Dent Folk Carols weekend December 4-6 2020
Oct 2016

Author: David Burbidge

DENT FOLK CAROLS WEEKEND – Friday December 4-6 2020

This weekend has been running now for over 20 years, in the old cobbled village of Dent in the Yorkshire Dales – which has 2 pubs, two very good village halls, a couple of churches, a village shop – and a fine tradition of folk singing and music. 

Lakeland Voices


Singers staying for the weekend can arrive at their cottages from 4pm – there is an evening meal for everyone who has booked for the weekend in the cottages at 6pm – those who are not staying in the cottages will join singers there – I will send details later. 

After the meal, we have a concert at 7.30pm on the Friday night with Mulldoon’s Picnic, Lakeland Voices and guests in the village hall, followed by singing in the pub afterwards. 

Muldoon’s Picnic harmony singing group – Friday concert

Saturday Dec. 7 – 10am and 2.30pm – Workshops in the Dent Meditation Centre learning folk carols by ear – Sheffield pub carols, old carols, west gallery carols, mediaeval carols, shape note carol, and more. Lunch is in the cottages. Lunch in the cottages. 

Saturday Dec.7  – 7.30 pm  meal in Dent Memorial Hall – followed by carols ceilidh, dances and songs. In the Dent Memorial Hall. 

Sunday Dec.8 – 10am-12:30pm – Slovenian carols….and other carols from afar. Singing workshop in the Dent Meditation Centre

Sunday Dec. 8 – 1.30pm Singing walk taking our carols up Dentdale with stops for singing by waterfalls, in woods, and on the open fellside (with some refreshment.) Ending with afternoon tea round the fire c. 5pm. 

Harmony singing workshops in the Dent Meditation Centre


Many singers have been coming for some time and we are able to have several informal sings of about 20 folk carols in 3 and 4 part harmony which in the past have included well known folk carols such as the Boars Head, the Gloucestershire Wassail, and Gaudete, as well as Sheffield pub carols like Old Foster and Pentonville, carols from Cornwall like Lo, the Eastern Sages Rise, carols from other countries such our twin town in Slovenia: Glej zvezdice bozje, Bozje nam je rojen sin, and Sveta Noc, the Neapolitan bagpipers’ carol, and many other carols from far and near, chorus and solo songs. 

I will send recordings of these songs in advance along with written music when you book, and word books so that even those who haven’t been before can easily join the pub singing. Last year’s songs included Shepherds Arise and Awake Ye Mortals All – this year Diadem and Curly Hark. 

On Saturday during the day, and on Sunday morning, we have harmony singing workshops with folk carols in the Dent Meditation Centre, a stunning conversion of an old chapel in the village, with carols and seasonal songs in 3 and 4 part harmony, as well as a good vocal warm ups and easy to learn rounds and shorter songs. 

Carols ceilidh in the Dent Memorial Hall – Saturday evening

On Saturday night we also have a meal and carols ceilidh with singing and dancing in the village hall – and on Sunday afternoon after lunch we go for a singing walk down the valley singing in places of beauty and occasionally outside the cottages of the warm hearted Dalesfolk who live here. 

In the past we have also sung on the cobbled main street in the village when children come by on a donkey (occasionally with sheep too) with the lass playing Mary knocking on the pub doors and asking if there’s any room in the inn – though this tradition has lapsed since the leader of the play retired. 

Early morning in Dent

Accommodation is provided in double and twin rooms in almost a dozen holiday cottages we have rented in the village, and meals are eaten together in the village hall. 

We plan to end at 5pm on the Sunday with afternoon tea by the fire in our biggest cottage – but many singers may choose to stay on for the Sunday night to make travel easier on Monday morning – or just enjoy each other’s company in the pub and in their cottages. A Sunday evening meal is not included – but many singers choose to eat together in one of the pubs. Cottages need to be vacated by 9:45am on Monday, December 9. After which we can meet for coffee in Meadowside cafe in Dent – some singers are catching the 12:10 train from Dent station south. 

Folk Carols singing walk – Sunday 1:30pm


The price for the weekend with accommodation for up to three nights in cosy and luxurious cottages within the village, with all the meals, concert, workshops, ceilidh, singing walk, refreshments, music in advance, etc. is £175 

To book – just send a deposit for the full amount – please include contact details and the name of the event with your cheque (made payable to David Burbidge and sent to Smithy Cottage, Farfield, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5LW.) You can also email me for bank details for internet transmer, and for more information (NB only one R in Burbidge).

Singers who wish to camp or who live locally are welcome to come for the non- residential rate of £105, or those who only wish to come for one day or individual sessions pay £8.50 for the concert, and £20 for morning or afternoon workshops, singing walk and ceilidh. 


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