting industrial ruins, waterfalls, ancient woodlands, rivers, valleys or seacoast – weather permitting. The course is suitable for all abilities.

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Special Interest

Chamber Music (© Pixabay)

Chamber Music

16 February to 18 February 2018

For further information and booking forms, please contact the organiser Dr Julia Johnson on 01743 362416 or juliajohnson99@yahoo.co.uk

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Creative Writing (© Pexels)

Creative writing: A Sense of Space. NEW

16 March to 18 March 2018

The course is led by an author and artist who is also an experienced teacher.

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Chamber Music (© Pixabay)

Chamber Music

4 May to 6 May 2018

Enjoy the opportunity for both practice and teaching sessions in the relaxed atmosphere of the Plas. For further information and to book, contact organiser Dr Julia Johnson.

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Lounge (© Kristina Banholzer)

Friends Weekend

28 September to 30 September 2018

The aim of Friends of Tan y Bwlch is to support this Centre and to help promote appreciation of the Snowdonia National Park.

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Chamber Music (© Pixabay)

Chamber Music

26 October to 28 October 2018

Following three highly successful string orchestra courses, this fourth musical weekend will again be conducted and tutored by Louise Latham from Manchester. String players from all sections are welcome and if you play double bass, especially so!! A list of the works selected for this weekend will be sent to all players a month before the course. For further information and booking forms, please contact the organiser, Dr Julia Johnson.

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Chamber Music (© Pixabay)

Chamber Music

15 February to 17 February 2019

Enjoy the opportunity for both practice and teaching sessions in the relaxed atmosphere of the Plas. Tuition is given by highly experienced string musicians. For further information and to book, contact organiser Dr Julia Johnson

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We are thankful for the continued support of our customers, new and old over the last few years and hope that we can welcome you on one of the courses included on this site.

Plas Tan y Bwlch Team

Most courses, except those obviously held indoors, involve walking at various levels of strenuousness. Our experienced course leaders can assess the ability of participants and pitch the activity accordingly, taking into account the vagaries of the weather and other conditions. The individual detailed course programme indicates the level of fitness required.

Our Courses

The fee for your course covers accommodation, all meals from dinner on the day of arrival to lunch on the day of departure, tuition and transport on field visits. A few courses may incur additional charges for admissions and extra travel; this will be clearly indicated on the individual course programme.

Bookings

Bookings can be made online or by completing the official booking form and sending it with a non-returnable deposit of £50 (cheques to be made payable to Snowdonia National Park Authority). You will receive acknowledgement of your booking and a programme for the course. The balance of the course fee becomes due six weeks before the start of the course.

Non Residents

Non Residents are welcome to join any course for whole or part days if it is not full. The day fee is £45 plus optional meals - lunch £15.50, packed lunch £7.15 and dinner £18.50.

Cancellation Conditions

In the event of cancellation the following charges will be applied.

  • Cancelling more than 6 weeks before the course - deposit only
  • Cancelling between 6 and 4 weeks before the course - 60% of the course fees
  • Cancelling less than 4 weeks before the course - 80% of the course fees
  • Non-arrival or curtailment - full fees

We recommend that you take out your own holiday cancellation insurance. If it becomes necessary for us to cancel the course you will be informed in good time and a full refund of fees and deposit will be made. Recreational courses include V.A.T. at the standard rate.

Discounts

Return visit - this is available on your second and subsequent residential attendance on a public course.

Introducing a friend - to qualify, introduce a friend as a first time attendee to any residential course chosen from this programme. Send your friend’s booking form with your own. To claim either discount tick the appropriate box on your booking form.

The following discounts are available:

  • £20.00 off courses up to 3 days
  • £50.00 off courses of 4 days or more