Suffolk SketchFest 2024

Suffolk SketchFest returns with 3 days of sketching the maritime heritage & wildlife of the River Deben at Woodbridge.  Over 60 sketching events to join including... Read more

Starting at £100
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02 Aug - 04 Aug 2024

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River Deben, Woodbridge
Woodbridge, Suffolk

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Outdoor sketching along the River Deben - art, learning, birds, boats, river, water meadows and fun

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Mary-Anne Bartlett, Claudia Myatt, Mark Boyd, Maxine Relton, Roger Dellar, Karen Pearson

Learn and sketch, having fun with the wildlife, boats, landscapes and history of Woodbridge.

Suffolk SketchFest returns with 3 days of sketching the maritime heritage & wildlife of the River Deben at Woodbridge.  Over 60 sketching events to join including artist-led walks, demonstrations and workshops.

See the Full Programme here

Download the Timetable here


Suffolk SketchFest’s inspiring artist tutors include:- Mary-Anne BartlettClaudia Myatt, Mark Boyd, Karen Pearson, Roger Dellar, Maxine Relton, Ian Sedge, Tom Shepherd and Alice Angus. We’re here to share our knowledge, experience and skills of drawing and painting outdoors – and to celebrate the River Deben.

This is the river that we look out on from Art Safari HQ, it’s where we live. The Deben is the lifeblood of our town, it’s a magical place for wildlife, for air, for meeting people, for skies, for all the water activities.  With every tide it changes.  The river’s heritage surrounds us: historic sites such as Sutton Hoo, buildings such as the Tide Mill, agriculture on the Kingston water-meadows, and the exciting re-wilding at Martlesham Wilds.  All this activity makes this River unique to sketch and paint.

Suffolk SketchFest is open to anyone who would like to have a go! 

Join for one, two or all three days

We have artist led sketch walks for you to join as well as other events to help you lean the joys and the skills of sketching outdoors. Sketching outdoors is a great way to understand, interact with and share our appreciation of the natural world.

Prizes for different categories – announced on Sunday pm

Let’s use art to reconnect with natural beauty and the wild places on our doorstep, as well as to reflect our enthusiasm, interest and identity with our tidal river.  Art Safari Artist Tutors will show you how to preserve moments in time through sketching and painting.  Spending time sketching and painting on the River Deben, we aim to catch experiences and moments of wonder.

Your sketches will become lasting reminders of special time spent in nature.

Art Events as part of Suffolk SketchFest, 2, 3, 4 August 2024, include:

  • Artist-led sketching walks along the river wall at Woodbridge (upriver towards Melton, along the quayside and downriver towards Kyson Point and Martlesham Creek)
  • Artist-led art workshops and demonstrations
  • Half-day workshops
  • Boat trip on the River Deben
  • Excursion to Sutton Hoo (optional)
  • Free Storytelling event
  • Free Music event
  • Art tutor challenges
  • Prizes!!

SketchFest participants include artists from across the UK, local residents and businesses, children & families, art groups, artists, wildlife enthusiasts and birders.


FRIDAY 2 Augustsketching events to choose from throughout the day!
Music on the Quayfree for you to listen and sketch
Friday eveningoptional al fresco dinner
SATURDAY 3 Augustsketching events to choose from throughout the day!
Free talkfree for you to listen and be enthralled
Saturday eveningoptional al fresco dinner (fish and chips!)
SUNDAY 4 Augustsketching events to choose from throughout the day!
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Design your own Festival! Choose your own workshops and demos.


Join us for al fresco dining on Friday and Saturday evening.  On Friday a local restaurant brings a delicious meal here to eat at tables here on the quay, £27 per head including a glass of something cheerful. 

On Saturday place your order (and pay in cash on the day before 4pm) for a Fish & Chip supper which we’ll bring to you by pedal power to eat at tables here on the quay.  If it’s raining for either of these, we have new indoor plans for 2024.

There are many enticing cafes to eat at and find refreshments during the day.


The River Deben outside the Art Safari Studio, The Harbourmaster’s Office, Ferry Quay, Woodbridge, Suffolk 1P12 1BW

There is no parking available at the Art Safari Studio.  There is however a pay and display car park at the Woodbridge Railway Station.  It is a very short walk away!



There are many exciting choices including demos, workshops, warm up sessions and guided sketching walks!!!!

Most of the events take place outdoors but we will have more indoor spaces too.

It’s three days of artistic activity with time to meet other artists, drink coffee on the quay, eat and draw in your own time.


Woodbridge is a picturesque Market Town on the Deben Estuary.  Find out more about the town on the Visit Woodbridge website.  Ipswich is not terribly far away and has larger hotels.

Here is a small selection of places to stay which Art Safari guests have enjoyed around Woodbridge:

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