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.

  • Lettering Arts Trust.

    A workshop space for guest letter carvers including Louise Tiplady, Ayako Furuno , Jaki Blackman.


  • Eilidh Allan.

    Handmade silver jewellery. New collections inspired by trees, fruits & seeds. Work for sale and commissions / bespoke jewellery made to order.


  • Glass Studio.

    Sea glass jewellery by Buzz Mitchell – for sale and made to commission. Paintings and other creations made by Isabelle Sarginson Allen.


  • Tobias Ford.

    Knife making forge. Hand forged / handmade kitchen knives available for sale and made to order.


  • Tuesday Knitting Group in the Tea Rooms
    10am – 12 pm : 30th Apr ; 7th, 14th, 23rd May.


  • New for 2019:

    Alexander Herbe-George & Slightly Nomadic. Glamping wagons, living pods, micro-shelters made to order.


  • Aspen Press.

    Letterpress. Demonstrations. Commissioned work also undertaken.

  • Foraging Centre with Foraging Walks led by Forager and Permaculture Gardener in Residence Sam Starke.    

  • Stephanie Bunn.

    Basketry research studio working with local plant materials and exploring the relationship between geometry and basketry.


  • Nienke Jongsma / Vandertas.

    Handmade foraging bags, floral shopper bags for sale; handmade leather shoulder bags, satchels, work bags, purses and wallets.


  • Jon Warnes.

    Jon Warnes.  Wood turning, handmade spoons, stools, benches and bowls for sale.



    New Iris Paintings by Jelly Green including Cedric Morris / Benton End varieties.

  • Pop Up Tea Rooms open in the Farmhouse Dining Rooms with cakes and pastries from The Great Glemham Bann.

  • Farm Suppers.

    Thursday evenings with Suffolk Chef Peter Harrison and Guests of Honour from the Writing at Great Glemham residency programme.


  • New Allotment Paintings by Tessa Newcomb and Winter Garden paintings in egg tempera by Ruth Stage.

  • Farm Nature Walks open.

    Families welcome.

    Great pubs nearby in Sweffling, Rendham, Great Glemham, Snape and Framlingham.


    New works by Becky Munting and Emma Green in the farmhouse Dining Rooms.


  • New works by Alice Andrea Ewing from The Great Glemham Series and the Pomarius Residency.


Works for Sale

We have some wonderful works by artists that exhibit at the festival currently for sale. Details >
The Festival Shop

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.
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