Landscape Painting in the Cotswolds
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Meadows & hills
Find inspiration in the gentle hills, thatched cottages and flower-filled meadows of the Cotswolds. In the company of an accomplished artist, we’ll explore the local area and discover the finest sites to paint. These holidays are designed to cater for any level of experience, with various techniques and topics being introduced. We'll walk up to 2 miles (3km) each day, carrying our equipment.
- Visit inspirational vistas of the Cotswolds
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of painting in a group
- Working outdoors as much as possible, with an indoor option if the weather is poor
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- 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
- All transport to and from painting locations on your holiday
Dating from the Tudor period and of, considerable historic interest, Harrington House mirrors the mellow architectural style of the Cotswolds. Its peaceful atmosphere and proximity to the charming centre of Bourton-on-the-Water make it ideal for those who prefer a less active holiday.
Harrington House has 29 bedrooms. Most are located in the main house, with others in the adjacent cottages.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 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
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Main house there is a lounge, dining room and a bar
• At the very top of the house is the observatory
• Free WiFi in public rooms
|• Range of board games and books
• At the rear of the house there is an attractive walled garden with a large croquet lawn
|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.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the layout and age of Harrington House, it is not recommended for wheelchair users or anyone with restricted mobility.
Although one bedroom has wheelchair access, the access to the main house has some steps and internally there are some steps to negotiate.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium 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.
Each morning after a hearty breakfast, we get cracking and enjoy our first painting session. On some days we may stay in the country house and grounds, on others we'll head off to capture the lovely local area on our canvas. When we go out into the lovely local countryside, we'll be walking up to 2 miles (3km) carrying our equipment as we find the very best landscapes to capture on our canvas. At lunchtime we'll enjoy a tasty picnic lunch 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. Later on we can enjoy a gentle and constructive appraisal of our work. We can also choose to join in all the sociable activities on offer at the Country House or quietly relax in the bar or a cosy lounge.
At Harrington House
After a delicious breakfast no valuable time is wasted as our knowledgeable leader gives us a comprehensive talk about some practical watercolour techniques that will be suitable for our landscape painting locations.
We then look at composition, light and shade, and drawing in both colour and pen and ink, and enjoy some helpful demonstrations which we can then practice in and around the picturesque grounds of Harrington House. There’ll be lots of help for both beginners and the more experienced throughout the day.
Armed with our tasty picnic lunches, we visit the town of Tewkesbury, a ‘living museum of architecture and social history’ dating back over 500 years. We begin at the 12th Century Tewkesbury Abbey whose central Norman tower is considered the finest in the world. The interior is also breathtakingly beautiful. Quick colour sketches and studies will be suitable here.
This afternoon we’re totally absorbed in sketching in pen and ink, wash or coloured pencil the medieval and Tudor half-timbered houses, shop fronts and cobbled streets. Such a wealth of inspirational and artistic subjects.! We’ll be supported by lots of help and advice and demonstrations, and on our return to the country house our leader offers us a constructive appraisal session of our days work
Bidbury and Stow on the Wold
It’s a full day out as we travel to the quintessential Cotswold village of Bidbury, offering cottage and garden subjects at their summer best. We’re inspired by the wealth of quaint doorways and windows and also the broader vistas of what has recently been voted ‘one of the most romantic streets in the UK’. A small stream flows through the village – ideal for painting water and reflections!
After our picnic lunch together, we head off to Stowe on the Wold, famous for its Old Mill, the lovely limestone cottages and its slow-moving, picturesque river. As always our expert leader will be on hand to suggest, help and inform our paintings with advice and timely demonstrations in various mediums.
On our return to the country house we can enjoy an appraisal session on our work. To round off this wonderful holiday, we can prepare an informal mini exhibition of our art work for everyone to enjoy this evening. It’s entirely optional but it’s great fun and a lovely way to share everything that we’ve achieved during our holiday.
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
- Lightweight stool or canvas chair
- Hardback watercolour pad
- Watercolour paints: Lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, raw sienna, sap green, burnt umber, indigo, ultramarine blue (or cobalt), light red, neutral tint, permanent rose. Please note this list is for guideline only and not mandatory.
- Brushes: Round size 12 or 10 plus a 6 and 3. Flat brush ¾” and ¼”.
- Mixing palette/plate
- Jam jar
- Watercolour pencils (optional) and small window mount for on-site composition
Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
Discover the Cotswolds
Bourton-on-the-Water is situated at the heart of the Cotswolds, a beautiful area of rolling green hills and attractive stone towns and villages.
Harrington House is located in a quiet street, just 100 metres from the centre of Bourton. This is one of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds, frequently busy with visitors. The River Windrush winds its way through the central village green and is crossed by a series of attractive stone bridges.
Bourton-on-the-Water is a popular destination in its own right with its specialist shops and attractive village green. Local attractions include the motor museum, model village and Birdland wildlife park, all within easy walking distance.
The village has a good range of facilities including a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and bank.
During your stay at Harrington House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
The mellow market town of Chipping Campden, about 30 minutes' drive north of Bourton-on-the-Water, is one of the most visited towns in the Cotswolds.
Hidcote Manor Gardens
Owned by the National Trust, Hidcote is a small manor house with an exceptional garden designed in the Arts and Crafts style. Around 35 minutes' north from Bourton-on-the-Water. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote
Considered as one of the most beautiful villages in Britain it is easy to see why so many visitors are attracted to Broadway. Don’t let this put you off; Broadway is still worth a visit. To get away from the crowds, consider a walk to Broadway Tower for stunning views of the Vale of Evesham. Around 30 minutes' drive from Bourton.
Famous for its Shakespeare connections, Stratford is an attractive town spanning the River Avon. Of particular interest are the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Shakespeare Birthplace Museum. Around 40 minutes' drive from Bourton. www.rsc.org.uk or www.shakespeare.org.uk
Blenheim Palace is one of the grandest and best-known stately homes in Britain. It sits in extensive parkland and is also famous as the ancestral home of Winston Churchill. www.blenheimpalace.com
The fine Regency spa town of Cheltenham has an excellent range of shops and facilities. Cheltenham is around 25 minutes' drive from Bourton, and can also be reached by an hourly local bus.
The Cathedral city of Gloucester is about 35 minutes' drive to the west of Bourton. The fine Norman cathedral is well worth visiting, as is the National Waterways Museum. www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk or www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway
Ride the steam railway through attractive Cotswold countryside from Cheltenham to Toddington about 30 minutes' drive from Bourton. Now restored, this was once the Great Western main line to Birmingham. www.gwsr.com
The famous university city of Oxford is about an hour’s drive from Bourton-on-the-Water. You may wish to stroll through the historic colleges or visit the Ashmolean Museum. www.ashmolean.org
Hidcote Gardens image ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Buckley
Travel to Bourton-on-the-Water
Our address is: Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY
The nearest railway station is Moreton-in-Marsh. However, the nearest mainline station is at Cheltenham Spa which may be more convenient. 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).
From Moreton-in-Marsh station a taxi takes approximately 20 minutes and costs £21 if pre-booked. From Cheltenham Spa station a taxi takes around 30 minutes and costs £42 if pre-booked. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Harrington House Manager.
From Moreton-in-Marsh station catch the 801 bus to Bourton-on-the-Water,from where it is a short walk to our Country House. Alight next to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop. Cross the road to the war memorial and continue across the bridge. Follow this road for 150 metres until the road forks. Harrington House is on the left.
From the A429 take the road into the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water. At the war memorial by the village green, turn into Sherborne Street. Follow this road for 150yds, crossing the river and passing the motor museum until the road forks. Harrington House is on the left before the fork. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are direct trains to Moreton-in-Marsh. It's a relatively straightforward journey - just over 2 hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Moreton-in-Marsh you can travel on to Bourton-on-the-Water by bus or taxi (see above).
Susan is a professional artist and qualified tutor and was recently Artist in Residence at The Yorkshire Arboretum, Castle Howard. Susan teaches and demonstrates on a regular basis to art groups and societies throughout the North of England and is a Professional Member of the SAA (Society Of All Artists).
She is inspired by the natural world and loves to paint the countryside around her, from fields and hedgerows, to flowers and wild-life.
Her aim is to establish a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in her classes, so that learning new skills is a positive, fun and creative process.
You can visit Susan's website at www.susannealeartist.co.uk
Susan couldn't have been more helpful, kind, encouraging, sociable or knowledgeable. Fantastic group leader.
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: £15 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.