Laurel Swift 

Musician, Composer, Dancer, Project Maker

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Songwriting Retreat

1st - 3rd October, 2021

Street, Somerset

Spend time discovering and honing your songwriting skills!


Laurel Swift invites you to a wonderfully creative weekend nestled in the beautiful landscape of Somerset. An experienced workshop leader and performer, Laurel is currently creating Travelling with Thomas, a brand new folk musical!


Join Laurel for an inspiring weekend of workshops, walks, words and music. Bring pens & paper, instruments, and your heart! Through workshops, small group exercises, and individual work, this weekend will give you tools, inspiration and insight in writing and crafting songs. You may come away with a whole new song, or simply the confidence to start.


Whether you have never written a song or you write regularly, you are very welcome!


Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss whether the course is suitable for you (if it sounds fun, then it probably is!).

Friday - Arrive any time from 5pm. Hot meal 7:30pm (availble all evening) followed by an introduction to the weekend.


Saturday  - An (optional) walk, a day packed with workshops, small group exercises, and individual work. We’ll try out methods that get our senses alert and ready to "spot the diamonds". We'll look at a variety of ways to start songs, to build structure, and to craft, hone and refine. We'll spend some time on creating melodies and explore why rhythm is important.


Saturday Night - As evening draws in there will be dinner, a concert, laughter, maybe a drink or two, definitely some stories and songs.


Sunday  - Another (optional) walk, then dive back in to explore some more tools and tips that hone songwriting craft. This is the magic moment when the tips, techniques and ideas we have been exploring come together seemingly out of nowhere!  


Departure after lunch.  If you’re in no rush to get home, there are plenty of beautiful walks nearby, including Glastonbury Tor.


Opened in 1931, YHA Street is the oldest YHA hostel still in operation today. The charming Swiss-style chalet is surrounded by delightful National Trust land and there are a variety of walks with great views from the hostel.


Accomodation is in dormitaries, in a mix of bunk and single beds, some people will have to share bunks!


There is a car park adjacent to the hostel for those travelling by car.  Castle Cary is the nearest station and some pickups can be arranged / there is a local bus.



(If you would prefer to stay at a local B&B please do! However, please note that the price of the retreat remains at £165 as we can still only accommodate the same number of students in workshops.)


All meals from Friday tea through to Sunday lunch will be provided, plus hot drinks & snacks anytime. We will be cooking as a group, which is an important part of the retreat experience! Everyone will be expected to participate in preparing or washing up one meal. Food will be basic but wholesome and tasty, and we should be able to cater for most allergies, etc. Feel free to discuss any concerns.

£170 for the full weekend,

including all meals and dormitory accommodation

(bunk-beds in single-sex rooms).

There are local B&Bs if you prefer (although we recommend the full immersive experience!)


£120 concessions* 

- please see further information for details of our concessions policy.


£50 deposit** now to reserve your place, with full payment due one month prior to the event.


Use the Paypal link to book your Folk Music Retreat at Street.


If you’d like to avoid charges, you can pay by BACS or cheque, CLICK HERE!


(Please note that Paypal's handling charge is 3.5% which will be displayed as a postage cost.)

* We are offering concessions in order to make this event as accessible as possible. The concession price is intended for people on low income for whatever reason - low pension, student loans, or un/low-waged. Please use your discretion! We don't want to exclude anyone from the retreat, but equally would ask you to pay the full price if you are able to.


** The remainder of the payment must be paid by BAC or by cheque no later than one month before event date. If the payment is late, the deposit and the reserved place will be lost. If you are having any problems with the final payment and would like to discuss please email [email protected]

*** Everything is subject to covid being under control and all restrictions lifted! ***