November 13th 2016 to November 19th, 2016 (6 nights/5 days)

Join us for Kent Castles week, a stunning and exclusive photography retreat based at Boys Hall Hotel, Ashford, Kent. You’ll join best selling author and photographer Doug Harman and professional photographer and renowned Photoshop Artist Sue Chapman ARPS, CPAGB to experience the delights of some of the most dramatic and picturesque of Kentish castles, along with some of Kent’s most beautiful countryside and seascapes.

Naturally, you will also enjoy some of the finest cuisine and glorious accommodation at Boys Hall (shown at right) along the way too. This one week retreat will be suitable for beginners in camera skills and will concentrate on the use of Lightroom for photo editing but of course, those with more advanced knowledge and experience are welcome to join us too.

Boys Hall, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent
Boys Hall, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent.

Boys Hall is a sumptuously appointed and historic building in fact the Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in Willesborough, Ashford. Built in the 17th Century (built a short distance from the ruins of the original moated Hall dating from the 13th century) the Hall is a Grade 2 property that retains many of its original features and charm. The Hall was originally built in 1616 by the Boys family who had previously been known as De Bois, having originally landed in England from France at the time of the Norman Conquest. Over time their name was Anglicised through Boyce to Boys as we know it today.)

The Boys Hall retreat includes luxury accommodation and fine dining for your entire one week stay, with a mix of Castle visits, Photography and Lightroom tuition on each of the week days. Should you wish to stay an extra few days at either the beginning or end of your stay please contact the hotel directly who will be happy to advise their availability.

Conference / Dining room at Boys Hall, Willesborough, Ashford
Conference and Dining room at Boys Hall, Willesborough, Ashford.

Arrival At Boys Hall

You may arrive at Boys Hall any time after 3pm and settle yourself into your room. Doug and Sue will meet you for an introductory chat between 5 and 6pm for a pre-dinner drink and ensure you are comfortably ensconced in your new surroundings. You will then have an hour of free time before your first evening meal in “The Grand Hall” where you will be able to chat with and get to know your fellow retreat members.

On the following morning, after a hearty breakfast, you will be given a short introductory welcome to the week ahead, then head off to your first Castle destination. Dependent upon the vagaries of the English weather we might change the itinerary around slightly in order to optimise the location shoots and Lightroom editing time.

During your stay we will head to a variety of Kent Castles all having their own unique characteristics and include Walmer Castle, Dover, Sissinghurst and Leeds Castles. Please note the cost of entry into all the castles is included in your retreat cost.

Workshop Cost: £2,500. Book early and receive a £150 reduction in cost.

Proposed Itinerary and Course Plan*

  • Day 1  Brief welcome and course outline. An overview of basic camera skills; from buttons and dials to focal lengths, shutter speeds and depth of field. Trip to Walmer Castle with light lunch. Return to base early afternoon and learn how to import and rate your images in Lightroom.
  • Day 2 Day trip to Leeds castle with a light lunch included in the Castle restaurant. Leave castle around 4PM and return to base by 5PM.
  • Day 3 Day trip to Sissinghurst Castle. Light lunch. Afternoon spent downloading and editing images in Lightroom.
  • Day 4 All day trip to Dover Castle.
  • Day 5 Short morning visit to local castle ruins.(Surprise location)! Return to base and final editing for group showing and prize for “image of the week”. Grand finale gala evening meal with presentations.
    NB: * Itinerary is subject to change based on weather and other eventualities outside Capture and Create’s control. Some days might be moved around but the core course content will remain the same. In the event of any Castles being closed for unforeseen reasons we will ensure another castle is visited instead.

What You Need to bring… Day time clothing

  • Sturdy waterproof walking shoes or walking boots, warm socks, gloves, hat and waterproof / windproof jacket.
  • A mix of layered tops and thin fleeces so you can build up or remove layers for the days when we are out walking are highly recommended to cope with freezing cold days to mild sunny ones! The British weather can be truly varied!!
  • November  is one of our coldest month of the year with average temperatures between 3 °C and 10°C, although freezing temperature, snow and icy winds from the East can make it feel much colder.
  • If you are interested in statistics take a look at this site.


Smart casual wear for the normal evening meals. Smart evening wear for the one formal Friday night dinner.

Camera gear and accessories:

You will need a camera where you are able to control aperture, shutter speeds and ISO (sensitivity). It does not need to be an SLR however. Additionally…

  • A reasonable capacity memory card, such as 8GB – or higher – compatible with your camera.
  • If you have a selection of lenses, then please feel free to bring them with you.
  • A tripod is beneficial but not necessary. (NOT a table top tripod)
  • We recommend you bring your  A laptop with a minimum RAM of 4GB.  8GB or higher preferable. Ideally with either Photoshop CS6 (or Creative Cloud) and additionally Lightroom.
  • Should you not have this software pre-installed on your PC we can help you download a free 30 day trial directly from Adobe which will be fine for the duration of the course.

NB: A tablet device will not suffice for the image editing tasks used on this retreat.

Prices are based on single occupancy but should you wish to bring a friend on the retreat and share a room please send us an email and we will send you a quote accordingly. If you wish to bring a partner, to simply partake of the luxurious surroundings and not get involved in our workshops, that’s not a problem, just let us know and for £60 per additional person you may have bed, breakfast and evening meal. Should your partner wish to accompany you on the outings out but not the workshops please contact us for a separate quote accordingly.


What’s included:

  • All lodging and meals at Boys Hall or alternative restaurants between November 13th to November 19th 2016.
  • One formal gala evening dinner on the Friday night (will include beverages)
  • Transportation to all of our tuition trips out during the week days. Transportation to and from our photographic locations is a combination of cars / minivans and/or Taxis, but all have with plenty of room for us and our photo gear and their costs is also included in the price of the workshop.
  • Photographic and photo editing and guiding / instruction on the weekdays.
  • Warnborough College Certificate of Completion.

What’s not included:

  • Flights/travel to and from your home, including insurance.
  • Visa or passport fees.
  • Any beverages alcoholic or otherwise except on the Friday evening special dinners as detailed above.
  • Trips and transport at the weekends.
  • Anything not specifically listed as “included” above.

Your deposit of £1200 will secure your place in this workshop. Final payment of  is due by (date or period here). We’ll see you at Boys Hall!