Fabulous Embroidery Tours

I received an email a few days ago letting me know about the tours planned by Phillipa Turnbull through The Crewelwork Company. You may remember I was able to join the first part of a Lady Anne’s Needlework Tour a few years ago and had a wonderful time!

The schedule of tours coming up over the next year looks fabulous, and if I weren’t a teacher whose holidays are dictated by the school calendar, I would begin saving my money right now so I could join one of these tours!



Here’s what’s on offer.

The Scottish Highlands Needlework Tour

20 June-1 July 2016 – See the wild North of Scotland and visit an abundance of Highland Castles. Starting and finishing in Edinburgh. Classes with Phillipa Turnbull and Meredith Willett. Fly to Edinburgh. £5,850.

Lady Anne’s Needlework Retreat

17-27 Sept 2016 – Our signature retreat starting and finishing in Appleby, Cumbria. Featuring the fabulous Muncaster Castle. Explore the Lake District and Scottish Lowlands. Classes with Phillipa, Meredith Willett & Jacqui Carey. Fly to Manchester. £5,500

Spring Residential Needlework Retreat

3-11 March 2017 – An intensive, workshop-focused residential retreat, staying near Lake Windermere in the beautiful English Lake District. Classes with Phillipa Turnbull, Jenny Adin-Christie and Nicola Jarvis. Fly to Manchester. £3,950

Four Nations Needlework Tour

15-30 June 2017 – Featuring castle visits and workshops in all four British nations. Starting and finishing in England. Classes with Phillipa Turnbull and Meredith Willett and guest tutors Nicola Jarvis & Jenny Adin-Christie. Fly to Manchester. £8,750


What’s included in the price? All of this!

• Tuition from first rate teachers

• All materials and instructions required for workshops

• Loan of all the necessary frames and equipment required for workshops

• All hotel accommodations for the stated duration of the tour, and all coach travel

• Meals as stated in the timetable

• All entry fees for castles, country houses, museums, and other special excursions

• Refreshments during workshops and lectures

Of course you’ll need to get to the relevant airport (Manchester or Edinburgh) but once you’ve arrived, your hotels, food and entertainment are all organised and paid for! I just LOVED knowing each day will be full of stitching, friends, great food and interesting places to see!

To download the brochure with all the details of the trips click on this link to The Crewelwork Company website.

Ecclesiastical Embroidery at Halberstadt Cathedral

A few weeks ago we had a long weekend and decided to take a trip into the Harz region. The Harz mountains are about two and a half hours by car southwest of Berlin. We specifically went for two reasons: to enjoy riding on the Harz Schmalspurbahn and to see the amazing ecclesiastical embroidery in Halberstadt at the cathedral.

I had a wonderful time riding on the train up the mountain. Until we got to the very top and it got too cold, I stood outside on the platform between the cars. Riding through the forest and watching the world go by while listening to the sound of the steam engine was simply magical! If you want to read more about that part of our trip, please click here.


The highlight of the trip for me was, of course, our visit to Halberstadt Cathedral to see the ecclesiastical embroidery. Halberstadt was a very rich episcopal see of the Bishopric of Halberstadt, established by the Emperor Charlemagne in 804.

The cathedral is notable among those in northern European towns in having retained its medieval treasury in virtually complete condition. Among its treasures are the oldest surviving tapestries in Europe, dating from the 12th century.

The collection has grown over a period of 1000 years, specifically for liturgical use. The current inventory numbers about 600 different objects, of which approximately 300 are textiles. The objects range in period from the 5th through to the 18th century and it is one of the most important collection of medieval vestments. In addition to a nearly 1000 year old Cope, the collection
includes Romanesque tapestries that are the oldest and best preserved in Europe.



Above is a photo of the Halberstadt Cathedral. If you click on the photo you will be taken to my Flickr album and see all of the photos I took of the embroidery. It was dimly lit inside the exhibition to keep the textiles in good condition and, naturally, using a flash was not permitted.The photos were all taken with my iPhone 5 using an app called Camera+. This app allows you to adjust the exposure as you’re taking the photo which is how I got such good images in dim light. Sometimes technology really amazes me!

While we were in the Harz, we stayed in Wernigrode where there is a beautiful castle high, high up on the hill. The castle was built and occupied by the Earls of Stolberg and date from the 12th century.


It’s quite an imposing building and seems to grow out of the rocks. The views from the courtyard are breathtaking, looking down over the town and the mountains beyond.


If you ever have the chance to visit this part of Germany, I highly recommend it!