Our very first 'Travelling Sketchbook' Painting and Sketching Holiday in Exmoor !

This year I joined forces with Matt at Alpha Painting Holidays to run a 5 day Painting and Sketching Holiday in and around the wonderful countryside of Exmoor. Armed with our trusty sketchbooks we would set forth each morning with Andrew our Guide and Hotel owner to savor the delights of this magnificent area. This is my Blog of that rather unique holiday.

  On our first morning you could almost feel the excitement in the air     ( or was that the rain !!!) as everyone packed up their Daysacks ready for the day's walk ahead. Starting off at Hillsford Bridge we made our way down the wooded pathway towards Watersmeet. On arrival I set up and did a quick Demo in my small sketchbook trying to keep the ever falling raindrops away from my sketch ...and not always succeeding ! 
After a good sketching session we set off further downstream to the Memorial gardens at Middleham the small hamlet that was washed away in the flood of 1952,  and stopped for lunch.
On reaching Lynmouth later in the afternoon we set about sketching various aspects of the harbour front. The sun was coming out in fits and starts so we took advantage of this to do a sketch a little further up the shore to get this view of Countisbury Hill and Cliffs. What a great start !
It hammered it down all night and in the morning our original route had to be changed due to the path being waterlogged . After a tour round Simonsbath we headed through the wood to this lovely panorama out across the Barle Valley at Flex Barrow. The sun came out and we were able to capture the fleeting shadows across the scene.
Andrew had brought us to this spot via an almost 'secret' path which he knew about and we were able to set up on the top of the valley with this panoramic view.

We could build up some nice transparent washes on our sketches as the weather was much warmer unlike the cold and damp conditions we were working in yesterday!
Moving a little way down the hill we came to Beach Cleave Wood, the highest beech wood in England, and did another sketch. Every now and then the sunlight came through the trees and really lit up the scene which I have tried to capture in this sketch. Lunch back at the Hotel then we did a few more sketches nearby : one at the bridge and another in the water meadow.
We woke this morning to bright sunshine which was a welcome sight after all the rain and wind we were having. Our route today would follow along the coastal footpath from above Broomstreet Farm  to Porlock Weir. Our first Sketching stop was at Silcombe Barn perched on the side of the hill with the Severn estuary out in the distance.
The jewel in the crown was Culbone Church, the smallest church in England, where we had a leisurely lunch and a relaxed sketching session. Afterwards we carried on the path which led us through Yearnor Wood and a down a fairly steep and twisty track to finish up in Porlock Weir. Time for a welcome coffee or ice cream ... and a quick sketch of course !
It's our last day and we are headed for the lovely town of Dunster. We started off on the coast at Dunster beach and walked along the shore past a long line of chalets before making our way inland. Our first sketching stop was the quaint railway station where we were graced with the arrival of two lovely old steam locomotives. 
On reaching Dunster Castle we set up in the grounds for our lunch and another sketching venue before setting off for home.
If this Painting Sketching Holiday appeals to you and you would like further information about our next trip please contact Matt or Gill at ALPHA Painting Holidays 
01934 733877 or email : joinus@alphapaintingholidays.com
Copyright © 2016 Barry Herniman Art, All rights reserved. 
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Barry Herniman Art
Spring Cottage
Ross on WyeHerefordshire HR9 6NQ
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