Nine culture-filled weekends in Europe
Brushing up on Irish landscapes
Despite being within spitting distance of Dublin, the landscapes of County Wicklow are as wild as any on the Emerald Isle, with desolate gorse and bracken-strewn uplands, rushing rivers and verdant pastures helping to earn it the moniker ‘The Garden County’. One way to get to grips with the region is to enroll on a weekend course at the Irish School of Landscape Painting. Based out of a studio of the banks of the River Vartry, students render the stirring landscapes of the region in pastels, oils, watercolours and pencils in the company of an instructor (courses from £95). Don’t leave the county without exploring nearby Glendalough – the remains of a 5th-century monastic settlement set over a valley criss-crossed by walking trails.
The Hunter's Hotel in Rathnew is a charming old coaching inn (from £105).