Find inspiration in the glorious countryside. 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
- 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 wooden A3 art board
Located just a couple of miles away from the attractive market of Dolgellau, this town is a pleasure to explore with fascinating history surrounded in and out of the local area. Enjoy highly scenic journeys on old traditional trains through Snowdonia, or explore the area on foot.
Our bedrooms are either located in the main building or the tastefully converted coach house.
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.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
This is a holiday for anyone, whether you’re a skilled practising artist or just a wannabe creative! The delightful locality will be the subject for our daytime studies and painting. When we go out into the lovely local countryside, we'll be walking up to 2 miles (maximum) carrying our equipment as we find the very best landscapes to capture on our canvas. Before dinner, we’ll review what we’ve achieved during the day and address any challenges that we’ve come across.
Throughout the holiday, our leader will be the lead artist, giving live demonstrations of painting a landscape from start to finish, together with handy hints and plenty of insightful encouragement throughout the day. She’ll bring along DVD’s with tips and the approaches of other artists as well.
Painting techniques and solutions to some common problems
Our day begins with a look at the techniques and methods used in landscape painting and a range of solutions to the common problems of visualising, materials, composition and perspective.
The country house, its peaceful grounds and beautiful views plus the nearby famous Torrent Walk in this pretty valley will be the subjects for today’s studies and painting.
Up in the mountains
Prepare for a day out in the wilds! We’ll visit the hidden lakes of Cregennan nestling below Cadair Idris. Just around the corner is a vista over the famous Mawddach estuary. Gorgeous scenery in the mountains, 800 feet above sea level with mini-mountain trails, fishing and wheatears.
Down by the sea
A trip to the hustle and bustle of Aberystwyth, a resort and university town. Sophistication meets seaside on the promenade along the fine seafront of the famous Marine Terrace. We end our day at the award-winning Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales' largest arts centre and recognised as a national flagship for the arts.
On our free day
Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day (Wednesday). There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Along the valley
Back to the glorious peace of the Cadair Idris range with a wide open view from Tal-y-llyn over the stretch of the Llyn Mwyngil. After lunch we’ll enter the darker world of the narrow valley of the dramatic Dolgoch waterfalls. The little trains of the Talyllyn Railway that stop at Dolgoch station are timely delights as is their tearoom.
Our final day as we finish up our studies. But there’s time for a short stroll to the hidden waters of the nearby Afon Wnion. And for those who wish, an opportunity to show off our work at a special private view.
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 bring the materials you wish to use - some guests like oils, some acrylics and others like pastels. Be sure to bring along a hat with a brim and warm clothes as it can be chilly when you sit for a while out in the open air. This is a list of what your leader takes for her watercolour studies. We hope her list will help you in your packing:
- Pencils (2B,HB)
- Craft knife or Stanley knife and /or pencil sharpener
- Soft rubber
- Plastic bottle and water pot
- Roll of kitchen paper towel
- Watercolour paints (tubes or pans). suggested colours are: Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow, Winsor Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Indigo
- A tube of white gouache
- Watercolour pencils, crayons or pastels if you like these
- 2 well palettes (holding 6 large wells as we had at school!)
- Paper - I use 140lbs/300gms watercolour paper – at least A4 in size (21cms x 30cms). Some papers have a textured surface so choose the surface you prefer. You could bring a ‘blocked’ pad – that is one where all the sheets are gummed together on all four edges. These pads are expensive but save you having to use a board as you leave the paper on the pad whilst you paint.
- A small sketchpad of cartridge paper for quick notes and roughs
- Brushes - The most expensive you can afford. Sizes 4, 8 and 12 round will be sufficient. And a flat brushes of half or one inch in width. Sable/synthetic mix are fine
- 2-inch masking tape and masking fluid and a small piece of uncolored wax candle
- Small rucksack or light wheeled bag
- An easel if you like to use one
- An umbrella 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, wind-proof clothing and a thin pair of stretchy gloves
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread
- Thermos flask
- Hat with a brim too!
A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
During your stay at Dolserau Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Snowdonia:
This narrow guage railway was the first in the world to be taken over and run by volunteers. The line runs from the coast at Tywyn to the former slate quarries at Nant Gwernol. Historic locomotives and carriages, some dating back to the line's opening in 1864 add to the unique atmosphere. The nearest station is at Abergynolwyn, about 25 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.talyllyn.co.uk
Great Little Trains of Wales
Snowdonia is noted for its concentration of narrow guage steam railways, all of which offer highly scenic journeys. The Ffestiniog Railway, Vale of Rheidol and the Welshpool & Llanfair railways are all within reach. You may also want to experience the newly rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway which runs from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk
Built by King Edward I after his conquest of Wales, Harlech Castle is one of the most historically important and well preserved fortifications in the principality. Along with neighbouring castles at Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Conwy it now has World Heritage status. Around 45 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
Centre for Alternative Technology
Situated near Machynlleth, around 20 minutes' from Dolserau Hall, the Centre for Alternative Technology is at the forefront of researching and teaching sustainable living. Displays focus on green technology, energy efficiency and organic farming. www.cat.org.uk
The nearby RSPB reserves at Arthog Bog, Coed Garth Gell and Ynis-hir offer a wide variety of habitats including oak woodland, heathland and salt-marsh that attracts an equally diverse range of birds.
This quaint Italianate village was the brainchild of the architect Clough Williams-Ellis. It is also well-known as the setting for the cult 1960’s TV series The Prisoner. Portmeirion is around 35 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.portmeirion-village.com
Harlech Castle image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government
Travel to Dolgellau
Our address is: Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2AG
The most convenient railway station is at Machynlleth. 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 16 mile journey from Machynlleth railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per taxi. 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 Dolserau Hall Manager.
From Machynlleth take the X32 bus to Dolgellau. The 2 mile journey to Dolserau Hall from Dolgellau can be completed in a taxi. Alternatively alight at Dolgellau Little Chef, from where it is a 1 mile walk along a quiet country lane to the hotel. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From the north travel via Chester then the A550, A5104, then finally the A494 to Bala. Stay on the A494 heading towards Dolgellau. A mile after the junction for the B4416 to Brithdir, take the next turning on the left, after the campsite. Follow the country lane for ½ mile to Dolserau Hall.
From the south travel via Shrewsbury and the A458 to Welshpool. Continue on the A458 and after a further 27 miles turn right at a roundabout onto the A470 towards Dolgellau. Look out for the garage and Little Chef on the right as you come down the hill before Dolgellau. Turn right immediately before the garage and drive along a country lane for approx 1 mile to Dolserau Hall.
Travelling from overseas
Birmingham Airport has the quickest onward connections to Machynlleth. Direct trains from Birmingham International station take 2 hours 35 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Manchester Airport has a better range of long-haul flights. Trains from here take around 3½ hours with changes at Crewe and Shrewsbury. 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 5½ hours to reach Machynlleth by train. You'll need to head to Euston station in the centre of London. Take a train from here to Birmingham, then change for the onward connection to Machynlleth. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
In each case complete your journey from Machynlleth to Dolgellau by taxi or bus (see above).
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.
Irene was a very good tutor. She gave exercises to help develop kills and was on hand while we were out painting on how to improve composition and other technical issues. I particularly enjoyed the demonstration of Japanese brush painting and the opportunity to try this new skill.
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