Introduction to Watercolours Holiday in the Northern Lake District

Side view portrait of a young woman painter drawing cityscape with watercolor palette on white paper using easel.
Duration: 3 nights
Interests: Art & Craft Holidays

If you always wanted to learn to paint with watercolours but lacked the confidence or did not know where to begin, then look no further. With expert tuition in a relaxed and friendly environment, you’ll learn the basic techniques including colour mixing, basic washes, complementary colours and composition.

Holiday Highlights

  • Experience the joys of watercolours with a group of fellow artists
  • Learn to use the medium under the guidance of your HF Holidays Tutor
  • Practise in small group sizes of 15 people or fewer
  • Build your confidence in using a variety of techniques

What’s included

  • 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 lightweight wooden A3 art boards

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Arrival

Check in from 2.30 pm (upgraded 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.

During your holiday, you will cover:

Mastering the basics

Our knowledgeable art leader takes us through the first steps as we learn to paint in watercolour. We'll look at mastering the art of basic washes, light and shade and colour-mixing. 

Learning to observe

Let's look at landscapes. We're practising skies and trees and looking at different colour mixes for the four seasons. The beautiful grounds of Derwent Bank will inspire us, with our patient leader on hand to gently guide us through the day.

Finishing touches

Staying in the vicinity of the Country House, we'll expand on our paintings. It's a chance to finish off all our paintings and review our artwork, with our leader on hand to offer any help or advice with this. Later on this evening, if we so wish. we can offer an informal mini exhibition of our artwork for our fellow guests to enjoy.

Departure Day

Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

Derwent Bank

Close to Keswick and situated slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges, humpbacked fells and muscular mountains of the Lake District on the other, beautiful Derwent Bank has been entrancing walkers since 1785. Extensive refurbishment and investment have seen this established walkers’ retreat transformed into a beautiful country house hotel perfect for people looking to explore the great outdoors. It’s also perfect for drinking in the views over a glass of something chilled on the terrace. With 41 bedrooms across the main house and garden rooms as well as a rustic ‘pod’ to sleep in, there’s plenty of space, along with a pretty orangery, large lounge and relaxed vibe. The lakeside land encompasses a formal garden, extensive lawns and mature trees. The emphasis is on enjoying the great outdoors and it’s all made super easy with walkers’ facilities from an inspiration point equipped with maps and route ideas to a boot room and drying space – this is the Lakes, after all. With views of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike, the inspiration for adventure is never far away. Venture out from the house to head to the high peaks such as Scafell Pike, Blencathra and Helvellyn or stick to the lower slopes and lakes; Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes, Borrowdale and Buttermere are all within easy reach.

 

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the stylish outhouse where there are eight garden rooms with exceptional views for stylish, laid-back Lake District accommodation. In the main house, we’d pick room 12 for the extra space and stunning views over the gardens and Derwentwater. Alternatively, ask for rooms 46, 47, 48 and 49 in the outhouse, all first-floor garden bedrooms with their own glass balcony looking over the ornate formal garden and with views of the lake. There’s easy access to the boot room and orangery too, making these rooms a must to stay in. If you’re after somewhere a little more unusual to stay overnight, there’s a ‘pod’ in the garden that offers extra privacy, sleeps up to four and gives you a great story to take away!

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, formal garden, extensive garden, putting green, orangery, lounge and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the Lake District, settle in at our country house. Walk the pretty gardens, pause on the pier that juts out in to Derwentwater and look for the boats and ferry that sail on the lake. Try your hand on the putting green or at croquet. Grab a drink and sit on the terrace above the sloping lawns. Indoors, the spectacular orangery with its superb views, is the ideal setting for a bit of peace and quiet, or sink into the sofas in the large, comfortable lounge. Head to the bar for a great local ale and a cracking conversation with fellow guests.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea and cakes served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Derwent Bank is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to traditional Cumbrian fare from local river trout with samphire to a duo of local lamb. Look out for Eden Valley brie and red onion tart or Whinlatter Forest wild mushroom risotto. And to cap it all, Cumbrian sticky toffee pudding with English Lakes thunder and lightning ice cream.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

Derwent Bank hotel and Derwent Water area. Stills from drone.

Getting to Derwent Bank

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

If you have to buy anything, your leader suggests that you buy the best quality you can afford for all your equipment.

  • Any water colour equipment you might have, including tubes or pans of paint, a simple beginners box will be fine
  • Water colour paper (eg Bockinford 140lbs)
  • Brushes: bring any you already have, but if you need to buy, all you'll need is: a no. 2, 4, 8 round, a 1/2” flat and 1” rigger
  • 2b pencil
  • Kitchen roll
  • Masking tape and or gummed paper tape 
  • 2 mounts: 1 approx 10x8" aperture;  1 approx 12x10" aperture
  • Some kind of support ie Tray or lightweight board approx. 16x 20 inches *

*Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House

Guest Reviews

Duration:
3 nights
Interests:
Art & Craft Holidays

3 nights from 0pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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