Suffolk Castles & Towers

Suffolk’s castles tell a story that spans over 800 years of local history from the county’s wealthy agricultural past in Tudor times to its role in... Read more

£305 per person
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13 Jul - 15 Jul 2022

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Art Safari Studio
Suffolk / Woodbridge

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Workshop content
Sketching, watercolours

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Mary-Anne Bartlett

Discover the castles of Suffolk on this summer workshop, spending lots of time painting outdoors with dreamy views of rolling green hills and the sea…

Suffolk’s castles tell a story that spans over 800 years of local history from the county’s wealthy agricultural past in Tudor times to its role in World War II strategic defences.

On this short art break, we will explore some of the most magnificent and unusual castles the county has to offer.

We will sketch the idyllic 12th century Framlingham Castle built by the powerful Bigod family, and more recently made famous as the inspiration behind local superstar Ed Sheeran’s hit, Castle On The Hill!

We will also visit Orford Castle, a fantastically preserved, and uniquely polygonal keep built by Henry II.  This castle may require thinking about aerial perspective as the views out to sea are spectacular!

Suffolk’s mysterious Martello Towers will add some different creative inspiration to the mix.  These squat, solid mini fortresses were built in the early 19th century to repel a possible invasion by the French Navy in Napoleonic times.  The Martello Tower perched on the remote beach at Shingle Street is a fabulous painting location with panoramic views of the sparkling sea curving around one side and salt marshes around the other.

Mary-Anne will lead this workshop with demonstrations, exercises and one-to-one tuition time.  On location, she will encourage you to explore the textures and tonal range of ancient stonework, light and shadow, and discuss composition and perspective before encouraging you to settle into a longer painting exercise.

We would like these days to be an exchange of ideas and artistic influences in response to the landscape, light and colours of Suffolk (oh and weather).  Sharing sketches all adds to this experience.  Please don’t be shy to speak up; this is a very supportive environment!

In the evenings there’s the option to gather in a local restaurant or pub for a convivial Art Safari evening (dinner not included).

Suitable for artists of all abilities, equipment list will be provided.  Bring a chair so you can set up your own outdoor studio.


Day 1Framlingham Castle
Day 2Orford Castle
Day 3Martello towers - Shingle Street, Bawdsey or Aldeburgh
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£305 including VAT, with lunch and refreshments

Places must be pre-booked using the form below or by calling us on 01394 382235


Art Safari Studio, The Harbourmasters Office, Ferry Quay, Woodbridge, Suffolk 1P12 1BW

There is no parking available at the Art Safari Studio/Harbourmasters Office.

There is however a pay and display car park at the Woodbridge Railway Station.   It is a very short walk away!


Woodbridge is a picturesque Market Town on the Deben Estuary with a good selection of pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops.  Find out more about the town on the Choose Woodbridge website.

Here is a small selection of places to stay which Art Safari guests have enjoyed.  Accommodation in Woodbridge tends to fill up quickly during the summer, so we suggest you book early.

The Station Guest House – 01394 384831

The Bull Inn – 01394 382089

The Crown Hotel – 01394 384242

Hill House Hall – 03194 383890 (currently accommodation only)

Seckford Hall – 01394 385678

There are many more options available, including holiday cottages – have a look through Suffolk Secrets and Suffolk Hideaways for holiday rental cottages in the area.