Landscape Painting in the Lake District
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Find inspiration in the fells, lakes and valleys of the Lake District. 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 Lake District
- 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
Great Reasons to Join Us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus all transport to painting sites and tuition
- Expert leader: all our leaders are experts in their field and will ensure that you get the most out of your holiday
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Monk Coniston
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment
As an historic National Trust property, Monk Coniston is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. With the attractive Lake District setting, it's well suited to a relaxing holiday. Whether it's a walking or activity break you're after, this is a wonderful part of the country to explore your way.
Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house.
Choose your room
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• 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
• 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
• Dining room with lake views
|• Range of board games and books
• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
• Our traditional Lakeland barn can be used for dancing, or as a games room
|• Large garden with views down to the lake
• Putting green and croquet lawn
• The National Trust maintains a collection of rare trees in the grounds
|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: Beautiful beginnings
Charming Monk Coniston, with its beautiful grounds and magnificent trees spreading down to Coniston Water are the subjects for the day. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whatever their ability. Your tutor is on hand to solve the common problems of handling materials, perspective etc with an introduction to basic techniques.
Monday: What makes a landscape?
We'll spend a morning at Tarn Hows with the most famous view of all the Lake District to see what makes this place so beautiful. Your tutor will give guidance on how to compose your own landscapes. In the afternoon we'll continue to Hawkeshead to see the architecture and tearooms that complement the scenery.
Tuesday: The Heart of the Lake District
Today we'll take a trip into the heart of the Lake District, a landscape renowned for its beauty of scale. We head for the classic view of the Langdale Pikes with a drive through the narrows of Little Langdale up into the heights by Blea Tarn. We then descend to Old Dungeon Ghyll set in the deepest and finest Lake District scenery with a stop at the most traditional of local hostelries.
Wednesday: A free day for you to explore the local area independently or relax in the Country House.
Thursday: The Mirror of the Lake District
We'll start the day with a trip around Coniston Water, to a quiet spot on its shore, to paint this famous deep lake and its glorious setting. We complete the circuit with a visit to the attractions of Brantwood to seek out the garden vistas and the gallery echoing Ruskin’s inspirational views, along with the renowned home-made refreshments.
Friday: Final touches
A day in and about Monk Coniston to finish off your pictures with hints on presentation, preservation and choice of framing materials from your leader. If you wish you can exhibit your work for the other guests to appreciate.
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
- Selection of pencils (2B and 4B)
- Craft knife or Stanley knife
- Putty (kneadable) rubber
- Plastic bottle and water pot if using paints/watersoluble pencils
- Roll of kitchen towel
- Watercolour paints (tubes or pans), watercolour pencils, pastels and/ or acrylics according to your choice of medium. You can gradually build up your own selection of shades as you become more experienced, but suggested colours are: Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow, Winsor Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine blue, Cobalt blue, Indigo.
- Large well palette (as we had at school!)
- Paper - We recommend 140lbs/300gms watercolour paper - 38 x 28cms size sheets, or any other paper you are used to using. Some papers have a textured surface so choose the surface you prefer. You could bring a ‘blocked’ pad with all the sheets gummed together on all four edges. These pads are expensive but you will not need a board as you leave the paper on the pad whilst you paint.
- We would also recommend an A4 sketchpad of cartridge paper for quick notes and roughs
- And an A3 pad of cartridge paper for roughing out ideas
- Brushes - The most expensive you can afford. Sizes 4, 8 and 12 round will be sufficient. Sable/synthetic mix are fine
- Masking tape and masking fluid and a small piece of uncolored wax candle
- An easel if you like to use one
- Rucksack or shoulder bag for carrying all these materials
- Wide-brimmed hat or a plastic eye shade to eliminate glare
- An umbrella also provides shade (and can protect against a shower)
- Light folding chair/stool if you have one, alternatively a cushion, garden kneeler or plastic seat pad
- Remember sitting still can make you chillier than you would expect, so bring some extra layers of warm, waterpoof clothing and a thin pair of stretchy gloves
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread
- Plastic carrier bags for protection of your work and materials inside your bag.
Discover the Lake District
Monk Coniston is an imposing Gothic property leased from the National Trust and set in 8 acres of grounds, including a restored walled garden and the impressive arboretum. Some particularly impressive specimens, including a giant sequoia (the largest tree in the world) and the wollemi pine can be explored on the Monk Coniston Tree Trail.
Views from the property offer breathtaking glimpses of Coniston Water and the surrounding mountains.
Coniston village is about one mile away – there is a direct path from the house to the village. Here you’ll find a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a Barclays Bank (open 3 times a week). A wider range of facilities is available in Ambleside, the nearest town, about 8 miles away. The Ruskin Museum is also well worth a visit - find out more about the lake's connections to Donald Campbell and Arthur Ramsome. www.ruskinmuseum.com
During your visit to Monk Coniston you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Steam Yacht Gondola
First cruising Coniston Water 150 years ago, the restored gondola is now operated by the National Trust, stopping at the Monk Coniston jetty at the bottom of the meadow below the house before gliding across the lake, calling at Coniston village and Brantwood House. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/steam-yacht-gondola
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
Ride ‘L’al Ratty’ a highly scenic narrow gauge railway which runs from the coast at Ravenglass along beautiful Eskdale. You could combine a visit with a walk over Muncaster Fell, or to Stanley Gill waterfall. www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk
Just a couple of miles from Monk Coniston, John Ruskin's former home commands superb views over the lake. www.brantwood.org.uk
A short walk from the Country House, this man-made water was created by Monk Coniston’s resident owner, James Garth Marshall in 1865, as he continued to develop the estate and expand his pleasure grounds. He built a dam to flood the area, amalgamating several smaller tarns, before planting the shores and islands with new woodlands and specimen trees.
Nearby Grizedale Forest is ideal for mountain biking and also has a popular sculpture trail. You can also experience the Go Ape! high-ropes course – a great option for active teenagers. www.forestry.gov.uk/grizedale
Visit this stately home, famous for its magnificent formal garden and topiary displays. www.levenshall.co.uk
Grasmere is about 30 minutes’ drive from Monk Coniston and is famous for its connections with William Wordsworth. The poet’s homes at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount can be visited, the former of which includes the Wordsworth Museum. www.wordsworth.org.uk
Take a cruise along the length of Windermere - England's largest lake. Ferries connect Ambleside in the north to Bowness and Lakeside in the south, where you can connect with the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk, www.lakesiderailway.co.uk
Gondola image ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris
Travel to Conistonwater
Our address is: Monk Coniston, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AQ
The nearest train station is at Windermere. 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 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £27. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Monk Coniston Manager.
From Windermere station you can catch the 505 bus direct to Monk Coniston - the bus stop is right outside our Country House. Journey time is around 50 minutes. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From Ambleside take the A593 signposted to Coniston. Turn sharp left over a narrow bridge, then after half a mile turn left onto the B5286, signposted to Hawkshead. About 3 miles along this road, and just before Hawkshead, turn right onto the B5285, signposted to Coniston. Follow this road over Hawkshead Hill. The road descends then goes around a 180° bend to the left. The entrance to Monk Coniston is on the left about 100yds after the bend. There is car parking available within the grounds.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests the most convenient option is to book a flight to Manchester Airport. There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Oxenholme - this is straightforward journey - allow 1½ hours to Oxenholme. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Oxenholme station you can complete the journey to Monk Coniston by bus or taxi (see above).
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4 hours to reach Oxenholme. From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. Next take the Underground train to London Euston. Finally the main line train from London Euston to Oxenholme takes 2½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Irene is an artist whose work is based on observation and drawing. She uses a variety of media including watercolour, oil, acrylic and pastel as well as the techniques and methods of Chinese brush painting.
At the heart of her teaching is the encouragement of art appreciation, with group discussions as well as up-to-the-minute overviews of contemporary and international trends.
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