short art breaks with Artaquarius
about us

South Banks House, Portencross, Nr. West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Date 1: Fri 17th May — Sun 19th May 2019
Date 2:
Fri 14th June — Sun 16th June 2019
Date 3:
Fri 12th July — Sun 14th July 2019
Date 4: Fri 16th August — Sun 18th August 2019
Date 5
: Fri 6th September — Sun 8th September 2019
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Artaquarius is based at South Banks House, a beautiful country house tastefully decorated with a wealth of period features and sits in the midst of a large garden featuring a unique rock-cliff backdrop, pond and studio. The house overlooks the sea, with stunning views of the Isle of Arran, the Cumbraes, Holy Isle, the Kyles of Bute and Ailsa Craig. Located in the hamlet of Portencross as featured on the 2004 BBC Restoration programme (for more information see The art weekends were also the subject of a 2007 Sunday Times Travel article, of which we are rightly proud. Appointed in country-house style, South Banks House (the core of which was built around 1690) offers elegant, comfortable accommodation for up to 8 people in 3 double/twin rooms and 3 single rooms over two floors, with stunning sea views. There are 2 large bathrooms (with showers), 2 separate shower rooms and a large cloakroom wc. The house is centrally heated, with several log fires and fully serviced.

Relax in the garden before dinner or in front of a log fire in the reception room before dining in style, by candlelight, and enjoy the Arran sunsets.

Non-painting partners are very welcome and there are many interesting places to visit nearby or, just enjoy the ambiance of the house and garden and breath in the sea air.

We can help with suggestions for excursions or further stays on Arran and Bute.

short art break at Kilmun House 2003

Proposed schedule (flexible, depending on weather):

On Friday, access to house will be from 3pm, with time for a walk to the castle and harbour before afternoon tea (about 4.30pm). Your tutor will join us for drinks before dinner, which will be served at approximately 8pm. All soft drinks are provided, but we ask that you bring your own wine or any other alcoholic beverages.

During the weekend, you will walk down to the harbour to sketch Arran and Portencross Castle and over the two days you will be able to sketch and paint in the garden using mixed media. New: Pottery and lino cutting instruction.

On both mornings, a full Scottish breakfast will be served at 9am. Lunch at 1.30pm, with morning coffee and afternoon tea served in the garden (weather permitting).

On Sunday, departure will be between 5-6pm. (Arrangements can be made for an add-on overnight stay. Cost is £50 per double room and £38 single). Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Cost of 3 day break: £275
non painters: £215

This includes :

  • Qualified tuition. All artists’ materials including easels. Please bring your own sketch book, drawing pencils and a small watercolour box (if you have one). A camera is recommended.
  • Accommodation in comfortable, well-appointed bedrooms
  • Delicious, home-cooked meals. Full Scottish breakfast, lunch, 3-course evening meal and home baking with morning coffee and afternoon tea.

Places are limited to 8 people.

Click here to download Leaflet

For non-painting partners, activities available in the area include golf (West Kilbride Golf Course within walking distance, also Troon is very near), gardens, castles, sailing, pony trekking, fishing and beaches. There is a fascinating walk through the garden to the top of the cliff and onwards to Auldhill, the site of an Iron Age fort with a magnificent 360° panoramic view. Go back to Top ^