Retrace the artists’ footsteps on the Norfolk Trails

Hickling Broad, Potter Heigham Circular Walk

Hickling Broad, Potter Heigham Circular Walk

In this post, the Norfolk Trails Team talk about the walks leaflet they’ve created to help visitors to the exhibition explore the sites painted by the artists.

The landscapes and wildlife of the Broads have always been an inspiration to artists. It is also a great area to go to for a walk. The Weavers’ Way, Wherryman’s Way and Angles Way all go through the Broads and give walkers a chance to retrace the footsteps of the artists who have immortalised the area on canvas.

When Alison Fisher, the Exhibitions Coordinator for Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth, got in touch to ask the County Council’s Norfolk Trails team if we would like to do something to contribute to their ‘Water Ways’ exhibition, we  were keen to be involved. She came along to a Team Meeting to discuss what was being planned and we came up with the idea of producing a walks leaflet for the exhibition. The idea was to feature walks which would take the visitor to the places that the artists would have set up their easels when they painted some of the masterpieces in the exhibition. Having seen the paintings at ‘Time and Tide’, the visitor could go out into the countryside and find out what the same landscape looks like today.

After poring over the images of the pictures to be included in the exhibition that Alison sent to us, we identified two of our walks to be included in the leaflet. One was a circular walk off the Weaver’s Way at Potter Heigham, with a view of the bridge that had been painted by Charles Harmony Harrison in 1876.

Potter Heigham Bridge

Potter Heigham Bridge

The other was a lovely walk on the Wherryman’s Way alongside Breydon Water, which involved getting the train out to Berney Arms Station and walking back to Great Yarmouth. In doing so, the walker would get a chance to see how little the views have changed since Fredrick Sandys painted this landscape in 1871. The leaflet also includes Edward Seago’s picture of the Swing Bridge over Breydon, allowing the walker to compare Seago’s image with the modern bridge.

Breydon Water, Wherrymans Way

Breydon Water, Wherrymans Way

Having written the leaflet and produced a rough layout, we handed it over to the Museum Service’s graphic designer, who produced a sleek-looking design. The printing of the leaflets was paid for as part of an European Union-funded project to boost local businesses by encouraging more visitors to get out into the Norfolk countryside.

You can pick up a leaflet of the trails at the Time and Tide museum.

We have really enjoyed working with the Museum Service on the ‘Water Ways’ walks leaflet. Hopefully, it has added something a bit different to the ‘Time and Tide’ exhibition by giving visitors a chance to experience the landscape that provided the inspiration for the artworks. We also hope that it will encourage more people to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Norfolk Trails network to explore the Broads.

We are already planning our next collaboration with ‘Time and Tide’ on a walks leaflet linked to one of their exhibitions – watch this space!

Walking with Water Ways


Breydon Water


As part of the Water Ways events programme, we’ve teamed up with our local Adult Education team to offer a programme of free art workshops.  For the first one, the learners met tutor Graham Rider and exhibitions coordinator Alison Fisher at Breydon Water.

Exploring Breydon

Exploring Breydon

Looking at Paintings of Breydon

Looking at Paintings of Breydon













The weather held off just long enough for the day to start with a walk, to get direct inspiration from the landscape and to learn about some of the artists who have depicted the area in their paintings.  We then headed back to the museum where Ali gave a guided tour of the exhibition.

Exploring the Water Ways Exhibition

Exploring the Water Ways Exhibition








The learners were taught about watercolour techniques from Graham before creating their own landscape paintings, inspired by Breydon and the exhibition.

Learners with their paintings

The learners show off their art work at the end of the day.


A Brush with the Broads

The Broads have long been a source of inspiration to artists, and this tradition continued when artists recently converged on the Broads for the UK’s first festival of Plein Air painting.  Linda Matthews, who runs the Broad Skies Gallery at Ludham Bridge and organised the festival, tells us what happened.

vickinormanboathouseprize14ad Vicki Norman

A Brush with the Broads started when Linda was looking for a convenient Plein Air (Outdoor) Painting Festival to take part in, and finished with her organising a festival that she couldn’t take part in!

Internationally recognised plein air artists, many of whom had never visited Norfolk before spent a weekend earlier this month painting around the Broads area.

Thirty five artists took part and painted out in the landscape during Friday and Saturday and 17 took part in a timed 2 hour Quick Draw in the centre of Norwich on Sunday afternoon.  The event was open to professional and amateur Plein Air Artists, with no selection process.

haideejo3rdabwtb2014 Haidee-Jo Summers

The event culminated in a one night exhibition at the Boathouse at Ormesby Broad, and only paintings produced over the weekend were exhibited.

Bath based, Belgian artist Valerie Pirot won the Brush with the Broads prize for her painting “Boats on Hickling Broad, Late Evening”.

ValPirotABWTB1st2014 Valerie Pirot


Beautiful Breydon

Tricia Hall tells us about the second in the series of photography walks by local students.


Lapwings were on the move, egrets poking around and cows lolloping in the October sunshine.  We had such a beautiful day for our second Broads walk with young photographers from East Norfolk Sixth Form, this time at Breydon Water.



They took along their 35mm film cameras and shot several rolls of film which they’ll develop for the Water Ways exhibition. We all had lovely ruddy cheeks by the time we got back to Time & Tide and the group chatted with exhibition coordinator Ali Fisher about the Water Ways artists and how they might display their work.

With Ali

Su Chisnell – artist

Su Chisnell Water Ways

Sailing and painting are life-long passions for former world-class sailor Su Chisnell.  Some of her paintings of yachts sailing on the Norfolk Broads will feature in the Water Ways exhibition.

“What interests me is the water, the bow wave, the light and how the boat sits in the water”

Her work features exciting oils of high profile and beautiful racing yachts in the Norfolk Broads.  Su’s own family yacht can be spotted among them.  Her fascination lies, not only with the tradition of the yachts themselves, but with the movement and texture of the water and the ever-changing skies around them.

Much of her work is taken from concept sketches and photographs, an idea which began when someone sent her a photograph of their yacht sailing in the Yare Navigation Race.

During Su’s sailing career she has raced craft from small dinghies to sea going yachts in highly competitive situations. Perhaps Su’s proudest moment was selection for the RYA National Youth Squad and then qualification to represent Britain at the ISAF Women’s Worlds, in Acapulco, the precursor to future women’s sailing events at the Olympics. Su was the youngest woman to have competed for Britain and went on to represent Great Britain many times in both Class and subsequent Women’s World Championships.

Su also works as a landscape architect and was the first landscape architect to the Broads Authority.  In addition to her art Su runs a thriving landscape design business in Norfolk,  “I love the endless artistic possibilities and challenges that East Anglia provides.’

A Wonderful Creative Photography Walk!

In our first post, Tricia Hall, Time and Tide’s Youth Engagement Officer, introduces a photography project which local students are working on.

GYHS group

Year 11 Photography students from Great Yarmouth High School have started to think about their contribution to the forthcoming Water Ways exhibition.

We enjoyed a wonderful creative photography walk to Burgh Castle.  Armed with digital SLR cameras, we set out to explore every detail of this unique environment, from it’s dramatic history as a roman fort to the serenity of the reed marshes and Breydon Water.  Dragon flies and butterflies flickered all around and the heat wave predicted in severe weather warnings even held off until later in the day.  Hundreds of photos were taken ready for editing in school next term and bits and pieces were squirreled away in plastic bags to be used later in drawing, printmaking and casting workshops.

One pupil said “I never knew this area was here, it was very peaceful which I liked.”


Welcome to Water Ways

Welcome to Time and Tide’s new blog for our forthcoming exhibition Water Ways: Art and Nature on the Broads.  Over the coming months we’ll be adding information about the exhibition and related events programme, so please do follow us to keep an eye on what’s been happening.