Rambles with a Sketchbook in the Cotswolds
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Meadows & hills
Create your own artistic impressions as we walk through some of Britains' 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 with plenty of stops for sketching
- A variety of inspirational landscapes from the green rolling hills to the golden stone villages
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of sketching in a group
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, transport for the rambles and tuition from our expert leader
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
- Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment
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.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for no extra charge.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £10 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
In the main house there is a small lounge, an attractive dining room and a cosy bar. The ballroom is a flexible space which can be used as a lounge, for dancing or for a variety of leisure activity holidays.
At the very top of the house is the fascinating observatory: an opportunity to try some star-gazing, or just enjoy the bird’s-eye view.
Free WiFi is available in the public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
At the rear of the house there is an attractive walled garden with a large croquet lawn. This is a particularly attractive spot to relax after a day’s walk or activity.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local history from a visiting speaker, a team quiz, or a stroll around Bourton-on-the-Water. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
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.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- There is a small car park at the front of the house and a larger one at the rear
- 2 disabled parking bays
- The surface of the car park is tarmac, slightly uneven
- Assistance with luggage provided upon request
Main entrance & reception
- The front entrance has 5 steps (each step is 15cm in height) up to it and the back entrance has 3 steps (each step is 4.5cm in height)
- Ramp is available on request. Handrail at the front entrance (height 93cm)
- The office is situated in the front hallway. The hallway is well lit and the width of it is 295cm
Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc
- In general, due to the age and layout of the house, most of the rooms are accessed via carpeted hallways & corridors with firedoors and steps in them. Minimum width 73cm
- Hallways and corridors are generally well lit. Staircase to the upper floors is steep and narrow in places
- Portable ramp available
Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- From the main hallway, there is level access to the lounge, dining room, and ballroom
- The bar is accessed via 1 step of 16cm high, 85cm wide
- The lounge has very good lighting, thick carpet and internet access
- The entrance door into the lounge is a fire door and 93cm in width
- The observatory in on top of the house. The stairs up are steep, each step is 18cm high and 81cm wide. The stairs have handrails and are well lit and thickly carpeted
- The boot room is located near the main entrance and has a coded lock on the door. One step of 8cm in height into the boot room
- The ballroom is located near the bar with one step down (14cm high). The entrance width is 93cm
- Wooden floor, good lighting
- Chairs are 45cm high with arm rests. Tables are 49cm high. Window seats 47cm high. All furniture easily movable
- The painting room is located in the Windrush Cottage (accessed from outside). Minimum entrance width 79cm, minimum corridor width 70cm, one step down of 18cm.
- The chairs are 44cm high, tables 49cm. All furniture is easily movable
- Well lit room with a rug in the middle of vinyl tile floor
- The public toilets are located down the hallway, just off the main reception area. There are two steps up, each 19cm high
- The width of the main door is 74cm, the cubicle doors are 58cm. Ladies toilet height is 38cm and the gents is 37cm. Both have a tiled floor. Sink is 90cm high
Dining room & bar
- The dining room is located off the main hallway. The door width is 96cm
- Five movable tables, all 70cm high and all chairs are 46cm high with no arm rests
- The dining room is well lit and has thick carpet
- Breakfast service is self service cold buffet with assistance available, if required. Table service for hot meals
- The bar is also located off the main hallway. The door width is 85cm. One step, 16cm high
- The chairs are 47cm high, some with arms. The bar counter is 108cm high
Bedrooms & sleeping areas
- Room 30 is the room best suited for anyone requiring wheelchair access. The room is located on the ground floor of Jubilee Cottage
- The entrance is 80cm wide
- The room is carpeted and has 2 single beds (each 58cm high), 1 sofa bed, 2 bedside tables, a dresser, a wardrobe and 2 chairs
- The room is 431cm wide
- The entrance to the en-suite bathroom is 82cm. Non-slip flooring
- Walk-in shower with a shower curtain
- The sink is 79cm high with a lever tap. Mirror and shaver light
- Height of the toilet is 40cm
- The rest of the rooms are a mixture of singles, twins and doubles. Bedrooms are located in the main house (1st and 2nd floor), the annex, Windrush (ground and 1st floor) and Jubilee Cottage (ground and 1st floor)
- Most of the rooms are en-suite, three basic single bedrooms only have a sink in the rooms and they share two bathrooms along the corridor
Grounds and gardens
The garden at the back of the house is flat and pebbled with seating available
- 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
Monday: 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.
Tuesday: Tracing the Windrush
Your tutor, Irene Sanderson, will give an overview of sketching techniques and hints on how your observations can enhance memories and be springboards to creativity. Today’s ramble follows the beautiful Windrush River upstream through the picturesque villages of Bourton-on-the-Water, Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter, all three acknowledged as jewels of rural architecture set in the picturesque Cotswolds. There is also an excellent tea shop on the way. A feast for all the senses!
Wednesday: Time to blossom
Through the rolling farmlands of the Cotswold to the two iconic gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate Court. Hidcote is a National Trust property laid out in a series of aspects each with a particular theme. Kiftsgate Court, clinging to an escarpment, is a family estate landscaped by three generations of women. There is an entrance fee for both these gardens so don't forget your National Trust membership card if you have one. Those who wish can stay all day basking in the peak of Spring blossoming, but there is also a ramble to take you down through pretty hamlets to the intriguing church at Mickeldon and then up a steady climb through primrose-lined woodland. You’ll enjoy great views over the Vale of Evesham before returning to the gardens for the tearooms and shops. A day for making studies of this very special season.
Thursday: Harmony with nature
Today has the theme of harmony with nature following the Jubilee Way through a nature reserve to the neighbouring village of Wyck Rissington. Gustav Holst was the church organist here and the ancient building is a fine subject. Magnificent country houses in golden stone line the broadway. Once back at the Country House, we'll take time for final sketches of Bourton ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ where the parade by the flowing Windrush river gives boundless opportunities for the observation of people interacting with water and ducks.
Friday: 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
- A hardbacked sketchbook with good thick cartridge paper, preferably 150gm weight - A4 (I prefer landscape format) and / or a 6” or 8” square sketchbook
- A5 notebook for quick note taking
- 2B and 4B pencils and if possible, a water-soluble graphite pencil
- Feel free to bring any other lightweight materials too, such as watercolours, crayons, a set of water soluble pastels or water-soluble crayons
- Craft blade or Stanley knife for sharpening pencils
- Eraser/putty rubber
- Brush / Waterbrush pen (a plastic brush with a water reservoir useful for spreading your watercolour crayons
- Pen(s) for sketching: most easy to use are fibre-tipped (such as Edding 1800) but you may like your nib pen with waterproof ink (cartridge or bottle)
- Lightweight bottle for your water (and for you to drink and/or use during sketching)
- Water beaker
- Bull Dog clip or large elastic bands
- Small rucksack or shoulder bag for carrying your materials and money
- Wide-brimmed hat or a plastic eye shade to eliminate glare.
- Cushion, garden kneeler or plastic seat pad.
- Remember that sitting still can make you chillier than you would expect, so bring some extra layers of warm, waterproof clothing, a hat and a thin pair of stretchy gloves
- Carrier bags for protecting your work and our materials inside your rucksack when the weather is wet
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread
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).
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.
Chinese brush painting: Following the traditional approach to the art that she herself followed when studying in China and Japan, she will provide practical advice on the techniques and materials you need for Chinese brush painting. At the heart of her teaching is the encouragement of appreciation of Far Eastern art with group discussions as well as up-to-the-minute overviews of contemporary trends and sources.
Landscape painting: At the heart of her teaching is the encouragement of art appreciation, which for this holiday will of course be centred on landscape painting, with group discussions as well as up-to-the-minute overviews of contemporary and international trends. Whitby is a favourite destination for her with its dramatic coastline and gothic townscape set in superb countryside with sea and moors, all excellent subject-matter for the landscape painter.
Pastels: This holiday will of be centred on painting in pastels, with group discussions as well as up-to-the-minute overviews of contemporary and international trends. .
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
21 Sep 2015, 1:55 p.m.
My first HF holiday, I Am really impressed and will certainly book for another one next year!
Beautiful location, excellent staff and brilliant leader, Irene Sanderson!
9 Sep 2014, 10:51 a.m.
Does what it says on the tin!
Great leader ... guided rather than instructed, which was very good for our mixed-ability art group. And the Bourton house is a lovely, comfortable place to stay.
2 Sep 2014, 3:45 p.m.
HF seem to have everything covered, efficient and polite staff, first class food (and plenty of it), very good accommodation and expert activity leaders. This is my first year with HF and so far I have sampled three holidays with three more to come. All have been excellent value for money.
Thank you so much for your kind words!
All the best,
Harriet Holland, E-Commerce Executive, HF Holidays Ltd.
1 Sep 2014, 10:13 p.m.
No review provided
We had a great holiday that catered for our individual pursuits, art for me and hard walking for my husband. We were well looked after by the cheerful and helpful staff and it's always a pleasure to have all our meals provided so no cooking for me!
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|17 Apr 2017||BNPDW - Rambles with a Sketchbook - Bourton-on-the-Water||4||£489.00||£459.00||Book Now|
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