Drystone Walling Courses at Notgrove

At Notgrove we offer beginners dry stone walling training and improvers workshops which are both hands-on 2-day courses. These are led by highly skilled, qualified and experienced instructors who are professional members of the Dry Stone Walling Association. This is the first step towards the DSWA Craftsmen Certification, the only industry recognised and NVQ equivalent qualification in dry stone walling.

Whether you just want to have some fun and a go at something completely new, or develop your ability towards developing a specific skill in walling or progress to a DSWA qualification, our training aspires to engage at every level. Our courses run throughout the year, but not in inclement weather.

We can also arrange corporate events as part of a team building challenge or corporate activity day.

One of the best things about offering these courses is getting feedback from people when they finish.  Participants often tell us about their real sense of satisfaction and achievement having enjoyed being outside in the fresh air, discovered new skills and knowing they have helped to conserve one of the country’s most important landscapes.  Sometimes we even leave some ‘treasure’ in the walls that might be discovered in another 200 years. We pride ourselves on the fact you will be making a dry stone wall in the Cotswolds National Landscape which is built to last!

This is not a course during where you will simply take down and rebuild the same piece of wall over and over again – on our courses, you will be building a permanent wall on the farm to keep in livestock.

On the beginners course you can expect to spend two days surrounded by the beautiful Cotswolds landscape, learning about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building up of the wall, adding through stones and coping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the necessary tools and how to use them, and much more!

Beginners Course

  • Perfect for beginners, no experience necessary
  • 2-day course
  • £195 per person
  • Suitable for people aged 16 and over
  • The course is taught outside so please bring weather-appropriate clothing: warm clothing / layers, waterproofs, gloves, sturdy shoes/boots, hat, and sun cream
  • You will also need to bring a packed lunch and drinks, plus a pair of working/gardening gloves
  • All other tools and equipment will be provided
  • A portable toilet will be provided where toilet facilities are not available, with details provided in course joining instructions
  • Parking will be available with further details provided in the joining instructions

Improvers Workshop

We run a couple of workshops for those who have decided to take dry stone walling to a higher level, vocationally or as a part-time activity.

The fee for these sessions is £230 (2 days). You can book online and complete and Improvers Workshop Booking Form below, but when you book the Improvers dates please indicate the date you have completed a Beginners course and/or offer evidence of experience in dry stone wall building already, on the form. Please also indicate if you have a specific project or interest so we can tailor the workshop to requirements.


Yoga retreat accommodation

If you require a place to stay for your course there is accommodation onsite with Notgrove Holidays where you can stay in a cosy glamping pod which has a lovely view over Notgrove and the surrounding countryside.  The glamping pods are heated, warm and cosy with a double bed, wet room with loo, galley kitchen, TV and relaxing seating area.  If you wish to book for two nights (subject to availability), please go to:  https://notgroveholidays.com/glamping-pods/

Glamping pods are self-catering so you can bring your own food supplies with you and use the galley kitchen which includes toaster, kettle, single hob, microwave, kettle and mini fridge. There is also the Nuttery Café in the village which is a 3 minutes walk from your glamping pod and there are several local pubs nearby in the villages of Cold Aston, Naunton and Guiting Power.


Our 2024 drystone walling courses will run on the following dates:

Beginners Courses:

13th & 14th April – Fully booked
25th & 26th April – Fully booked
18th & 19th May – Fully booked
20th & 21st June – Fully booked
6th & 7th  July
15th & 16th August
20th & 21st September
3rd & 4th October
12th & 13th October

Improvers Workshops:

8th & 9th June
12th & 13th September

If you wish to go on our waiting list for any specific dates that are fully booked, please email office@notgrove.com


The drystone walling courses will be held on the Notgrove estate:



Nr Cheltenham

Gloucestershire GL54 3BT


Directions will be emailed to you with further details of the course once you have booked.


The following gives you a general outline of the timings of your two day course:

Day One:
8:45 am Arrive and welcome
9:00 am Course starts
1:00 pm Lunch
4:00 pm Finish

Day Two:
9:00 am Course starts
1:00 pm Lunch
4:00 pm Finish

Please note this schedule outline may be subject to change, depending upon the weather and other circumstances beyond our control.

To Book & Pay

Please complete the Booking Forms below and return to office@notgrove.com and then click on the link below to pay.

For further information

If you have any questions or queries regarding the course, please contact our main instructor, Richard Gray, on 07967 366153 or 01993 813122, or email buildinggraytyne@yahoo.co.uk

If you need to book accommodation at Notgrove for your course (which is subject to availability), please go to Luxury Glamping Pods in The Cotswolds | Notgrove Holidays

Richard Gray

Richard Gray gives talks, tours and lectures on the history and practice of dry stone walling. He has instructed for the Cotswold Conservation Board’s Beginner’s Courses and BSI, Lantra and led DSWA professional certification over the last 7 years. A qualified teacher, he was for several years an external examiner at Manchester Metropolitan University. After setting up Hillrise Stonework in 2006 he passed the DSWA Level 2 Craftsman Certification scheme examination and became a professional member of the DSWA. He believes in promoting greater understanding and knowledge about traditional dry stone walling which until recently was in decline and perhaps taken for granted by much of the population.

Why Notgrove?

Notgrove is a private estate set in 1,500 acres of beautiful Cotswold countryside with a working farm, a beautiful Cotswold stone village and as part of its diversification, a holiday accommodation business.  The estate is run by Harry and Diana Acland who are passionate about preserving the countryside and our traditional ways of life including the skill of dry stone walling.

Having originally worked with ANOB’s Rural Skills team to run dry stone walling courses, Notgrove has since partnered with one of their long standing professional instructors, Richard Gray, to continue offering dry stone walling courses to help teach the art of how to build and preserve Cotswold stone walls.

Notgrove Holidays

Notgrove Holidays offers bespoke holiday accommodation for couples, families and small groups in modern barns, glamping pods and safari tents, as well as activities and adventures for guests to do whilst they are staying with us, including dry stone walling courses.  For more information go to: www.notgroveholidays.com

Terms and Conditions

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made over 4 weeks prior to the course will receive a 75% refund.

Cancellations made 28-14 days prior to the course will be refunded 50% if we manage to refill your space.

Cancellations made under 14 days prior to the course will not be refunded.

If we have fewer than four confirmed bookings on any dry stone walling course we will be forced to cancel the course and you will be offered an alternative date. If you are unable to make any of the re-scheduled date, a refund will be given.

Any refunds will incur an admin fee of £20.

Please see our website for our full Notgrove Holidays glamping pods cancellation policy detailed in our Terms & Conditions https://notgroveholidays.com/glamping-pods/