Botanical Painting Holiday in the Shropshire Hills
Code: CSPBPPrint page
Food & drink
If you love all things botanical, come and enjoy capturing their beauty and essence on paper. You'll improve your botanical painting skills, learning how to use technical form, use of colour and tone, and using your equipment.
Best suited to those with some experience in drawing and watercolour.
- Learn technical form, colour and tone
- Share inspiration and exchange ideas
- Gain knowledge to continue painting at home
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Tuition from our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- Loan of wooden A3 art boards
- Small groups of up to 12 guests
Longmynd House is set in a wonderful elevated location above the town of Church Stretton. With excellent walks on the doorstep, and extensive public rooms, it's an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
Longmynd House has 50 bedrooms, all in the main building. There are also 8 brick-built lodges in the grounds - a popular alternative for families or couples, with all the facilities you would expect from HF Holidays.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times.
- Fire evacuation notices are displayed in the bedrooms and throughout the hotel. Each room has its own smoke sensor and fire alarm. In the event of a fire a very loud continuous alarm sounds and emergency lighting comes on. We have portable Deaf guard fire alarm system for those who are hard of hearing. This consists of a vibrating pad to go under the pillow and a bright strobe light. The Deaf guard is triggered when main alarm is activated.
- In the case of evacuation there are fire exits in every function room, bar and restaurant as well as the main front entrance. On the first, second and third floors there are fire exits at either end of the corridors which open to an emergency fire escape stairwell.
- Please advise reception on check in if you think you would require assistance in the event of an emergency. Door hangers are available in the rooms which can be used to indicate a need for assistance. Fire extinguishers are found throughout the building, as are fire call points. If you discover a fire please call 9-999 from your room phone, raise the alarm and alert a member of staff.
Each morning after a hearty breakfast, we'll get cracking and enjoy our first painting session. Then after a tasty light lunch together, we once again immerse ourselves in this fascinating and absorbing subject. By mid-morning and mid-afternoon we'll have earned a welcome cuppa together as we exchange enthusiasm and ideas about our artwork. Every one of us has our own way of painting and this is a wonderful thing we can be proud of and share - we're enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). We invite everyone to afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
We'll get together after dinner and discuss the programme, what's planned and what we all want to get out of our holiday. Please bring some cartridge paper and pencils - we'll discuss our tools, the use of a light box and pencil work as we prepare ourselves with a few "warm ups" in readiness for tomorrow morning's theory session. If anyone would like to bring along previously painted pictures, that would be great - please don't feel shy, these few days are all about sharing and learning. No matter where we are on this adventure, we can all enjoy learning and improving.
Flower form and drawing skills
Our painting should be well-drawn and pleasing to the eye before any paint can be applied if botanical accuracy is the objective. Theory and demonstration is followed by experimental practice. We'll be able to choose the subject which sings to us and which we feel drawn to paint. We'll have some fresh flowers and vegetation provided by our leader, and some photographs to work from. If anyone would like to bring any specific plant material to paint, that's fine - this could be flowers, leaves, seed heads, fruits or vegetables.
Many people wonder how to paint leaves - and many excellent flower paintings are let down by lack of attention to this important aspect. So we'll learn how to create successful leaf depiction and explore the colour green. It's more fun than you think! There'll be plenty of time for us to experiment and practise after some solid theory and demonstration by our leader.
Light, tone and highlights
Let's bring our paintings to life! After our tasty breakfast, we're once again absorbed by theory and practise. Today will include a short demonstration on something rather unexpected but most satisfying for us all to try! Afterwards we enjoy putting the finished touches to our artwork, with our knowledgeable leader on hand to offer help and guidance.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
What to Bring
- Pencils (including 2H and HB)
- Putty rubber or good quality eraser
- Cartridge paper or sketchbook
- Watercolour paints (artist quality)
- Watercolour paintbrushes - any that you have, as long as they have a good point
- Watercolour paper (the leader tends to use at least 300gms (140lbs), stretched or in a blued-block format). Avoid using rough papers, the leader uses Fabriano Hot pressed.
- Tracing paper
- Any other equipment that you have, such as water pots, cotton cloths etc.
- Magnifying glass
Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available for guest loan at the house.
The leader plans to bring some watercolour paper, which you can purchase at a small additional cost (usually 50p-£1 depending on size). You will also be able to use their electric lightbox and pencil sharpener.
During your stay at Longmynd House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Shropshire:
The attractive small town of Church Stretton is around 10 minutes' walk away. After the arrival of the railway, the town grew in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and became known as 'Little Switzerland' due to the dramatic hills on both sides of the valley. Today the town retains its bygone charm and has a range of facilities including a variety of small shops, banks, cafés, pubs and a supermarket.
Easily reached by train, or around 20 minutes' drive away, Ludlow is a particularly attractive market town. The historic centre retains many of its medieval buldings, and is towered over by its well-preserved castle. In recent years the town has developed as something of a gastronomic centre, being home to celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants and many acclaimed local food producers. www.ludlowcastle.com
A little further afield, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, are the many excellent museums of Ironbridge Gorge. Known as the 'birthplace of the Industrial Revolution' it was here that Abraham Darby perfected the manufacture of cast iron which was later used to build the area's iconic iron bridge across the River Severn. Today there are 10 museums in the gorge including the Museum of Iron, the Coleport China Museum and the excellent Blists Hill Victorian town. www.ironbridge.org.uk/
Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway is one of Britain's premier steam railways. This lovingly recreated Great Western Railway branch line is now run largely by volunteers and is home to an impressive collection of locomotives. As its name suggests the line follows the rural valley of the River Severn from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. The nearest station at Bridgnorth is about 40 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.svr.co.uk
Acton Scott Working Farm
Situated just 10 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, the Acton Scott Working Farm Museum is a living museum based around a restored Victorian farm. In recent years this has featured in the BBC2 series Victorian Farm and Escape in Time. www.actonscott.com
Also easily reached by train, or a 30 minute drive, Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire. The town centre is particularly attractive featuring many black and white timber houses dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The small town of Much Wenlock, about 30 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, is particularly attractive with many black and white timbered houses. Despite its small size the town can claim to be the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games.
The cathedral city of Hereford, is just under an hour's drive away, and can also be reached by direct train from Church Stretton. Hereford Cathedral houses a chained library and the famous Mappa Mundi, a 13th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org
A grand 18th century house surrounded by an extensive deer park, located outside Shrewsbury, around 25 minutes' drive away. Now managed by the National Trust you can visit the ornate rooms and explore the walled garden and grounds. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park
This former medieval fortress has been remodelled over more than 400 years – each generation adding to the magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. Theworld-famous garden is overhung with clipped yews, and shelters rare and tender plants. The castle is located near Welshpool, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle
Just under an hour's drive north of Church Stretton, Chirk Castle is a fine medieval fortress completed in 1310. As well as military displays, the castle was also a domestic home for many centuries, and is surrounded by excellent gardens. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle
Powis Castle image ©National Trust/Andrew Butler, Chirk Castle image ©National Trust ImagesMatthew Antrobus
Travel to Church Stretton
Our address is: Longmynd House, Cunnery Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 6AG
The nearest train station is Church Stretton, which is less than a mile from Longmynd House. However the house is at the top of a steep hill (it has great views!) so a taxi is recommended, particularly if you have heavy luggage.
For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
NOTE: Unfortunately taxis are not available at the station and there is no taxi service in Church Stretton. If you call for a taxi on arrival at the station one will come from Craven Arms (another village approximately 10 miles away). The charge for this service to Longmynd House is £18. We therefore recommend booking a HF station transfer in advance for just £7 (details below).
HF station transfer - great value!
Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Church Stretton station and Longmynd House. The pickup is at 3.15pm from Church Stretton station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to the station for 9.15am, 9.45am or 10:25. This transfer costs just £7 return, however a place must be reserved 7 days in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer it is possible to book a taxi. Taxis can be limited so please pre-book. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking.
Follow the A49 to Church Stretton. At the traffic lights turn off the A49 into the town. At the first T junction turn left into the High Street. Go straight over the mini-roundabout, and then take the next right into Cunnery Road. Follow the road up a steep hill and around a hairpin bend. Longmynd House is at the top of the hill on the left hand side. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport has the quickest onward connections to Church Stretton. Trains from the airport take 2 hours, with one change at Crewe. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Church Stretton by train. There are a variety of routes, but the most convenient is to change at London Paddington and Newport as this avoid crossing London. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Sue Flynn is working on a diploma in botanical painting with the Society of Botanical Artists since following retirement in 2015, and is enjoying having more time to dedicate to her interests in horticulture and botany.
A qualified nurse since the age of 18, in addition to NHS duties, she undertook private aeromedical repatriation work and taught medical first aid and advanced life support to crews of private jet aircraft and superyachts. Sue has been a walking leader for HF Holidays since 2000 and says it has been her pleasure to guide guests to a carefree, relaxing and fun time, incorporating her love of flowers and enthusiasm for natural history.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|9 Sep 2019||CSPBP - Botanical Painting - Church Stretton||4||£545.00||£505.00||Book Now|