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British escapes with a creative twist: unearth your artistic talent on a UK break


Creative weekends have never been so popular. Book one of these British escapes to make neon art, design 3D jewellery or – just in time for Christmas – blow your own baubles

Make neon art in Brighton

Make Inside the broad arches of Brighton Beach, Andy Doig works with street-art galleries and leads regular neon art workshops. Beginners are welcome, with classes limited to two people, and each student leaves with a handmade piece of neon art. £995, including equipment and materials, neonschool.co.uk

Stay Book in to Artist Residence (pictured above), an eclectic 23-room townhouse located 10 minutes along the seafront. Its most artistic rooms have vibrant murals and Neon School guests receive a free drink in The Cocktail Shack. Keep an eye out for one of Andy’s works above the bar. Doubles from £155, artistresidencebrighton.co.uk

Eat Spend your Saturday night at Silo, the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant, which produces its own butter, beer, almond milk and mushrooms. Choose from herbivore and omnivore four-course menus. silobrighton.com

Plus Check out contemporary arts centre Fabrica before taking in magnificent views of the south coast from the 138m-high British Airways i360 observation tower. fabrica.org.uk; i360 tickets from £13.50, britishairwaysi360.com

A room at Byfords B&B in Norfolk

A room at Byfords B&B in Norfolk

Blow baubles in North Norfolk

Make Spice up your Christmas decorations by enrolling on a Festive Bauble course in the Norfolk village of Burnham Norton. Available every day until 4 January (excluding 25 Dec and 1 Jan), Salt Glass Studios offers 20-minute sessions to teach first-timers to blow and blend molten glass into colourful spheres. Your cooled-off bauble can then be posted to you. £20, saltglassstudios.co.uk

Stay Over in Holt, 15 miles away, Byfords is a Grade II-listed cafe and upscale B&B. Its rooms are all beams and polished oak floors with huge beds, flat-screen TVs and soft throws. Doubles from £155, byfords.org.uk

Glass baubles

Eat With its conservatory restaurant and incredible marshland views, the White Horse Inn in nearby Brancaster serves delectable local dishes such as tempura oysters with partridge black-pudding crumble. whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk

Plus On Saturdays, stock up on local produce at Burnham Market’s Humble Pie deli (humble-pie.com), then head to Holkham Beach – one of the country’s most wondrous and wildest stretches of sand. holkham.co.uk

Dorset Square Hotel

Print 3D jewellery in London

Make Get on board with the 3D revolution by printing your own intricate jewellery. In the leafy northwest London suburb of Pinner, tutor Paul Summers runs workshops showing how to digitally design accessories, then render them printable in plastic, steel, silver or gold. From £95 excluding printing, fluiddesigner.co.uk

Stay About 25 minutes away by Tube, lining a garden square, the Dorset Square Hotel’s Regency interiors have been lent some modern English pizzazz by designer-owner Kit Kemp. Afternoon teas are available all day in The Potting Shed restaurant or retire to the fire-heated drawing room. Doubles from £294, firmdalehotels.com

Eat Jikoni, Ravinder Bhogal’s first solo venture, has just opened in Marylebone, close to Dorset Square. Its uncomplicated plates fuse Middle Eastern, Asian and British fare. Signature dishes include quail scotch eggs and spiced-up fish pies. jikonilondon.com

Plus Head to the Lisson Gallery, a large space with Anish Kapoor sculptures and an Ai Weiwei exhibition. lissongallery.com


Learn to litho in Edinburgh

Make Lithography is an ancient print method in which images are impressed on stone or metal. Edinburgh Printmakers’ two-day masterclass focuses on the latter, demonstrating how to transfer photos or hand-drawn works onto aluminium plates. From £160, edinburghprintmakers.co.uk

Stay A pleasant 30-minute stroll across town, the five-star G&V Royal Mile Hotel is home to the Rooftop Rest Suite, styled by Scottish painter Christine Clark. The 16th-century eaves comes with printed armchairs, Clark’s own canvases and a beckoning chaise longue. Rooms from £209; Rooftop Rest Suite from £662, quorvuscollection.com

Eat There are no menus at Aizle, at the foot of Arthur’s Seat (the highest peak in Edinburgh). Instead, the restaurant has a long list of seasonal ingredients, which owner Stuart Ralston wizards into dishes. aizle.co.uk

Plus Enjoy poetry readings, film screenings and a craft brewery inside Summerhall, Edinburgh’s cool multi-arts space, where experimental works are found everywhere. summerhall.co.uk

Words: Richard Mellor



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