Textile Study Tour:

Norway and England

June 12-25, 2021

Bergan, Norway
hands knitting

This tour was canceled. We look forward to touring with you to Norway again!

Vesterheim’s tenth Textile Study Tour focuses on the textiles and traditions of the North Atlantic. Learn about weaving, knitting, spinning, embroidery, folk costumes, fashion, and contemporary design, while traveling through Yorkshire in England and Trøndelag county in Norway. The tour will include the cities of London, York, Trondheim, and Bergen. You will meet artists, historians, and curators, while visiting studios, factories, museums, and historic sites. Try your hand at textile techniques and enjoy the company of other textile enthusiasts.

Note: We are proceeding with the plan to travel in June 2021, but it is possible that we cannot safely go or cannot go without disruptive requirements such as two weeks of quarantine. Please know that your safety is our top priority. All tour deposit holders will be notified of any travel changes by February 28, 2021.

Day 1 – Saturday, June 12: Minneapolis-London

Depart Minneapolis/St. Paul for an evening flight to London via Reykjavik, Iceland.

Day 2 – Sunday, June 13 London (D)

Arrive in England at London’s Heathrow Airport in the early afternoon. Transfer to the hotel. Take an optional orientation walk with stops at the Marble Arch, beautiful Hyde Park, and the historic Selfridges department store. Welcome Dinner. Two nights at Radisson Edwardian Sussex, London.

Activity level after arrival: Optional walking 1 mile.

Day 3 – Monday, June 14 London (B)

Victoria & Albert Museum is the largest decorative arts museum in the world! The impressive collections include items from Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa in fiber, metal, ceramic, paper, glass, and stone. Our guided tour will focus on the history of fashion.

In the afternoon, enjoy free time or walk to Hand & Lock. Since 1767, this business has created custom embroidery for the military, Royal Family, and finest fashion houses. We will tour the atelier and learn more about their specialty, goldwork. Lunch and dinner are on your own.

Activity level: Walking and standing at museum, plus free time. Hand & Lock tour adds 2 miles plus standing and stairs.

Day 4 – Tuesday, June 15 London-York (B,D)

We head north into Yorkshire. Founded by the Romans, this was the Viking Kingdom of Jorvik from 875 to 954. York Minster is England’s largest medieval cathedral and the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. In addition to spectacular architecture, there are stunning textiles, from a seventeenth-century Norwegian tapestry to paraments and vestments made today by the York Minster Broderers. Two nights at Best Western Dean Court Hotel, a renovated nineteenth-century clergy house.

Activity level: Bus riding 4-1/2 hours, standing and walking at cathedral.

Day 5 – Wednesday, June 16 York (B)

Angharad Thomas is a designer and teacher who is obsessed with knitted gloves! Learn about two-color Scottish Sanquhar knitting, which was popular throughout the North Atlantic region. The Knitting and Crochet Guild is a national educational organization dedicated to hand knitting, domestic machine knitting, and crochet in the UK. Guild members will put on a fun trunk show of pieces from their collection of more than 2,000 garments, household items, tools, and gadgets.

The afternoon is free for you to explore York on your own. Perhaps you will want to shop and eat along the street known as the Shambles, walk the medieval city walls, visit the railway museum, or experience Jorvik Viking Center. All are a short distance from the hotel.

Activity level: Sitting plus free time.

Day 6 – Thursday, June 17 Manchester-Trondheim (B)

We will travel to Manchester and fly to Trondheim, Norway, via Oslo. Four nights in Trondheim at Britannia Hotel.

Activity level: Bus riding 2-1/2 hours, walking and standing in airports.

Day 7 – Friday, June 18 Trondheim (B)

Lise Skjåk Bræk has had her own studio in Trondheim since 1972 where she designs haute couture collections and garments for commercial production. She also creates festdrakt, vibrantly festive outfits that fall somewhere between bunad and ball gown.

Lunch and dinner on your own. Free afternoon or visit to the spectacular Nidaros Cathedral. In addition to a guided tour, cathedral archaeologist Øystein Ekroll will explain some of the restoration work that is being done to care for the 950-year-old building.

Activity level: Walking 1 mile, stairs, and standing. Cathedral tour adds 1/2 mile.

Day 8 – Saturday, June 19 Verdal-Steinkjer-Trondheim (B,L)

King Olaf Haraldsson was killed in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. Stiklestad National Cultural Center was established to preserve the story of the man who become Norway’s patron saint. The center interprets Viking-era history, as well as nineteenth-century local culture.

Berit Bjerkem received commendation from the king for her work on the bunad for Nord-Trøndelag. We will learn about the bunader, which are reconstructions of styles worn in this area in the 1750s to 1830s.

Activity level: Bus riding 4 hours, walking 1 mile or more over some uneven surfaces, standing.

Day 9 – Sunday, June 20 Selbu-Trondheim (B,L)

Anne Bårdsgård collected, registered, and graphed traditional local knitting patterns for her book, Selbu Mittens. Meet Anne and immerse yourself in two-color knitting at Selbu Bygdemuseum.

Instead of the trip to Selbu, walk along the Pilgrim’s Way, a network of paths that Christian pilgrims used from their homes throughout Norway to Nidaros Cathedral and the shrine of St. Olaf. The leg from Rotvoll to the cathedral is 5 miles and will take approximately two hours.

Activity Level: Bus riding 2 hours, stairs and standing at museum.

Day 10 – Monday, June 21 Trondheim-Sandane (B,L,D)

The route to Nordfjord takes us over mountains and through valleys. There will be a stop for lunch in Dombås before arriving at our hotel, located on the Gloppen Fjord. Today is Sankthansaften or Midsummer’s Eve. It is commonly celebrated with the lighting of bonfires in large cities and small towns. One night in Sandane at Gloppen Hotell.

Activity level: Bus riding 7 hours.

Day 11 – Tuesday, June 22 Sandane-Vassenden-Bergen (B)

Nordfjord Folkemuseum is filled with textiles from both coastal and inland communities. We’ll enjoy a tour and a look at their textile collection. Next, we will visit Astruptunet, the home of artist Nikolai Astrup (who had a special connection to Decorah). Best known as a painter, Astrup also designed textiles with motifs from the area.

After we arrive in Bergen, stretch your legs on an optional orientation walk, which includes a stop at Husfliden. The store carries supplies for all kinds of fiber projects, including sewing bunader for Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane districts. Three nights in Bergen at Clarion Hotel Admiral.

Activity level: Bus riding 4 hours, walking inside and outside at museums, stairs on ferry.

Day 12 – Wednesday, June 23 Salhus-Bergen (B)

Explore Bergen on your own or come on a textile-filled afternoon excursion to the Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum. Housed in a mill from 1859, the museum shows the processes of commercial spinning and knitting from sheep to sock. To complement the historical information, there is a changing exhibition of contemporary fiber art.

Activity level: On excursion: bus riding 1 hour, stairs and standing at museum.

Day 13 – Thursday, June 24 Bergen (B,D)

Today’s textile excursion is to Bergen Museum, which has one of the largest cultural and natural history collections in Norway. Åse Eriksen will talk about her work to weave a replica of one of the museum’s artifacts, a medieval chasuble woven with silk and gold yarns in samitum, a weft-patterned twill. Lunch and afternoon on your own. The farewell dinner, prepared by chefs of Spisekroken restaurant, will feature fresh local products with a contemporary twist.

Activity level: Walking 1/2 mile on cobblestones, plus free time. On excursion: walking 2 miles, standing and stairs.

Day 14 – Friday, June 25 Bergen-Minneapolis (B)

There is a morning airport transfer for those flying with the group to Minneapolis via Reykjavik. The flight arrives in Minneapolis in the evening.

The tour operator reserves the right to make changes necessary in order to give travelers the best experience possible.

Per person, double occupancy $7,195
Single Supplement $1,350
Land Only* $6,150
*If you choose to go “Land Only” you will make your own air arrangements to London and from Bergen. The flight from Manchester to Bergen on Day 6 is included for all participants.

Price Includes:
– Round-trip coach airfare from Minneapolis/St. Paul
– Airport taxes and fees (as of 10-16-2020)
– Airport/hotel transfers for group flights
– Hotel accommodations for 12 nights
– 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
– Ground transportation in a comfortable motor coach
– Gratuity to bus drivers
– Entrance and guiding as described in the itinerary
– Use of a personal listening device
– Packet of readings
– Vesterheim journal and luggage tags

Price Does Not Include:
– Travel costs to connect with Minneapolis/St. Paul
– Airport/hotel transfers if traveling “Land Only”
– 8 lunches and 8 dinners
– Travel and entrance fees for time “on your own”
– Alcoholic beverages and a la carte meal items
ordered during pre-planned meals
– Travel and medical insurance, passport fees, baggage charges
– Expenses due to flight delays, strikes, bad weather, or other irregularities

Please Note: The tour will involve standing, walking (including cobblestones and uneven terrain), stairs, and two bus rides that are longer than 4 hours. There may not be elevators at all sites. You will handle your own luggage at airports, and at hotels.

The itinerary includes walking for sightseeing, to enhance the cultural experience, and to keep tour prices down. If you cannot walk or prefer not to walk, you will pay for your own taxi or skip an activity, depending on the schedule.

For More Information

Tour Guide and Leader

GUIDE: Ingebjørg Monsen

Ingebjørg Monsen has provided textile instruction, interesting information, and lots of fun on each of Vesterheim’s Textile Study Tours.

LEADER: Laurann Gilbertson

Laurann Gilbertson has been Textile Curator at Vesterheim for 19 years and is now Chief Curator. She has planned and led seven Textile Study Tours, beginning in 2003.