I'm excited to share launch my new project: Ukulele Walks with Matt Stead. For years I've wanted to combine my experience of teaching ukulele with my love of nature to create some special events where participants will not only learn some new ukulele skills, but aid their health and wellbeing through being immersed in picturesque nature and meeting other likeminded people.
I want you to come away from these events filled with positivity and peace.
We've already had our first walk in the Forest of Dean and it was a really special experience - we immersed ourselves in nature, met with new and old friends and learned about creating a beautiful ukulele tone. We even all heard our first cuckoo of the year and made friends with some Greylag geese who wanted to join ion with our music!
Each walk will be located in different are of natural beauty but I will be focussing the first few in the South West and Wales as that's the area I know best.
Why not make a weekend of it and book some overnight accommodation in the area so you can relax and unwind for a few days?
Each walk will be graded in terms of length and difficulty but I will try and keep things gentle and as inclusive as possible. If you're worried about the physical side of things just let me know. I can help advise and offer help on the day carrying things.
Walk Number Two: Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door
-with full uke lesson at West Lulworth Village Hall
Dorset. We'll take the popular and wonderful walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door admiring the beautiful views, dancing butterflies and possibly Peregrine falcons. We'll take our ukes with us and if the weather is nice have a jam in one of the most beautiful locations the UK has to offer. After a rest - why not take a paddle in the turquoise waters and treat yourself to a delicious ice cream? - we'll reconvene at West Lulworth Village Hall where Matt will lead a full 1.5 - 2 hour ukulele workshop.
Starting at Lulworth Cove - a beautiful cove formed 10,000 years ago by the erosion of clays and sandstones, behind the much more resistant Portland Limestone - you'll get to stroll along the beach and see the amazing folded rock formations - a geological wonder. We'll then head up walking the fields next to the chalk cliffs where you'll see beautiful wildflowers and butterflies (Matt will be on hand to ID anything we find). The Lulworth area is home to 4/5ths of all the UK butterfly species. As we gain elevation we'll be able to look back and admire the view of Lulworth Cove and the other way right across the sea to Portland Bill. Once along the top it's a gentle walk. I've seen Peregrines here at this time of year here hunting along the clifftops. After a great view down to Man O'War bay we'll descend down to the iconic Durdle Door itself and have a rest (and a strum!) somewhere very special.
Once we're back from the walk you'll have time to relax at the cover before we head off and reconvene at West Lulworth Village Hall. Here you'll get a full 1.5 - 2 hour ukulele session with Matt, which will be pitched with something for every level of player to learn something new. You'll be able to ask any uke related questions to Matt and create some brilliant music. We'll finish early evening to give you time to travel home safely or stay for a weekend at the seaside.
WALK LENGTH: A total of just over 2 miles - just over a mile to Durdle Door and back again. There is the option for exploring Bindon Hill for anyone wanting to extend the walk.
DIFFICULTY: Medium to easy. Short length but with a relatively steep start and finish. A favourite holiday maker's walk rather than a big hike.
TIME: Walk - around 2-3 hours. Only around half an hour walking each way but we can take plenty of stops and we'll take in Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door either end.
LESSON: Ukulele Dynamics. Matt will lead you through some simple but effective ways to make your playing more dynamic - whether individual playing or as part of a group.
WHEN: Friday June 3rd. Walk, Cove and Durdle Door 11am - 1pm. Ukulele lesson at the village hall 3 - 5pm.
Cost: £30. If you have a partner, family or friend that would enjoy the walk but doesn't play ukulele they do not need to pay and can of course join us for the walk part at no cost.
If you or someone you know would like to come but are not able to pay please let me know. I will be offering limited free places as I strongly believe everyone should be able to access the benefits of this kind of music and wellbeing event.
TICKETS: Tickets available here
WALK: We'll meet at Lulworth Cove car park BH20 5RS at 11am (£5 for 4 hours or £10 all day). Head for the area around the visitor centre/ice cream stall.
There is also limited free parking in the village of West Lulworth if you prefer to park and walk down from there. Church Road is the best bet but does get busy later on.
UKULELE LESSON: We'll reconvene at West Lulworth Village Hall at 3pm. BH20 5SG. You can either keep your car at the cove and walk up (10-15 minute walk) or re-park at the Village Hall.