Capturing the Past in Paint - Historic Isle of Wight
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Meadows & hills
Journey to a bygone era as we explore the timeless beauty of our magnificent coastline; capture both landscape and seascape features of the Isle of Wight through drawing and painting, from simple sketches to finished works of art. During the course of each day we’ll walk up to 2 miles (3km) carrying our equipment.
- Explore the Isle of Wight’s history, harbours and gardens
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of painting in a group
Great Reasons to Join Us
- Great value: price includes Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader and transport to locations
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Freshwater Bay House
- Expert leaders: our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment
Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk clilffs, sandy beaches, picture-postcard villages and more from this wonderful island gem.
Freshwater Bay House has 48 bedrooms located in the main building and a cottage in the grounds. Many of the rooms have sea views, whilst others overlook the gardens and downs.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Large double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Check in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Welcoming bar with local beer
• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Three lounges with view across the bay
• Dining room
• Dandelion Cafe
|• Multi-purpose activity room with a Nintendo Wii
• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
• Range of broad games and books
• Heated outdoor swimming pool (Open Easter to September)
• Extensive gardens
|• Putting green and croquet lawn
• Table football
• Outdoor playground for children
• Outdoor games
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Saturday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Sunday: Exploring Freshwater Bay
This is a great opportunity to take a closer look at some fantastic nearby coastal views. Your leader is on hand to encourage and help you to capture some of these features.
Monday: Osborne House
We’ll use Queen Victoria's favourite residence, Osborne House, as a study in aspect, distance, and close-up work.
Tuesday: A secret cove
We’ll paint in a secret cove which encompasses the character of this beautiful island. If time allows, we can also work in the nearby Ventnor Botanic Gardens.
Wednesday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.
Thursday: Across the island
We’ll take in the historic features of the island, from Carisbrooke Castle, to the Shipwreck Museum and pretty thatched cottages as we travel towards Shanklin and Sandown Bay.
Friday: Farewell finishes
We’ll spend the day at the Country House so that we can take another look at the beautiful Freshwater Bay area, with its cliffs and views. It’s also a day to reflect and work through sketches or finish paintings, plus more tips & techniques from your leader.
Saturday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
Please feel free to bring whatever art equipment you may have already and are happy to work with - listed below are some suggested basic watercolour requirements:
- A4 or larger cartridge sketch pad, watercolour pad at least 140lb, preferably thicker
- 2B, 3B, 4B pencils and charcoal pencil if you wish, black or sepia ink pen(s), eraser (not putty rubber)
- 6, 10, 14 Pointed round and ¼, ½“ flat brushes (Sceptre Gold or Cotman Blue)
- Tubes of primary colours for mixing (Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow), extras you could bring Alizarin Cerulean Blue, Crimson or Rose Madder, Cadmium Yellow or Yellow Ochre
- Portable set of pans would also work well on smaller studies or alongside tubes
- Water tub and mixing palette
NB: Most important to buy minimal materials of really good quality rather than cheaper items
Discover the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a delightful haven away from the bustle of the mainland, easily reached by ferry. Broadly diamond shaped, the island is 25 miles long and 15 miles wide. This makes it ideally sized for a week’s walking and exploration.
Freshwater Bay is a small semi-circular cove at the foot of the garden of Freshwater Bay House. There is a pebble beach here, or better sandy beaches approximately 3 miles away at Totland Bay or Colwell Bay. Shops and banks are located in Freshwater village, about 30 minutes’ walk away.
The small harbour town of Yarmouth is located 3 miles north of Freshwater Bay; either a 10 minutes drive, a pleasant 1 hour walk, or reached using the 'Needles Breezer' open-top bus. Yarmouth has a selection of small shops and pubs, and there's always a bustle of activity around the harbour. Yarmouth's Tudor castle is also worth a visit. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/yarmouth-castle/
Queen Victoria’s island residence, managed by English Heritage, is located near East Cowes at the north of the island. Enjoy the lavish interiors and take time to explore the extensive grounds which slope down to the Solent. Osborne House is about 40 minutes drive from Freshwater Bay. During the main season (May to Sept) we offer an excursion to Osborne on most Wednesdays. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/
A fine medieval castle situated near Newport in the heart of the island. The castle's most famous 'resident' was King Charles I, who was imprisoned here after the English Civil War. Walk around the impressive walls and visit the castle's famous well where donkeys are used to raise the water using a large treadmill. The castle is around 20 minutes' drive from freshwater Bay, and can also be reached direct using the number 12 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/carisbrooke-castle/
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Step back in time and ride this vintage steam railway from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction. The railway has a particularly historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock, including many wooden 4-wheeled carriages dating from the the 19th Century. The main station is at Havenstreet where you'll also find a museum and the line's workshops. The steam railway is about 45 minutes' drive away, but can also be reached by local bus, via Newport. www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk
This fantasy theme park is a big hit with children of all ages. Attractions include Cowboy village, 'Fantasyland', maze and the giant snakes and ladders. Adults may also enjoy the maritime exhibition and working sawmill. Blackgang is 20 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.blackgangchine.com
Ventnor Botanical Gardens
The island's rich climate enables Mediterranean plants to prosper. Enjoy magnificent floral displays and relaxing gardens. Ventnor is 30 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.botanic.co.uk
Travel to Freshwater Bay
Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB
By ferry & transfer - great value!
We offer a reduced price ferry and transfer ticket - just £20 return for adults and £10 for children. This includes a foot passenger ticket for the Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, plus a connecting transfer to Freshwater Bay.
Our transfers operate every Saturday and Wednesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). These connect with the 1500, 1600 and 1700 ferries from Lymington. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Yarmouth in time to catch the 0845 or 1005 ferries to the mainland.
Book your tickets by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. This is immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. 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).
The Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk
Alternatively the Southampton to West Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight - see www.redfunnel.co.uk
From Yarmouth turn right out of the ferry terminal onto the A3054 and over the bridge across the River Yar. After 1 mile turn left down Pixley Hill, signposted to Freshwater Bay. At the double roundabout by the Co-op turn left onto the A3055 and follow this road to the seafront at Freshwater Bay. Turn right passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is beyond on your left.
Alternatively leave your car on the mainland and travel to the Isle of Wight as a foot passenger. There is a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier - price £8.20 per day.
Travelling from overseas
If you're travelling from Europe the most convenient airport is at Southampton. From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier - journey time 40 minutes). See www.nationalrail.co.uk for details.
For most guests, travelling to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick airport is the best option. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for onward connections by train to Lymington Pier.
Richard was born near to the heart of Constable Country, first exhibiting at the famous Gainsborough's House during his schooldays, and now enjoys the natural wonders of coastal Suffolk. He loves the chance to share his own natural abilities, tips, techniques and many years of far ranging lecturing, demo and tuition experience with newcomers and all abilities to help create or develop their own individual styles. Since an early career in design, publishing and business advice he has worked with the National Trust, English Heritage, Daler Rowney, Winsor & Newton and many other organisations, truly believing the wonders of practical art can be enjoyed by everyone, given that all-important friendly guidance, patience and encouragement.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person