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Learn, Make, Create; Active Days Out

What could be cosier than settling in on a chilly afternoon and getting creative with a new hobby? Learn how to make delicious tangy goat’s cheese or work in a beautiful barn crafting useful treasures from sustainable green wood. Inspired? Give glass making a whirl, paint landscapes with a pinch of poetry or turn old magazines into unique architectural portraits. Experiment, explore and enjoy in friendly company and with expert guidance. Try some or all. Who knows, perhaps this is the year the family genuinely means it when they say they love their homemade gifts!

Day 1
Cheesemaking at Fielding Cottage

Cheesemaking at Fielding Cottage

Calling all cheesy lovers! Discover a new passion making delectable artisan goat’s cheese on a day course at a farm in the pretty Norfolk countryside. Only 20 minutes from Norwich, Fielding Cottage is home to award-winning goat’s cheeses sought by restaurants and delis across the UK and beyond. In 2009, founder Sam Steggles bought ten goats on a family holiday in Cumbria and started making cheese in the kitchen sink. Now you can learn his legend-dairy secrets! You’ll tour the eco-friendly state-of-the-art factory for the science bit. Then get hands-on practical experience learning how to make your very own goat’s cheese. These experts are as serious about having fun as they are about cheese.

Kick off at 9.15am and finish around 3pm with a mid morning coffee break and lunch in The Goat Shed Kitchen, where you’ll tuck into a delicious grazing board of cheese, crackers and salad. At the end of the day, you’ll take home a certificate, handbook covering everything you’ve learned and box of tangy goat’s cheese to mature at home.

Wherever you are in the world cheesemakers transform local nature into a proud expression of regional identity. So stock up on foodie treats right next door at The Goat Shed farm shop. Look out for Fielding Cottage’s own Norfolk Mardler cheese, named after the word for having a good old gossip. Dipped in sunshine yellow wax it’s a stylish choice for brightening up your festive cheese board!

Day 2
Driftwood Glass Studio Stained Glass Workshops

Driftwood Glass Studio Stained Glass Workshops

How about turning your Norfolk dreams into a beautiful piece of stained glass? Join Driftwood Glass for a two day workshop to design, cut and lead your very own stained glass panel (210mm x 297mm). Designed for adults, the course at Driftwood’s Hindringham and Burnham Deepdale studios is a friendly creative space to learn something new. Open all year round, it’s a rather lovely way to spend a rainy day. Creating your own glass work is special way to make a gift too, or you can gift the workshop itself with a voucher!

Visit Norfolk’s round towered churches to get inspiration for this ancient skill. Perhaps you love by the sweeping Norfolk coastline or skeins of pink footed geese high in a stormy sky. Then there’s the burnt orange of Cromer crab shells, red sails of a wherry boat, russet bricks of Blicking Hall, golden wheat fields, fizzy yellow rapeseed flowers or mustard yellow of good old Colman’s! Reflect nature’s calm tones, soft greens and greys, recalling reeds and salt marshes or bright hollyhocks in a country garden, summer skies and jaunty beach huts, rich bronze autumn leaves or the mist of bluebells on a May morning. Or get jazzy with the colourful buildings of Elm Hill and even the bold yellow and green of the Canaries team strip!

And if you can’t make it to the class, buy your gifts online! They’re all made by hand at the studio, so no two items are exactly the same.

Day 3
Green Woodworking Courses

Green Woodworking Courses

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.

Day 4
Recycled Paper Collage Workshops

Recycled Paper Collage Workshops

Do you have a beautiful home or favourite building? Craft a unique portrait evoking the place you love by joining Caitlín in Norwich for a fun, relaxing and creative afternoon making your own piece of original collage art. Caitlín will guide you through the process of creating your own artwork from 100% discarded paper such as old magazines, advertising and junk mail. You’ll learn how to recycle single-use material that would otherwise be thrown away and make something beautiful and entirely personal.

Different collage workshops are available, including Architectural Portraits (portraits of houses or historic Norwich buildings), Paper Bouquets and Christmas Wreath Collages. The options are continually growing! The idea is for everyone to walk away inspired by having experimented with a new skill and with a personal artwork to be proud of.

All materials are provided and the workshops are suitable for complete beginners. Tea, coffee and cake are included – all artists need to keep up creative energy! The workshops are available all year round but make an excellent indoor winter activity and they’re a lovely way to create your own Christmas gifts.

Book with friends or come along on your own. You’ll meet like-minded people and the atmosphere is friendly, casual and relaxing so there’s no need to worry. Being absorbed by a hands-on, unusual project is a welcome break from social media and life’s busy whirl. And it’s a hugely enjoyable way to make the most of a rainy autumn or winter afternoon.

Day 5
Immersive Art Workshops and Art Lessons

Immersive Art Workshops and Art Lessons

Let your creativity flow in hands-on workshops exploring visual expression with a pinch of art history, literature, and poetry plus a little something extra to expand your artistic practice. Creative learning sits at the heart of Mary’s workshops and her art activities are designed to foster a sense of personal empowerment and innovative problem solving.

Each group workshop investigates materials and making processes. The morning is devoted to gathering and recording visual imagery from the natural environment. You’ll enjoy a convivial lunch of East Anglian delicacies, then spend an afternoon working up a painting to take home so you can develop your ideas further. You’ll be brimming with them!

Water Workshops are all about looking at local rivers, salt marshes, or the sea, to write poetry. You’ll explore our deep connections with the life-giving water that supports such gloriously diverse species, ecosystems and our fundamental well-being. You’ll sketch or gather visual materials on location in the morning and then turn it into a work of art after lunch, incorporating words and memories to reflect your unique experience.

Land workshops respond to Norfolk’s landscape, gardens, farms and ancient pathways in the East Anglia. You’ll use mark making and layering of words and colours in response to the layers of cultivated landscapes that have been drained, gardened, reclaimed from the sea, creating a personal work of art capturing time and place.

Contact Mary to find out more and book your special group workshop or private lesson.

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.

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