web analytics


...in the steps of the Impressionists


9th - 14th September, 2019

Giverny rose to fame in 1883 when Claude Monet discovered it while looking out of the train window. (trains moved a lot slower in those days). Now art lovers from all over the world flock to the village to marvel at the gardens and pay homage to the master of impressionism.
The light in September is soft and gentle with a promise of autumn and we have chosen our dates with this in mind. We will have time to ourselves in the gardens after the tourists have left to help maximise our creativity in this most enchanting of locations. The lily pond will be ours, as will the astonishing flower gardens in the early evening light.
The village of Giverny sits quietly on the right bank of the Seine and is equally picturesque with its winding narrow lanes and ivy-covered stone houses. We will include a visit to the museum dedicated to the man and his art – an ideal opportunity for some creative discussion to see what we might learn from his use of colour, shape and delicate abstraction.
We will take time to explore and be inspired by all that inspired Monet over a century ago.
We also have found some other gems in the region to show you – including a fabulous troglodyte Chateau full of textures, shapes, colours and light to feed our imagination. We can wander through the old orchard (and freely eat the fallen fruit), and explore the  beautiful stretch of the Seine close by.  The village - described as one of the most beautiful in France -  will give us further ideas as we  nourish our creativity at a really rather wonderful café there.
The second part of our trip (for the final two nights) will be spent in Honfleur - surely one of the most enchanting harbours in France. Its beauty has long attracted artists and creative types. Home of  Eugene Boudin, one of the first French landscape artists to paint outdoors - he  described Honfleur as 'the most ravishing spot in the world'. Monet, Corot and many more followed - all were captivated by its exquisite light and charm.
The medieval architecture, cobbled alleys and half-timbered houses together with all the usual photographically inspiring harbour-related detritus will certainly keep us busy.
Here we can leave the vans for two days and spend our time wandering the old streets, the harbour, the parks and the hotel garden making images. It is a relaxed way to work.  We plan to remain in the town during our stay in order that we may really focus on working one place. This will encourage seeing and focusing in greater depth, perhaps the chance to work with a small project in mind, rather than flitting from location to location.
It should go without saying that the food here is superb, especially the sea food – locally caught and cooked by experts. To eat around the harbour in the evening is a delight. The atmosphere is relaxed and happy. The light is beautiful. The wine helps the conversation to flow.
This tour is one we are very excited about. We have both been independently to scout the locations and found it extraordinarily rich in creative potential. The association with Monet and other artists brings  an added dimension to our visit and hopefully will provide inspiration aplenty. We look forward to helping you all develop your own creative vision as we explore and enjoy these beautiful places together.


"Sweet dreams are made of this......"


Our accommodation for the first three nights is very special indeed. We have booked in its entirety the delightfully situated Le Château de la Râpée
Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox have stayed here so we can only but hope that some of their creative genius rubs off on us
This very fine Château was built in 1825 and we will have it all to ourselves for three nights of the tour. The family Bergeron who own and run the hotel will be caring for us along with their team of fine chefs and other staff. Not forgetting their enormously hairy and very delightful dog  (one of the main reasons we were drawn to the establishment, if we are honest).
The restaurant serves locally sourced and extraordinarily good food as you will see from their website, We have negotiated a package to include bed, breakfast and evening meal for each of our three nights there. The  rooms are delightful and reflect the soft faded elegance that we readily associate with a French chateau. We will have lots of photographic opportunities around the hotel and grounds to work with and they have a conference room where we can hold image review and discussion sessions.
Our second hotel, for two nights is in Honfleur, jut under two hours drive away.
La Hotel l’Ecrin, has an old French charm about it. Its location is perfect. Situated in the very oldest part of the town, with its own gardens, it is  just a five minutes stroll to the harbour and restaurants. This hotel also has a room we can use for discussion sessions and image reviews, so important to the way we work with our students. Bed and breakfast included.


La Ferme Saint-Siméon

Once a refuge for impressionist painters, La Ferme Saint-Siméon (below)  is celebrated for its bucolic surroundings and beautiful Seine estuary light. Monet and Courbet would come here and work on their colours, and Baudelaire would flee the melancholy of Paris in search of inspiration. The farm, close to the old harbour of Honfleur and the Eugène-Boudin Museum, has now been restored throughout.

The property is now run by Relais & Chateaux. We have arranged for them to accommodate us for a three-course evening meal (included in the tour price). We will be able to spend time at the property before dinner and soak up some of the atmosphere that so enchanted the Impressionists.

Giverny & Honfleur

...in the steps of the Impressionists. 9th-14th September, 2019




Because we are taking the chateau in its entirety, we have to accept all the rooms they have. As these are priced differently, we feel the easiest and fairest way is to price the tours accordingly.

There are 6 spaces available with standard rooms at both hotels priced at  £1,995 and 6 spaces available with superior rooms at both hotels priced at £2,150.  This includes bed and breakfast for each night together with evening meals.

Rooms will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Doug and I will take whichever two rooms are left.

The hotel is ideally suited for people wishing to bring non-photographing partners. Supplement £430 or £495 (depending on room grade) to include all breakfasts and evening meals, transport and entrance fees. Due to the space available in the busses, we can accommodate no more than four partners.


(€2,250; $2,575) bed, breakfast and evening meals


(€2,425; $2,775) bed, breakfast and evening meals



3 nights  single room accommodation at the the Chateau de la Râpée including breakfast and evening meal.

2 nights accommodation at theHotel L'Ecrinincluding breakfast.

Evening meals while in Honfleur

Transfers to and from Charles de Gaulle airport and around the region.

Tuition from Valda and Doug

Max, 10 clients.


Flights, insurance, meals (apart from those listed), alcohol, airport transfers, should your flight not coincide with ours.

Fitness level - moderate. Gentle walking. Not suitable for those with limited mobility.

Average temperatures, both locations 20C


British Airways and other carriers operate direct flights from London to Paris CDG. Flying time about an hour and a quarter.


By booking a workshop and paying a deposit you agree to abide by these terms and conditions. By accepting your booking and deposit, We agree to abide by these terms and conditions.

1. A non-refundable deposit of the amount stated in each tour or workshop description is required at the time of booking.

2. The balance of the tour/workshop price is due a month prior to the departure date. Should this final payment fail to reach us by the date specified, we reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled and retain the deposit. If a booking is made a month or less prior to the departure date then the full amount is payable at the time of booking.

3. Any cancellation by the client must be made in writing, emails are acceptable. The date on which the letter or email is received by us will determine the cancellation charges applicable. These charges are expressed as a percentage of the total workshop price, and are as follows: 56 – 42 days before departure 50%; 41 – 28 days before departure 75%; 27 days or less before departure 100%. PLEASE NOTE; See clause 14 below regarding travel insurance.

If a client wishes to cancel a booking and transfer the deposit/payment to another tour we are happy to accommodate this request as long as the empty place can be re-sold. An admin charge of £100 will be made.

4. The receipt of a deposit does not imply acceptance of a booking. The PayPal automatically generated receipt does NOT imply acceptance of a booking. We will confirm our acceptance of your booking by email, and it is at the time we send out this confirmation that a contract comes into existence between us. Please DO NOT book any hotels or make any other travel bookings until you have had this email confirmation from us (NOT PayPal). If we are unable to confirm the booking, even though you have had an email from PayPal confirming your payment, we will not be liable for any other costs you have incurred. We will refund in full your PayPal payment. This is because rarely multiple bookings are placed through the website outsell a workshop before the bookings can be closed. At our discretion an administration charge of £100 may be made for alterations or amendments to a booking. The transfer of a booking from one workshop to another is at our discretion, if made more than 57 days prior to departure, it may also incur a fee of £20. The intention to transfer should be notified in writing, emails are acceptable. At 56 days or less before departure cancellation fees will also apply (see clause 3 above).

5. We reserve the right to alter or cancel any tour or workshop. Should an alteration or cancellation become necessary, you will then have the choice of accepting the change, taking an alternative tour or workshop (and where this is of a lower price we will refund the difference), or withdrawing from the contract and accepting a refund of all monies paid to us. For the avoidance of doubt, as we are not party to any flight, accommodation or train bookings or car hire you make yourself and have received no payment for the same, we will not refund the costs of these in the event of holiday cancellation. You are referred to clause 14 below and clause 4 above.

6. Under booking is the situation in which the minimum number of bookings required to run a workshop is not met, and if we have to cancel a workshop for this reason, we will not do so less than 10 days prior to departure. Force majeure is unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, such as war or the threat of war, riots, terrorist activity, civil strife, industrial disputes, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, flood or adverse weather conditions.

7. In the event of the specified tutor being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, another tour leader may be provided. If this is not possible, then the tour or workshop will be cancelled and the provisions of clause 5 will come into effect.

8. We reserve the right to change any of the prices, service or other particulars of a tour or workshop at any time before we enter into contract with you. If there is any change, we will notify you before we enter into such contract.

9. If you have special dietary or other requests, you should inform us of these prior to departure. We cannot guarantee that such requests will be met, and will have no liability to you if such requests are not met.

10. The type of tours and workshops we offer require flexibility and must allow for alternatives. For this reason the outline itinerary and tour/workshop description must be taken as an indication of what may take place on the tour or workshop, and not as a contractual obligation on the part of the company.

11. We do not accept liability for any loss or additional expense caused by delay or interruption to travel services through weather conditions, civil disturbance, industrial action, strikes, wars, floods or sickness. Such losses or additional expenses are the responsibility of the passenger. We will not accept liability for loss or damage to any of your personal belongings, including but not limited to camera and computer equipment, peripherals, mobile phones, baggage, clothing, documents, monies, credit cards, travel documents and so on. See clause 14 below.

12. We accept responsibility for acts and /or omissions of our employees (whilst acting in the course of their employment). The Company does not accept responsibility or liability for death, bodily injury or illness caused to the client or any other person included on the booking, unless arising from the negligent act and/or omission of the Company’s employees (whilst acting in the course of their employment). Any claims shall be subject to English law in respect of any question of liability or quantum, and all proceedings shall be within the exclusive domain of the English courts.

13. The client must communicate any perceived failure in the performance of this contract on the spot to the workshop leader thus giving the workshop leader the opportunity to achieve a satisfactory solution. Should this not be possible, you should make your complaint known to us in writing within 28 days of the completion of the tour or workshop.

14. It is a term of the contract between us that you will obtain the appropriate travel insurance cover before you set out on the tour or workshop (whether abroad or in this country). The insurance must cover the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, the cancellation of the tour or workshop (whether in whole or in part), personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs (for overseas tours), loss of baggage and personal money and belongings and flight cancellations and delays.

15. All clients must be in possession of a valid passport and all visas, permits and certificates, including medical certificates required for the whole of the journey and the client accepts responsibility for obtaining the same. All information and advice given by us on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment etc is given in good faith.

16. Bookings for anyone under 18 years of age must be made by their parent or legal guardian. No one under 16 years of age may join a workshop with us, except by special arrangement with and being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who needs to pay the full workshop fee themselves also.

17. It is the customers responsibility to arrive at locations at the arranged time and with appropriate equipment, footwear and clothing. The customer needs to be healthy enough to participate in the workshop. If the customers vehicle breaks down, his transport arrangements fail for any reason or if the customer fails to arrive at a destination for any reason whatsoever the workshop must proceed without them for the benefit of the other paying customers.

18. The weather is out of our control. In poor weather every effort will be made to find a suitable location to continue the workshop or to take a break until it passes. If very poor weather is forecast in advance we reserve the right to contact the group and reschedule or cancel the workshop. If this happens you will have the chance to accept the rescheduled date or accept a credit towards a future workshop of your choice to the value of the cancelled workshop.

19. If we offer our own equipment to you on loan on a workshop it is not covered by our insurance. By accepting the loan of the equipment, if it is damaged (however minor the damage) or stolen, you promise to pay immediately its full new replacement value direct to us so we can replace the item or items from a supplier of our choice who has the item or items in stock to ensure we can continue to pursue our business. If the item is no longer manufactured this clause applies to the latest new item from the manufacturer even if the value of this item is considerably higher.

20. You are responsible for your own car parking fees, fines, and all other fees and expenses not directly and clearly specified as being included in the cost of the workshop.You are also wholly responsible for the safety of your vehicle, property, personal safety and camera equipment.

21. If you book any workshop or tour listed on this website but booked through or run by any other photographer, individual, broker or company is subject to their terms and conditions and your contract is wholly with them. Any issues arising from such a booking must be taken up with them directly. We are bound by their terms and conditions and have no influence over them.

22. We reserve the right to refuse any booking without giving a reason.

23. It is this copy of our terms and conditions on the website which is current, in force and to which you and we are bound. All other copies in any other format and location are not binding.

24. By making a booking, you are agreeing to accept all the above conditions. Any person making a booking does so on behalf of all the individuals included in it, so that all are bound by the booking conditions.

25. Although our locations are always selected with safety in mind, we urge clients to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice  page for reassurance.

Last updated 24.10.18

Social media, Valda

Social media, Bailey Chinnery

Social media, Doug

error: Content is protected !!