Rambles with a Sketchbook at St Ives
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- Gentle rambles of up to 4 miles with plenty of stops for sketching
- A variety of inspirational landscapes from colourful fishing villages to secluded coves
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of sketching in a group
Create your own artistic impressions as we walk through some of Cornwall’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.
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, transport for 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
Chy Morvah, meaning ‘house by the sea’ in Cornish, is an appropriate name for this characteristic seaside property. Situated within walking distance of the centre of St Ives, it enjoys wonderful views along the north Cornwall coast.
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 walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms and laundry facilities.
Chy Morvah has been designed to make maximum use of its splendid elevated position and sea views. The panoramic main lounges enjoy views across St Ives Bay and form a flexible and sociable open-plan room.
The dining room is particularly light and has a conservatory front overlooking the gardens and the sea. There is also a ballroom which can be used for a variety of evening activities and a comfortable bar. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
Chy Morvah has attractive gardens with sea views. The heated outdoor pool is always popular with our guests (open April – September, weather permitting). Table football and boules are available in the garden.
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 a highlight during summer is a performance at the famous open air Minack Theatre (usually every Tuesday). In addition there could be the opportunity to enjoy a talk on local history, a team quiz, or a stroll into St Ives itself. 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.
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.
Due to the layout of Chy Morvah, it is not recommended for wheelchair users and guests with restricted mobility.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- There is ample free parking for guests, with 2 spaces for disabled drivers
- The surface of the car park is tarmac and the car park is on level ground
- Assistance can be provided with luggage
Main entrance & reception
- From the main car park to the main house there is a smooth pathway, which has 2 sets of steps to the Reception door (3ft wide)
- The first set has 7 steps (each being 8 inches high, 11 inches deep) and the second set has 2 steps (both are 8 inches high, 24 inches deep). There is a handrail (32 inches high) and the steps are lit at night time
- Entrance from disabled parking is via 2 steps with limited access through the ballroom fire door
- There is level access from the main car park to the Lanyons building, however all bedrooms in Lanyons are on the first and second floor
- Assistance and porterage is available on request
Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc
- All public areas are well lit and carpeted, with the exception of Ballroom, Art Studio and games Room which have wooden flooring
- Minimum door width is 2ft 6 inches
Public areas - sitting room, lounges
- The main house has main office / mini-shop, lounge, bar, conservatory, dining room, ballroom and public toilets on the ground floor and bedrooms on various floors, including the ground floor
- Lanyons has the following facilities on the ground floor: Art room, games room, washing and drying facilities, boot room and public toilet
- The door widths to the public rooms are: Ball room 5ft, bar 3ft, ballroom fire door 2ft 6inches, art room 3ft and games room 3ft. The lounge has no door
- The lounge is L shaped, approximately 50ft x 20ft
- Unisex public toilets on the ground floor are accessed via 1 step of 8in high. The door is 2ft 6inches wide
- Toilet seat height 18 inches, hand basin 30 inches high
- The ladies toilet on the ground floor is accessed via 3 steps up (a hand rail, each step is 8 inches high and 11 inches wide), followed by 3 steps down (each step is 8 inches high and 12 inches deep). The entrance door to the ladies toilet is 3ft wide, the cubicle door is 2ft 6 inches
- Toilet seat height 18 inches, hand basin 32 inches
Dining room & bar
- The ground floor dining room seats 60 in circular tables
- The table height is 16 inches, the armless chairs are 18 inches high with the back rest of 40 inches
- The approximate size of the dining room is 50ft x 20ft
- Waitress service, except on buffet nights. Assistance available, if required
- The bar has tub stools that are 18 inches high and the high bar stools are 30 inches high
- Tables in the bar area are 16 inches high. The approximate bar area is 15ft x 10ft
- Outdoor pool, which can be accessed from the Basement level rooms without incurring any steps
- Pool size 20ft x 30ft. Heated between May and September
- Pool surrounded by paving stones
- The pool complied with the relevant Health & Safety standards, but does not have lifting equipment
- Pool alarm situated beside the pool for emergencies
- Bedrooms are situated on the lower ground, ground, first and second floors of the main house and first and second floor of Lanyons
- The two bedrooms best suited for anyone with restricted mobility are room 24 (single) and room 33 (twin), both are on the ground floor of the main house
- The beds are 2ft 6 inches high and 3ft wide
- Minimum door width 2ft 6 inches
- All bedrooms are en-suite, most rooms are with a shower, but rooms with bath are also available
- All rooms are carpeted and well lit
- All furniture, including beds is movable
- All en-suite, most with a shower, but rooms with bath are also available
- Bathrooms for rooms 24 and 33 have a shower. Bathroom door width 2ft 6 inches, toilet height 16 inches, hand basin 30 inches, shower step 10 inches high. No hand rail
- Lino flooring
- 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
Arrival day Saturday:
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: On our first day there will be a short discussion on sketching techniques and composition, then we will walk into the town and to the harbour and island where there are many different subjects to sketch. Be prepared for some hills and steps!
Monday: Today we will travel by coach to Porthleven where we will sketch the harbour and fishing boats before heading to the beach and cliffs.
Tuesday: A chance to sketch the lighthouse made famous by Virginia Woolf as we walk to Godrevy – there are also great seascapes and rocks, with some rockpools if the tide is out.
Wednesday: Free day
Thursday: A highlight of the week is a trip to Cape Cornwall, where we will walk to Priest Cove (painted many times by Kurt Jackson) then down the Kenidjack valley, very peaceful with a stream, wild flowers and an abandoned tin mine.
Friday: On our last day we will travel by bus to Zennor where we can sketch the village and church before walking to the dramatic cliffs. In the evening there is a chance to exhibit your work if you would like to.
Saturday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
What to bring
- Sketchbook – A4, A5 or 6-8” square (good thick cartridge paper, preferably 150gm weight). Spiral bound or hardcover.
- You could also bring a panorama shaped sketchbook if you have one (not essential).
- 2B and 4B pencils and if possible, a water-soluble graphite pencil
- Eraser/putty rubber
- Craft blade or Stanley knife for sharpening pencils
- A sketching pen. Can be nylon-tipped (such as Edding 1800) 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, pastels 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
- A camera
- 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 (that you can easily carry).
- 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
- Protection against sun, weather and insects.
- You may like to bring a vacuum flask
Chy Morvah is situated in the attractive seaside town of St Ives. A 10 minute downhill walk will take you to the harbour and old town; a maze of narrow streets and shops. The harbour front is always bustling with activity, and there are numerous artists’ galleries to enjoy. There are also two excellent sandy beaches. Nearby Porthminster Beach (5 to 10 minutes' walk) is very sheltered and very popular with families. Porthmeor Beach on the far side of town (15 to 20 minutes' walk) is more exposed and excellent for surfing. There are several surf schools if you want to give this a go – a popular option for all ages! St Ives has a full range of facilities including shops, banks, chemists, pubs and cafés.
During your stay at Chy Morvah you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Tate Gallery & Barbara Hepworth Gallery
Opened in 1993, this branch of the Tate Gallery celebrates Cornwall’s rich artistic legacy. Tate St Ives also manages the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which gives a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important 20th century artists. Both galleries are within easy walking distance of Chy Morvah. www.tate.org.uk
Justifiably popular with visitors, the fascinating ‘Biomes’ of the Eden Project house a flamboyant collection of plants from around the world. Explore the two gigantic geodesic conservatories – one a majestic rainforest, the other is host to the fruits and flowers of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. Outside the extensive grounds are landscaped and produce tea, lavender, sunflowers and hemp. The Eden Project is just over an hour's drive from St Ives. Between May and September guests staying at Chy Morvah are able to book a coach excursion each Wedneday, organised by Oates Travel. www.edenproject.com
St Michael’s Mount
The jewel in Cornwall's crown, a fairytale island with an exotic garden, ancient harbour, a church and a medieval castle. Access from Marazion is by foot along the causeway, or by ferry at high water. Marazion is about 20 minutes' drive from St Ives, and can also be reached by regular local buses. www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk
This uniquely situated open-air theatre is cut into the cliffs at Porthcurno, near Lands End. Performances take place most evenings with some afternoon matinees. The Rowena Cade Exhibition Centre tells the story of its creation. An evening theatre visit is offered on most weeks to guests staying at Chy Morvah (May to September). www.minack.com
National Maritime Museum
Cornwall's £21 million attraction in Falmouth is housed in an award winning building on the harbour-side. The museum transports you into the world of small boats and Cornish maritime history. Falmouth is about 50 minutes' drive from St Ives, and a day here could include visits to Pendennis Castle, or a delightful boat trip up the River Fal to Truro. www.nmmc.co.uk
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Created in the mid 18th century, the gardens at Heligan are one of the best examples in Britain, famed for displays of rhododendrons and camellias. Following years of neglect they have been subject to extensive restoration work over the last 20 years. The gardens, located near Mevagissey are just over an hour's drive from St Ives. www.heligan.com
National Seal Sanctuary
Situated at Gweek beside the Helford estuary, the seal sanctuary cares for injured or abandoned seals, before returning them to the wild. The seal sanctuary is about 40 minutes' drive from St Ives. www.sealsanctuary.co.uk
Geevor Tin Min
Discover Cornwall's mining heritage at this excellent museum. Guided underground trips as well as surface tours are available. The musem is about 30 minutes' drive from St Ives, and can also be reached using the 300 open-top bus. www.geevor.com
Chy Morvah, Bishops Road, The Belyars, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DB
By train: The nearest railway station is St Ives, however you may find the journey to St Erth on the main line more convenient. Please note that St Erth has a very steep bridge. 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).
By taxi: St Ives station is only ½ mile from Chy Morvah, but it is rather a steep uphill walk. Taxis cost approx £3.50 per taxi for this short transfer. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Chy Morvah Manager.
By car: Head to Cornwall via the A30. At a large roundabout take the A3074 signposted to St Ives. Pass through Lelant and Carbis Bay. Pass the Treganna Castle on the left, then as you approach St Ives take the left fork, following signs to visitor parking and leisure centre. Follow the road and turn left up the steep hill. Almost immediately the road turns left again by the Longships Hotel, but at this junction turn right and go up the hill. Chy Morvah is in front of you. To reach the car park drive left past the front of Chy Morvah and turn immediately right behind the back of the building. The car park is on the right 15 yards along the lane. Free parking is available.
To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info
Helen is an experienced artist and tutor whose enthusiasm for her subject is infectious; her patient and encouraging way of teaching gives every student the chance to progress without feeling inhibited, whatever their standard. She studied painting with professional artists in the UK and USA, gained a BA Hons in Fine Art at Hertfordshire University and a post-graduate diploma in printmaking. She appeared on Channel 4’s Watercolour Challenge and has worked with the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. She has taken part in many solo and group exhibitions in London and the South-East and also a touring exhibition in Scandinavia. She has achieved awards in several national art competitions and has work in both public and private collections.
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
- Twin/double premium rooms: £5 per person per night
- Single rooms: £8 per night
- Non member associate fee: £5 per person