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The Ammerdown Centre
The Ammerdown Centre,
Ammerdown Park, Radstock,
Somerset, BA3 5SW
Tel: 01761 433709
centre@ammerdown.org
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ammerdown

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Welcome to Ammerdown

Imagine a Conference and Retreat Centre nestling in woods next to a Stately Home, surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and parkland, with an exquisitely beautiful chapel in its midst. The whole place is steeped in peace and tranquillity. No traffic noise, only birds singing! Yet, it is only 12 miles from Bath and is easy of access, with ample free car parking on site.

This amazing place is the Ammerdown Centre!

Read more about Ammerdown »

PERSONAL SERVICE

Many guests comment about the unobtrusive care that we offer at Ammerdown: the freedom to do as you wish, in the knowledge that, if you have a query or if you need help, someone will always be at hand to assist you.

We have members of staff on duty throughout the day, and a member of staff on call during the night. We encourage all guests to come to our reception desk during the day if they have a query or a problem. If no-one is at the desk, a button on the side of the desk enables guests to alert the person on duty that someone is waiting at reception.

We also have a telephone handset in every bedroom. When 111 is dialled, this again connects to a member of staff. This is particularly useful at night time, as it will put the caller through to the member of staff who is on call. We stress, however, that the phones should only be used in cases of ememergency.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR QUIET TIME AND JOINT TIMES OF PRAYER

Ammerdown's exquisite chapel is a private chapel. It is open from early in the morning to late at night. In addition, a key is kept in the dining room for those rare occasions when guests would like to use the Chapel whenit is locked.

There is normally a short prayer service led by a member of the Ammerdown team at 9.00 a.m. and at 5.45 p.m. Monday to Friday morning, and at 6 p.m. on Friday evening. All guests are very welcome to attend.

If you are looking for written resources to help your personal reflection and prayer time, Ammerdown's library is a good place to visit. It holds many books of a spiritual nature which you are very welcome to borrow during your stay.

COMFORTABLE BEDROOMS

You will always have a bedroom for yourself unless you specifically ask to share with someone else.

All our bedrooms have desk and chair, a comfy chair, storage space for clothes and personal items, and a hospitality tray for making hot drinks.

We provide all the linen and towels. We assume that guests prefer a duvet, but can easily switch to blankets and sheets if this is requested.

Our en-suite bathrooms all have a shower. In addition, for guests who enjoy having a bath, we have two guests' bathrooms accessible to all.

TASTY  FOOD FRESHLY COOKED ON THE PREMISES

Ammerdown has its own kitchen, and we cook daily for our guests. Our aim is to offer tasty and wholesome food that uses as much local fresh produce as possible.

Breakfast is a substantial continental breakfast which is offered on a 'help yourself' basis from 8 a.m. You will find in the dining room a large choice of cereals, bread and toasts, marmelade, jams and honey, home-made yoghurt and fruit compote, fresh fruit, fruit juices and hot drinks. In winter months, we also offer hot porridge.

Lunch is served at 12.30 and is normally the most substantial meal of the day. There will always be a meat or fish dish and a vegetarian meal on offer, together with seasonal vegetables. This will be followed by a home-made pudding or, as a healthy alternative, fresh fruit or sorbet.

Supper is served at 6.30 p.m. There will often be a hot dish such as pasta, pizza or soups with home-made bread, together with a selection of salads that you can help yourself too. Again, a home-made pudding helps to complete the meal.

If given enough notice, the kitchen is normally able to cater for most special diets. A supplementary charge might, however, apply.

OPTION OF PEACE AND QUIET OR COMPANIONSHIP

At your first meal as a private guest, you will find that your place is at a separtae table in the dining room - by yourself, if you ahve come alone, or with the friends you have come with. This is because we know that many people who come to Ammerdown are very busy people who are looking for peace and quiet.

However, if you are on your own and would prefer not to eat on your own, please always feel free to approach the staff table and ask whether you could join them. If there is space, they will always be more than happy for you to join the team, as we love chatting to guests.

A RANGE OF LEISURE ACTIVITIES

Reading

We have already mentioned the library, which offers a wide range of books (mostly of a spiritual nature) as well as magazines and periodicals.  A small selection of novels and other light-reading can also be found on the bookshelves in the TV room (just off the lounge).

Please note that, in the library, there is also a large black folder with information on the history of Ammerdown House – the stately home adjacent to the Ammerdown Centre.

Games/Jigsaws

You can find at the back of the TV room a selection of games (e.g. scrabble) as well as jigsaws.  We also have a few toys for children.

TV

The TV in the TV room is for the use of all guests. We ask, however, that you please keep the noise down if you watch TV early in the morning or late at night, so as to respect the peace and quiet that makes Ammerdown so special.

DVDs/ Cinema

We have a selection of DVDs on site, which we can show on a big screen in our two largest conference rooms (John Todd and Trevett) - just like in a cinema!  If you would like to watch a film, as long as one of the above conference rooms is free at the time, a member of staff on duty will be happy to set up the DVD for you.

FREE WIFI ACCESS/GUEST COMPUTER

There is free WiFi accss throughout the building. Again, we ask guests to be respectful of the peace and quiet of the place and to refrain from noisy computer-based activities such as watncijng a film or skyping after 10 pm and before 7am.

We also have one free computer for the exclusive use of our guests - should they wish, for example,  to browse the internet or check their emails.

GORGEOUS GARDENS AND LOVELY WAKS

The gardens of Ammerdown House are well worth a visit. They are privately owned but its owners, the Joliffe family, kindly allow Ammerdown guests to wander around AS LONG AS they keep out of the areas earmarked ‘PRIVATE’.  The gardens are quite extensive and include a large meadow with a lake at the bottom. The nearby woods also offer scope for nice easy walks.

There are also some lovely walks to do from Ammerdown, such as walking to the nearest village, Kilmersdon, home to the 'Jack and Jill Hill'. 

We provide maps for two local walks that do not require any particular fitness. We also have two 1:50.000 Ordnance survey maps of the area for guests to borrow. 

SWIMMING

The Jolliffe family owns a heated outdoor swimming pool located on the estate.  The family kindly allows our guests to use the pool, entirely at their own risk and never unaccompanied, between 1.00pm and 3.00pm, from June to September. 

OUTINGS FURTHER AFIELD

If you have transport, there are many places of interest not far from Ammerdown. – starting with the only Lavender Farm in Somerset and the excellent Museum in Radstock, both only two and an half miles away.

Packed lunches can be provided by our kitchen if requested in advance.
 

 

 

 

"Ammerdown is in a class of its own. So many aspects of what you offer are beyond comments in a box, e.g. how you can rate the very warm welcome we always get, and the kindness and smiles from all the staff? And we have all this at such a good price!"

Set in idyllic Somerset countryside next to a Stately Home, a mere 12 miles from Bath, the Ammerdown Centre combines modern conference facilities and en–suite accommodation with an outstanding atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. In addition, as a not-for-profit organisation, its charges are extremely reasonable. This makes it an ideal venue for organisations and  charities seeking time and space to talk, think and learn.

 

 

Ammerdown's drive in Autumn

A while ago, the Ammerdown Centre successfully entered into a bidding process launched by our local Authority to appoint preferred training venues. In order to help with our bid, we asked some of our regular clients what made them come back again and again to Ammerdown.

The answers were surprisingly similar and pointed to not one but a whole combination of factors which, put together, create the special Ammerdown experience that so many guests comment on:

  • Beautiful location
  • Modern facilities
  • Ethical foundation
  • Personal service
  • Excellent food
  • Special ambience
  • Great value for money

The full results of this survey were written up in a special article entitled

 

'Profile of the Ammerdown Centre'

THERE ARE THREE OPTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL BOOKINGS

  1. Shared Use - your group has one or more meeting rooms and an agreed number of bedrooms exclusively reserved for your use, but other groups and private guests may well be using our facilities at the same time.  
  2. Primary Use - your group commits to paying for a minimum of 34 residential delegates. In return, we guarantee you exclusive group of all the meeting rooms and bedrooms in the main building. Not included in the 'Primary Use' option are the smaller meeting rooms called the Upper Dovecote and the Harness Room, the five bedrooms in the Aldrich Cottage, and the family bedroom in the Dovecote. In practice, it means that there could be another small group or some private guests staying at the same time as your group.
  3. Exclusive use - your group commits to paying for a mimimum of 40 residential delegates. In return we guarantee you exclusive use of all our accommodation and facilities.

HOW TO BOOK

  • Our Bookings Officer (bookings@ammerdown.org or 01761 433 709) will be able to advise you on price and availability.
  • Once you have decided you would like to proceed with a booking, she will send you a Booking Form setting out all the details of your booking (dates, numbers of residents, choice of meeting room, etc.) and giving a detailed quote.
  • This form will need to be signed by a member of your group and returned within 28 days, together with a non-returnable and non-refundable deposit of 20% of the total quote.
  • If the form and deposit are not returned within 28 days, we will assume your booking is no longer required and the dates you have reserved will be freed.

IF YOU WISH TO CANCEL YOUR EVENT

The following charges will apply:

  • Notice received up to 16 weeks before the due start date: deposit lost, no further charges
  • Notice received bewtween 16 and 4 weeks of the due start date: event charged at 75% of the agreed cost (as per signed Booking Form)
  • Notice received less than 4 weeks before the due start date: agreed cost (as per signed Booking Form) charged in full.

Cancellation of a booking must always be confirmed by email (bookings@ammerdown.org) or in writing.

IF YOU WISH TO REDUCE YOUR NUMBERS

If you inform us of a reduction in the number of people you wish to book for up to 16 weeks in advance, there will be no penalty.

If you inform us after the 16 weeks' deadline, the Ammerdown Centre reserves the right to charge you for the number of people you originally booked for, even if you bring fewer people, based on the same criteria as our cancellation policy (see above).

HOW WE WILL INVOICE YOU AFTER YOUR STAY

The person in your group responsible for the booking should receive an invoice within a month of the end of your stay. This will be payable within 28 days.

If your group booked Shared Use, your group will be invoiced for the number of people who have stayed OR the number of people your group booked for, whichever is the greatest.

If your group booked Primary Use, your group will be invoiced for 34 delegates OR the actual number of people who stayed, whichever is the greatest.

If your group booked Exclusive Use, your group will be invoiced for 40 residential delegates OR the acutal number of people who stayed, whcihever is the greatest.

BAR

Because the Ammerdown Centre has a licensed bar, guests are asked not to consume their own alcoholic drinks on our premises.

ON THE DAY OF DEPARTURE

Bedrooms will have to be vacated by 9.30 a.m. on the day of departure unless otherwise agreed with the management.

 

 

Ammerdown is such a nurturing, ‘inclusive’ place with a deep sense of inner peace, which is perfect to rest, reflect and renew. It is not just that I was being cared for – which of course I was, in a very sensitive way – but also that I felt ‘invited in’ as a special guest. At Ammerdown, you are made to feel like you have been invited to a feast, have been led through the doorway and given a place at the table – this gives you a special feeling of communion that goes far beyond ordinary hospitality.

                    (private guest)


A big thank you for the wonderful few days I spent with you all. I had a really refreshing time in every way. I thought you had paid attention in so many large and small ways to the comfort and enjoyment of your guests. The only draw-back was my inability to resist the glorious food served so generously day in day out.

                    (course participant)


However good the facilities, the experience of staying at a conference venue depends entirely on the people running it, and I do hope you can get our appreciation through to everyone at Ammerdown for the efficiency, helpfulness, and warmth we felt from you all.

                    (leader of an external group)


I love leading courses at Ammerdown. You offer such a safe space for people to relax and open up. It is truly a very special place.

                    (course leader)


Thank you for a wonderful first stay at Ammerdown, and for your care and kindness. The Chapel services have been like an oasis in a desert. I have known the presence, peace and encouragement of hearing God speak, and the challenge of God too.

                    (private guest)


I have never been to a retreat house that has paid such attention to detail and where comfort and well-being has been so well provided for. It has been a joy to stay here. Thank you very much.

                    (course participant)


I would like to thank everyone at Ammerdown for having worked so hard to make our weekend retreat such a resounding success. Everyone went out of their way to be kind and helpful in every way. You succeeded entirely in giving us the means to turn two ordinary days into two very special days indeed. At the Ammerdown Centre, there is an ambience devoted to the highest of spiritual ideals, and I thank you for ensuring that this ambience was with us.

                    (leader of an external group)

 

The chapel is such a haven of peace and tranquillity, and I have yet to find any chapel, or indeed church, that can reciprocate both the peace and prayerfulness of the Ammerdown chapel, or indeed the whole atmosphere of Ammerdown - as soon as you enter the gates of Ammerdown a lovely feeling of peace embraces you, and remains with you always.

                     (private guest)


There is excellence in everything you do… There is also a wonderful stillness and spiritual feel permeating every inch of Ammerdown.

                     (course participant)


I would like to thank everyone at Ammerdown for having worked so hard to make our weekend retreat such a resounding success. Everyone went out of their way to be kind and helpful in every way. You succeeded entirely in giving us the means to turn two ordinary days into two very special days indeed. At the Ammerdown Centre, there is an ambience devoted to the highest of spiritual ideals, and I thank you for ensuring that this ambience was with us.

                    (leader of an external group)


I came because I was in a long dark tunnel since my lovely husband passed away. Thank you for the great spiritual feeling at Ammerdown, for the love, warmth and friendship all the time.  Everything has been thought of for our comfort and rest, and I loved every minute. I loved meeting everyone, all that we talked about, the wonderful meals enjoyed together, the talks, the library, and especially the services in the Chapel and the worship. It meant so much to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. May God continue to bless you all.

                    (private guest)


As I am sure you know, a very brief once-a-year weekend like ours is intensely important for all who take part, and it matters so much that everything goes well, the right atmosphere is created, and the short concentrated time is used to the best effect. From the point of view of those of us responsible for planning and running the event, Ammerdown gets full marks. Every aspect of the organisation, hospitality and facilities went perfectly, and I do very much want to thank you for this. 

                    (organiser of a weekend consultation for an external group)


The tranquil atmosphere, steeped in history, is a real invitation to experience peace and a nurturing of body and soul that enables the healing of past wounds, which in turn augments ideas of value and worth. The warm and welcoming atmosphere also helps a lot, as do the delicious food and the beautiful grounds.

                     (private guest)


I would just like to extend my own personal thanks for the wonderful stay we had with you.  Everything was absolutely perfect! The hospitality, the food and the wonderful 'safe space' you have created at Ammerdown for peace and reflection.

                    (leader of an external group)
 

FROM THE M4 TO AMMERDOWN

For people coming to Ammerdown via the M4 from the London direction, we suggest that you avoid Bath and come to Ammerdown using the (hopefully!) quieter country lanes.
Leave the M4 at Junction 17 and follow the A350 in the Chippenham/Trowbridge direction until you reach Melksham.
In Melksham, turn right on the B1307 direction Bradford on Avon.
Go through Bradford on Avon following the road on which you are.
About two miles after leaving Bradford on Avon, you will reach a junction with traffic lights. Turn right on the A366 direction Farleigh Hungerford.
Go through Farleigh Hungerford and continue on the A366 until you reach the junction with the A36.
Turn left on the A36 and then nearly immediately right back on the A366 direction Norton St Philip.
In Norton St Philip, you will reach a crossing with the B3110 (towards Bath on the right and Frome on the left), with the A366 continuing straight on directionally. You need to continue on the A366. Please beware, though, that the next section of the A366 is not obvious to see from where you are because it is hidden by buildings and the signage is hopeless! You need to turn slightly left and then immediately swing to the right into a road going sharply downhill. That is the A366.
Continue on the A366, through the village of Faulkland, until you reach the junction with the A362 (towards Radstock on the right and Frome on the left). Go straight on at the junction onto the B3139, direction Kilmersdon. Around 400 meters from the junction, you will see a cottage on your left. The entrance to the drive to Ammerdown is immediately after this cottage, on the left, through the gates.
Go slowly down the drive (N.B. BEWARE OF THE SPEED BUMPS!) and follow the signs to the Conference and Retreat Centre. This will lead you to the Ammerdown Centre’s car park.
Please report at reception
 

FROM RADSTOCK TO THE AMMERDOWN CENTRE

1. In Radstock

From Bath, you will be going down a hill into Radstock. At the bottom of the hill is a double round-about. Turn left at the first round-about, on the A362, direction Frome.

From Midsomer Norton, you will pass the large Co-op Supermarket on your right before reaching the double round-about at the centre of Radstock. Directionally, it is more or less straight on. In practice, you need to turn left at the first roundabout and then go right straight away at the second round-about in order to take the A362 towards Frome on your right.

From Wells/Shepton Mallet direction, you will come down a hill before reaching the double round-about at the centre of Radstock. Go straight on at the first round-about and then
turn right at the second round-about, on the A362 direction Frome.

2. From Radstock to Ammerdown

Once you are on A362 towards Frome, go up the hill for just under one mile until the hill flattens and you see Writhlington School on your right. You then reach a pedestrian crossing/light, and a corner shop on your left.
Turn right into the lane after the pedestrian light. The lane is called Knobsbury Lane.
Follow the lane until you reach a T junction. This is just over one mile in distance.
Turn left at the T junction.
About 200 meters on the right are two cottages separated by pillars and gates marking the entrance into a driveway. This is the entrance to Ammerdown.
At a very slow speed, follow the drive straight on until you reach the Centre and its car park.

PLEASE BEWARE OF THE SPEED BUMPS ON THE DRIVE!

At Ammerdown, we can always do with extra help be it with gardening, ironing, office work, leading prayer or weekend duties!

We have several local friends who kindly give us a few hours every week. And we have friends living further away who come to stay for a weekend to help out.

Tasks and responsibilities are matched to each person's skills, experience and wishes. It can be hard work, but should also be rewarding, with a chance to mix with staff and with guests and feel a part of a very worthwhile operation.

All our volunteers go through a thorough process of vetting, which includes an interview, the following-up of references and a trial period.

For more information about becoming an Ammerdown volunteer, please contact Benedicte Scholefield, the Director of the Ammerdown Centre.
 

Throughout the history of Ammerdown, there have been volunteers living on site and supporting the Centre's hospitality work. Some have stayed for only a few months, others for several years. All have contributed to the life of the Centre in wonderful ways.

If you share the aims and mission of the Centre, have a special heart for hospitality and are not afraid of hard work, then this may well be for you!

If you are interested in finding out more about resident opportunities, please contact the Ammerdown Centre and ask to be sent more information.
 

Helping Ammerdown continue to touch people's lives

As a charity, most of our income is generated from the charges we make for the hire of our facilities and for participation in our courses.

However, because we try to keep our rates as low as possible, our budget is always tight. Donations by guests and supporters are therefore a tremendous help in enabling the Ammerdown Centre to:

  • Run regular ‘pampering’ days for local carers to give them a well deserved break in beautiful surroundings;
  • Offer reductions and bursaries to people on low income who are desperate for a break or who would like to attend a course but cannot afford the standard fees. Many people benefit in this way every year;
  • Assist charities and organisations that work with and support vulnerable and marginalised people in society groups by offering them discounted rates on our hospitality;
  • Offer fee reductions to charities and groups involved in interfaith dialogue, peace-building and conflict resolution;
  • Offer Ammerdown’s facilities to local schools that are looking for a quiet and spiritual space to take their pupils away for retreat-type events;
  • Fund improvements to the comfort of guests, both indoors and outdoors, that we would normally find difficult to afford (for example, new books for the library, new items of furniture or plants for the garden).

Our quarterly Supporters’ Newsletter often gives examples of how Ammerdown has proved a blessing to our visitors and guests.

Read the most recent issue.

When we ask first time visitors at Ammerdown how they came to hear about the Centre, the vast majority answer: “A friend (or colleague, or relative, or neighbour) told me about it.”.

All our research confirms that word of mouth is by far the most effective way of promoting the Centre – far more effective than advertising, for example.

Therefore, if you already have first hand experience of the Ammerdown Centre and think it is a great place, please tell your friends and other acquaintances about it.

Even if you have not had the pleasure of visiting us yet, but like what you see on this website and think it will be of interest to people you know, please let them know about Ammerdown.

You can email them a link to this website.

You can also request a printed copy of our Annual Programme of Courses and Events to be sent to them by post, or alternatively sent to you so that you can pass it on to them.

Thank you in advance for your help in making Ammerdown better known!
 

Telephone

       01761 433 709

Email

        admin@ammerdown.org

Post

       The Ammerdown Centre

        Ammerdown Park

        Radstock

        Somerset

        BA3 5SW

A while ago, the Ammerdown Centre successfully entered into a bidding process launched by our local Authority to appoint preferred training venues. In order to help with our bid, we asked some of our regular clients what made them come back again and again to Ammerdown.

The answers were surprisingly similar and pointed to not one but a whole combination of factors which, put together, create the special Ammerdown experience that so many guests comment on:

  • Beautiful location
  • Modern facilities
  • Ethical foundation
  • Personal service
  • Excellent food
  • Special ambience


The full results of this survey were written up in a special article entitled

'Profile of the Ammerdown Centre'

Here is some of the feedback we have received from groups that have used our facilities:

"My people have stayed in many different venues in and outside Europe and agree that the Ammerdown Centre is the best."

"There are many conference centres in beautiful surroundings, but there is only ONE Ammerdown."

"Brilliant value for money given the excellent facilities, the warmth of the service, and above all the outstanding food."

"However good the facilities, the experience of staying at a conference venue depends entirely on the people running it, and I do hope you can get our appreciation through to everyone at Ammerdown for the efficiency, helpfulness, and warmth we felt from you all."

"I would like to thank everyone at Ammerdown for having worked so hard to make our weekend retreat such a resounding success. Everyone went out of their way to be kind and helpful in every way. You succeeded entirely in giving us the means to turn two ordinary days into two very special days indeed. At the Ammerdown Centre, there is an ambience devoted to the highest of spiritual ideals, and I thank you for ensuring that this ambience was with us."

"As I am sure you know, a very brief once-a-year weekend like ours is intensely important for all who take part, and it matters so much that everything goes well, the right atmosphere is created, and the short concentrated time is used to the best effect. Ammerdown gets full marks. Every aspect of the organisation, hospitality and facilities went perfectly, and I do very much want to thank you for this."

"I would just like to extend my personal thanks for the wonderful stay we had with you. Everything was absolutely perfect: the hospitality, the food and the wonderful 'safe space' you have created at Ammerdown for peace and reflection."

Ammerdown's beautiful private chapel is open for use by all visiting groups and guests, for no charge. We recommend prior booking, however, in order to avoid clashes with other groups or other events.

Amongst the resources we offer to our visiting groups are:

  • Hymn books ('Celebration for Everyone')
  • Orders of service
  • All that is needed for Anglican, Catholic and Methodist communion services

The Retreat Association

Radstock Churches Together

Somerset Churches Together

Wiltshire Churches Together

Clifton Diocese The Roman Catholic Diocese that Ammerdown belongs to

Diocese of Bath and Wells  The Church of England Diocese that Ammerdown belongs to

Diocese of Bristol  (Church of England)

Somerset Methodists

Somerset Baptist Church

The Mid Somerset URC Group

Living Spirituality Partnership LivingSpirituality brings together the contemplative and active dimensions of life, broadly rooted within Christianity. We intend LivingSpirituality to be a resource through which people can find material, groups and people to help deepen and anchor their explorations through all stages of their journeying.

 

Sion Centre for Dialogue and Encounter - a centre in Notting Hill Gate run by the Sisters of our Lady of Sion where people of different faiths can meet together and larn from each other

St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace - helping people to build relationships across divisions of culture, conflict and religion

Salaam Shalom Bristol - a media-based charity seeking to build bridges betwen Muslim and Jewish communities and the wider communities they are part of
 

Colliers Way - Discover the hidden valleys and byways of north somerset, where Roman legions once marched, miners toiled underground and coal and wool were the currency of success.

Radstock Museum  (2.5 miles) - An award-winning museum that celebrates the coalmining history of Somerset both fascinating and informative.

Somerset Lavender Farm  (2.5 miles) - The only Lavender Farm in Somerset is only a couple of miles down the road. On a nice sunny day, you could easily believe you are in the South of France! Well worth a visit.

Frome  (7 miles) - Small historic market town with bags of atmosphere, some unusual shops and lots of lovely coffee shops and tea rooms!

Longleat  (11.5 miles) - Safari Park, Stately Home and many other attractions.

Bath  (13 miles) - A world heritage site well known for its Roman Baths and the recent addition of the new Bath Spa.

Wells  (15 miles) - Englands smallest city and also one of the most beautiful, built around a stunningly beautiful Cathedral.

Wookey Hole  (15.5 miles) - Britain's most spectacular underground cavers combined with many other attractions for the family.

Stourhead  (17 miles) - World-famous 18th century landscape gardens and Palladian Mansion, owned and run by the National Trust.

Lacock  (19 miles) - A uniquely preserved country village which dates back to the 13th century and which has provided the setting of many period TV and cinema productions such as Pride and Prejudice and Cranford.

Glastonbury  (19.5 miles) - A uniquely atmospheric town which has been a pilgrimage place for many years.

Cheddar Gorges and Caves  (19.5 miles) - Britain's biggest gorges and adjacent Showcaves creating a series of labyrinthine underground chambers accessible to the public.

Bristol  (21 miles) -The largest city close to Ammerdown, Bristol successfully combines a unique maritime and architectural heritage with excellent tourist attractions and shopping.

Bowood House  (25 miles) - Home of the Marquis of Lansdowne, this 18th century house also offers beautiful gardens and an adventure playground for children
 

Ammerdown Centre and its gardens

Lovely setting!

The Ammerdown Centre is a well-established Christian Retreat and Conference Centre open to people of all faiths and none, with a special emphasis on dialogue, reconciliation and renewal.

It offers a beautiful and peaceful meeting place conducive to refreshment of mind, body and spirit as well as mutual learning and shared encounters. It provides this facility within a welcoming, accepting and prayerful atmosphere which promotes mutual respect regardless of backgrounds and beliefs.

Over 5,000 people come to Ammerdown each year, some to stay and others just for the day. Whatever the purpose of your visit - be it to take part in one of our courses, to attend an event organised by another organisation, or to have some private  time - you can be assured that your visit will be enhanced by the special Ammerdown atmosphere: steeped in peace and serenity, within beautiful and tranquil surroundings, with a staff dedicated to making guests welcome and comfortable, and with excellent en-suite facilities and superb home-cooked food!

So do please pay us a visit and get a taste of the special 'Ammerdown experience'.  We will do our very best to ensure that your stay will be as much of a blessing to you as it has been to countless people before.

"Ammerdown isn't meant to be a 5-star hotel - thank goodness!  It is in fact in a class of its own. So many aspects of what you offer are beyond comments in a box, e.g. how can you rate the very warm welcome we always get, and the kindness and smiles from all the staff? And we have all of this at such a good price!"  

Sue Harbert

Please arrive by noon on Monday. The Break ends with lunch on Friday.

Please arrive by noon on Monday.  The Break ends with lunch on Friday.

This is a holiday designed for people looking for a break in lovely surroundings and good company. It is run by the Ammerdown team and by Sue Harbert, our much loved West Country Tourist Board Blue Badge Guide. Great care is taken to devise a programme that offers something for everyone: a mixture of craft, outing, talks, films and entertainment, together with religious services for those who wish to take part.

It seems to work! Here are some of the comments from participants in previous Summer Breaks: “Everything was lovely”; “Peaceful, relaxed atmosphere, very welcoming but no pressure to do anything you don’t want to”; “I particularly valued being able to join in daily worship of a simple but meaningful kind”.

This year’s Summer outing will be a half day visit to Somerset’s only Lavender Farm, which is only a few minutes down the road from Ammerdown. With luck, the lavender will be in full bloom and you will be able to enjoy a nice cup of tea while feasting your eyes on a gorgeous spectacle. If the weather is nice, you will easily be able to imagine yourself in the South of France…

Our courses

We run throughout the year an extensive programme of course and retreats appealing to mind, body and spirit. With more than 90 day and residential events on offer in 2015, we hope that everyone will find something that suits!

Take a look at our full course list »

Guests' feedback speaks for itself!

In 2012, 1,215 residential guests filled in our evaluation form at the end of their stay. An astonishing 98% rated Ammerdown as a GOOD or VERY GOOD venue.

Needless to say, we are delighted at these results. We do try our  best to offer both a personal and professional service. It is good to know that our guests recognise and appreciate it!

Read what guests say about Ammerdown

The venue with a difference

Why do so many organisations and charities choose to come back again and again once they have had a taste of the unique 'Ammerdown experience'? They tell us that it is not one, but a combination of factors, which, together, make Ammerdown such a special venue.

With 24 hour residential rates starting at £75.00 per adult, Ammerdown is excellent value for money. Ring or email us today to get a quote and check availability.

Find out more about our conference venue

Latest Newsletter

Our quarterly newsletter provides our supporters with news and reflections on our work. Often, guests share how their stay at Ammerdown has touched their life. We also report on special events that have taken place.

 

Read our most recent newsletter

By telephone

  1. Call us on 01761 433709 with your credit or debit card to hand in order to pay your deposit of £65 for a weekend course and £85 for a longer course (please note that debit cards will incur no fee, but that an extra 2% will be charged on credit card payment).
  2. Your booking form will be completed over the phone.
  3. The final payment will be requested two weeks prior the start of the course.

Gill Coombs

Please arrive by 6pm on Friday. Course ends with lunch on Sunday.

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