Photography plus Pilates

From Snapshots to Great Shots!

Hartington, The Peak District.

Next Date: TBC.
Message us using the box at the bottom of the page to be the first to know when the next date is confirmed.

Photography with professional photographer Jane Burkinshaw
Plus Pilates with  Cilla Thwaites

Take time out for yourself to learn how to capture beautiful photographs and reconnect with your body with relaxing Pilates classes.

Gentle stretching soothes your body and calms your mind & helps you become more receptive to learning new creative skills. Photography is the perfect way to make us take life more slowly and appreciate what surrounds us.

A weekend in the beautiful landscapes of the Peak District will do you a world of good!

Good for: Anyone wanting to improve their photography skills – with any type of camera or smartphone – and combine it with gentle Pilates classes. Beginners and non-beginners are welcome for both activities.

Not ideal for: Very experienced photographers, unless you simply enjoy the company of other photographers and the opportunity to relax, grab some nice shots and do some Pilates.

See photos from previous weekends here and what people say here.

What’s on offer?

The Photography

If you want to move beyond snapshots and create images that really connect with people then you will love these sessions!

Great images are the ones that tell a story and where you are moved to feel something; they make you laugh, feel joy, feel awe, feel hungry and so on.

The viewer feels like the photographer felt when they took the picture and knows exactly what they wanted to communicate. This is a photography skill that drives and fascinates Jane. And the good news it doesn’t require expensive cameras and lenses.

You see the story and capture it, not the equipment you’re using.

You’re not expecting to be Annie Leibovitz or Richard Avedon by the end of the weekend, but you will feel more confident in taking better photographs, whatever equipment you’re using.

 Here’s an idea of what will be covered:

  • Basic smartphone and camera skills.
  • How to tell stories and create emotions in your photographs.
  • Why are you taking the photograph and what do you want to say.
  • How to use light, colour, composition and editing to communicate your story.
  • Learning to pay attention and to see differently.
  • How to edit your image to strengthen the message.

Pilates classes

Pilates works the deep stabilising muscles to improve  strength and posture. It  has a strong mind/body connection, so you might like it if you like yoga.

It involves precise moves and specific breathing techniques and increases body awareness which encourages efficient and graceful movement.

What will the weekend be like?

We want to give you enough time with Jane to practise taking better photos in different settings, as well as take advantage of unwinding with Pilates. So we’re offering a fairly full schedule, with some down-time factored in to allow you to relax and absorb what you’re learning.

However, rest assured that everything is optional! We want you to go at your own pace, and feel free to dip in and out of the sessions if that’s what feels right for you. After all, it’s your weekend 😉

Message us in the box at the bottom of the page if you’d like a sample itinerary from a previous photography weekend.

Surrounded by open countryside and traditional stone cottages in the village, being in Hartington is a joy.

Waking up to bird song and country air, you’ll immediately feel the calming effect of being immersed in one of the the prettiest parts of England. After a leisurely full English breakfast, you’ll be ready to soak up new photography skills  in Jane’s sessions – both in and around Hartington.

By Saturday evening you’ll feel refreshed, inspired and relaxed – with a bundle of great photos to pore over! You can then look forward to a delicious meal in the village – a wonderful way to end the day.

Read Jane’s blog about the last Photography & Yoga weekend in The Lakes and read what people say.

The view outside Hartington Hall
Venue & Location

Hartington Hall is a stunning 16th century Manor House, full of character and charm. It has a restaurant; a bar and several social areas to relax in.

The beautifully kept grounds are a haven for local wildlife, and sitting on a bench in the grounds listening to all the different birds chattering above is a simple pleasure.

Hartington Hall in the Peak District National Park
Hartington Hall in the Peak District National Park

Hartington Hall is part of the Youth Hostel Association (YHA), a charity which exists to offer travel, adventure and access to nature to improve people’s health & wellbeing.

Their core mission is:
‘To inspire all, especially young people, to broaden their horizons, gaining knowledge and independence through new experiences of adventure and discovery.’

Each year the YHA provides almost a million people an affordable base to pursue activities, and we’re proud to stay here and in our small way support the YHA and their charitable work.

Plaque inside Hartington Hall

Nestled in the lovely village of Hartington, this is an unspoilt and beautiful part of the Peak District National Park. It’s popular with walkers & cyclists alike, having a number of pubs, coffee shops & a village store, as well as the famous Old Cheese Shop by the duck pond.

Above all, Hartington is a picture-perfect country English village that you’ll want to return to time and again.

Our Photography Instructor
Jane Burkinshaw is a powerhouse of enthusiasm and knowledge – you’ll absolutely love learning and experimenting with her!

Jane is a professional photographer who runs a wide variety of photography workshops for beginners and more experienced photographers, alongside other photographic work. You can learn more about Jane and read her blogs here:

Jane Burkinshaw
Classes with Cilla Thwaites

Cilla has over 20 years experience in teaching fitness and Pilates classes, and makes everyone feel welcome whatever their ability-level. She keeps classes light-hearted & enjoyable whilst providing clear technical guidance.

You’ll begin to feel looser and more relaxed with each class.

Pilates works the deep stabilising muscles to improve  strength and posture. It  has a strong mind/body connection, so you might like it if you like yoga.

It involves precise moves and specific breathing techniques and increases body awareness which encourages efficient and graceful movement.


Photography workshops: Suitable for complete beginners or people who’d like to build their knowledge and confidence, whether using any type of camera or smartphone.

Pilates: Cilla offers alternatives throughout her classes making them suitable for most people whatever your level of fitness and experience.

If you’d like to join and bring a partner or friend who doesn’t wish to take part in the sessions, contact us to discuss possibilities.

If you’ve any questions about suitability please contact us using the form below to arrange a chat.

Everyone is welcome, and we’re very friendly. Come alone or bring a friend.

What’s Included
  • Your chosen accommodation for two nights
  • All photography sessions with Jane
  • 2 sessions of Pilates
  • A full English breakfast both mornings
  • Refreshments throughout the weekend
  • Use of all facilities including a bar, restaurant & a modern self-catering kitchen & dining room all in beautiful grounds
What’s not included
  • Transport
  • Friday evening meal
  • Saturday lunch & evening meal

A full hot & cold breakfast buffet is included on both mornings, which will set us up for each morning’s sessions.

On Friday evening, we can dine in the restaurant at Hartington Hall. Afterwards we can relax in the lounge & bar (and talk all things photography !)

For Saturday evening we’ll make a reservation in a great local pub, where we hope you’ll join us, but of course you’re free to make your own arrangements.

There’s a well-equipped self-catering kitchen where you might like to prepare a meal or lunch yourself. This is convenient if you have any particular dietary or budgetry requirements.


You’ll be able to check into you room on Friday afternoon, and you’re more than welcome to arrive earlier and enjoy the facilities and grounds, or explore Hartington village. Check-out is at 10am on Sunday or for a minimal charge you  have the option to check-out at noon.

Timings will be confirmed a month before, but we expect the Photography sessions will start on Friday evening and continue across the weekend until our last session ends on Sunday lunchtime.

*Please note: Exact times will be confirmed closer to the date.

Rooms & accommodation

There’s a mix of accommodation available.

We have a cottage for our exclusive use for 8 people; a cosy self-contained flat for 2 people as well as some single rooms & a twin en-suite in the main building.

All the rooms are simply furnished. Choose either a single, twin or double room. Some are en-suite, and all have a shower and a sink. 

If you prefer more home comforts, then the flat is a good option.

The cottage offers rooms with single, twin and a double bed, each with their own sinks and shower plus 2 shared WCs. There is a kitchen, dining area and lounge with TV.

This is a good option for anyone wanting to prepare their own meals as well as a private space to relax together & chat about all things photography!

The self-contained flat has a lounge & dining area, kitchenette, TV & shower room. The bedroom has a double bed plus a daybed.

See photos from previous weekends here and what people say here.

To be the first to hear of new dates, send a message using the box below or email: