Rambles with a Sketchbook at Glen Coe
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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 silent glens to the towering peaks and tumbling waterfalls
- 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
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 is extremely popular with all outdoor enthusiasts.
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 an extra £8 per night.
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 £5 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.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
There are three lounges, one of which was once a chapel when the house was lived in by the Bishop of Argyll. The multi-purpose ballroom can either be used for dancing, as a painting studio, or as a games room with table tennis. Our Highland bar is always well-stocked with whisky and local beer and there is always a social buzz after a hard day on the hills. Free Wifi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
The heated indoor swimming pool is also very popular with our guests.
Alltshellach is surrounded by extensive gardens that slope down to the shores of Loch Leven.
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 Scottish 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 from a representative of the National Trust for Scotland or the John Muir Trust. You could relax in our lounges, have a whisky from the well-stocked bar, or you may even be entertained by a Scottish piper.
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.
Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.
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.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- There is ample free car parking available at the house
- The surface of the car park is level, gravel in the car park with tarmac in front of the entrance
- It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
- Assistance can be provided with luggage
- There are two steps at the main entrance (10cm and 6cm high)
- The front door can open double to 145cm wide
- There is a permanent wheelchair ramp into the new west wing. The width of the ramp is 135cm and it leads to a 90cm wide door. Having gained access via the ramp, all facilities are available without encountering any steps
- The floor surface is short pile carpet
- There is no lift
Public areas – hall, stairs, corridors etc
- All public areas are carpeted
- The minimum corridor width is 150cm. The main staircase is carpeted and 6ft wide
- There are eight bedrooms on the ground floor (four doubles, three twins and one twin specially adapted for wheelchair users)
Public Rooms – lounges / conservatory
- Various public rooms, all on the ground floor
- West wing lounge, which measures approximately 5m x 14m, has a variety of sofas, chairs and coffee tables. Wide doors (173cm) leading to the pool and patio. Door leading to the chapel / main lounge is 130cm wide
- The small lounge has sofas and armchairs
- Ballroom has two access doors (100cm and 148cm wide). Doors to the patio are 110cm wide
- The unisex toilet on the ground floor is next to the bar. Access is via two steps (14cm high), door width 36 inches
- Wash basin height 85cm
- There are two additional toilets (one male, one female) in the swimming pool changing rooms
Dining room & bar
- Dining room is on the ground floor with a combination of round and square tables, all 71cm high, each seating eight to ten diners
- Seats are without arms, 46cm high, with 56cm high backs
- Waitress service at all meals
- Bar area consists of two high tables and ten bar stools, two access doors, 130cm and 110cm wide
- During dinner, bar drinks and wines available to order in the dining room
- Indoor swimming pool located in the west wing, access from the west wing corridor
- Flooring is a mixture of tiled and compressed rubber
- Within the pool area, there are two alarms, first aid post, a rescue hook and a life buoy
- The size of the pool is 6 x 12m
- All the bedrooms are en-suite
- The bedrooms are a mixture of singles, twins and doubles
- All rooms are en-suite
Room 26: (designed for wheelchair users)
- On the ground floor of the west wing approx 15 m from permanent wheelchair ramp
- Two single divan beds, both 60cm high
- Available floor space beside the beds approx 3m x 4m
- Door width 95cm
- All furniture movable
- Alarm call button by bed, sounds alarm and flashing light in the corridor and outside the manager’s office
- Touch lamp bedside
- Door width 92cm. Level entry
- Bathroom area 195cm x 270cm (not incl shower area)
- Level entry shower designed for wheelchair users, 115cm sq with support rail and lowered manual shower controls. Shower chair available
- Toilet seat height 46cm, support rails on both sides
- Support rails for wash basin. Taps are lever / turn
- Pullcord alarm in the bathroom sounds an alarm and flashing light in the corridor outside the bedroom and manager’s office
Grounds and gardens
- Six steep steps leading from patio to lawn and six shallow wide steps leading from another patio to the croquet lawn
- 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
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: Alltshellach and Ballachulish
Investigating the grounds of the hotel and surrounding area, we will start our sketchbooks. Catherine will discuss different ways to sketch and different materials to use as we walk into the nearby village of Ballachulish crossing the bridge where the two lochs meet. There will be ample opportunity to stop and sketch the various subjects; boats, mountains and coastal views.
Monday: Inverlochy Castle and the Caledonian Canal
A day to draw a ruined castle and ‘Neptunes Staircase’. We'll travel north just past Fort William to walk around Old Inverlochy Castle then onto the Caledonian canal. Catherine will be on hand to help you practise some perspective drawing.
Tuesday: Glencoe village
Despite its bloody past, Glencoe has a fascinating history going back 350 million years to volcanic origins. This has resulted in the spectacular mountains which are a haven for walkers, climbers, mountaineers, skiers……and sketchers.
A free day to explore the local are independently or relax at the Country House.
Thursday: Isle of Lismore
From delightful Port Appin, we'll take the small ferry to the Isle of Lismore. Our walk makes a circuit of the northern top, stopping to draw the lovely views and historical sites or concentrate on the details of the wild flowers.
Friday: Inchree and Corran
Starting with a walk up to the waterfalls at Inchree we continue to the port at Corran with the lighthouse in sight for us to draw. On our return to the Country House we can prepare our sketchbooks for an entirely optional display so that our fellow guests can see what we have been up to.
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
Sketchbook – A4, A5 or 6-8” square (good thick cartridge paper, preferably 150gm weight)
2B and 4B pencils and if possible, a water-soluble graphite pencil
Craft blade or pencil sharpener
Pens - nylon-tipped (such as Edding 1800), 2 different sizes or nib pen with waterproof ink (cartridge or bottle), or other sketching pen of your own preference
Bull Dog clip or large elastic bands
Feel free to bring any other lightweight materials too, such as other pencils, crayons, pens or watercolours (eg set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons)
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
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 Fort William, however most guests travel to Glasgow then catch our transfer coach. 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).
Glasgow to Glen Coe transfer
We offer a coach transfer between Glasgow Buchannan bus station**, Glasgow airport and Alltshellach every Saturday. The transfer is £25 return and £15 for a single trip, but a place must be reserved in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
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.
Catherine is a professional artist, who gained a first at Edinburgh College of art studying there as a mature student, her initial career had been in the NHS. She was the first recipient of the WASPS studios awards and has exhibited extensively at home and abroad. She is a professional member of Society of Scottish Artists. Catherine is an experienced teacher of various subject matters. She enjoys creating a relaxed friendly atmosphere in her classes as she finds this is the best way to aid creativity and progress.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|20 May 2017||LLPDW - Rambles with a Sketchbook - Glen Coe||7||£889.00||£824.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person