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Beginners’ Dry Stone Walling Course


About the Course

Beginners’ Dry Stone Walling Course - weekend in the Yorkshire Dales

The courses run from approximately 9:00am to 4:00pm over Saturday and Sunday and run throughout the year. Please get in touch for dates.

During a training course you will:

- Learn the basic principles of dry stone walling
- Contribute to the conservation of our valuable local dry stone walls
- Enjoy working in the countryside in a structured but informal atmosphere
- Be taught by accredited DSWA instructors and members of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain

The OTLEY AND YORKSHIRE DALES BRANCH training courses offer structured tuition for men, women and young people in an informal atmosphere. All the instructors hold the DSWA Instructors Certificate and are members of the Association. At the beginning of the course you will meet your instructor, and any assistants, at an introductory briefing and welcome. The course teaches the basic principles of dry stone walling which will involve taking down (“stripping out”) a derelict or damaged section of wall and rebuilding it to a satisfactory standard. You can work at your own pace and not under pressure.

These courses are open to anyone from teens to 80+, providing they are reasonably fit and well. If you have any medical condition, which you think that your instructor should know about, you should inform him. Serious injuries in walling are rare, but care is needed when handling and working with stones to avoid back, hand, feet and eye injuries. Safety instruction and guidance will be given by the instructor.

All training courses run by DSWA have public liability insurance to cover course members for third party risks. Course participants should arrange their own personal insurance if they feel this is relevant.

There are male and female toilet facilities near the walling site.

Booking confirmation will be sent to you on receipt of completed booking form and payment. Full course details and directions to the site will be sent to you about a week before the course date.

During the course you may be working away from the car park, and consequently you are advised to keep your valuables with you.

Clothing Appropriate clothing and protection will help you enjoy the event more. In addition to a robust jacket and over-trousers (for colder weather), layers of working clothes suitable for all weathers are recommended to protect against any dusty, muddy or wet conditions.

Many people (including professional wallers) find that kneepads (available at DIY stores or from the DSWA) or a garden kneeler are a sensible form of protection. Strong, protective gloves are essential. PVC types are good for wet conditions; some people like to wear a thin lining glove inside such gloves. Thin cotton or suede gardening gloves will not last or give sufficient protection for stone work.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Please bring a packed lunch and hot or cold drinks on both days.
It is a good idea to bring a hat, sun-block and plenty of drinking water in hot weather.
£45 concessions (Under-16’s, student, unemployed, 60-plus)


Brian Hartley at Dry Stone Walling Association Otley and Yorkshire Dales branch
3 Arthington Garth
West Yorkshire
LS21 1QD
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2 days

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #25819

Had an enjoyable time learning how to build a dry stone wall even if the weather wasn't great. The team were very helpful and on point directing us building the wall.

In-person course
- - #25817

I really enjoyed this course. All the instructors were very friendly and very knowledgeable and clearly explained the reasoning for the various stages of dismantling and building dry stone walls.

Even in the face of some wet and windy weather, everyone was really positive and they also made sure we had plenty of hot drinks to keep us warm.

We also were given a guide pack at the end of the course with further information to refer to for building dry stone walls.

It’s definitely worth doing as it is a lot of fun and you learn an awful lot about techniques, traditions and stone types.

In-person course
- - #23256

The course was absolutely fantastic. Our instructor Bill was phenomenal. Everything was well organised and well presented with very knowledgeable volunteers. I can honestly say I've never spent a weekend with a group of lovelier people. I want to do it all again!! Thank you to Otley DSWA for making a weekend of beautiful memories and laughter while learning such a wonderful skill.

In-person course
- - #23254

A group of 4 of us attended this course in Otley and what a wonderful time we had. The staff were brilliant, very knowledgable and extremely welcoming. Our instructor Bill was lovely and funny, we had so much fun we all wanted to take him home with us! All communication before hand was extremely quick and very helpful. We stayed at a local air bnb that was recommended by the course organiser Brian and it was one of the nicest places we've ever stayed. The whole weekend was ten out of ten in my estimation. Thanks for a awesome experience guys!

In-person course
- - #17190

Well organised course. Advised prior to course date items of clothing etc needed. Full instructions on meeting place together with a map and contact details.
The instructors were very knowlageable and provided excellent coaching. We worked together in teams of four with one instructor per team.
I would highly recommend this course. There is a real sence of acheivement at the end of the 2nd day when you see your handy work.

In-person course
- - #10166

Two full days of coached (1 to 4 student ratio) dry stone walling. Content included staged deconstruction of dilapidated walling, structured laying out of stone, base preparation and wall setting out followed by re construction. Principles clearly explained and easy to follow with guidance on each stage. Excellent experience and value for money.

In-person course
- - #1016

Could you please forward tom me details of future courses. Thanks, Mark

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