About Cherry and The Lilac Barn

Cherry Dobson - Upholstery Courses - Somerset

In the year 2000 my husband and I moved to the south west from the south east where he had commuted to London for 20 years. We chose the south west for various geographical and family reasons, but also for the soft and gentle feel of the south west with its open spaces and clean air.

We found a house and barn situated in a garden of around an acre and a quarter near the village of Burrowbridge on the famous Somerset Levels. The Levels is a huge area of countryside that was swamp when Alfred the Great was charging around it fighting the Danes.

Over hundreds of years the area has been tamed and drained into an area of special scientific interest and peaceful beauty. Wild flowers and birds abound and easily accessible and visible ranges of hills such as the Black downs, Poldens, Quantocks and Mendips surround us.

The River Parrett with its famous Parrett Trail walks and many cycle routes are nearby.

Having taught upholstery at an Adult Education Centre for over 20 years the idea of day and residential courses came to us as a good reason to restore the tumbledown barn in the garden. We were not sure whether it was a barn or a cow byre and judging by the old chains and horseshoes we found, we believe the carthorse lived there as well. Over a six-month period the ‘barn’ was restored to a very high standard and a small kitchen and toilet suitable for the physically challenged were added.

September 2011
Life moves on
With the death of my husband in 2003, my father in 2007 and my mother in 2010 aged 100 I moved to my partners house The Willows and operate Lilac Barn from a studio there.

February 2020
So Life moves on again.

The Willows has been sold and Nigel and I have moved back to Lilac Cottage.

The yard where my studio remains is now called Mother Hubbard Storage.

It is a light and airy studio with plenty of space. Day and week courses have now been held there for 9 years ..Curtains and Blinds, Patchwork and Quilting and Upholstery and I hope that after all the restrictions of Covid 19 these will resume.

There are various accommodation options in the area if required

Details of B and B, Self Catering and Hotels can be found on the course pages.

Please come and see us for a learning holiday. While you’re here walk or cycle around beautiful Somerset; listen to and watch the birds; see the flowers; see the stars in a clear night sky.