Downe House


In 2019, NLMS Music Summer School moved to a new venue – Downe House – a girls’ day and boarding school in Cold Ash, a village near Newbury, Berkshire.  The school is set in a beautiful 110 acre estate in Berkshire, overlooking woodland and the Berkshire Downs. 

Down House School
Downe House School grounds


There is a plentiful supply of modern, purpose-built living accommodation, with a mixture of mainly single, and a few double rooms, mostly in groups of four rooms.  Some of these are on the ground floor, and these will be allocated on the basis of need.  Bedroom accommodation is in two sixth-form houses and all rooms will have washbasins with toilet and shower facilities nearby.

Sample bedroom
Sample bedroom


Downe House has a thriving Music department, with a wealth of musical ensembles for girls at all levels, from beginners to diploma-standard instrumentalists and singers. Accordingly, NLMS participants will be able to benefit from the school’s very high quality music accommodation, including:

  • a modern Performing Arts Centre which has a large auditorium with hydraulic floor, ideal for concerts
  • a traditional concert hall
  • a chapel
  • a music block with rehearsal and practice rooms
  • plentiful supply of large classrooms for sectional rehearsals.

All the music accommodation is modern, with good lighting.  There are plenty of small practice rooms with pianos, and other classrooms which will be set up for sectionals etc.

Performing Arts Centre


The dining hall is spacious – a very pleasant space with round tables and comfortable chairs.  There are multiple service points, so that food can be served quickly.

Main dining hall

A large lounge and kitchen space is at our disposal for the use of non-residents. And of course there is a lounge and bar space!

Willis House 6th form space


Reception and the Course Office are set up next to the car park; also there will be the usual MD’s office and music library.  Site security and access is controlled through individual security passes, which we will all be issued with – no need to remember various key codes.


In addition to the school’s large and beautiful grounds, we can use the swimming pool for a specified period each day (time slots need to be booked).  All the usual NLMS services are available, including those of your very own personal shopper for anything you need to get from local shops.

Swimming pool


The school is about 4 miles by road from Junction 13 of the M4 (Chieveley/A34), almost equidistant between Oxford, Swindon and Reading. The nearest major railway station is Newbury (accessible from the West Country and from Reading) and the best way to get to Downe House from there is by taxi, which should take about 15 minutes.  There is plenty of car parking, close to the accommodation.


Have you already explored the courses available?

>> Symphony Orchestra

>> Sinfonietta

>> Choir

>> Brass Ensemble

>> String Group

>> Apply Now!

Photographs courtesy and © copyright Downe House School and Steve Walker