The Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Summer School 2023
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The Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Summer School 2023

Exploring the work of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in Hughes's Yorkshire home
  • Heather Clark
    Heather Clark
  • Photo of Peter Steinberg writing at a table outside
    Peter K. Steinberg
Date Sunday June 18th - Saturday June 24th 2023
Location Lumb Bank

This summer school is aimed primarily at Plath and Hughes scholars, academics and students with an extensive working knowledge of the lives and work of both writers.

This summer, Arvon is partnering with the University of Huddersfield to host the inaugural Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Summer School, led by scholars Heather Clark and Steve Ely. Join us for an immersive six-day session, based at Ted Hughes’ former home and focused on Plath’s and Hughes’s work in the landscape they loved.

Clark will focus on Plath’s Yorkshire-based poems and her 1965 collection Ariel, with supplementary readings from Plath’s letters and journals. Ely will focus on the influence of Yorkshire on Hughes’s poetry, and the tension between the autobiographical and expressionistic modes in his post-1969 work.

This is not a creative writing course but an opportunity to study Plath’s and Hughes’s work in the stunning West Yorkshire landscape that inspired some of their finest poems. The course fee includes accommodation at Lumb Bank (shared bathrooms), all meals (lunch and dinner catered), tuition and excursions to places embedded within Plath’s and Hughes’s lives and work, including Heptonstall village, Hardcastle Crags, Crimsworth Dean, Mytholmroyd, Top Withens, Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage.

Room options:

8 premium rooms with valley view: £1,500

5 standard rooms, view not guaranteed: £1,200

Concession for premium room: £1,200

Concession for standard room: £840

Physical Access at Lumb Bank:

We do not recommend this house if you are a wheelchair user. Plans are underway to redevelop the house to provide level access. There is 1 level access en-suite bedroom – the Log shed. There is level access from outside into the workshop room and level access into the sitting room. Door widths are generally narrow, though all door handles are at an accessible height. There is no designated car park. If you have a mobility impairment, we can allocate you a space in the courtyard (1 place per course). Others are asked to park at the top of a long steep lane and make their way on foot to the house. For additional detailed information on physical access in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, dining, shared spaces and the grounds please visit our dedicated access page.

General Access Information for Residential Writing Weeks:

Available on all courses for those who are Deaf, Partially Deaf or who have significant hearing loss

We provide BSL interpreters on some courses. If you require this please check whether the course you are interested in offers this facility. Or get in touch on our dedicated access email:

Available on all courses for those who are blind, partially sighted or who have significant sight loss

Available on all courses for those who have Dyslexia

There’s no need to worry about spelling, grammar or handwriting on our courses, the focus is on creativity.

Available on all courses to those who identify as Neuro Divergent

Arvon is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment to all.

If you need to take some time out to rest, or be alone, you’re welcome to do so. Participation in any activity is entirely at your discretion.

Our grants scheme may be able to cover a portion of your course fees. Disability costs and additional living/support costs are taken into account when considering your grant application. You may also be entitled to concession pricing on selected courses.

For additional detailed information on how we can support people with learning difficulties, mental health issues, and those with special diets and allergies, please see our dedicated access page.

If you have any questions or concerns and want to chat to a member of staff prior to booking please contact us on

The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, Lumb Bank is an 18th-century millowner’s house in West Yorkshire, which once belonged to Ted Hughes. It’s set in 20 acres of steep woodland with breathtaking views to the valley below.

You’ll find many quiet places to write in the house and garden – and a well-stocked library. All rooms are single occupancy, and bathrooms are shared.

All your meals are provided, locally and sustainably sourced wherever possible. Help yourself to breakfast, our team will prepare lunch, and dinner is prepared in groups each evening using the delicious recipes and ingredients provided.

Explore the Pennine landscape of woods and rivers, weavers’ cottages, packhorse trails and ruins of old mills. It is half a mile from the historic village of Heptonstall and two miles from Hebden Bridge.

See here for more information on Lumb Bank.



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