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Autumn art breaks in exhilarating Eden

If you fancy taking an autumn break with a difference then you should head to Eden in eastern Cumbria.

An art focused break here where you can learn in a sustainable and responsible manner with a backdrop of stunning views is on the menu here, along with utter tranquillity and the kind of fresh and invigorating air that is so hard to find these days.

Nurture Eden are working with tourist operators and providers right across the Eden Valley and parts of the north Pennines to create unique travel opportunities that also allow you to leave a much lighter footprint whilst you travel.

One member of the scheme is Pennine Painting Art Courses, who provide the perfect way of de-stressing and unwinding while sitting at a canvas. The painting courses let the participants appreciate Eden’s outstanding natural beauty, while at the time receiving expert tuition, help and guidance while you work on a masterpiece. The courses are designed for both complete amateurs and experienced artists.

September 21-23 sees an ‘En Plein Air’ course running at Rose Studio – the purpose-built, light and airy studio created by Pennine Painting Art Course’s owners Lionel and Alex Playford. The studio is located in the peaceful village of Garrigill, in the stunning North Pennines and this course enables the artist to step out into the village and its amazing surrounding landscape, to paint the views.

Painting moves indoors between October 19-22, with a four-day studio painting course. Here, you can channel the inspiration that you receive from Eden’s magnificent outdoor scenery and create something super indoors.

These two courses cost £179 and £229 respectively, which includes tea, coffee, cakes and a tasty lunch. Each runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Participants are welcome to work in the studio in the evening, if they wish, and are encouraged to stay locally, so that even if they travel to Garrigill by car, they minimise the use of the car during their stay.

Pennine Painting Art Courses, which holds the Silver Green Tourism Business Scheme Award for its environmental policies, has arranged a special accommodation rate with Lowbyer Manor Country House in Alston, just four miles away.

From £33 per person per night, guests can enjoy a stay with a Gold Green Tourism Business Scheme accommodation provider who will encourage you to ‘eat local’ and introduce you to delights such as ales from the Tirril Brewery, handmade preserves from Claire’s Handmade of Wigton and mustard from Alston’s Cumberland Mustard.

You can also enjoy the wildlife in the grounds, which includes the resident red squirrel, which feeds from a handmade feeder made from recycled materials by Lowbyer’s sustainability-focused owner.

With a single room, a family room, twin, double and superior rooms available, there should be something to suit in this marvellous guest house that has a rich Jacobite heritage full of intrigue and historical romance.

Cyclists and walkers both receive a first class service at Lowbyer Manor Country House, whether that is through offering drying facilities, or providing maps and information, so if there is any opportunity to get the boots on and the helmet fastened when not painting, you will be well catered for.

Visit to brush up on your knowledge of Nurture Eden’s aims and ethos and discover more about these two passionate members. All you need then do is to circle some dates in the diary and resolve to take a responsible break in this truly remarkable part of Cumbria


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