Rambles with a Sketchbook Holiday in the Scottish Highlands

Image of notebooks, colorful pencils on wooden table outdoors at afternoon. selective focus
Duration: 8 nights
Interests: Art Holidays

Create your own artistic impressions, capturing the UK’s most inspirational landscapes out in the field. Led by our art leader, you’ll walk up to four miles each day carrying your equipment and stopping to sketch local scenes. The tutor will talk you through sketching techniques and composition and will be on hand to give help and advice. Working in the company of fellow artists, you can expect great group camaraderie.

Holiday Highlights

  • Guidance from expert artists 
  • Full days to practise in inspirational surroundings 
  • Fun and supportive environment
  • Small groups of 15 people or under 

What’s included

  • 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 wooden A3 art boards

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


On your Rambles with a Sketchbook holiday, you will spend the majority of the day outdoors, walking up to four miles to reach the most inspirational vistas in the local area. Your Art Tutor will guide you in learning different techniques to help develop your skills, all with the encouragement of your fellow guests. On 7-night holidays, there will be a free day for you to explore the area independently, relax in the house, or perhaps practise some more!

The evenings are your own to socialise, relax in the house lounges or bar, or take part in a range of house activities.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Alltshellach

Situated in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, Alltshellach is a stately Scottish house set amid a rugged landscape. The house is a picture of Highland solidity, with spectacular views of craggy mountains and grassy slopes beyond the loch. This pocket of domesticity lets you admire nature at your leisure though, sipping tea or G&T as you watch clouds scud across the sky. In fact, this one-time home of the Bishop of Argyll & the Isles has been recast as a hiker’s hotel, with an air of old-world splendour, excellent accommodation, a generous indoor pool, three lounges and a supremely cosy Highland Bar that’s well-stocked with local beer and whisky, all of which is (almost) enough to distract you from the vast vistas over the waters. But it’s the great outdoors you’re here for and the house is ideally situated for accessing the Mamores, the mountains of Glen Coe and tackling Ben Nevis as well as bagging munros and spotting local wildlife.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

There are 38 comfortable bedrooms, all in the main house, with a range of ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ options to choose from. Rooms radiate cosiness thanks to little touches – a remedy for even the dreichest day. Those with a view are worth the extra spend, as you’ll be overlooking the gardens and loch. The Best rooms include Room 21, a spacious corner room with lovely views of Loch Leven, while Room 23 is a stately showstopper that was once the official Bishop’s bedroom, complete with original features and cracking views.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger televisions – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive gardens, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose ballroom, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Stroll the gardens that dip down to the loch. The small peninsula at the bottom of the lawns is called An Dunan and often becomes an island at high tide – look for prehistoric rock art cut into the slabs on its side. Make time too to plunge into the heated indoor swimming pool (currently closed) and do a couple of lengths under the watchful eye of the mountains through the panoramic windows. Inside the house, head for one of the communal areas: you’ll have three to choose from and can kick back, relax and catch up with other guests. Later, stop in the Highland Bar for a nip of whisky or a nightcap – the comfy seats make a fine spot for a dram and there’s a range of good single malts to choose from that’ll have you believing you’re living a laird’s life.

Food & Drink

As at all of our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Alltshellach is full of Scottish flavours and focusses on locally sourced and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when you might be treated to Cullen Skink Soup and a trio of smoked salmon, mackerel pate and steamed mussels with Highland oat cakes, while mains may include Highland game and ‘Barlotto’, a type of nutty risotto made from barley instead of rice. Finish off with a spoonful of Iron Brew Ice, chocolate and marmalade mouse and Atholl brose, a luxurious blend of honey, whisky and carefully selected herbs for a flavour of the Highlands.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10682_0005 - Alltshellach - Exterior

Getting to Alltshellach

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

  • Sketchbook – good cartridge paper (e.g.150gm), A4 or 8” square and/or A5 or 6” square (spiral bound or hard back – the smaller ones are fine
  • 2B & 4B pencils and a water soluble graphite pencil
  • Craft blade for sharpening pencils
  • Putty rubber
  • Bulldog clips or large elastic bands for holding paper in windy conditions
  • A sketching pen
  • Blank slide mount or small cardboard mount for view finder (e.g. ½ postcard)
  • A rucksack to carry the materials
  • Good hiking shoes or boots, hiking sticks if you need them
  • A foam seat pad or lightweight stool that you can easily carry
  • Protection against weather & insects – waterproofs, sunblock & sunhat, insect repellent, long trousers & long sleeved shirt (to prevent sunburn).

Optional –

  • a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water-soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons (e.g.Derwent Inktense)
  • a water brush
  • Any other lightweight materials you like to use

Please remember - You will have to carry your equipment and lunch/drink so keep it simple.

*Lightweight wooden A3 painting boards are available for guest loan at the Country House.

Alison Carr

Alison is a qualified teacher and experienced artist who has worked with adult groups for many years. She paints mainly, although not exclusively, in watercolour as she appreciates the strong yet translucent quality of this medium. Alison aims to encourage the enjoyment of and satisfaction in observation, sketching and painting, taking inspiration from beautiful local scenery.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
8 nights
Interests:
Art Holidays

8 nights from 0pp

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