Rambles with a Sketchbook at Abingworth
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Meadows & hills
Create your own artistic impressions as we walk through some of southern England’s most inspirational landscapes. We’ll walk up to 4 miles (6.5km) each day, sketching scenes along our journey. Your sketches may be the finished result or used as a source for further painting or drawing.
- Gentle rambles of up to 4 miles (6.5km) with plenty of stops for sketching
- A variety of inspirational landscapes
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of sketching in a group
- 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
Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall is ideally located for a short break or a longer holiday. A peaceful ambiance and excellent facilities make it a relaxing place to stay. It offers great viewing for short or long strolls in the beautiful surrounding meadows.
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
• Three comfortable lounges, the largest of which opens onto the attractive conservatory and bar
• Large ballroom
• Dining room
• Free WiFi avaliable in some public rooms
|• Range of board games and books
• Surrounded by eight acres of gardens
• Putting green and croquet lawn
• Heated outdoor swimming pool (open May to September)
|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.
Abingworth Hall is generally accessible to wheelchair users and has a bedroom specifically designed for wheelchair access.
- 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 a gentle ramble in the lovely local area. We’ll walk up to 4 miles (6.5km) each day, sketching scenes along our journey. At lunchtime we'll enjoy a tasty picnic lunch together as we exchange enthusiasm and ideas about our artwork. Later on we can enjoy the sociable activities on offer at the Country House or quietly relax in the bar or a cosy lounge.
Burpham Village to Arundel
After a hearty breakfast, we start our day’s ramble in the village of Burpham where there are sketching opportunities around the old church and cottages. We then continue our walk through Wepham village to join the Monarch’s Way footpath where views of historic Arundel Castle (previously depicted in paintings by JMW Turner!) can be found for sketching. We then join the River Arun riverside pathway that includes an avenue of lime trees, small boats and the bridge at the foot of Arundel High Street where more sketching subject matter will come into view. This is a delightful 3-mile ramble to begin our holiday.
‘Jack and Jill’ Windmills
Today’s 4-mile walk on the South Downs Way begins in the village of Clayton where we will spend time sketching the two iconic windmills known as the ‘Jack and Jill windmills’ in a landscape set against the beautiful, rolling South Downs countryside. More sketching opportunities abound as we continue the ramble along the Sussex Border Path, giving wonderful views towards Brighton and the sea and the ‘Chattri’, a monument on the South Downs above Patcham that was built to commemorate the Indian soldiers who fought during the First World War. This lovely circular route takes us back to those iconic Windmills.
Cuckmere Haven and the Seven Sisters
Today we visit Cuckmere Haven with its picturesque views of the Severn Sisters chalk cliffs on the South Coast. We start our walk at the Seven Sisters Country Park visitor centre and proceed along footpaths through countryside following the River Cuckmere to the where it meets the English channel. This beautiful area forms several oxbow lakes, and the water meadows there provide a habitat for a wealth of wildlife, including herons, geese and swans. As well as shoreline and majestic white cliffs there are views of cottages and farmland to sketch. We return by other footpaths to the country park, where our coach awaits us. A splendid “3-miler” to round off this brilliant 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
- Small rucksack or shoulder bag to carry items in
- 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
- Cushion, garden kneeler or plastic seat pad. Alternatively you may like to bring a light folding chair or small stool
- Remember that sitting still can make you chillier than you would expect, so bring some extra layers of warm, wind-proof clothing, a hat and a thin pair of stretchy gloves
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread
- You may like to bring a vacuum flask
- 2B and 4B pencils
- Craft knife or similar for pencil sharpening
- A4 and A5 sketchbooks (e.g. 150gm weight cartridge paper)
- Pens: 2 or 3, nylon-tipped drawing pens (e.g. uni-pin brand)
- Bull Dog clip or large elastic bands to hold paper in windy weather
- Kneedable putty rubber (preferably) or ordinary plastic eraser
Please feel free to bring any other lightweight materials too, such as water colour pencils, crayons and small, outdoor type, watercolour paint set and brushes, ‘Moleskine’ brand sketch book and watercolour book, other pens: biros or fountain pen, scrap paper
Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available at the house for guest loan.
Discover Sussex and the South Downs
Abingworth Hall is situated amidst gentle rolling farmland at the foot of the South Downs.
The nearest facilities are in the village of Storrington, about two miles away. Here you’ll find a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a bank.
During your stay at Abingworth Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
The quaint town of Arundel, about 30 minutes' drive away, is dominated by its castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. During your visit you may enjoy a walk in the Castle's extensive grounds, or beside the river Arun. www.arundelcastle.org
Completely restored after an extensive fire, this stately National Trust property has ornate rooms and gardens. Uppark is around 50 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/uppark
The cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton is about 40 minutes' drive from Abingworth Hall and has an excellent range of specialist shops, entertainment, and its famous beach. You may also enjoy a visit to the Royal Pavilion, built in the early 19th century by George IV. www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk
Amberley Working Museum
Just 15 minutes' drive from Abingworth Hall, this large open-air museum tells the industrial story of the downs, complete with a steam railway, vintage buses and restored quarry machinery. www.amberleymuseum.co.uk
Just 10 to 15 minutes' drive away, Elizabethan Parham House is surrounded by an extensive deer park. www.parhaminsussex.co.uk
The historic cathedral city of Chichester, about 45 minutes' drive away, has plenty of interest. Just a couple of miles away is the fascinating Fishbourne Roman Palace, uncovered in 1960, which has many superb mosaics. www.chichestercathedral.org.uk or www.sussexpast.co.uk/fishbourne
A large late 17th century mansion, now run by the National Trust with extensive grounds that were landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. Around 30 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth-house
Weald & Downland Museum
Located on the Downs, near the village of Singleton, this excellent open-air museum contains many restored buildings that bring the history of Sussex to life. These include a working watermill and a re-creation of a typical downland village. The museum is around 45 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.wealddown.co.uk
One of Britain’s premier steam railways with an impressive collection of 50 locomotives, representing the Southern Railway and its predecessors. The line runs through rolling countryside from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, about 40 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.bluebell-railway.co.uk
Uppark House and Petworth House image ©National Trust Images/John Miller
Travel to Abingworth
Our address is: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF
The nearest railway station is at Pulborough. 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 6 mile journey from Pulborough railway station takes approximately 15 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £14. 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 Abingworth Hall Manager.
For those with satellite navigation, enter the postcode RH20 3EF and Storrington Road if required.
From the M25 take either the A24 or the M23 and then the A264 towards Horsham. At the Great Daux roundabout go south on the A24 towards Worthing. Go straight over 2 roundabouts and then at the traffic light cross roads turn right onto the A272 signposted to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After 3 miles turn left onto the B2139 (The Selsey Arms on left). After 3.5 miles pass the turning for Thakeham on the left. After half a mile, Abingworth Hall is on the left, directly after the national speed limit signs.
From the M27 continue onto the A27 and around Chichester. At Fontwell Park roundabout take the first exit to continue on the A27 and at the next roundabout take the first exit on to the A29. After approx. 4 miles, at a roundabout, take the 2nd exit on to the B2139 to Storrington. At the mini roundabout in Storrington, take the 2nd exit onto the A283. Continue through Storrington and take the first exit at the mini roundabout by the Anchor Inn on to the B2139 towards Thakeham. Take the 2nd exit at the next mini roundabout and then take the 1st exit at next mini roundabout (by Steyning Grammar School). Continue down this road until you see 30mph signs. Abingworth Hall is just before these signs, on the right.
Travelling from overseas
Abingworth is particularly convenient from London Gatwick Airport, which is served by a large range of long-haul and European flights.
From Gatwick Airport station there are trains every 30 minutes to Pulborough - journey time 40 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. From Pulborough station complete your journey to Abingworth by taxi (see above)
London Heathrow airport is a little further away, so you'll need to travel via the centre of London. Allow 2½ hours to get to Pulborough.
Dave is an established artist living in Whitby, North Yorkshire. Dave creates paintings in his home studio using a variety of mediums including water colour, acrylic and oil. His landscape paintings are developed from preliminary paintings and sketches produced on location. Other work includes abstract paintings, illustrations and cartoons. Dave teaches basic and more advanced techniques in drawing and painting to adults, including drawing the human form.
Dave was a good tutor, knew the area well and had a very easy going style. The hol was very relaxed and a lot of fun.
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