What to expect on one of our Derbyshire art courses

  • Rich and varied subject matter:  historic gardens, the River Derwent nearby, the Derbyshire Dales landscape, and the light and space of elegant Georgian architecture, inside and out.
  • Being able to paint freely every day without the usual distractions, to produce a body of work.
  • Ella's warm and generous professional tuition, and feedback specific to your aims and experience.
  • All materials and equipment are provided.
  • A mix of formal teaching, structured exercises, examples from modern and contemporary artists, and your own experimental and independent work.
  • A spacious and beautiful private Georgian house, lovingly restored.
  • Master Chef foodie experiences at mealtimes.

Our venue, Darley House in Darley Dale, near Matlock

Our venue, Darley House in Darley Dale, between Chatsworth and  Matlock, was recently restored to contemporary standards of warmth and WiFi alongside many original Georgian features. Each retreat runs from Monday lunch to Thursday afternoon. Delicious food is provided by Master Chef Charlie Ratcliffe. Residential places are full-board, with a choice of single/double occupancy of ensuite or standard rooms. Several non-residential painting places are also available, with the option to eat dinner with everyone in the house. In the mid-Nineteenth Century, the house was owned by Sir Joseph Paxton, Garden Manager and personal assistant to the Duke of Devonshire at nearby Chatsworth. The gardens at Darley House still contain some of his plantings and landscaping.