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T’ai Chi Holiday

Claret Centre, 24-28 July 2017

After two highly successful T’ai Chi holidays in Suffolk and Oxfordshire, tutors Anne Mackintosh and Ali Crawford are coming together again to lead their third course – this time at the Claret Centre in Cambridgeshire.


The course will run from 2pm on Monday 24 July 2017 until 2pm (or after lunch) on Friday 28 July 2017. Rooms must be vacated by 10am on the Friday, but luggage can be stored until departure.


The Claret Centre for conferences and retreats is located within Buckden Towers, owned by the Claretian missionaries  To quote the Centre’s publicity, it ‘offers seclusion and tranquillity at an accessible location’. Anne stayed there recently on a singing course – so we’ve tried it out! Sheep graze in fields at the edges of the ramshackle garden, there is a neglected but rather romantic lake and, by contrast, a formal walled Knot Garden. The buildings include the tiny St Claret Chapel, which is partly underground and has beautiful stained glass windows; we hope to be able to use this space for meditation sessions.

We have booked the Victorian house and three of the Gatehouse Apartments, giving us 21 places in all. The bedrooms are large and comfortable; most are twin rooms which we will use on a single occupancy basis (unless any of you wish to share). The rooms have wash-basins but no ensuite facilities; bathrooms are shared between two or three people. The cost of the course reflects this.

We may be able to accommodate non-participating partners – please let Anne know as soon as possible if you would like this. There are two double rooms, and twin rooms can be shared if wished (we may offer a reduction in this case). There is one ground-floor room adapted for disabled users. Please let Anne know if you require this facility, and also if you wish to stay an extra night before or after the course.

We hope that we will be able to work out of doors for most of our stay. However, we know it is always necessary to plan for wet weather during an English summer. Our indoor sessions will take place in the dining-room, which has a wooden floor.


All meals will be provided, as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments. Catering at the Centre is unsophisticated but good. Vegetarian options are provided, and special dietary needs can be catered for at no additional cost. All the bedrooms have tea- and coffee-making facilities.


We will be making detailed plans later on, but expect to follow a similar pattern to the previous two holidays – with early morning T’ai Chi, a longer session between breakfast and lunchtime, free time in the afternoons when you may wish to visit nearby places of interest (see some suggestions below!), and a final session after supper. You are of course free to take a break from sessions whenever you wish. There will be an optional two-hour singing workshop on both Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Places to visit

Anglesey Abbey (National)

Castle Marinas

Grafham Water Centre

Riverside Park, St Neots

Wimpole Estate (National Trust)

Wrest Park

Information about walks in the surrounding area is available at the Centre. And of course, the University City of Cambridge is just 40 minutes’ drive away.

Your tutors

Ali Crawford and Anne Mackintosh will provide tuition in T’ai Chi, Chi Kung and simple mindfulness techniques. Ali and Anne have more than 40 years’ teaching experience between them. They share the tradition of the Yang style Long Form as taught by Gerda Geddes, and have also been inspired by other teachers and disciplines.

Our singing tutor this year is Rowena Whitehead - a founder member of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network who is passionate about the power of singing to promote individual and community wellbeing. She believes that singing is our birthright as human beings. Over the past 20 years she has been sharing this passion with people of all ages and abilities, and is known for her engaging and relaxed approach in enabling people to reconnect with their singing voices.

Contact for queries

If you have any questions about practical arrangements, the content of the holiday course, or any other aspect, please don’t hesitate to contact Anne by email or tel. 01865-714849 / +44 1865 714849 (if calling from abroad).

Cost and payment

The cost of the holiday is £430, with an ‘early bird’ reduction to £400 if full payment is made by Friday 21 April 2017. This covers meals, accommodation and all tuition. A deposit of £80 will secure your place; the balance must be paid by Friday 23 June 2017 at the latest.

Please send your payment – cheques payable to Anne Mackintosh - and completed form to:

Anne Mackintosh

59 Maidcroft Road



Alternatively, you can return the form by email to and make an electronic transfer to this account:

a/c name: Ms A E Mackintosh

a/c number: 15406314

sort code: 08-90-38

You are advised to take out travel insurance against cancellation due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances. If you do have to cancel for any reason, please be aware that, after 23 June, we cannot return any deposits, and you may have to pay the full fee if we are unable to fill your place. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel, all money paid will be returned.

Click here to download copy of this information plus booking form