Denman College

Education has been at the heart of the WI since its very beginnings. The constitution of the first Women’s Institute in Canada stated that ‘the object of this Institute shall be to promote knowledge of household science… with a view of raising the general standard of health of our people’.

In 1960, Denman offered 159 different courses. In 2017, it offers over 650. Every year, Denman continues to improve its facilities and its programme. Every year, Denman welcomes over 10,000 students who visit for a few hours, learn for a day, enjoy the overnight experience, or stay for weekends. The relaxing environment is a perfect place to experience the range of courses on offer, fitted in the three main themes of cookery, craft and lifestyle. There truly is something for everyone, from more advanced sewing courses to beginners baking to historical lectures.

Although the courses continue to change over the years, reflecting the changing nature of our lives, the vision of the founders remains the same and true today; that Denman will always offer the best in adult liberal education, inspiring women and men alike, from the UK and beyond.


If you would like to bring a group of friends to explore Denman, we have lots of different options:

Day Visits: A great opportunity to get to know Denman, its Georgian house, grounds and teaching centre. You will get a real feel for what it’s like to attend a course in the beautiful Oxfordshire surroundings. Enjoy a delicious two course lunch with a glass of wine, followed by a tour with one of our specialist guides, who will show you around, explaining the history of Denman, and what it is like to attend a course here. You will also have a chance to visit our two shops before finishing the day with a cream tea.

Day Visits with Demos: On top of all of the above, you can add on a demonstration by one of our expert tutors in either cookery or floral art.

Designer Days: Create your own bespoke taste of Denman from our range of courses. Arrive for morning coffee before the first of your workshops, which has been chosen by you, and tailored to your requirements. After lunch, visit our two shops, before trying another workshop in the afternoon. Finish the day with afternoon tea before heading home to plan your next Denman visit!

Residential Designer Days: Why not add to your Designer Day with an overnight stay at Denman! Arrive on Sunday afternoon and relax in the beautiful surroundings of Denman before your dinner in the Georgian house and relax, or enjoy some optional light entertainment. After a restful night, enjoy your breakfast, before following the Designer Day programme.

Federation Visits: This is the best way to visit Denman for the first time! Organised by your Federation Denman Ambassador, they choose the courses, arrange transport to and from Denman, and ensure a great few days away learning, being inspired, and having fun!

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