Missenden’s Summer Indulgence

What people have said:

'A huge thank you to you and the team for a wonderful Summer Modellers' Retreat 2014. It was a great success.

‘I made more progress in a week at Missenden than I would have in a year at home.’

‘The best thing about Missenden isn't just the help from the tutors, but the little titbits you pick up from those working beside you.’

'I don't get breakfasts like this at home.'

'If I don't have exactly the right tool with me, there's always someone who'll lend me one.'

‘I may be a complete duffer but I love being in the company of people who really know what they're doing'

'I’m happy just to crack on with my own modelling but it's good to know the expertise is there all around you if you need it.'

‘Great fun, great company and a relaxing environment. What more could you need?’

'Thoroughly enjoyed my week's endeavours; achieved more than I have done at any other time; and the company was superb!'

'The summer school was enormous fun and and seemed to be over in a flash - thank you so much again for all you do to make all the Missenden gatherings so enjoyable and unmissable for us all.'

Sun 28th July - Sat 3rd August 2019

FULL (18.5.2019) Contact us if you want to go on the waiting list.

Imagine an entire holiday dedicated to finescale modelling. You know how much you can get done in a weekend, so imagine what you’ll achieve in a week! Luggage barrow

This eleventh year of the Missenden Abbey Summer Retreat offers an unhurried, relaxed atmosphere in which you can work at your own pace on the project(s) of your choice. Unlike our Modelling Weekends, where the accent is on learning new modelling skills, the focus is 100% on hands-on modelling and making real, uninterrupted progress in a way that’s rarely possible at home.

The Retreat is not for the outright beginner but with Tony Gee and Barry Norman on hand to offer advice and support, a wealth of practical experience is available for you to draw on. The expertise of your fellow modellers forms an equally valuable resource. In a change to the usual way of doing things at a Summer retreat, Mick Bonwick will be running full tuition weathering sessions for the week for up to 5 participants, with all tools and equipment provided.

If ever there was the perfect retreat for railway modellers, you may well have found it.

Dashing to the Summer RetreatThe modelling emphasis is definitely finescale, but gauge or scale is irrelevant. Each year we welcome loco-builders and scenic modellers, painters and weatherers, tracklayers and electronics people. Some people have wired up their layouts, some have built entire landscapes. Others have worked on a variety of projects – the choice is entirely yours. Our goal is to enable you to take home a project that not only works reliably, but is well on the way to completion. If you don’t have a sense of humour, though, you may find the relaxed, informal atmosphere hard to live with.


Time, space, opportunity . . . Think of it – a whole week free of domestic interference, sponging . ..kids, dogs that want walking, gardens that need attention and trolleys being pushed round Sainsbury’s. You’ll have your own workspace, your own agenda. If you live locally, you can come in daily at a reduced fee.

As well as the hands-on stuff there is a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ trip out. out – in past years we’ve had a 'behind the scenes' visit to Pendon Museum and afternoon tea on the Chinnor Railway.  As for 2019 – you’ll have to wait and see .

What else can we offer?

    • We’ve been successfully running modelling courses at Missenden Abbey for more than 30  years
    • Missenden is revered throughout the modelling world for its high-quality accommodation in the rural Chilterns (smack on the proposed route of HS2!)
    • Excellent modeller-friendly food (with healthy options for the more cerebral)
    • Just 20 mins from the M25 and readily accessible from all parts of the country
    • If you live close at hand, you can join Summer School at reduced rates as a non-resident.

For details on price and how to book, see the Booking page.

Wives and partners are welcome, either just to stay at the Abbey for a break, or take part in any of the many courses that the Abbey runs during Summer School.

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What people have said:

'Would just like to set pen to paper and compliment you on a truly wonderful week. As a complete novice in modern railway modelling kits I chose to bring an etched brass gauge 0 cattle wagon kit which I completed in the week.'

'it is the best money I have spent on railway modelling.'

'Excellent, and very worthwhile. Can we do it again next year?'