What does a small group tour mean?

Lately I’ve been noticing a number of third-party tours being offered to the United Kingdom, all of them being promoted as “small” groups, where “small” seems to mean as many as 25 people! We thought you should know that with Arts & Crafts Tours we specialize in actual small groups. This means we never exceed more than 12 people in a group. That makes a big difference as you really get to know one another as well as the tour guides, lecturers, hosts and special guests who are at the very heart of our trips.

In 2017 we are offering several tours that we hope will appeal to a range of interests and passions. For those who love to see and learn about the incredible objects and ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement we have a unique tour planned in April 2017. The tour will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Court Barn museum, the work and ideals of Charles Ashbee and his Guild of Handicraft along with works by several other Cotswold designers.

For those of you who would like to develop your embroidery skills we are offering our second tour with Elizabeth Elvin, the former Principal of the Royal School of Needlework, will be teaching new techniques, especially gold stitching. Nicola Jarvis will be working alongside Elizabeth on designing the embroidery. This tour in June 2017 will be based at Naworth Castle and there will be time for some local sightseeing.
If your passion rests more with architecture you may want to join us to explore some of the most exciting and innovative of the mid-19th century work in England’s second city – Liverpool. Home of many of the country’s leading industrialists, it and nearby Manchester, have a wealth of some of the work of the Pre-Raphaelite painters as well as the leading architects of the day. And you’ll also be able to spend time in Northern Wales seeing sites and collections that may be overlooked by most visitors.

In September, we will again be staying at Naworth Castle, as we are for Embroidery tour. This time you can explore your own design skills working with a variety of textiles and styles under the guidance of Malcolm Lochhead. We’ll have days out for inspiration and to view some of Malcolm’s own work in Bothwell and Durham. Be prepared to be inspired by the landscape and buildings and create your own marvelous textile.

Alas, we have not forgotten about Britain’s glorious gardens but that may have to wait until 2018. If there is anything else you’d like us to plan, just let us know. We hope one – or more – of these will entice you.

– Elaine