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Hurdy Gurdy Weekend 2025

Friday 21 Feb 4pm — Sunday 23 Feb 4pm, 2025

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

£390 – single occupancy ensuite room/cabin
£350 – sharing an ensuite room/cabin
£350 – single occupancy non-ensuite room
£300 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):


Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):


Guaranteed to be one of Halsway’s noisiest weekends, this popular Hurdy-Gurdy Weekend runs alongside our Bagpipe Weekend with masterclasses, workshops, sessions and a Saturday night concert/dance. A frenzy of reeds, drones and buzzing things! Early booking advised.

The weekend is hosted by Claire Dugué, hurdy-gurdy maker and repairer, and she’ll be available to help people get the most out of their instruments with tips for maintenance. Our international tutor team includes:

  • Ariel Ninas and Clémence Oppin (Intermediate/Advanced Hurdy Gurdy Workshop – one group each)
  • Jon Loomes (Beginner Hurdy Gurdy Workshop).

Each tutor will dedicate themselves to a specific group for the full weekend allowing for maximum learning and progression. You will need to decide which tutor you wish to work with and tell us when booking; numbers in each group are limited. Because course places are limited, we aren’t able to take bookings from those not wishing to fully participate in one of the workshop groups (unless you’re coming as the friend or partner of a participant, and sharing a room).

For an extra £65, participants can stay until Monday morning, including supper and B&B. Please enquire when booking.

Who is it for?

This course is for players of the hurdy-gurdy who already have their own instrument.

The Team

Claire Dugué, a native of France, encountered the hurdy-gurdy in London during her college training as an instrument maker. She was captivated by the instrument and has been making hurdy-gurdies ever since, producing quality instrument for amateur and professionals alike. Claire has become integral to the organisation of the weekend; she will be hosting the event and be also at hand to help with the technical aspects of setup and maintenance.

Jon Loomes is a singer and multi-instrumentalist with a passion for both English and European traditional music and song. Classically trained, he fell in love with folk music when he found out his local session had free beer for musicians. Known mainly as a guitarist, he’s been playing the hurdy gurdy since 1998, and played hundreds of shows alongside the late, great Philip G Martin, and learned hurdy gurdy on the job. A musical all rounder, Jon runs a specialist folk record label and studio, and a tiny workshop where he makes guitars, mandolins, and things of that nature. He leads a secret double life as a composer.

Clémence Oppin began playing the hurdy-gurdy in 2001 and is passionate about traditional music from central France.  She studied at the music conservatoire, where she experienced her first live performances. Clémence continued her training at La Sorbonne University—Paris IV to obtain a degree in music and musicology with a specialisation in  ethnomusicology.

In 2013, she graduated as a music teacher. Since 2017, she has been teaching the hurdy-gurdy and in 2019 obtained her final State Diploma in Education. Specialised in music. Currently, she focuses her energy on three musical groups: Trad Libitum, Les archetieres and Duo Ligérien. A hurdy-gurdy teacher in schools and professional musician, she shares her passion for music as much with her students as with her audiences.

Ariel Ninas has been playing the hurdy-gurdy since 2001. In the last 20 years as part of different projects from the Oxford punk-rock-skiffle-acoustic band Inflatable Buddha to the free impro orchestra OMEGA (Galician Orchestra of Spontaneous Music); experimental electronic trio Ulobit (‘Vikingland 2016’, Audioatalia); or performing traditional repertoire in Tralo-Valo and Galician-Portuguese music with ‘Cantos de Cego de Galiza e Portugal’ (aCFolque, 2016) and ‘Do Natal aos Reis’ (aCFolque, 2019) and a solid solo career with different programs. His solo piece for contemporary dance work ’Habelas’ won a Injuve award for performing arts by the Spanish Culture Ministry.

In 2018 he wins a prize in the hurdy-gurdy international competition for bands “Maitrês Sonneurs” at Le Son Continu (La Châtre, France). In 2020, Music award ‘Cultura de Galicia’ with aCentral Folque by the most prestigious and official institution of the region. He teaches in Tordoia and Corunha and at the Conservatorio Superior de Galicia in Valga. He is the artistic director and producer of international festival Zona da Zanfona. Also hosts the online sessions ZdZ masterclasses.