History of the Festival

The Alde Valley Spring Festival first came into existence in 2009, having grown out of the annual Easter Retreat art exhibitions. These started in 2003 in a small cottage next to the church in the village of Great Glemham. The Festival welcomes small numbers of regional, British and international artists for both informal and formal residencies. It also celebrates the remarkable food scene of the beautiful Alde Valley in East Suffolk – one of the few river valley systems in England that is still superstore-free from source to sea.

The Festival Programme brings together a major art exhibition with walks, talks, gatherings and other arts, food and community-based projects. It is twinned with its sister Festival Pesta Nukenen in the Kelabit Highlands of Central Borneo and supports community work in the UK and abroad.

The Alde Valley Spring Festival 2015 explores a sense of place through a theme of "dropping down"  - of being present in the landscape and watching it, observing it; and translating this presence into drawings, paintings, music and the written word.

A small residency programmewas  started in early 2014 and this now welcomes artists and writers to the farm from the UK and abroad. Residency links are being developed with the Cill Rialaig project in Ballinskelligs, Eire. In September 2014 The Alde Valley Spring Festival launched a Flipside Writing Residency at White House Farm in association with Flipside Festival. This has been followed by a new High Tide Writing Residency linked to the annual High Tide Festival.

The Alde Valley Spring Festival operates as a small limited company. It was founded on the principle that the arts are a key component in a thriving economy; and that the interlinkage of local foods, farming and the arts provides a sound foundation for a truly vibrant green economy - most notably when combined with community-based ICTs and renewable energy technologies. The Festival works with a developmental model that is intended to be both scaleable and transferable, able to replicate in multiple locations.


  • Spring Festival 2016

    This year’s Spring Festival launches on 23rd April for 4 weeks with a rich programme of Farm Suppers, Festival Talks, Open Studios and Meet the Artists sessions....

  • A talk by Maggi Hambling :

    6pm for 6.30pm start. Saturday 7th May in the barns at the farm. Email the Festival for ticket sales.

  • Thank you to our sponsors

    Aspall Cyder and Suffolk Coast for supporting this year’s Alde Valley Spring Festival !

  • New for 2016 :

    A sound installation of a nightingale singing by Emma Green; “The Carrier” by Laurence Edwards; “Rite of Spring” by Maggi Hambling and over 200 curated works on show in the barns....

  • New for 2015/16:

    A poetry residency link between the Spring Festival and Cill Rialaig in Kerry, Eire.

  • The Big Spring Picnic takes place on Saturday 14th May.

    BYO picnic sourced from local shops in Framlingham, Saxmundham, Leiston, Snape, Aldeburgh & Orford ! Booking essential – limited places....

  • Pop Up “Hedgerow Tea Rooms”

    Open at Weekends serving cakes and pastries supplied especially for the Festival by chef Peter Harrison.


  • Try out local pubs :

    The Crown Inn, Great Glemham; White Horse, Sweffling; White Horse, Rendham; The Crown and Golden Key at Snape; The Ship Inn, Blaxhall are all within 4 miles.


  • Come and visit the farm on foot or by bike:

    Free parking for cars – share journeys if you can. Children and families welcome – no dogs please.


  • New for 2016 :

    “Meet the Artists” informal guided talks on Sunday afternoons during the Festival from 3-4.30pm.

  • New for 2016 :

    ‘Writing at Great Glemham” – a series of Writing Residencies linked to Farm Suppers and Festival Talks.

  • Don’t forget local market days :

    Mondays at Campsea Ashe auction rooms [with tea room]; Tuesdays at Framlingham; Wednesdays in Saxmundham – and Snape Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month.


Works for Sale

We have some wonderful works by artists that exhibit at the festival currently for sale. Details >
Artisan Products

Stocking a range of unusual cards, books, walking sticks and other handmade items made on the farm & by local artisans. Details >
The Suffolk Chair Collection

The Collection of original early – mid nineteenth century Ball Backs has been set up as a design reference collection. Details >

Icon Painting in the Alde Valley

For more information....
Details >
Food Adventures

We have listed some of the Alde Valleys outstanding food businesses.
Places to Stay

The Alde Valley and East Suffolk are full of good homestays, holiday cottages, B&Bs and hotels.
email us - click here >

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