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Issue 35 - Five of the best art holidays in Scotland

Scotland Magazine Issue 35
November 2007


This article is 11 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Five of the best art holidays in Scotland

South Banks House, Portencross, near West Kilbride, Ayrshire

Weekend art breaks, which run on specific weekends from May to September, are ideal if you want to incorporate a short three-day painting course within a longer holiday to Scotland. South Banks House, where guests will be based, is an 18th century country property by the sea with stunning views over to the Isle of Arran and a unique rock cliff garden and pond, providing lots of immediate subjects to paint. There are masterclasses in oil techniques, acrylics and pastels, with informal critiques to assist in further developing skills. The cost is £195 which includes tuition, accommodation and all meals

+44 (0)1294 823 949

Balmoral Castle Painting Holidays
Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5TB

This residential course is particularly special because you get to experience staying on this wonderful royal estate while brushing up on your art skills. Students learn about different painting techniques and materials, the importance of composition and getting the best from their paintings before choosing to capture the baronial splendour of Balmoral Castle, the crags of Lochnagar or the serenity of Loch Muick, a favourite subject of Prince Charles - also a keen artist. The total cost for the painting week is £690 per person, which includes all accommodation, meals and tutoring plus transfers from and to Aberdeen.

Courses for spring 2008 are currently available for booking
Tel: +44 (0)1339 742 534

Northwest Highlands Art
Brynaport, Achintraid, Strathcarron, IV54 8XB

Found at the end of the coastal road through a remote west Highland village, Brynaport boasts staggering views across Loch Kishorn to the ancient sandstone corries and hills of Applecross. The courses and workshops on offer here cater for all standards, with expert tutors in watercolour, oils, pastels, acrylic and mixed media. The day usually starts with a talk or demonstration in the studio, followed by painting in the immediate surroundings; or a short drive to one of the inspiring locations nearby, such as the attractive villages of Shieldaig and Plockton. The week-long holiday, staying in the family home of your hosts, the Pattinsons, also includes all food and tuition. Prices start from £585, with reduced rates for non-painting partners

Tel: +44 (0)1520 733 227

Purple Heather Art Holidays
Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire, PH25 3DR

Based within the outstanding natural beauty of Cairngorms National Park, Purple Heather Art offers a wonderful setting for an art holiday with a backdrop of dramatic mountains and ancient woodlands.

The company offers great flexibility with short fourday breaks from £295 where guests can choose their own accommodation but still join the accompanied excursion programme, which includes transport, packed lunches and refreshments, as well as access to studio facilities, basic art materials and expert tuition in a range of media from local artist James Fraser. The longer seven-day holidays also provide comfortable accommodation in the 3* Mountview hotel in the heart of Nethy Bridge and the week ends with a relaxed exhibition of attendees’ work on the last evening

Tel: +44 (0)1479 821 673

The Creative Retreat
5 St Anne’s Terrace, Banff, Aberdeenshire AB45 1AW

With a varied selection of art breaks, Creative Retreat is equipped with an all-weather studio space in a stunning location on the Aberdeenshire coast.

The courses cater for everyone from beginner to advanced level and include demonstrations by working artists. Holidays run from Sunday to Saturday, with tuition provided for two full days and three half days, so there is scheduled free time to explore the beautiful coastline. Duff House Country Gallery is also nearby for inspiration.

Accommodation is in one of the comfortable 19th century fishermen’s houses just a few minutes from the sea. For 2008, the painting and drawing breaks are on selected dates in April, June, August and September.

Prices are from £265 (non-painting partners from £200), including six nights’ accommodation, access to studios, tuition, materials and equipment and a welcome meal

Tel: +44 (0)1261 812 276

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