Textile Study Tour:

Norway and England

May 2023

This tour is currently full – we are accepting deposits for the waitlist.

Bergan, Norway
hands knitting

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 through Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, and Vestland Counties 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.

 Day 1 – Monday, May 8: London (D)

In the late afternoon, take an optional orientation walk with stops at the Marble Arch, beautiful Hyde Park, and the historic Selfridges department store. The tour officially begins with a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. Two nights at Radisson Edwardian Sussex, London. 

Activity level: Optional walking 1 mile 

Day 2 – Tuesday, May 9: 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 two miles plus standing and stairs. 

Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10: 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 5 hours, standing and walking at cathedral. 

Day 4 – Thursday, May 11: 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. 

Your afternoon is free to explore York. Shop and eat along the historic 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 5 – Friday, May 12: Manchester-Trondheim (B, D)

Early morning departure. We will travel to Manchester and fly to Trondheim, Norway, via Oslo. Dinner at the hotel. Three nights in Trondheim at Britannia Hotel. The hotel was built in 1870 and has been recently renovated. Enjoy the art in the hallways and public rooms. Many of the works are on loan from Trondheim Art Museum. 

Activity level: Bus riding 2-1/2 hours, walking and standing in airports. Flight time 3 hours. 

Day 6 -Saturday, May 13: Trondheim-Henning-Trondheim (B)

Berit Bjerkem received commendation from the king for her work with bunader or national costumes. We will learn about the bunader for Nord-Trøndelag, which are reconstructions of styles worn in this area in the 1750s to 1830s. You’ll appreciate the careful hand sewing and the rich combination of fabrics. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free. 

Activity level: Bus riding 4 hours. 

Day 7 – Sunday, May 14: Trondheim-Selbu-Trondheim (B)

Anne Bårdsgård collected, registered, and graphed traditional local knitting patterns for her book, Selbu Mittens (Trafalgar Square, 2019). Selbu is considered the “birthplace” of two-color knitting. We will meet Anne and visit Selbu Bygdemuseum, where one whole floor is dedicated to knitting and textiles. 

Activity level: Bus riding 3 hours, stairs, and standing. 

Day 8 – Monday, May 15: 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 beautiful Gloppen Fjord. One night in Sandane at Gloppen Hotell. 

Activity level: Bus riding 7 hours. 3 

Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16: Sandane-Vassenden-Bergen (B, L) 

Nordfjord Folkemuseum is filled with textiles from both coastal and inland communities. We’ll enjoy a tour and a look at their colorful textile collection. And try your hand at an embroidery technique used to decorate suspenders or bukseseler. 

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 at Clarion Hotel Admiral. 

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

Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17: Bergen (B, D)

Catch the spirit of Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day. Norwegians of all ages will be wearing their bunader. You will see costumes from the area around Bergen and all over Norway. In the morning, watch the children’s parade and community parade. A festive 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. 

Day 11 – Thursday, May 18: Bergen (B)

Today’s textile excursion is to Bergen Museum, which has one of the largest cultural and natural history collections in Norway. First, 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 dinner are on your own. 

Activity level: On excursion: walking 2 miles, standing and stairs, plus free time. 

Day 12 – Friday, May 19: Bergen-Minneapolis (B)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you travel home or explore Norway independently. There is a morning airport transfer available. 

Per person, double occupancy $6,295
Single Supplement $1,125
*You will make your own air arrangements to London and from Bergen. The flight from Manchester to Bergen on Day 5 is included. 

Price Includes:-
– Manchester-Oslo-Trondheim flight
– Bergen hotel-to-airport transfer
– Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
– 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 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 London and from Bergen
– London airport-to-hotel transfer
– 8 lunches and 6 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 

See Terms & Conditions for more information 

Please Note: 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 contact:
Rolf Svanoe
563-382-9681 ext: 240

Tour Guide and Leader

GUIDE: Ingebjørg Monsen

Ingebjørg Monsen teaches classes in weaving and sewing, and specializes in constructing men’s bunader (national costumes). She offers textile instruction, interesting information, and lots of fun on Vesterheim 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 eight Textile Study Tours, beginning in 2003.