Sketching the Art & Gardens Holiday in Cornwall
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Capture your passion for sketching art and gardens by learning about the artists who have created work in Cornwall and sketch whilst in the galleries, learning from the masters of the Newlyn and St Ives schools of painting. We'll follow in their footsteps, sketching as we explore along the beautiful coastline and through towns and countryside.
Suitable for all levels of experience.
- Tate, St Ives
- Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
- Newlyn Art Gallery
- The Exchange in Penzance
- 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
- Admissions to advertised venues/gardens
- All transport to and from sites/gardens on your holiday
- Small groups of up to 14 guests
- Loan of lightweight wooden A3 art boards
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.
Chy Morvah has 39 bedrooms, either located in the main building or in the adjacent Lanyons House.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the layout of Chy Morvah, it is not recommended for wheelchair users and guests with restricted mobility.
- 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
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
During your stay
When we go out, we'll be walking up to 3 miles (5km) carrying our equipment as we find the very best landscapes to capture in our sketchbooks. Please note: St Ives holidays typically involve some walking on rough terrain, hills, steps and hilly cobbled streets.
St Ives artist colony
We start our sketchbooks in the lovely gardens of Chy Morvah. Our art leader discusses different ways to sketch and different materials to use, within and outwith gallery settings. Then we’re off, taking a leisurely walk through the artist colony of St Ives to the amazing Tate Gallery to view the collection and learn from the masters.
The Newlyn School
Today we see very different galleries in Penzance and Newlyn, enjoying a coastal walk between the two. Comparing traditional with contemporary art and discovering the artists of this region, we start our sketchbooks. Be we inside or out of the gallery, we’ll have ample time to sketch the scenes that have inspired so many artists.
Sculptures & Gardens
Discover the studio, garden and sculptures of one of Britain’s most important 20th Century artists: Dame Barbara Hepworth, who said “I rarely draw what I see. I draw what I feel in my body”. Armed with this quote as our inspiration we’ll loosen up with our sketching!
Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Studios & scenery
Many artists today continue to find inspiration in the beautiful scenery of Cornwall. We’ll drive to St Just to visit some contemporary makers. Newly inspired we’ll go sketching along the rugged coastline at the very tip of Cornwall.
Visiting the pottery, we learn about the life and work of Bernard Leach and his worldwide influence on ceramic arts. Later on we look for the grave he made for Alfred Wallis, a local fisherman famously known for his Naive art. We end our week where we started - back at the Tate. This evening we’ll have the entirely optional opportunity to show our sketches to our fellow guests in a fun and informal mini exhibition.
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 (good thick cartridge paper, preferably 150gm weight)
- Pencils: 2B and 4B pencils and if possible, a water-soluble graphite pencil
- Eraser/putty rubber
- 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
- 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
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).
Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
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
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
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
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
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
St Michaels Mount image credited to Mike Newman, Eden Project image ©Hufton+Crow,
Travel to Chy Morvah
Our address is: Chy Morvah, Bishops Road, The Belyars, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DB
The nearest railway station is St Ives, however you may find the journey to St Erth on the main line more convenient. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
St Ives station is only ½ mile from Chy Morvah, but it is rather a steep uphill walk. Taxis cost approx £4 for this short transfer. 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 Chy Morvah Manager.
Head to Cornwall via the A30. At a large roundabout take the A3074 signposted to St Ives (2nd Exit). You will now come to 2 small roundabouts, go straight across the first and take a right at the second heading towards the village of Lelant. Pass through Lelant and Carbis Bay on the same road.
Pass Tescos and the Treganna Castle hotel on your left hand side, then as you approach St Ives take the left fork which heads slightly up hill, following signs to visitor parking and the leisure centre. Follow the road and turn left up the steep hill. Almost immediately the road turns left again but instead of following the road around to the left you need to turn off the road and head directly up the hill on Porthminster Terrace.
Chy Morvah is right in front of you at the top of the hill. 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 called Bishops road.
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 St Erth, and finally a short branch line train to St Ives. This is a relatively straightforward, if lengthy journey - allow 6½ hours, so a morning arrival into Heathrow would be preferable.
There are also airports at Bristol and Newquay which may be more convenient for some guests. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
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.
Catherine was outstandingly good. Very inspiring, creative, friendly and encouraged us to experiment with amazing new ideas and techniques. She brought so much material to work with. Excellent!