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Home » Activity Holidays » Caligraphy 2023


Get Creative with Italic Lettering! Our calligraphy holidays encourage those new to calligraphy to learn Italic, the most versatile of calligraphic alphabets.
Through clear and detailed instruction, supported by comprehensive notes, tutor Duncan Tolmie will share with you a technique that he developed to simplify the process of learning the Italic alphabet. He will show you how to create formal Italic with a chisel-nibbed pen, and informal Italic with a brush pen.

In one-to-one demonstrations, he will help you overcome areas of personal difficulty. He will share tips, tricks and techniques that he has learned along the way. With his guidance, you will be encouraged to apply your newfound knowledge to one or more calligraphy projects of your choice. By the end of the course you will have learned an absorbing and relaxing skill that will bring you satisfaction for years to come.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2023

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

January 29th to February 3rd 2023
November 5th to 10th 2023

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

Payment, Terms & Conditions
A 25% deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 3 months prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 3 months of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Art, craft & activity holidays are subject to availability and subject to change.

Over the course of four days, Duncan will introduce you to Italic calligraphy, the most versatile of calligraphic alphabets.


  • Learning everything you need to know about calligraphy equipment and how to use it
  • Experience demonstrations of various calligraphic alphabets and techniques
  • Introduction to Italic calligraphy, focusing on letter structure and characteristics
  • Focus on construction of lower-case letters and letter and word spacing before putting it all together in the form of a quotation or short poem


  • Recap of lower-case letter
  • Focus on construction of upper-case letters before combining upper and lower-case letters and putting it all together


  • Learn how to use a brush pen and watch demonstrations of brush pen techniques• Spend the day constructing lower- and upper-case letters with a brush pen


  • Review the tips, tricks and techniques you learnt throughout the week before spending the final day applying your newfound knowledge to one or more calligraphy projects of your choice.

Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Duncan Tolmie
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

All materials and equipment for your course will be provided by your tutor.

Tutor Duncan Tolmie

Duncan Tolmie is a professional calligrapher, and founder of Calligraphic Art Services. He is based at his home studio in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

Since 1987, Duncan has provided companies, institutions and individuals across the UK with a high standard of calligraphy for weddings, awards ceremonies and special events. For the past twenty-five years Duncan has taught calligraphy in Strathclyde University, City of Glasgow College, and at other venues throughout central Scotland.

Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Caledonian Universities also regularly commission Duncan’s calligraphy services, and he has provided calligraphy for events within John Lewis and Molton Brown stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Although he works mainly with pens and ink, Duncan embraces modern technology, creating digital calligraphic artwork using Adobe Photoshop on an iMac computer.

As a self-taught calligrapher, he understands the difficulty and frustration of attempting to learn the craft without formal instruction. Now, as a tutor, he enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge with students, offering them structure and guidance, helping them learn calligraphy effectively.
Find out more about Duncan on his website.



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