May 2019

Textile Crafts

Fri 3 – Sun 5 May
£175 (Veranda room), £195 (House room) • Begins 12 noon on the Friday, finishes 4pm on Sunday • Both prices include 2 nights’ accommodation, meals and refreshments and 2 1/2 days tuition • Non-resident price: £150 (includes meals and tuition)
Mary Maguire

A chance to immerse yourself in a tactile world of textile crafts.

Learn the art of needle felting (sculpting using wool and a barbed needle) to make soft toys, pincushions, or small sculptures. We will also use this technique two dimensionally to make a picture, cushion, or bag, embellish clothes or a hat, or to make decorative repairs to holes in jumpers.

You will learn embroidery stitches, which you can use creatively to make a work of art, or up-cycle a garment, or combine with the needlefelting. The warm and friendly atmosphere of a small group will be conducive to creativity!

Towards the end of the weekend we combine some of the techniques, and incorporate beads to make wearable textile jeweller.

No previous experience necessary. Tools provided. £20 charge for materials.

Mary Maguire has been creating and making beautiful things with textiles for over 40 years. She holds an MA from the Royal College of Arts and is a graduate of Goldsmiths College, where she specialised in creative embroidery. Mary is the author of craft books covering a wide range of art and design techniques.

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May Working Weekend

Fri 3 – Sun 5 May
No charge

This is a chance to get to know the farm, turn your hand to old jobs and new, enjoy good company and good food too!

An opportunity to have bright ideas by the compost heap, happy talk in the hen house, and cool chat in the kitchen. Join us to prove that many hands make light work and that today’s stranger is tomorrow’s friend.

Our Working Weekends are run in the beautiful spirit of the WWOOF organisation: we feed and accommodate you, you work, with us.

For more information on WWOOF, see

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Swindon Spring Festival of Literature and The Arts

Mon 6 – Sun 19 May

For a quarter of a century, the Swindon Festival of Literature has made May a high spot on Swindon’s cultural calendar.

Thanks to its terrific track record and fabulous following, the Festival of Literature has now expanded into a Swindon Spring Festival – of literature and the arts.

The spoken and written word will still be at the heart of the festival. There will be lots of authors, talks, discussions, and workshops.

But the new-look festival will also celebrate other art forms. There will be plenty of dance, drama, music, film, and circus performances from the Festival’s

partners in Swindon and from artists further afield.

If you want to know who and what, get the full 36-page colour programme, available from 21 March. Phone 01793 771080 or email

Circus Workshop – a weekend extravaganza for all ages!

Fri 24 – Mon 27 May
Adult £165 • Child (5 – 21yrs) £132
• Non-residential: Adult £120 • Child £99
(meals provided)
Jacob-Hi Ho, Juggler Jim, and friends

Have you ever dreamed of running away to join a circus?

Well, now you can because the circus is coming to Lower Shaw Farm, and you can be part of it!

No lions, no prancing ponies, and no performing seals. Simply good people, fabulous company, great tuition, and three days of pure circus fun!

There will be workshops for complete beginners as well as for experienced circus enthusiasts in:

There will also be a fire show, a mass fire club-swinging routine, and the lighting of a fire sculpture created on the weekend, by you!

After dark, we’ll have a cabaret, UV-light performance, and a Cowshed party to write home about.

And on the last day, we’ll finish off, in the fully-matted play area, with a group games session using your new skills!

Families welcome, couples and singles welcome, and beginners welcome too. Everybody is welcome, because anyone can learn how to juggle, how to really play, and how to develop their circus sills. We’ll show you how!

Jacob Hi-Ho, a multi-talented circus artist and a UK Slackline champion, and Juggler Jim, an experienced performer and workshop leader, will help you learn new skills and explore your potential as an individual and as part of a group in a relaxed, friendly, and well-equipped setting.

And for those who just want to watch, as well as a fully matted 'play' area, the workshop space also has comfy sofas.

This fully residential weekend, with great food and friendship, begins on Friday evening and finishes after a late lunch on Bank Holiday Monday.

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Iyengar Yoga Weekend

Fri 31 May – Sun 2 June
£175 (Veranda room), £195 (House room)
Dave Dayes

Iyengar Yoga will be taught in a way that is suited to those who already have some experience of yoga.

Dave’s aim is to challenge students to make progress on their poses and come out of their comfort zone, but the general atmosphere is light-hearted and fun! When a student goes up into headstand for the first time we all share in their sense of achievement and joy. He recognises that everyone develops at their own pace and aims to teach with compassion and empathy.

On Saturday there will be an early morning Pranayama (breath control) class, then following breakfast, after an optional short local walk, a two hour asana (postures) class. After lunch the options are to relax at the farm, use the rustic sauna, or go on a led walk in the local countryside. In the late afternoon there will a restorative asana session, including inverted poses.

Group size: up to about 12.

Price includes accommodation, meals and tuition. During the weekend, Lisa will be offering a sensatinal HOT STONE FUSION massage treatement. Hot Stones are therapeutic and soothing for the body. Muscular tension will melt, and knots be ironed out. Lisa will give you a focused treatment, tailored to your needs. A one hour treatment costs £45, and is bookable in advance directly with Lisa:

Book Iyengar Yoga Weekend

2019 Yoga Weekends: Nordic Walking and Yoga 29–31 Mar, Yoga and Massage 26–28 April, Iyengar Yoga 31 May-2 June, Yoga and Walking 12–14 July, Yoga and Massage Bank Holiday Long Weekend 23–26 August, Iyengar Yoga 6–8 September.

May 2019 Events

Fri 3 – Sun 5

Textile Crafts

Working Weekend

Mon 6 – Mon 19

Swindon Spring Festival

Fri 24 – Mon 27

Circus Workshop

Fri 31 – Sun 2nd Jun

Iyengar Yoga Weekend

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