Painting in North Devon
North Devon, UK
- No fly
- Full board
Release your inner artist...
On this special interest holiday, you are invited to release your inner artist and immerse yourself in the world of painting. Accompanied by expert artist and naturalist Dee Doody, you will be introduced to fast-drying acrylics, oil painting and if there is time, watercolour and pen and ink. Where better to lose yourself in the creative process than North Devon, staying for four nights at Saunton Sands Hotel (4Q).
11 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners
Local expert guide
- Cancellation rights
- Expert host talks
- Hosted welcome drinks reception
- Free Wi-Fi
- Hotel porterage
Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton Rd, Braunton EX33 1LQ
Stay in the 4-star Saunton Sands Hotel, a glamorous art deco hotel set on the headland overlooking glorious Saunton Sands and the mesmeric waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel is the flagship property of family-owned Brend Hotels.
Saga guests’ rooms are inland facing. Guests also have full use of the leisure facilities and free parking.
Upgrade to a room with sea views, subject to availability.
Tea coffee making facilities
Food and Drink
Your stay at Saunton Sands Hotel is on a half-board basis. Dining at the hotel is always considered an occasion to be relished, as you will discover every day! The Dining Room, which has two AA rosettes, offers a classic British menu prepared from the finest local produce by renowned head chef Mathias Oberg, formerly of the Michelin-starred restaurant, The Shade.
Dress smartly for fine dining at The Dining Room. Other restaurants include The Terrace Lounge, Saunton Al Fresco Terrace and the Beachside Grill, which is open in the spring and summer months on the beach.
Other Hotel Information
Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools, and a new state-of-the-art spa ‘Source Spa and Wellness’, providing daily fitness classes, treatments and pampering (extra charge), tennis courts and a surf school (extra charge)
Indoor and outdoor pools
Staying on the South West Coast Path you are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the natural wonders of North Devon, epitomised by the unspoilt expanse of golden sand beach washed by the Atlantic. The clean consistent waves of Saunton Sands provide the perfect classroom for would-be surfers. For those with experience of wave riding the world-famous surfing beach of Croyde is just around the headland. Further afield, Ilfracombe boasts beaches reached through Victorian hand-hewn tunnels, and a restaurant owned by artist Damian Hurst, whose 66-foot statue, Verity, stands sword drawn, at the harbour mouth.
There’s plenty more than seaside to discover too. Braunton Burrows dunes, part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve due to the huge variety of wild flowers and wildlife they sustain, are just steps away from the hotel. Take the opportunity to visit the historic houses of North Devon, including Arlington Court, where you’ll find the National Trust Carriage Museum and Tapely Park with its Italian garden. Gardeners will be drawn to the RHS Rosemoor Gardens, with special holiday dates arranged to view the spring blooms and the renowned Rose Festival.
At Instow, enjoy the English summer chorus of leather on willow at a unique cricket ground set among the sand dunes, with a thatched club house. While on the opposite side of the estuary, in arty Appledore, you’ll find a churchyard inhabited by a much quieter crew of 'drownded mariners'. North Devon’s main town, Barnstaple is just under eight miles from Saunton Sands and home to an historic working Pannier Market, the tiny artisan food shops of Butchers' Row, a thriving theatre and many independent shops and restaurants. Walkers can take to the South West Coast Path and cyclists can explore North Devon’s coast and countryside on 163 miles of car-free Tarka Trail.
Diarmid ‘Dee’ Doody
Your host for this special interest holiday, ‘Dee’ to his friends, is a passionate naturalist. Having provided his expertise to the reintroduction of the red kite to Scotland and monitored the species’ population in Wales, Dee has also worked as a television presenter and filmmaker for a selection of wildlife programmes shown on ITV.
Day 1 Arrival
Meet at the hotel and get to know your fellow guests, along with Diarmid Doody, your expert host, over a meal and drinks. Known to most people as ‘Dee’, your host is not only a talented artist but a wildlife cameraman and passionate naturalist too.
Dee will be giving you close, personal tuition in the use of both acrylic and oil painting and will invite you to show some of your previous work on your smartphone or tablet. D
Day 2 Acrylics
Following breakfast, you are invited to join Dee, as a group, for a wander down to the dunes and foreshore. It is an ideal opportunity to stretch your legs, get to know each other and bask in the inspirational scenery. Return to the hotel for a discussion about art in general before lunch is served.
Afterwards, you will learn the skills necessary to enhance your painting ability or, if a relative novice, get started with the medium. It doesn’t matter what level of ability you possess, your host hopes that everyone will learn something and enjoy the process of creation. As one of the easiest painting mediums to use, you will perhaps surprise yourself with the fast-drying results that can be achieved using acrylics.
In the evening, settle down for a film showing - if possible - arranged by Dee. B, L, D
Day 3 Oils
Today will be dedicated to oil painting, a medium that certainly requires a degree of patience and rewards those who practice with wonderful results. Your expert host, Dee, will guide you through the medium, highlighting the importance of a quality surface and preparation. B, L, D
Day 4 Finishing off
Continue any pieces that you have been working on and, if there is time, enjoy an introduction to watercolour painting and the use of pen and ink. Help at the beginning is valuable, however nothing beats finishing it yourself, stepping back and enjoying the fruits of your labour.
To finish the holiday with a suitable flourish, enjoy a meal together, perhaps with new friends and even a new-found hobby. B, L, D
Day 5 Farewell
Check out of the Saunton Sands Hotel and return home. B
Please bring with you:
- A set of acrylic paints (small set is fine)
- A set of oil paints (small set is fine)
- An overall, a painting smock or some old clothes
- Your own brushes if you prefer, otherwise brushes will be supplied