Winter Warmer Retreat – SOLD OUT

JANUARY 17 – 19 2020

We’re incredibly excited to partner up with Hot Pot Pottery and The House of Bread Holiday Cottages to bring a very special and intimate winter warmer ukulele retreat. We decided it would be fun to offer a very special way to banish those winter blues and bridge the gap to our full summer Forest Ukulele Retreat.

Strictly limited to only 16 places (8 residential and 8 visiting), you will get to spend the weekend honing your ukulele skills with two top ukulele tutors, being taught in a very small group. There will be lessons throughout both days covering all kinds of subjects including strumming, fingerstyle, chord melody, playing up the fretboard and exploring many genres. On Saturday evening we’ll have a cosy pub social meal followed by jamming back at the gallery.

The event will be hosted at Hot Pot Pottery and House of Bread Holiday Cottages, a lovely centre for the arts in the village of Christchurch, Forest of Dean, GL16 7NS.

Tickets sold out

The holiday cottages are very beautiful but only house four people in each, so the cottage stay is aimed at couples or friends who are happy to share a double or twin room. Each cottage has one double room and one twin room. If you are travelling on your own we recommending booking a non-residential ticket and booking a local B&B or hotel room. We can recommend many lovely places and Forest Holidays have some cabins within half a mile of the site.


Whilst you’re here why not come early or stay on and take part in one of Hot Pot Pottery’s fantastic pottery workshops? To book and for more information please visit:



Many or you will know Matt as the owner of The Uke Room and host of the Forest Ukulele Retreat.

Matthew Stead, known locally as the Ukulele Man of Ross, is a full time ukulele tutor and performer, as well as proprietor of The Uke Room ukulele shop and school of excellence. Having taught many hundreds of students over the years, Matthew has amassed a wealth of experience and is able to pass on his knowledge with enthusiasm and expertise.

Matthew teaches over 50 students every week, spreading a love of the ukulele and music, locally and beyond. As well as at the Uke Room he teaches at John Kyrle High School in Ross as well as at uke events globally. Matthew has written pieces for the RGT Ukulele Grades (the globally recognised grading system for ukulele.) His latest pupil to take Grade One achieved an incredible 95% Pass with Distinction.

Matthew is also proud to be Musical Director of The London Youth Ukulele Orchestra, arranging pieces and coaching children to create wonderful music, grow in confidence and make amazing friendships.

Steven Sproat, one of the UKs most well known ukulele performers (he taught Frank Skinner how to play and is the author of top selling ukulele tuition books) named Matthew in his Absolute Admiration section in the latest edition of National Uke Magazine.

Matthew’s last two ukulele albums received much acclaim and have led to performances at the award winning Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, The Ukulele Festival of Great Britain and The Ukulele Festival of Scotland as well as many others. His music has been played globally and on Radio One in the UK.Matthew has led workshops at ukulele clubs throughout the UK and at festivals including The Grand Northern Ukulele Festival and Parbulele.


For those of you that have been on the Forest Ukulele Retreat Phil, one of our regular tutors won’t need much introduction. We obviously think he’s brilliant and are so happy he’ll be joining us!

Phil’s love of vintage blues, hokum, old-time, and jug band music shines through as he blows the dust off obscure old songs and gives new life to classics with his intricate picking and driving rhythms on both ukulele and 5-string banjo. His original songs blend in seamlessly, with many believing them to be old songs that had passed them by.

“massively entertaining” Blues Matters Magazine

“Genuinely good-time music from ukulele stalwart, who also plays a mean banjo” Roots Magazine

“some of the best music I’ve heard in a long time” Dan Phelps, Delta blues artist

Phil has traveled all over the UK and to Ireland, France, Germany, Finland and the US performing and leading workshops at festivals, theatres, and clubs. He has appeared on over 20 albums (and a number 2 hit single), performed on BBC radio and TV, taught over 1500 ukulele players, and shared stages with some of the world’s finest players. He is a regular contributor Uke Magazine, has composed pieces for the London College of Music ukulele grade syllabus, and is the author of the book “How Music Works On The Ukulele”

Previous gigs include The Acoustic Festival of Britain, The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Derby Folk Festival, Tenby Blues Festival, Bearded Theory, Upton Blues Festival, Off The Tracks, Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, The Ukulele Festival of Britain, and The Ukulele Festival of Scotland. In 2018 he released his first solo album in 15 years, “Skin & Bones” which was closely followed by 2019’s all-original album “Keep Drinkin’ That Coffee!” and the acoustic EP “Hot Nuts!”