Rambles with a Sketchbook in Scotland
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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. Some of the rambles will include stiles and cover rough and uneven ground so you will need to bring good walking boots and have a reasonable level of fitness. Be aware that you will be spending a fair amount of time on your feet as you ramble between sketching spots!
- 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 superp 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.
Choose your room
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• 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 lounges
• Multi-purpose ballroom
• Highland bar
|• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
• Range of board games and books
• Heated indoor swimming pool
• Extensive gardens with views and access to Loch Leven
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. 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.
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.
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 to fly to Manchester Airport, which has a better range of long-haul flights. There are trains from the airport to Glasgow (some direct, other 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.
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
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
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person