Arts & Culture Holidays

The hustle and bustle of everyday life just isn’t always compatible with the urge that to express ourselves and be creative that many of us get from time to time. Yes, we might have bought the paints and paper; yes, we might have written the first chapter; and yes, we might have a potter’s wheel sitting in the shed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get any further with it all – work, family, life in general all have to be prioritised.

Yet we shouldn’t let real life stand in the way of creative passion, nor should we allow ourselves to get so bogged down that we forget all about looking after ourselves, which is why an art and culture holiday can be just the ticket. Getting away from the usual routine and being allowed to indulge in our artistic pursuits is good for the soul…and not too bad for the brain either.

If you find that you need to get away from it all to be you true creative self then take a look at these fantastic holidays and short breaks. They could be the making of you.


Kent Holidays

Green Farm // www.greenfarmkent.co.uk // Shadoxhurst

There are a number of different classes and workshops run at Green Farm in Shadoxhurst, but one of the most popular is the weekend art retreat. These privately run retreats combine the beauty and simplicity of a natural setting with luxury accommodation in an immaculately restored 15th-century farmhouse, making your visit feel personal, intimate and completely unique.

During the art weekend, you will have four scheduled art workshops and plenty of free time within which you can do as much or as little art as you like. Or, you may prefer to take advantage of all the other things to do at green farm such as the fabulous yoga classes. The weekend will be based around learning to create sketchbook pages – an artist’s visual diary and a reference for other art work, and from this create drawings, both black and white and colour, to create pictures based on the beautiful areas of the community wildlife garden and the hay barn.


Weekend Arting // www.weekendarting.co.uk // Edenbridge

If you are looking for an enriching experience that will take your art practice onto a new level, then these concentrated one- or two-day art courses from Weekend Arting may be just right for you.

Experience shows that great progress can be made in a short, concentrated period. At Weekend Arting you are offered just the right balance of intensity and fun with lots of individual assistance. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

After a lifetime of painting and teaching, Kent artist, Cathy Bird MA set up her studios at Jessops Farm and has been running successful  tutoring sessions there ever since. She is in demand as a guest tutor at local art clubs and regularly leads life-drawing workshops with the Ide Hill Art Group.  


UK Holidays

Inspired Painting Holidays // www.inspiredpaintingholidays.co.uk // Devon

Inspired Painting Holidays offers a full residential course for you to really get to grips with your art, and it all takes place in beautiful Devon. The courses start at three-night getaways and run all the way up to eight nights, so you will be able to find something that fits in with your other commitments and gives you the breathing space you need to get yourself centred and back on track as only art can do.

Inspired Painting Holidays include both studio sessions and location visits to landscapes and gardens in the local area. You will have individual attention from a professional artist and an experienced tutor as part of a very small group.

As well as getting to enjoy the art, the food and accommodation are second to none. Weston House is a four-star B&B and there is another property a little further away in the town, which is just as lovely. Everyone on the course eats together on the break so you can get to know your fellow artists; you might even make lifelong friends.


Alpha Painting Holidays // www.alphapaintingholidays.com // South West

Alpha have been running painting holidays for over 10 years and have experienced year-on-year growth to become one of the UK’s leading painting holiday companies. They provide all-inclusive residential holidays and pay great attention to every aspect of your holiday from the initial booking process, including your special requirements, to how they look after you on the holiday. Holiday destinations include Somerset, Exmoor National Park, North Devon Coast, North Cornwall, the Wye Valley and The Lake District in the UK, as well as Provence, France and the Western Algarve, Portugal. For 2019, they are pleased to announce Jersey as a new holiday destination. All their tutors are experts from the UK, US and the EU. They thoroughly research all the holiday destinations including the hotels and the painting locations to ensure they meet the criteria that you expect from a painting holiday. They provide a complete package experience so that you don’t need to worry about anything other than enjoying your holiday.


HF Holidays // www.hfholidays.co.uk // UK

No matter what level of artist you are (or even if you’ve never picked up a brush before), there will be a course with HF Holidays that will suit you perfectly. The point of these breaks is to get together with like minded people who love their art as much as you do, plus you’ll be in some beautiful surroundings to ensure your creative juices are flowing nicely. In as many cases as possible your equipment and materials will be included but where they are not you will be given a full list of what you need to bring.

There are a number of different holidays available with HF including paper cutting, sketching and painting in Puglia, an introduction to watercolours, an introduction to acrylics, pen and wash and expressive pastels. There are courses all across the UK as well as some locations abroad as well.


Brambles Art Retreat // www.bramblesartretreat.com // Devon & Europe

Although based in Devon, this fantastic art retreat actually hosts courses across the UK, and even in exotic foreign climes such as Paris, Corfu and Tuscany. Each of the courses focuses on different media or different locations – and the tutors are on hand to ensure you are able to capture the beautiful places you are visiting in just the right way. Named as one of the top 10 art retreats in the UK by The Guardian, this is definitely one not to miss. Prices start at around £1100 per person, and non-painters are more than welcome to join their painting friends at a reduced rate. The relaxed atmosphere and excellent hosts mean that this is a retreat to return to again and again.


Coombe Farm Studios // www.coombefarmstudios.co.uk // Dartmouth

Coombe Farm Studios opened in 1983 and was the first of its kind, offering artist-led, week-long residential courses. Now it is more popular than ever, and the range of courses on offer has expanded to include subjects such as printmaking, ceramics, watercolours, oils, mixed media and acrylic work. There is even a weekly yoga class you can attend to relax and unwind should you wish to. This retreat is located in the most beautiful of settings which helps to kindle great creativity. The price of each course includes home-from-home style accommodation with shared bathroom facilities (all towels and dressing gowns are included). If you prefer to have an ensuite, there are some lovely B&Bs located nearby and you can attend the courses as a day guest. Prices start at £290 for a weekend course


Big Sky Art Courses // www.bigskyartcourses.com // Norfolk

Big Sky Art Courses is a product of the beautiful part of Norfolk where the owners of this fantastic holiday opportunity live. Since they couldn’t imagine painting anywhere else, they thought it would be lovely to invite painters from across the UK – and further afield – to see it for themselves and to paint it too.

The courses on offer here are three-day, three-night residential courses for artists of every standard, no matter whether you paint every day or you can’t remember the last time you put paint to canvas. There are so many picturesque spots to enjoy including beaches, harbours and villages, and the variety in the landscape is stunning and something that truly captures the imagination of anyone who visits.

You will be staying in The White House, a newly renovated country house in the middle of the most incredible farmland scenery. It’s gorgeous and it’s comfortable and you will be pampered and looked after at every turn.


Worldwide Holidays

Arte Umbria // www.arteumbria.com

As seen on the BBC and featured in the Sunday Telegraph, the owner’s home is the venue for these painting, drawing and creative writing courses, which are designed to suit all levels of skill. They want to make it clear that this is not a hotel, it is a private home, and they are just lucky enough to have this wonderful place that they make open to people to come and enjoy learning, be inspired and explore their creative potential.

On an Arte Umbria creative holiday you will be given the advice from the best practising artists offering you all of their experience and skills. All of the courses are designed to make painting, drawing and creative writing a pleasure in a totally relaxed environment and the tutors aim to motivate and encourage students to realise their potential, discover their own style and explore new media or writing genre.


Painting In Europe // www.paintingineurope.com

Although called Painting in Europe, this holiday company has many other exotic locations available including India. In fact, the Indian trip is one of the most popular offered (other trips include Granada and the Himalayas). Experience the delights of India and you get to paint and learn from a particularly inspiring tutor and painter: Roger Dellar. Unlike other painting groups who visit India, Roger tutors in all mediums, does demonstrations each day and will give critiques when required – you are guaranteed to learn while you are enhancing your technique in this most beautiful of surroundings.


Azenart Painting Holidays // www.azenartholidays.com

If you have ever wanted to visit Venice and soak up the artistic atmosphere, Azenart Painting Holidays can offer you that chance. On an Azenart Venice break you will have five whole days of painting or drawing in some of the most timeless, beautiful and unique settings in the world. The groups are kept small so that you can really get to know one another and the city you are staying in, and everyone is welcome from beginners to experts. It’s about enjoying the art, not about the art itself.

Also included within this amazing break is 25 hours of expert artistic tutoring in the heart of Venice, plus all materials are included – no matter what medium you prefer working in. Choose your favourite from watercolour, acrylic, oil, pastels or even pencils. Whatever you are most comfortable using is exactly what you get to use.

When the painting is over, you will also have excursions around Venice to look forward to and you might even spot something new to sketch as you’re exploring.

Perhaps it’s not Venice that particularly inspires you. If that’s the case then not to worry, Azenart has plenty more destinations to choose from including Capri, Amalfi, Pompeii, Rome and the South of France.


Paint Andalucía // www.paint-andalucia.com

Whether you are an experienced artist or beginning this exciting journey, Paint Andalucia has a wonderful holiday for you; it was voted one of the top five art holidays in Europe by The Telegraph.

Based in the lovely, white Andalucian village of Torrox they offer exceptional painting holidays for small groups. The artistic objective of these holidays is to improve your technique regardless of your starting point and to help you have lots of fun along the way. Many of Paint Andalucia’s guests return year after year, which is a huge recommendation in itself.

These holidays are about discovering the hidden Spain, enjoying life in a traditional Spanish village, savouring the wonderful gastronomy of Andalucia and of course relaxing in the sun. Torrox enjoys the best climate in Europe so the weather can be warm and sunny all year round. Meet like-minded people, enjoy expert tuition from the friendly art tutors, stay in comfortable accommodation, visit exciting locations and learn to paint en plein air.

Paint Andalucia offers you the fantastic opportunity to choose your holiday depending on which medium you prefer and which of the guest tutors you would love to learn from.

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