Whether you are looking for some time-out, the venue for a gathering or to brush up your academic or creative skills and knowledge, welcome! Wykes Manor is a place set apart for all, and can be a crossroads for many. Let us provide you with refreshment, rest and rejuvenation for whatever stage of your personal journey you are on.

Our 17th Century manor house is tucked amongst the fields and woodland of the Lincolnshire landscape. Based just outside Donington village, we are 20 minutes drive from Spalding and Boston, with good train services linking up to the North and South. 

Please look around our website to see the spaces available to hire, and some of the activities, exhibitions and courses we have to offer you. 

Call us on 07942 861956.  

"A truly wonderful experience. The peace and tranquility allowed me to prioritise what is important in life and how to deal with the challenges ahead" - Helen.

Please follow the news feed on Facebook or Instagram under the name emmavanspyk


Eva Harding Bell, Swineshead Methodist Church:

She provided us with Coffee and Tea on arrival and yummy biscuits, lunch was a dream all sourced and cooked by her with artistic skill. Ruth and I are going back today for "High Tea" in her garden, something she runs from June till August every year... It will be a time of reconnecting to the beautiful God given grace that is Wykes Manor.

"We had our Alpha Away Day last Saturday. What a beautiful church retreat house and grounds, to find near Donington, not far from Boston. Emma was a wonderful host and from the moment we arrived she looked after us beautifully. There was plenty of room for our group to sit in her comfy lounge, and the grounds are amazing, to just walk and wander in total peace was such a tonic. Emma encourages people to take regular breaks there, even just popping over for the day, it's a beautiful place to connect with God and be at peace. 
A beautiful Manor House and grounds with its own little chapel. Lincolnshire is truly blessed to have such a venue in their county in my opinion.

Katherine from Cambridge:

"Great to be guided through different mediums and subjects with helpful direction!  Exploring myself, my spirituality and my creativity all at once".


"I came to meet this house as a companion and friend.  Let this place help you meet yourself in quality time and take advantage of tuition available in the arts. 'Abide with me'. Let Wykes be your companion.  Come and abide awhile; 'myself and I'.  Relax with yourself and discover your true self".

Poem by a Recent Retreatant -

'A Hidden gem in Lincolnshire'

'After a troubled day and night, before
The dawn reveals a hidden gem
Wykes Manor house and home
A place to be, the place to be today.
A place to hide, a place to share
A place that’s comfortable with itself
A place to meet others
A place to tell your story
A place to dwell in the Spirit
A place with Big sky’s, Large fields, and dykes to drain away
But cold and ice and snow and rain and sleet and sun again
Back to a roaring open fire and mug of warming tea.
Away from home, an yet to feel at home
Home is where the heart is
Home is where the heart is full of Christ
A place to be
A place to be for you and me today
A hidden gem in Lincolnshire' 

 - Bob Pritchard February 2015-02-07, Donington

Rooms Available for Hire

Rooms are available to rent on short term lets in our beautiful house. All rooms are large and spacious, with access to shared bathrooms. Breakfast and supper can also be provided.

We also have a fully-fitted office available to let in the grounds of the house. The office is purpose-built in wood and insulated, providing a tranquil working environment.

Wykes Manor offers flexible accommodation for events, receptions, parties, seminars, workshops and retreats from a centrally-placed location.


The Rooms


The Retreat Room

This large and historical room is situated in the part of the house that used to be the dairy. It contains a sink, twin beds, easy chair and a huge desk suitable for writers and artists. Originally it was probably the housekeeper's room. Thomas Cowley, who bought and renovated the house in the 17th century, employed a husband and wife team to keep the house and gardens, and we believe this to have been their room. Original features within the room include a carved wooden peg rack that may have been used for drying herbs.




The Attic Family Room


This spacious room has a double bed and two single beds. It also has an ensuite shower room.

Writer’ s cabin
The writers cabin is a static caravan, very simple in its interior. The exterior is wooden clad to blend in with the rest of the crew yard. The static will accommodate anyone who needs peace and tranquillity to write. It consists of two bedrooms, dining room / seating area and a kitchen with a sink, microwave, electric oven, kettle and sandwich maker. At present the bathroom only contains a toilet and sink. The shower is at the main house. Views from the static look across the fields of the farm on two sides where the horses are. It is within a short distance from the house.


The Period Drawing Room 
This room features period panelling, a triple sash Georgian window, two pianos, a sofa, four armchairs and a table. French doors exit onto the garden. The room can accommodate twenty people, and can be moved around to suit your needs.
The library is also available as a place of quiet reflection or teaching.


Among the barns in the garden and grounds are a small chapel, an art studio and a wooden office, all of which are available to hire, subject to bookings.
You may pitch your tent on the large field to the rear of the property.


 Wykes Manor wedding venue
Wykes Manor offers an attractive and characterful venue for wedding receptions in Lincolnshire. The small manor house is historic and homely, offering comfortable accommodation, spacious gardens and plenty of photo opportunities. The gardens can acco mmodate a marquee for up to 100 people. Our welcoming ethos is Christian; "whoever receives one of these little ones in my name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives not Me but Him who sent Me". (Mark 9;37).

Our rooms are available to rent as part of an event, none of them with en-suite facilities, but all comfortable and close to shared bathrooms. The beautiful formal drawing room accommodates twenty people and there is also a library in the main house that can provide quiet space for families or people needing respite from the bustle of the day. Our aim is to make this very special occasion peaceful, joyful and a lasting memory. Please come over to have coffee, see the place and talk through your plans. You are assured of a warm welcome and can form your own impressions of what we offer.

We offer two packages - Normal and Formal, as follows:


Normal Package

The Normal package includes use of the Crew Yard and Open Barn. The client is responsible for the hiring of toilets and marquee.


Formal Package

The Formal package includes use of the main house and lawns. This ensures total use of the house, with all B&B rooms booked out of general circulation. Therefore, some of your guests would be able to make use of the B&B facilities for one night ( not included in the price of package, can be arranged, price negotiable) Caravans may also be hooked up for a fee.The client would be responsible for the hiring of a marquee and extra toilets. 



Our aim is to make this very special occasion peaceful, joyful and a lasting memory. Please come over to have coffee, see the place and talk through your plans.

If you are interested in hiring a marquee, garden party tent or many other props to make your party special, we recommend www.tillysgardenpartyhire.co.uk

If you are vegetarian, vegan celiac or if you have specific dietary requirements do not hesitate to contact us or www.freeliciousbakery.com




Early music for the Curious:

Residential house parties for musicians and singers, with workshops and performances, led by enthusiastic professionals.
  Bring your own wine.



Next Musical Workshop:



... We can host small events in the house itself, but we can suggest marquee suppliers for larger gatherings in the grounds.



Deposit required (of half costs). Full payment on arrival. Phone Emma for information and bank transfer details.
Phone 07942861956


We offer skills ranging from arts and crafts through to the Liberal Arts; English, History, Historic Geography, to the teaching of English as a Foreign Language but within the context of the English culture. 
However, the lessons will be tailored to the individual's needs.
Call Emma to discuss (mobile 07942 861 956).

Overseas students over the holiday period

Light activities and lessons plus meals and accomodation: £350 per student per week
Deposit of £175 required to cover costs. Full amount on arrival.
Phone Emma for further information and to book.

Creative Recovery Courses:

Arts Courses:

The Artist's Way is a programme designed by the artist Julia Cameron as a means to creative unblocking. Her book, The Artist's Way, is a manual for how to get started creatively!
"I myself was living this life and often found it challenging. What exactly needed to be done for the daily march to go more smoothly?  What stratagems could I devise to help people faced with so many obstacles of life?" (Cameron).

So by using the practical steps set out in The Artist's Way by Julia, you could put aside a few days creative retreat at Wykes Manor. Here you will be guided through the workbook or simply given the space to work whilst being fed and watered. What you will leave with will be renewed confidence and the sense of the starting of a journey, armed with ideas and suggestions to help steady you and cheer you on.

Booking package includes The Artist's Way book and a Wykes Manor tote bag.

Residential Arts Courses
Courses run Monday to Friday.
Course Content:
A quick run through all the fine art mediums, concentrating on restoring confidence and tweaking skills.Running through the Artist's Way by J. Cameon, unlocking all creative doors. Looking at H.A. Klausser's "Write it Down" and her other books. Keeping a journal, a sketch book, walking, reading, listening to music, sewing/knitting, cooking, being around animals, soaking up the gentle life of being in the country. Space and time to think, plan, create. Good crossroads opportunity before embarking on a new direction. Come alone or with a friend. Hermitage huts (Poustinia) available on request.

Daily Timetable
08.30 : Breakfast
10.00 : Lessons
12.30 : Lunch
14.00 : Lessons
16.00 : Free time

Upcoming Events

Cream Teas within the historic house and gardens of Thomas Cowley

Tuesdays from 2.00 pm. £5.50 per head. Booking Essential (Call Emma : Mobile 07942 861 956).



Evening Meals

Available for group bookings (minimum of 6 people) @ £12.00 per head. Please phone to book.



Residential Summer Courses in Art and Creativity

Art tuition including watercolour and calligraphy. Please call Emma on her mobile for a chat about what we can offer.
(Mobile 07942 861 956).



The Latest Poustinia

See our Retreats page for photos of the newly refurbished Hayloft and our new huts for day retreats!


Christian Women's Day Retreats

Thursdays 11.00 till 1.00. Children welcome - creative activities organised for them. Use of quiet space. £20.00 per morning. Food extra.


Student Residentials

We are a small private establishment within a family home, with two children still living at home. We can take in students aged 14-20+ years as a guest and/or as a student to do subjects within the Liberal Arts spectrum. This may be ideal for foreign students who are learning English as a second language, or to any students interested in the liberal arts.
If you are interested and would like more information, please call Emma on her mobile for a chat about what we can offer.
(Mobile 07942 861 956).


Liberal Arts Classes

For those interested in taking the Liberal Arts and general Creativity classes, courses of 3 days plus can be booked. See Course page for details.


Homeschool Thursdays 

Join us for a fun educational day! 
Morning classes 10.00 - 12.30, shared lunch & afternoon activities.
£30 per family. 

Find us on Facebook under Wykes Manor or Emma Van Spyk for more information and updates!

Available Facilities

Available Facilities

There is a drawing room, dining room, library, art studios, space for marquees, bedrooms and a farmhouse kitchen.The grounds can hold up to 100 people. We can provide on-site over-night accommodation for up to 20 people. Additional local accommodation can also be arranged. Campers and caravans are also welcome.



Our chapel is also available, regardless of religious affiliation.Spiritual directors are available by prior arrangement - Derek Williams from Life and Spirit Ministries (www.wordandspirit.org.uk), Artist Kate Austin from Christ Art (www.christart.co.uk)

Structured Retreats

Whilst you may just wish for the peace and space to finish a project or think things over, we also have a number of structured retreat programmes. 
Poustinia - the hermitage experience

Poustinia comes from the Rusian word meaning "set apart". The movement was brought to this country by Catherine de Hueck Doherty (see her book "The Gospel Without Compromise"). The main centre in England is Madonna House in Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire (www.madonnahouse.org) and the Mother house is in Ontario, Canada.
Here at Wykes we have 3 poustinia.


Please enquire as to availability :

1. Day Poustinia:

Day poustinia experience:£10.00 minimum donation. The poustinia is a wooden hut, a Hermitage, very simply furnished. It's a place to go and empty oneself. To go to be within the silence of God.


These poustinia have only just been donated. A team of willing workers put them up. They have yet to be connected with electricity, insulated and carpeted. The facilities are up at the house.

2. The Hayloft:

3. The Retreat Room

This large and historical room is situated in the part of the house that used to be the dairy. It contains a sink, twin beds, easy chair and a huge desk suitable for writers and artists.


Women's Retreats

There is the time, space and a listening ear to coach you through your days. To enthuse you and bring you the confidence to get back up to your full potential. This can have a creative / fine art direction. Or it could be the chance to read through our extensive library, to write, or to walk out around the area. The collie dogs are always wiilling to accompany you!

Wykes Manor - The House

300 Years of History and Little Change
History goes in circles and here at Wykes Manor we are attempting to go back to the original principles of Thomas Cowley who bought and renovated the already existing property around 1680.
It was previously mentioned in the Domesday Book as Wyke Farm, which either meant 'dairy' or 'fortified dwelling', depending on how far back you look and which language root you choose; Danish or Saxon. Evidence has been found of Roman activity in the nearby fields. Wykes is somewhere to take a holiday, relax or be inspired. It has been the retreat of artists, writers, photographers, sculptors, actors, therapists, doctors and many others over the years. Call to talk things through, or even pop over for coffee before making any decision!
The site is one of great peace and tranquility, to which the prolific wildlife will attest. The house is of red brick with a rosemary tiled roof. The structure suggests a previously thatched dwelling, and the single central chimney also suggests a much older building than that of the 'Restoration Period'. The house still has many of its original features, the most impressive being the main staircase, the bolection moulding and panelled rooms. The shutters and other features are still in place and still work. The limeplaster and reeding is evidently of a high standard.

Many of the features are similar to the below-stairs section of Belton House, Grantham (as yet we have not found any information on the connection). Much of the information we have aquired has come from people whose lives have been connected to Wike Farm or Wykes Manor over the years. Some were in service in the house, some were 'hands' as children on the extensive farm lands of the time. Some had ancestors who grew up in the house and left their initials carved in the beech tree at the front of the house, which dates back to over 200 years. Whatever the case, their stories have touched our family, as does the atmosphere of the place. It has inspired one child to read history at Cambridge, another to take English with a specialization in poetry at Sheffield, and another to take music, whilst all practicing the fine arts.

Whether you are making a day trip or staying for a longer period of time, you cannot help but be touched by the sense of timelessness, whatever the season. The long walks across many acres of fields which stretch before you, and the huge coloured skies where the sun often appears abnormally large, gently resting on the edge of the visible world. Even if you don't feel you are capable of being creative, that would soon change if you allowed the magic in!
Lincolnshire was the part of the country where many of the rich and famous had their country houses. It is surprising how many famous names come from within a relatively short radius. Sir Isaac Newton, Lord Brownlow, Lord A. Tennyson, Margaret Thatcher and from Donington itself, Matthew Flinders, who circumnavigated and chartered western Australia - with his cat!  And nearby Boston has the honour of being the departure point for the early Pilgrim Fathers - visiting enthusiasts of the period will find a great deal to interest them in historical sites and small museums with collections of extraordinary artefacts.


Historic Visits

"...here, time stands still..."

At a time when many owners of old houses are modernising the life out of them, it's refreshing to come across Emma Van Spyk who is heading with determination in the opposite direction.

She's developing her family home, Wykes Manor in rural Lincolnshire, as a B&B in the style and spirit of the 17th Century. Admittedly the house has enormous atmosphere and a great deal of history, but it's unusual to be given the option of 17th Century food and live early music as well.

Contact Emma Van Spyk to discuss short stays, events, retreats or house parties.



Bed & Breakfast

... given the architecture of the house and its Grade II listed status, the best rooms have dedicated bathrooms, rather than en-suites. Options of 17th Century-style, full English or continental buffet breakfast. Room prices range from £70 to £95 per night.

Retreats for groups or individuals:

We offer creative or spiritual retreats - please see our Retreats page for further details on what we can offer you. 

Pilgrim Fathers and genealogical research:

... immerse yourself in the 17thC - use Wykes Manor as a base for investigating heritage sites and researching your roots; personalised tours devised and minibus and driver available for groups. Evening meals or banquets can be arranged, in Elizabethan/Jacobean style with a lutenist to play for you.

Visits to local places of interest:

Between March and October, we offer historic visits which include excursions to local historic places of interest. This may include Belvoir Castle, Belton House, Woolsthorpe Manor (home of Sir Isaac Newton), The Boston Stump, Alford (the hometown of explorer John Smith) and Somersby, hometown of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. These stays are limited to groups of 4 people. All meals can be provided, by prior arrangement. 




We are delighted to be working with organizations and businesses across Lincolnshire, many of whom give us substantial support.

Clear Span Marquees, Garden Party Tents and Vintage China:


Freelicious bakery:

Geoff Taylor, of Chain Bridge Forge Working Museum in Spalding, who had the original vision which led the Forge to its present success. 

Jennifer Bell, SEA), who has written several books on drawing animals for Award Publications and books on drawing and painting horses for J.A.Allen.  

Gillian Wing, who is a stained glass artist, of Strawberry Glass, 

Ayscoughee Hall, Spalding, which exhibited paintings in the Geest Gallery by the Van Spyk family in October 2014

Carol Parker, of the Lincolnshire Artist Forum and founder member of Transported.

Contact Us


Deposit required (of half costs). Full payment on arrival. Contact us for bank transfer details.

Please contact us using the form below.

Alternatively, telephone us on 07942 861956


Wykes Manor
Wykes Lane
PE11 4SD

You are always welcome to come and visit us - please telephone to arrange a time.

We look forward to seeing you!