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Best of British Crafts at Blackthorpe Barn

Julia Hulme

Due to the huge popularity of the much-loved 'Best of British Crafts' every November and December at Blackthorpe Barn, there is now an extra weekend to enjoy! The event near Bury St Edmunds has been extended and will now run over six consecutive weekends, from Saturday 11th November - Sunday 17th December.

Visitors just love crafts at Blackthorpe Barn and this year's mix of inspiring crafts is bigger and more eclectic than ever before. The mediaeval barn in the heart of the Rougham Estate provides the perfect setting. As you wander through the barn, you'll be amazed at the pure creativity on offer; interesting wearable art and knitwear, indoor and outdoor ceramics, traditional and funky jewellery, vibrant and contemporary glassware, handcrafted wooden creations, forged sculpture, skincare products from a Suffolk beekeeper, artisan metalwork, luxurious leather items and so much more. There are plenty of tasty delights for food lovers too, such as handmade British charcuterie, local cheese and chutney and gorgeous fudge. Everything you need for special Christmas gifts for family and friends or to simply indulge yourself.

A huge range of crafts will be on show. See sculpture by Julia Hulme, including handbuilt animal sculptures in clay and limited edition bronze resins. There's hand blown glass by Martin Andrews, beautiful and innovative vases, bowels, lights, perfume bottle and paperweights. Second Nature Soaps produce soap made from extra virgin olive oil and enhanced with pure essential oils. Leather Design & Craft have cases, belts, bags and accessories, all handmade in Hertfordshire. Many of the crafts change each weekend so visitors will have the chance to see even more unique items; a season ticket is available to allow you to visit as many times as you like over the six weekends. 

Second Nature Soaps

The beauty about the crafts at Blackthorpe Barn is that each item is made in Britain. The makers themselves will be at the barn, chatting with visitors about their inspirations and perhaps giving demonstrations. In addition to this wonderful array of crafts, a series of hands-on workshops will be available to attend throughout the week and weekends. Learn how to make beautiful items yourself, such as Christmas garlands and wreaths, felt and wire creations and gifts. There will be a warm festive atmosphere in the barn as it's also the setting for the hugely popular Country Christmas Shop. Open every day until the 22nd of  December, the shop is magical and enriched with everything Christmassy from beautiful decorations, gifts, treats and aromas that transform you back to your childhood, combined with the sheer sophistication of the most intricately designed and hand-made delights.

Kate Welton

Christmas just isn’t the same without a famous Rougham Estate Christmas Tree. Available from the 25th of November, these trees offer the best quality and longevity, with a wide choice of colours, shapes and gorgeous scents. Holly, mistletoe, handmade wreaths and garlands are also available. George Agnew, owner of Blackthorpe Barn and Rougham Estate, adds, “Our Best of British Crafts event is so popular, year after ear, that we have added a sixth weekend allowing us to showcase even more inspiring British crafts from the country’s most talented craft makers. Visitors love the combination of the historic nature of the medieval barn combined with both the modern, traditional and innovative techniques displayed.”   

Blackthorpe Barn is just three miles east of Bury St Edmunds. For more information and opening times, visit: http://www.blackthorpebarn.com