Arts, Crafts and Inspiration
Spark creative inspiration from the sights and sounds of Norfolk’s coast between King’s Lynn and Salthouse. Head out with your sketchbook or camera and sit awhile on a sea wall gazing at the ever changing light. Perhaps a local landmark like the windmill at Burnham Overy Staithe will feature when you create your own beautiful fused glass art, at a Driftwood Glass Workshop. Enjoy learning new skills? Try traditional green woodworking at Deepdale Farm. Time your trip for November or December to explore the Luminate woodland trail at Sandringham, a magical winter light show.
There is so much to inspire artists in Norfolk. In his poem ‘Norfolk’, John Betjeman wrote of ‘a whispering and watery Norfolk sound’. Immerse yourself in that ‘Norfolk sound’ by sitting on the crest of a seawall. Sea walls are engineered to protect the dynamic nature of the coast from erosion by reflecting the power of the waves back to the sea. They mark humanity’s line of defence between land and sea, a tension between elemental forces and human endeavour.
Hundreds of miles of Norfolk’s green embankments maintain an uneasy truce with the waves, for this land is borrowed from the sea and the sea demands it back. So from the Wash all along the coast to the eastern end of Salthouse Marshes, sea walls abound. Follow any footpath alongside a seawall and walk through a windswept world of movement and light. Where it’s safe, perching aloft gives superb views, or tuck down the slope out of the wind. Look how light pierces banks of cloud, spearing fields with brilliant shafts of sunlight like rays from a spaceship, most dramatic at dawn and dusk in the winter months. Huge skies become one with land and sea, a pearly symphony of elements. Breezy days are made for kites, dancing above golden dunes shimmering with silvery green marram grass. Watch them dip and turn, riding in the wild air like gulls. Take a hot drink and find a sheltered spot to sit down with a drawing pad and create your memories.
Experience the fascinating world of fused glass and create your very own unique piece to keep. What is fused glass? Well, unlike stained glass it has no ‘lead lines’ and techniques are relatively quick to learn. Sometimes called kilnformed, warm or kiln-glass, the basic idea of fused glass is that art objects can be created by melting glass in a kiln. There are hundreds of techniques and Driftwood glass will get you off to a flying start with all the essential basics. You’ll be working alongside skilled professionals who will help you both design and create beautiful glass work as decorative art for your home or quirky gifts with a personal touch. Learn about glass paints, cutting techniques, assembly, lead work & kiln firings.
There’s a huge range of fun ways to create your individual piece of glass, fired only by heat and the power of your imagination. And if you’re not sure where to start, take inspiration from the gorgeous colours of Norfolk and the shifting seasons. Think of winter trees, autumn leaves, waves, sun rays or wildflower meadows, retro patterns, abstract ripples of seasonal colour and Christmas decorations, beautiful hung in a window to catch the winter light.
Workshops are available all year round for all artistic capabilities. Book as a group (8 in Hindringham and 3 at Delegate Market) or come along by yourself. Everyone’s friendly! Short taster workshops are available too. And Driftwood Glass happily host workshops for specific requests at a pre-arranged rate.
Discover the traditional country skill of green woodworking with rural crafter Richard Rood. The cosy days of autumn and winter are a great time to take up new hobbies, especially when you’re learning in a beautiful old brick barn up near the North Norfolk coast. If you’re a regular at Deepdale you might have chatted to Richard on his stall at Dalegate Market’s Popup Shops or seen him demonstrating woodworking skills at the Deepdale Spring Market. Now’s the chance to have a go for yourself, in a small friendly group of like-minded people, learning to make beautiful and useful things for your home.
Try a one-day introduction to green woodworking and, if you get a taste for it, there’s a two-day extension course for beginners to craft a lovely little stool. The range of wood working courses may well expand so feel free to get in touch and see what else could be arranged.
You’ll learn about the properties of wood and how to handle it while getting familiar with tools such as the draw knife and pole lathe. Richard will take you through the basics, starting with a log, using the draw knife to shape and prepare it, then moving on to the pole lathe to carve it into something useful. All tools are provided as are hot drinks throughout the day. So just bring a packed lunch and don’t forget to wear old clothes! To book have a look at the Deepdale website.
As winter shadows gather, Sandringham holds back the darkness with captivating ribbons of light. Wander the meandering trail through woods and historic parkland and see the Royal Estate like never before, illuminated as by fairy enchantments. Stunning architectural installations and bewitching light play, including interactive elements, will guide you along the way, as the frosty winter air dances with ambient music. Along the path (about a mile long) you’ll come across unexpected Wow! moments, making memories to weave through your winter dreams.
Depending on how quickly you walk, the trail takes around 60-90 minutes. Half way is a welcoming little kiosk, where you can buy mulled wine, warm drinks and delectable luxury hot chocolate, steaming comforts to ward off the chilly night. Wrap up for the winter weather!
At the end of the trail, gather with friends to chat around the fire pit and warm up in the glow of the flames. Bring marshmallows to toast – don’t forget the skewers! But if you do, don’t worry – there’s a place to buy marshmallows and sticks on site. And plenty more besides! You’ll find treats like churros, waffles, pizza and roasted chestnuts in the Sandringham Courtyard.
Deliberately not Christmassy, this is a sparkling celebration of winter magic, designed to work with the natural darkness of the seasonal landscape. In fact, the crisp clean days of January, after the festivities, are a perfect time to visit. Lift your spirits and explore the brilliance of the night.
Build your own itinerary
If you fancy creating your own itinerary for a day trip to Norfolk or a longer visit, it couldn’t be simpler. Just go to Search Activities and select from our wide range of free and paid-for experiences, saving any that capture your imagination with the click of a button.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll find all the information stored in My Favourite, where you can drag and drop activities to create your own day-by-day itinerary! You can download this to a calendar and even share it with friends.