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This holiday combines the best that the local area has to offer. From hand-sewing workshops with experts Pat Archibald (June) or Sallieann Harrison (October) to shopping in the area's many quilt shops. The museums are all excellent, Durham Cathedral is spectacular and the Northumberland landscape that we pass on our way to the amazing Alnwick Castle is simply beautiful. This is a real discovery for anyone who has never been to this part of England.
Pat is a UK textile artist and tutor based in Edinburgh. Her fascination for fabric began in her childhood when she discovered her grandmother’s scrap bag bursting at the seams with exotic fabrics and by the age of 11, she had created her first piece of patchwork. Throughout her creative career, Pat has exhibited her work worldwide, won some wonderful awards and even established Scotland’s first dedicated patchwork and quilting shop.
Pat loves to travel both around her home country as well as further afield. As her own horizons grow literally, then so too do the experiences that she can then express in her quilt making. She feels that each collection of quilts has its own unique identity and captures the essence of her view of the country or city.
To use our NEW itinerary, simply click a day below and a detailed overview will appear.
Meet your Stitchtopia expert and Arena Travel Tour Manager at the Durham Marriott Hotel Royal Country this afternoon. This evening relax and enjoy dinner with your fellow stitchers.
Beamish open-air museum tells the story of life in North East England from 1820s to 1950s. We will spend a full day exploring the site, but one of the highlights is sure to be the 1820s quilters cottage, where we will learn the fascinating story of quilter Joseph Hedley.
The Bowes Museum is a treasure hidden in the heart of beautiful Teesdale. Purpose built in the 1920s by John and Josephine Bowes the museum houses one of the largest and most significant European textile collections in Britain, representing all textile techniques and European centres of production, from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will enjoy a guided tour of the collection.
Alnwick Castle was built in the 11th Century to control and protect the border with Scotland. Alnwick Castle underwent several renovations in its first five centuries, the most major of which was commissioned by Henry Percy, the First Baron Percy of Alnwick. The Percy family still live in the castle today, in fact Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, second only to Windsor Castle. The grounds surrounding the castle were landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. As well as being the residence for the current Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle has been used as a filming location for many movies and TV shows including Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone, as well as Downton Abbey. The brainchild of The Duchess of Northumberland, The Alnwick Garden is a multi-award-winning visitor attraction. The 12 acres of magnificent gardens are home to the world’s largest Tai Haku Cherry Orchard, the Grand Cascade comprising 120 water jets and the world's largest Treehouse Restaurant. The garden is also a charity, any surplus is re-invested into improving and developing The Alnwick Garden for the future through one of their charity programmes. We will enjoy a guided tour with a garden volunteer, including the Poison Garden.
The Community of Cuthbert arrived in Durham from Lindisfarne in 995 and built an Anglo-Saxon cathedral. In 1083, following the Norman Conquest, a community of Benedictine monks was established in Durham. Construction of the Cathedral as we know it today was started in 1093 by Bishop William of St Calais It is a Christian Church of the Anglican Communion and the seat of the Bishop of Durham.
Durham Cathedral houses some of the best church needlework from the past 11 centuries. We will enjoy an embroidery and textile tour, highlights of which will include A 10th century Stole, Maniple and Girdle, recorded as being given to the shrine of St Cuthbert by King Athelstan when he visited Chester-Le-Street in 934. These are some of the finest surviving examples of Anglo-Saxon embroidery in England and the only ones to be found which depict human figures. The collection also includes four late medieval velvet copes.
Kim Suleman is probably best known for her website Six Penny Memories and for her appearances on Create & Craft TV. Kim will welcome us to the community hub in North Shields for a short demo and talk.
Check out by midday, with fond memories of a week with like-minded friends
You will need to have a reasonable level of fitness to get the most out of this holiday. On excursion days you will need to walk a short distance from the hotel to the coach and you should be able to board the coach unaided. On arrival at the excursion destination, you should be able to alight the coach unaided and there may be a walk between the coach drop off point and the excursion venue. By their nature, walking tours, museum visits etc involve being on your feet for a significant amount of time. Whilst our excursions are taken at a leisurely pace, for the enjoyment of everyone in the group you should be able to keep up with your fellow travellers. Please note the itinerary may operate in a different order than described.
Single Room Supplement from £210.00 (8 days).
Specially designed for quilters, this Stitchtopia quilting holiday is the ideal opportunity to indulge in your favourite hobby and pick up some new crafty tips and tricks. Our talented quilting expert will be on hand throughout the holiday and host inspirational workshops with a beautifully designed project to spark your creativity.