Sketching & Painting in Gardens Holiday in Exmoor
Gardens have been a great inspiration for many artists from Brueghal and Gainsborough to Monet and Patrick Heron. For this sketching and painting holiday, we are lucky to have many beautiful and varied gardens to visit and we will go to different gardens each day to sketch and paint. Your leader will guide you in choosing a composition and recreating the colours and shapes you see. In some gardens there will be opportunities to paint reflections of the lakes.
- Learn colour, composition and technique
- Share inspiration and exchange ideas
- Gain knowledge to continue painting at home
- 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
- All gardens admissions costs (please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)
- All transport to and from gardens on your holiday
- Small groups of up to 15 guests
Lying near the attractive village of Selworthy, in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, historic Holnicote House stands within a series of peaceful gardens with spreading lawns. Once the centrepiece of an extensive 12,500 acre estate, the charming and characterful house was gifted to the National Trust in 1944. Since then it has been reimagined as a walkers’ retreat, with wonderful access to the countryside. As well as 32 delightful bedrooms, there are two comfortable lounges and a sociable bar. The landscaped gardens are still part of the wider Holnicote Estate and provide a wonderful area to wander. Outside the house, explore wild Exmoor, walk in the Quantocks, climb Dunkery Beacon and stroll on the Somerset Coast Path with the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, drop in Dunster Castle, ride a Victorian cliff railway and watch for wildlife including the majestic red stags.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in one of the main building’s bright, beautifully presented rooms or in the thatched cottages in the grounds, called Butlers and Guns respectively. With 32 bedrooms, Holnicote House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: best rooms are on the first floor and decorated in keeping with the National Trust estate, with plenty of space and great views over the back garden, reaching out across Crawter Hill and Dunkery Hill, Somerset and Exmoor’s highest point. Ask for numbers 1, 4 or 9 to feel suitably special.
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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow
After a day walking on Exmoor or exploring the heath and moorland, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the pretty gardens or challenge a fellow guest to a game of croquet. Take a dip in the large heated outdoor pool. For something less strenuous, snag a comfy chair in one of the cosy lounges, borrow a book, join a game of cards or scour the countryside through the large telescope. Head to the bar before dinner for a drink and a chance to catch up with your companions, best enjoyed by the windows overlooking the estate.
Food & Drink
As at all 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 Holnicote House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the wood panelled dining room with its giant fireplace hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try classic Porlock oysters or Priddy Oggies, a local pasty of chicken, bacon and cheese. Mains might include Exmoor venison or Bellbrook valley trout, while you could cap it all with a Somerset apple cake, dressed with cream.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- sketchbooks – good cartridge paper (e.g.150gm), A4 or 8” square and/or A5 or 6” square (spiral bound or hard back)
- 2B & 4B pencils and a watersoluble graphite pencil
- craft blade for sharpening pencils
- putty rubber
- bulldog clips or large elastic bands
- a sketching pen
- blank slide mount or small cardboard mount for view finder (e.g. postcard or smaller)
- Optional – a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolour water-soluble pastels, or a set of water-soluble crayons (e.g.Derwent Inktense)
- Optional – a water brush
- Some watercolours, brushes and water pot if you want to paint, or other lightweight materials you like to use
- A rucksack to carry the materials
- A foam seat pad or lightweight stool that you can easily carry
- Protection against weather & insects – waterproofs, umbrella, sunblock & sunhat, insect repellent, long trousers & long sleeved shirt
- A camera
- Good shoes – preferably waterproof
We will be walking around the gardens so try to keep it simple!
If you would like to try watercolours & need suggestions for colours to bring, the following is a good selection:
French Ultramarine blue Prussian blue
Cadmium Yellow Lemon yellow
Cadmium red Alizarin crimson
Viridian green Burnt umber
Burnt sienna Raw sienna
You could either get half pans or tubes with a separate palette. If you're buying watercolour brushes a size 8 & 12 round would be a good start. And a watercolour pad (about A4, minimum 140lbs or 300gsm), or a sketchbook with thick paper. Your art leader is happy to discuss any of the above if you need more information.
Lightweight wooden A3 painting boards are available at the country house for guest loan.
-1 nights from 0pp
...or call 020 3974 8865