Art and wellbeing programmes in Herefordshire

An Artist’s Paradise.

At Backbury House Retreats we specialise in offering expertly planned drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and well-being courses.

In summary, we offer everything from taster sessions through to our fully inclusive retreat packages which include social activities and accommodation.

Furthermore, we believe that we offer a truly special place to visit in Herefordshire. This is due to the picturesque and panoramic setting offering an inspirational and magical space.

In conclusion, a visit to Backbury House Retreats enables you to develop and nurture your creativity and well-being.

About our art, photography and well-being courses.

All of our courses are delivered by a fully qualified art teacher with nearly 30 years’ teaching experience. In addition, we limit the number of attendees on our courses so that we can offer tailored-made support for every ability level.

In summary, we provide:

  • A weekly art class offering tuition in a range of subject areas throughout the year.
  • Monthly workshops in creative techniques including: beginner’s photography and watercolour painting plus seasonal workshops such as Christmas crafts.
  • Art courses including: animal painting, landscape drawing & painting and printmaking.
  • Creative well-being courses including: an introduction to creative mindfulness, mindful drawing and nature journalling.
  • Photography courses including: creative portraiture plus landscape and still life.
  • Private classes and workshops upon request.
  • An online course in mindful drawing.

Please note that full details for all of our course options are detailed on the following pages:

Weekly Classes and Workshops / Courses and Retreats / Online Course

art classes in Herefordshire

Ticket Purchase

For your convenience, you can purchase our classes, courses, retreats and workshops online through our Events & Bookings page. Once purchased, you will receive a booking confirmation plus helpful event information all via email.

So, once you have read all about our different programmes on the relevant pages and have made your course choice, visit our Events & Bookings page to complete your ticket purchase.

Are you looking for a taster session?

In summary, taster sessions offer a short introduction to a particular technique. They offer the basics in a subject in order to boost confidence levels and inspire you to learn more.

Therefore, all of our weekend courses and retreats offer an option of a Saturday Introductory Experience. So visit the courses and retreats menu to select a course or retreat and discover more.

In addition, we also offer a rolling programme of beginner’s workshops every month. You can choose between our Beginner’s Watercolour Workshop or Beginner’s Photography Workshop. So visit our events calendar to view more details and to book your place.

watercolour workshop

An overview of our award-winning courses:

  • To begin with, you will be in safe hands. This is due to the fact that our art courses are expertly planned and delivered.
  • Reassuringly, every course programme is fully supported and therefore suitable for all ability levels.
  • Due to our well-designed courses, you will be able to develop your confidence and skill levels within a guided progression of tasks.
  • In general, you will be able to take time for yourself and foster your self-expression and creativity within idyllic surroundings.
  • Equally important is the fact that, taking part in creative pursuits helps to destress and rebalance the mind and spirit.
  • Finally, you will meet like-minded individuals to share experiences with and develop a supportive network for your creative pursuits.
Backbury House Retreats award label

Our Upcoming Events

landscape photography

Landscape & Still Life Photography

08-09 Jun 24

Suitable for all abilities.

Saturday Experience and Weekend Course tickets available.

Beginner photographer taking a photo on a workshop.

June Beginner’s Photography

Sat 22 June 24

Aimed specifically at beginners wishing to improve their photography skills.

3-hour Workshop tickets available.

beginner's watercolour workshop painting

July Beginner’s Watercolour

Sat 06 July 24

Aimed specifically at beginners wishing to improve their watercolour painting skills.

3-hour Workshop tickets available.

Landscape Painting

12-14 July 24

Suitable for all abilities.

Saturday Experience and Weekend Course tickets available.

To offer you a flavour of our art courses…

With this in mind, we have compiled an online exhibition to regularly feature our student’s artwork. Without a doubt, we think that you will agree that they have produced some amazing pieces.

We hope that you will enjoy viewing the lovely artworks and are inspired to learn more.

Looking for a special gift?

If so, why not purchase a gift voucher for a creative workshop or a Saturday Introductory Experience. We also have vouchers for our art courses and retreats.

In summary, the digital gift vouchers can be:

  • Either, sent direct to the gift recipient by clicking on the send as a gift option at the checkout and entering their email, a personal message and the send date,
  • Or, leave unchecked and the gift card will be automatically sent to the purchaser.

In addition, if you open an account on My Account page, you can accumulate purchased vouchers in a total balance which can then be redeemed on a future purchase of your choice.

Have you visited our online shop?

In our online shop we have a wonderful selection of original framed artworks by Sharon Brookes.

Sharon has been a practising artist alongside her art teaching career since obtaining her BA (Hons) in 1993.

In short, she is drawn to depicting fine detail in her artwork together with an expressive quality and characterful subjects.

In summary, the artwork available to purchase online includes:

  • Limited edition framed expressive etchings
  • Framed original animal watercolour paintings
  • A range of high quality framed digital photographic prints

So shop now to view and purchase the full range of artworks.

artwork for sale online

The Reference Library

In order to offer a useful source of technical knowledge and inspiration, we periodically publish our know-how posts. In addition, if you sign up to our newsletter, you will automatically be sent the latest posts. So we hope that you will enjoy reading them and find them informative. Just click on the titles to view the full articles.

The Beauty of Etchings

Inspiration The beauty of the etching process is multifaceted. Firstly, the technique enables an art…

How to develop a nature journal.

Nature journals are documents that usually contain both illustrations and text and are inspired by t…

How to use pen and wash technique

Sometimes when painting with watercolour, it can be frustrating to capture fine detail, even when us…

art retreat vineyard in Herefordshire

Backbury House Vineyard.

Here at Backbury House, there is a long-established vineyard. All in all, we have approximately one acre of mature Phoenix grape vines.

Subsequently, we are fortunate enough to be able to create our own white wine. Furthermore, our wine is professionally produced at a nearby winery and is similar in taste to a Sauvignon Blanc.

For our guests’ enjoyment, our retreats include an opportunity to sample our unique house wine and develop their wine appreciation.

Follow us on social media and be alerted as soon as new programmes and offers are published

We are an award-winning art centre in the heart of the Wye Valley in Herefordshire. We offer expertly led art, photography and creative well-being courses for all ability levels.


We are proud of our reputation for offering excellent creative programmes. Here are a few comments from recent participants...
Ronel Schoeman

Ronel Schoeman

Watercolour Workshop

"Sharon was perfect! We clicked immediately and it was like having coffee with a friend. Despite my zero knowledge re watercolours, she was very patient. She was easy to understand and had the right approach, tools and tips to allow one to learn very quickly. I came away feeling very excited to try by myself. I would highly recommend Sharon's experiences. And her coffee, biscuit and views are all A++! Thanks Sharon!"

Ben Jones

Ben Jones

Beginners Photography Workshop

"I bought this experience for my dad for this Birthday. He enjoys taking photos but always wanted to learn how to take really good ones - he loved the experience! Found Sharon friendly and helpful, and came away with a lot of new skills and enthusiasm for photography. Would recommend!"

Alan Jones

Alan Jones

Portrait Photography Retreat

"Sharon organised a great workshop on studio portraits, creating a friendly atmosphere to experiment with various creative techniques. The session was great fun and I was amazed by the results you can achieve just using simple everyday materials if you get the light right. Highly recommended"

Backbury House Retreats

Checkley, Hereford HR1 4NA
07584 081970

Contact Us