Landscape Painting Holiday in the Scottish Highlands
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Find inspiration in this stunning area of the West Coast of Scotland from Loch Leven to the majestic castle in Inverlochy, you will be sure to feel enlightened after this holiday. 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 lightweight wooden A3 art boards
- All transport to and from painting locations on your holiday
Alltshellach is a fine highland residence, situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven. With magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and a superb indoor pool, it's extremely popular with all outdoor enthusiasts.
Alltshellach has 37 bedrooms, all located in the main building. Many of the rooms enjoy excellent views of the loch and the surrounding mountains.
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
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our “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. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' 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.
- 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 on request
- A small fridge is available for storing medication Good signage for fire escape routes
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- 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 has had disability awareness training
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better and best rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
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.
In the morning, your leader will demonstrate how to paint a variety of subjects using a range of techniques in preparation for your holiday. You’re welcome to join in and refresh or develop your own skills with Alison’s help and encouragement. After lunch, the beautiful grounds of Alltshellach, with views along Loch Leven, will provide the first location for observation and sketching in the landscape.
After a morning meeting to prepare for the day, we will venture further afield to the picturesque village of Glencoe behind which rises the distinctive Pap of Glencoe. Here, after a demonstration from Alison, there will be opportunities to practise painting in a more dramatic mountain landscape. The focus will be on composition, aerial perspective and colour mixing. Sketches made in situ can be referred to when back in the studio, later in the day. Refreshment is available at the famous Clachaig Inn, situated above the village.
The breathtaking scenery further up the glen will offer rich and varied vistas of, for example, Black Rock cottage and Buachaille Etive Mor, for this day’s painting. Your leader will provide a structured approach to help you and she will be on hand to guide you through from composition to completion. A lunch break will be taken at the Glencoe visitor centre which itself has wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. The ever popular West Highland Way passes nearby at this point.
For a change of focus, today will be spent observing views of the old ruined stone castle at Inverlochy (dating back to 1200s) with beautiful horse chestnut trees surrounding. Adjacent lies the shore of Loch Linnhe, possibly with fishermen. Good views of Ben Nevis, the loch and mountains may also be enjoyed from this location. Your leader be on hand to guide you through the challenges of these different subjects with the focus on creating distance in a painting.
We will spend today enjoying views of Creran Loch from Appin, with its small cluster of rocky islands and, in the foreground, golden lichens and seaweed. Focus today will be on colour when considering views for sketches or plein air painting. The very welcoming Creagan Inn is nearby to offer refreshments. Time later today will also be allowed for consolidation of the holiday’s painting and, before dinner, there will be opportunities to present our work in an informal and optional exhibition.
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
- Pencil sharpener or craft knife
- Putty (kneadable) rubber
- A drawing board (if you prefer to use your own)
- Masking tape and masking fluid
- Large well rectangular palette
- Small piece of wax candle
- Water pot (any good-sized plastic pot)
- Roll of kitchen towel
- Watercolour paints - A small set of student watercolours (tubes or pans), acrylics or pastels, according to your choice of medium, will be fine and then you can gradually build up your own selection as you become more experienced.Suggested colours: Cadmium Yellow, Winsor Yellow, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine blue, Cobalt blue, Indigo, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Dioxazine Violet, Raw Sienna, Winsor Blue, Pthalo Blue, Yellow Ochre
- 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 – 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. We would also recommend a pad of cartridge paper for sketching (A3)
- Brushes - The most expensive you can afford. Sizes 4, 8 and 12 round will be sufficient. Sable/synthetic mix are fine
- Small rucksack or shoulder bag
- An easel if you like to use one
- Wide-brimmed hat or a plastic eye shade will eliminate glare and improve your comfort
- 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, wind-proof clothing and a thin pair of stretchy gloves
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread
- Drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
Discover the Highlands
Alltshellach is situated beside the shores of Loch Leven. This is a spectacular location with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
About 2 miles away, across the loch is the village of Ballachulish. Here you’ll find a post office, food store and bank. A much wider range of facilities can be found in Fort William, about 14 miles to the north.
As the adventure capital of Britain, the Lochaber region is a popular destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. During your stay in Glen Coe you may enjoy visiting the following activities and places of interest:
Jacobite Steam Train
Ride the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. This stunningly scenic line includes the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films. Steam trains run every day and early booking is reccomended. www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite
Isle of Mull
Reached by car ferry from Oban, or Lochaline, Mull is one of the most popular Scottish islands. You could visit the colourful harbour at Tobermory or the abbey on Iona. www.calmac.co.uk/mull
Isle of Lismore
The peaceful island of Lismore is ideal for a relaxed exploration. You can hire bikes at Port Appin, about 30 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, then take the short ferry crossing to the island.
The bustling harbour town of Oban, about 45 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, is a popular destination. There's always plenty of activity around the harbour and its well worth the walk up to McCaig's Tower, a remarkable folly built in the style of a Roman ampitheatre, with commanding views over the town.
Eilean Donan Castle
Nearly 80 miles drive north from Alltshellach is this romantic and much photographed Scottish lochside castle. Located on a small island just offshore, the castle is isolated by the sea at high tide, only accessible via a stone bridge. www.eileandonancastle.com
Try your hand at ice climbing on the indoor wall at nearby Kinlochleven. www.ice-factor.co.uk
Travel to Glen Coe
Our address is: Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Invernesshire PH33 6SA
The nearest station is in Fort William, however most guests travel to Glasgow then catch our transfer coach. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
Many guests opt to fly to Glasgow Airport, then join our transfer coach to Glen Coe.
Glasgow to Glen Coe transfer
We offer a coach transfer between Glasgow Buchannan bus station**, Glasgow airport and Alltshellach every Saturday. The transfer is £32 return and £21 for a single trip, but a place must be reserved at least 14 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 020 8732 1220.
On arrival days our coach leaves Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station at 4.15pm, or Glasgow airport at 4.45pm. We will arrive at Alltshellach at 7pm which is in time for dinner on your first evening.
On departure day the transfer will get you back to Glasgow Airport by 11.30am and to Buchanan Street bus station by 12.00 noon.
** Buchanan Street bus station is about 15 mins walk from Glasgow central station (frequent buses are available) or 5 minutes walk from Glasgow Queen Street station.
If you are not travelling on a Saturday, the journey from either Glasgow Buchanan Street or the airport can be made using the Scottish Citylink bus, numbers 914 or 915. See www.citylink.co.uk for the timetable. Ask the driver to stop at the north side of Ballachulish Bridge - from here it is a 400 metre walk to Alltshellach.
From Glasgow take the A82 towards Crianlarich. Continue on the A82 towards Fort William. Head for Ballachulish keeping the village on your left. Go straight on at the roundabout over the steel bridge and take the second right B863 to Kinlochleven and the seafood restaurant. Alltshellach is 400 yards further on, on your right.
Travelling from overseas
Ideally book a flight to Glasgow Airport. From here you can join our coach transfer to Alltshellach (see above).
The next best option is to fly to Manchester Airport, which has a better range of long-haul flights. There are trains from the airport to Glasgow (some direct, others need 1 change). Allow 4 hours to get to Glasgow, then join our coach transfer to Alltshellach. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
There are also flights to Edinburgh with a train transfer to Glasgow.
Alison is a qualified teacher and experienced artist who has worked with adult groups for many years. She paints mainly, although not exclusively, in watercolour as she appreciates the strong yet translucent quality of this medium. Alison aims to encourage the enjoyment of and satisfaction in observation, sketching and painting, taking inspiration from beautiful local scenery.
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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
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person