What you might need to know before joining a course at Swarthmoor Hall
Course participants usually have their own individual room. (It is possible to share a room upon request.) These may be single, twin, or double rooms in Swarthmoor Hall or adjacent buildings; most rooms are en-suite. Two of our rooms are accessible for those with mobility restrictions.
Arriving and departing
Course participants are welcome to arrive from 2pm. There is usually an informal gathering in the Friendship Room for tea and cake from 4pm. Participants are expected to vacate their rooms by 10am on the day of departure. Luggage can be left in the main conference room and keys returned to the office/ key drop box.
For those arriving and departing by taxi it is essential to book in advance. Click here for more information on travelling to Swarthmoor Hall.
Meals and dietary needs
Course participants are catered for together as part of the course programme. Meals are based on a menu (rather than a buffet). The meals are vegetarian and simple. Mid-day and evening meals include desserts. Please do let us know in advance of any dietary needs you may have – gluten-free, vegan, diabetic, allergies, prefer no dessert, etc., so we can provide healthy food for you!
Books and wifi
Swarthmoor Hall offers a small selection of Quaker and spiritual books for sale, as well as having a library in the Old Hall for browsing in daytimes and borrowing for the duration of your stay.
We have free wifi on site in most areas. (In some parts of the site, the thick old stone walls can weaken the signal.) Please ask for the password when you check in, or look in the folder in your room.
Courses are generally held in the conference room, which has a flat floor and moveable chairs. Course tutors may sometimes choose other parts of the site for some workshops: for example, the smaller Friendship Room, the historic Great Hall, or a fire circle outside in the meadow.
Historic house rooms and opening hours
Overnight guests at Swarthmoor may visit the historic rooms in Swarthmoor Hall without the extra cost of a ticket. The historic rooms are open to visitors 10.30am - 4.30pm during the week, and from 1.30pm till 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday from mid-February to the end of October.
Staying on after the course
Course participants are welcome to extend their stay at Swarthmoor Hall – you might want to walk or cycle locally, or perhaps visit other parts of the Lake District or other sites important in Quaker history, for example. We offer a special reduced rate for one night’s B&B before or after a course. Course participants are of course also welcome to stay longer at the usual rate for either B&B or room only (no evening meals are available on site outside of the course schedule). Please ring the office to make arrangements.
Bringing your partner
Partners who wish to accompany someone attending a course may do so paying the difference between the full room rate and the single occupancy rate. All meals are extra. Partners may be able to join the group for meals at the discretion of the tutorial team.
The Barn Café at Swarthmoor Hall is open every day from 10.30 until 4.30pm, offering coffees and teas, cakes and scones, and light lunches such as flans, soups, salads and sandwiches.
Mid-week worship and other spiritual activities
Meeting for Worship takes place every Monday (9.30 – 10am) and Thursday (12.30 – 1pm) at Swarthmoor Hall, and weekly on Wednesdays (11:30am – 12noon) at Swarthmoor Meeting House, a five–minute walk away.
On Sundays, Meeting for Worship at Swarthmoor Meeting House starts at 10.45am and lasts 1 hour (except when there is a business meeting, when it is shortened to 45 minutes.)
To book a Swarthmoor Hall course, please contact the office. (For Woodbrooke-at-Swarthmoor-Hall courses, booking can be made online.) A deposit of 20% is requested to secure a place. Payment of the balance can be made on arrival by cash, credit card, bank transfer, or cheque. The Hall does not currently have a bursary fund.
We look forward to welcoming you !