Spring News 2018

We have run two guitar retreats since my last post, both in Cornwall – Our Blues weekend in Bude with Eddie Martin was well attended and well received, a masterclass in 12 bars, 3 chords and the truth!  Last week myself, fellow tutor and ‘left hand man’ Paul Nicholas were back in the Scilly Isles on beautiful Tresco Island with a whole bunch of lovely people. The New Inn is a delightful venue and perfect for our needs.  The simple unspoilt beauty of the island, it’s stunning botanical gardens and luxury spa make it a special place for partners too. Thankfully we just managed to avoid the recent crazy weather and made it there and back without any major issues, which is amazing when you consider we were flying out to an island in the Atlantic in tiny planes! There was a high standard of playing and singing amongst the guests which made the evenings particularly enjoyable and with the addition of the new Guitar Retreats Songbook on hand we had an absolute blast!  We are looking forward to more dates there next year.
The Songbook
“With a little help from my friends” I have created a songbook containing 50 well known songs with simple chord progressions. It is a really useful resource in the evening sessions, it means that everyone can join in playing a few songs together no matter what their level. What’s more if you come on a retreat this year you get to keep one for free!
Promo Video Clip
While we were on Tresco one of our lovely guests offered to create a short promo video with me talking about the Guitar Retreats experience.  Many thanks to Andrea (who travelled all the way from Germany with her friend Simone) for filming and editing this video. If you have not yet been on a retreat I hope it gives you an insight into what we provide. You can view it here on our YouTube site, please like and share it: What happens on a Guitar Retreat?
New Retreats
We have added two more events to the calendar. Freestyle Fun at Glewstone Court, Ross-On-Wye in November and our second Guitar Getaway to the Algarve next January.
Thats all the news for this month. Don’t delay book your place today!
Happy Easter 🙂

Portugal – the review, plus more new retreats for 2018

Hello folks, we are back in Blighty after a wonderful time on our first retreat of 2018 in the sunsoaked Algarve! I have a strong feeling this event will become a regular feature in our yearly calendar! A post Christmas winter holiday with guitars, fun and sunshine, what’s not to like? We had a fantastic trip and played and sang our hearts out including a gig at a local bar and even a few impromptu sets in our hotel to an enthusiastic crowd of new fans! Well done and thank you to everyone who came out to join us and made it such a special trip.

Back in Cornwall we have our next event coming up at the end of Feb 24th-26th with the one and only UK blues legend ‘Eddie Martin’ at the helm, revealing his “Secrets of the Blues” on our weekend retreat at An Mor Hotel.
Tresco Island
March – We return to the beautiful Scilly Isles for more guitar immersion and island exploration, plus evening jamming and open mic sessions! The material covered by myself and fellow tutor Paul Nicholas will be an eclectic mix of songs and styles both old and new.
In April – We welcome back the amazing singer songwriter Alex Roberts with his “Fingerstyle and Open Tunings Weekend”. Not to be missed for those of you interested in expanding your knowledge and skills in this wide ranging genre. Alex will be teaching techniques used by the likes of Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, John Martyn, Nick Drake et all.
June – We travel to France once again back at the magical La Perdrix for another “Freestyle fun in France” week of teaching, playing, singing and performing. This event has proved to be extremely popular and is always oversubscribed.
September – We are also at La Perdrix for our “Guitar and Songwriting week  for all you budding songsmiths out there . Come and write your first song or finish that difficult second album! No experience necessary, just bring the desire and a notebook and we will help you with the rest of the process.
October – “The Rockstar Retreat”–  Spain. Our latest week long international adventure of “guitar fun in the sun” with a recording studio session thrown in. I’m really happy to say this is selling out like hot tamales! Visit our website for all the details of this amazing music holiday.
Well, that’s more than enough information to digest for this month I think! I hope to see you on retreat soon.
Play on 🙂

Happy New Guitar Year! 2018



Hello 2018! 


I love the start of a new year and the possibilities that lie ahead, it is a time to re-invent yourself if only for a few weeks until old habits kick back in! A time to renew your commitment to a project or a cause or practise, such as learning to play the guitar better!  With that in mind I have set myself a few challenges – 1) learn one new song every week, 2) attempt to master the use of a thumpick and 3) learn to perfect a classic rock solo!!………though I havent decided which one yet I can tell you it won’t be Stairway To Heaven! 


I am also re-reading a great book, ‘Zen Guitar’ by Philip Toshio Sudo that I discovered years ago and then gave away to another guitarist only to have it given to me as a present recently by a retreat regular (thanks again Brian 🙂 . It’s not a standard guitar teaching book in any way; there are no chord charts, scales or exercises. Instead it delves into the many different mental states we take on when playing and practising. It’s fascinating to read how famous guitarists think differently about the instrument and the what, why and when behind their playing style. It provides a fresh look at what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. I highly recommend getting hold of a copy.


Of course there is no better way to get advice, inspiration and improve your playing than by attending a Guitar Retreat!  So why not make it a new years resoloution to come along on one or two this year? Just making a booking will give you a push to practise more often!  Seriously though if you are thinking of coming on an event this year don’t leave it too late to put a deposit on a place, we have limited spaces and they are already filling fast for 2018. All of our events were over subscribed last year and there were a few disappointed people. To those of you who missed out all I can say is don’t let that put you off – Carpe Diem!


First up for 2018 we are really excited to be travelling to Portugal in two weeks time to start the year as we mean to continue with some fun in the sun with our guitars. Guitar Getaway In The Algarve  Feeling spontaneous? Its not too late to join us!


We will report back on all the shennanagins next month and we look forward to meeting up with many old and new faces this year. Until then cheerio and a Very Happy New Guitar Year!


My New Guitar!

On my way to France for the 1st of our 3 week long retreats there this year. I’m taking this very cool and unique travel guitar. Massive thanks to Felix Byrne at Acoustic Guitar Innovation. His amazing handcrafted guitars not only sound great but are all designed to take on planes as hand luggage – perfect for your next guitar retreat abroad!

Guitar Retreats – Spring 2017 Newsletter

R.I.P Chuck Berry. A true guitar legend who influenced almost everybody who picked up an electric guitar in the 50s and 60s right up to the present day. A larger than life character, he left us some great guitar riffs and songs that will last forever. Chuck Berry Retreat anybody!?

We have just returned from our very first Tresco Island Guitar Retreat and what a week it was! Amazing location, great people, fantastic guitar playing, jamming and teaching. A whole lot of fun was had by all. We are really looking forward to returning there in October which has sold out already – we must be doing something right! However, if you missed out, there will be another one in March 2018. Have a look at what we got up to on our facebook page –

Guitar Retreats Facebook

The Tresco Troubadours!
We are very much looking forward to our next Acoustic Fingerstyle Weekend Retreat at Glewstone Court, Ross-on-Wye in a couple of weeks’ time. Again, sold out but we have another weekend booked there in November. Our Americana Guitar Retreat.  Over that weekend we will learn many classic songs that define the term Americana by artists who have influenced so much popular music.We will study the guitar styles that make up this eclectic genre stretching back over 60 years.  From Hank Williams to Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, from The Eagles, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to The Doobie Brothers, Springsteen, Tom Petty and R.E.M. We even have a little ‘sweet soul music’ lined up to get you in the groove!


We do have places available on our second Guitar and Songwriting Retreat in France. This is a week long residential retreat in a magical setting in The Dordogne, France, practicing the art and craft of songwriting for the guitarist. Over the week you will be taught and guided to complete your own compositions in the company of other budding songwriters. There will be heaps of guitar time too including lessons on creating interesting chord progressions and understanding  the theory behind them. La Perdrix is a haven of creativity for all kinds of art and music and the perfect place to bring out your inner songwriter! Please have a look at our website for more information.

We are currently looking into running more weekend events at new venues in the U.K. Including one back in Bude, Cornwall for an end of year bash in December. Watch this space.

And finally the BIG NEWS! we mentioned last month …. fancy playing your guitar in the sun?….. in January?!

Well here we go!: GUITAR GETAWAY IN THE ALGARVE available to book NOW!!

Thats all folks, if I dont see you on retreat soon….carry on strumming 🙂


Stuart and the team

Another Fantastic New Venue For 2017

Guitar Retreats are delighted to announce a stunning new venue for 2017 – Glewstone Court Country House Hotel near Ross on Wye in Herefordshire close to the Forest of Dean and situated in An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Wye Valley.

This breathtaking 18th century country house is on on the English Heritage Register and is set in landscaped grounds on the Wales/Herefordshire border. The comfortable lounges are perfect for relaxed teaching, playing and jamming, there’s plenty of private space for one-to-one tuition and in the spring sunshine, the beautiful gardens are an ideal place to practice and relax.

Glewstone has won a number of awards for its friendly family run service and standard of its accommodation. Plus its award-winning restaurant has also won awards for its excellent cuisine. With delightfully appointed bedrooms, and a surrounding countryside dotted with picturesque towns, valleys and mountains, this is also the perfect place to bring a partner, who can simply relax and enjoy the environs whilst you play your heart out! Trip advisor rates it 4.5 and there are many glowing reviews including this recent one: “Simply outstanding hospitality, food and welcome”

We look forward to welcoming you to join us on a Guitar Retreat here in 2017. Places are sure to go fast so don’t delay book today! The first date is set for the 7th of April in time for Spring in the Wye Valley. See the events page for all the details.

Glangrwyney Court – Wales – New Venue and Location

After experiencing our first event at the beautiful Glangrwyney Court Country Estate in April we know we have found the ultimate venue for Guitar Retreats. it is the perfect marriage of idyllic location, 5 star tasteful luxury suites and an ideal workspace, plus our very own pub to play in!. Here is some of the feedback from our guests: “It was an absolutely fantastic weekend – every aspect of it was brilliant. Outstanding tuition from Paul, superb location and food and great company and craik” (David). “The weekend was brilliant hotel, food, atmosphere and teaching all fantastic. Could you reserve me a place on the October weekend!” (Terry).

We look forward to many more events here in the future.