James Turrell in Norfolk

I’ve made a little pact with myself to explore more of the UK.

Find more of what there is to do and see on our little island.

James Turrell happens to be one of my favourite artists, so when I heard he had an instillation up in Norfolk, it felt like the perfect excuse for a weekend adventure.

We hopped into the car after breakfast and made it up there around lunchtime.

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We decided to “check in” to our new home before moseying on over to the show.

Sennowe Park is a private house, but the owners love a good shindig!

They host weddings, parties and stately weekends for groups of people who want the full Downton experience.

Occasionally they also allow one off guests to come and stay too. Making it the grandest B’n’B I’ve ever come across!

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My chap and I arrived and were greeted like old friends. We all chatted away excitedly and Virginia, our hostess, showed us inside.

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We climbed up through the house and into our bedroom.

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^ Sorry Dad, we don’t sleep in twin beds, this was our dressing room, leading into the bedroom.

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A printed dreamscape!

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We abandoned our bags and sat with a cup of tea in the kitchen, as our hosts piled us up with local tips, the history of the house, our families, etc.

I could happily have chattered all day, but we had places to be!

It was time to climb back into our rocket ship of a car.

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A BMW i8 very kindly sent over for us to play with and put through its paces.

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It’s the first sports car with the same emissions as a little compact hybrid (so no roadtax, no congestion charge, free parking) with no compromise on the driving experience.

It’s nippy, smooth, utterly silent when in electric mode, with a spine tingling roar when it’s not!

To switch between the two you just nudge the gear stick, or give the accelerator a bit of welly and it fires into action.

No delay whatsoever, it really does feel like a private spaceship.

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Far more comfortable than any sports car I’ve ever been in.

And handy if you get into a tight spot!

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We zipped along the country lanes, over to Houghton Hall.

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Sinking into The Walled Garden to stretch our legs and unwind.

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Created by Lord Cholmondeley in tribute to his grandmother, Lady Sybil Cholmondeley, the award winning garden is about 5 acres and bursts with scented roses, herbs and blossom.

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The ultimate English country garden.

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Blue dress // Blue bag

Gold sandals // Black sunnies

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We had expected the place to be absolutely packed.

Visiting an attraction on an August weekend, during school holidays didn’t seem the best idea. But we couldn’t get away on Friday, so we’d just have to brave the crowds.

…or so we thought.

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In fact, the estate was so quiet it almost felt as though it was all ours!

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We danced, skipped and played hide & seek throughout the grounds, completely undisturbed.

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Deep into the woods, you’ll find Skyspace.

Something I’ve wanted to visit since I wrote this post.

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An imposing wooden box, hidden amongst the trees, and sealed with a heavy door.

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As you walk in, the sounds of the British countryside fade away and your eyes are drawn up to the heavens.

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A white room, with nothing but a hole in the roof.

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A place for contemplation.

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Turrell designs these Skyspaces as somewhere for groups to come together and experience an almost religious experience.

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You lie on your back and gaze up at the sky, all focussed into one, neat square.

No distractions.

It feels at though the sky has become a piece of ever-changing art. One that you see constantly but have never fully appreciated before.

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Every alteration in the light, every cloud that sails by, every bird that flutters over head becomes part of the artwork.

A tremendous place to gain clarity and perspective.

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You find more of his work littered across the estate.

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Forget the map and enjoy discovering them all!

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Get lost by yourselves and enjoy the art not conceived by Turrell.

Like the way the light streams through the tree canopy above, and changes with the breeze.

Turrell’s work is all about gaining an appreciation for light and space. He wants you to see the world differently once you’ve left him.

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Inside the house you’ll find his work with artificial lights and holograms.

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By the time we emerged, night had pulled in around us.

We took up our places on the lawn (with generously piled plates of hog-roast and some cold white wine) to watch the final installation.

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The entire façade of Houghton bathed in changing, coloured lights.

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Starting very subtly and really intensifying as the sky turns to an inky blue.

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I sat in my man’s arms, both wrapped in picnic blankets and full of a picnic supper.

A crowd had emerged from the trees by this time. Families, couples and groups all littered the lawn, snuggled up with one another.

Children played and raced around together in the cool summer evening.

Eventually, we packed up our hamper and headed home to Sennowe.

Where there was a hand penned note waiting for us, suggesting a drink in the library.

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We lit a crackling fire, sank into two pillowy armchairs and talked late into the night, as Custard snoozed on the floor.

Before climbing the stairs and sinking into our four poster bed.

An unbelievably romantic adventure, and no passports required!

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  • With all the exotic places that you visit, it’s lovely to see you explore the English countryside 🙂 I’m glad the D & G dress came out again, it’s my favourite of yours.

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

  • Seeing your photos I’ll agree that Sennowe park really provides you with an exceptional British experience! Houghton hall gardens are so beautiful…I love a good rose garden! I don’t know if I’ve seen Turell’s art before (or maybe I have but don’t recall) but I see he has an affinity with light and shapes! Looks like a very nice weekend away from London (p.s. I believe your dress matches the BMW too!!)

  • Lucie Evans

    Your pictures are so beautiful as always. My Grandmother used to live in Norfolk and i so wish that i had discovered the beauties of the area whilst i was there!

    Lucie

    luevaa.blogspot.com

  • Antonia Hawken

    Absolutely gorgeous post, Rosie. How lucky were you to get the entire estate to yourselves? BUT, seriously bummed out about the lack of food featured. Please tell me the breakfast was as good as I’ve imagined it to be?! x

  • Chloe

    So beautiful! I decided to ‘staycation’ this holiday and get away across the UK a few times, I haven’t been to Norfolk yet so must add it to my list!

  • Hooray I’m so happy that you visited Norfolk, being a Cambridgeshire girl myself! We have so many beautiful places like this. One of my faves is going to the open air cinema at Burghley House! xx
    http://www.lovedbylaura.com

  • Norfolk is one of my favourite places, it’s beautiful! The country house you stayed at is amazing, the library looked so cosy. As a BMW driver, the car looks fab! They are always a great drive!
    You’re in my favourite summer dress too! Glad you had a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Jeannie C

    Such a charming place! It’s like an English fairytale

    http://www.whimsicalzoo.blogspot.com

  • Skyspace is such an amazing instillation, I’m a sucker for light and blue so to watch the world go by and appreciate it for the beauty it is natural is amazing!

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • The slow pace

    What a wonderful weekend! And absolutely Bbritish experience!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  • There really is so much to do and see without leaving your own country! I love it! 🙂

  • What a great contrast between the noble estate and the contemporary art it showcases! I don’t think I would ever want to leave that bedroom, it looks like an experience in itself!

    Silly Medley: Lifestyle and Travel

  • Did you take a trip inside a Downton Abbey episode?! Looks perfectly lovely.

    xx

    bombshell-to-be.blogspot.com

  • I think I’ve just read the most British post you have ever posted! Beautiful house.

    Katie x

    http://www.katiejaneonline.com

  • Looks amazing!!
    Really need to go here.

    Leonie ♥ IkonikBeauty

  • What a perfect weekend adventure with so much beauty in every corner! I love Turell’s work as well and would love to experience it in person 🙂

    http://www.smilesnapsparkle.com

  • You have some life!! Such gorgeous pictures as always Rosie.
    http://www.sartorialscot.com

  • Looks utterly idyllic Rosie. Have never been to Norfolk and would love to go. Thanks for the inspo.
    Rosie http://www.therosedogblog.me

  • I think we’re all guilty of forgetting to enjoy what’s around us! Houghton Hall looks beautiful at night! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

  • How lovely. The exhibition looks wonderful and your home for the trip looks like a dream 🙂

    Ekaete x

    http://www.bonviveurbelle.com

  • This is such a romantic getaway!! And Turrell’s works looks hauntingly beautiful!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

  • So beautiful! I love romantic B&Bs like this!

    Xx Casey
    http://thedistrictfox.com

  • Looked like the perfect English weekend. In other news: “I’ve made a little pact with myself to explore more of the UK.” My lobbying for you to come to Canterbury and our surrounding seaside towns here in East Kent starts now. I’ll even offer myself up as tour guide!

  • Erica G

    I saw his work in Scottsdale, AZ. It was serene and beautiful. Unless you sat where te sun was coming in! 🙂 http://www.smoca.org/architecture/turrell-skyspace/

  • Absolutely dreamy. I must like the way you blog because I really felt immersed in a story here!

  • Maggie May

    This looks amazing – I really would like to take a trip to Norfolk. The gardens look beautiful too (I do love a good garden!) And don’t even get me started on that BMW…

    Maggie May xxx

    secretlifeofmaggiemay.blogspot.com

  • This is absolutely beautiful! It reminds me of a Jane Austen novel

    doubleshotofchic.blogspot.com

  • hi, I love this post. The James Turrell sky space boxes seem so serene, and the gardens look beautiful! Plus, your dress is amazing… I’ll have to invest in something similar soon!
    basicallymaren.wordpress.com

  • Oh my goodness, this is the most beautiful place! I am so very jealous of your experience, girl! <3
    xoxo!

  • Zoe

    These photos are so beautiful! But I’m sure they don’t compare to the real deal. That skyspace exhibit looks just amazing, so zen! I’ve done a bit of traveling through the English countryside and am always so awed by both the natural landscape and the beautiful ornate old manor homes. What a treat to play Downton and stay in one! You look gorgeous–thank you for the post 🙂

    http://www.thewhatsinbetween.com

  • Ahh I love this! I’m so glad you’re going to explore the UK more! This post has reignited my desire to move to the UK. It is just so beautiful.

    This looks gorgeous! Thanks for sharing Rosie!

    x Anna -sincerelyyoursanna.com

  • What a nice stay, Couldn’t be more British!

    I really really love this picture of you in front of the blue/purple art work, such a nice play with shadows… UK is wonderful I think I’m never getting back.

    Bisous

    Céline from Larry & Co.

  • Dora

    I made a pact to explore more of my surroundings too!

    Great post!

    http://presentlens.blogspot.co.uk

  • Adore that gorgeous dress!

    http://www.thechicone.com

  • What an adventure from start to finish! The installations rock, especially the sky watching one. Sublime!

  • Beth Schofield

    What a truly wonderful experience it seems like you had! Beautiful places. How comforting that such delights are in the U.K x

    http://livingforthegoodlife.blogspot.co.uk/

  • This just looks magical!! 🙂 Such gorgeous photos!!

    http://www.champagne-lifestyle.com/

  • I absolutely love the look of this, I adore anything remotely British, so naturally I am in love!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  • Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    I..must…go..here!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Happy travels 🙂

    http://www.bonvoyagelauren.com

  • The Skyspace looks incredible – even the pictures have me speechless! I’ve been dying to see Turrell’s work since that gallery post ages ago. Hopefully I will one day soon!

    farouchefox.blogspot.com

  • I just love the English country – it’s so beautiful and there are so many places to visit. Adore that dress of yours, Rosie – you look gorgeous in it! Also that bathroom is heavenly..!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

  • Bobblehat

    Great, nay, amazing photos. Turrell is a favourite of mine too. Really wanted to see his installation at the Guggenheim in New York but couldn’t get there. I’ll try to make it to Norfolk now! Can’t believe I didn’t know about this installation dating 13 years back!

  • As always beautiful photos Rosie! and so are you! I wonder who is the mysterious guy is! I am intrigued

    Love
    Darlene
    http://www.thenewgirl.me

  • Such a lovely place and very beautiful pics!! Love the dress you’re wearing! xoxo

    NEW BLOG POST!! Today we are back with another RECIPE ” THE PERFECT GREEN TUNA SALAD” – a delicious, super healthy and easy recipe for hot summer days!! Keep it healthy!!

    http://www.influencerdiaries.com

  • The perfect escape.

    I truly believe in finding out the treasure of your own country alongside those scattered across different continents! Britain is such a fantastic little island and we’ve got some amazing places that are just begging for people to explore them!

    Sennowe Park looks just utterly divine!

    B x

  • Just discovered your blog, the pictures are beautiful and you seem not to have fallen in the mass like the other bloggers wearing all the same Celine bag and Valentino studded shoes..
    Your addresses in London will be very helpful, can’t wait to try one of the rooftops!

    Sugarsheet from France

    http://Sugarsheet.com

  • What a fun trip! That place is gorgeous!

    Molly and Stacie

  • Be-a-u-tiful! I’ve noticed so many more people have started exploring their own back yards now and i’m loving seeing all of these different slices of England! xo

  • Houghton Hall looks fantastic, I’m going to have to make a little trip east…

    Emma Louise Layla x

  • This place is perfect – literally my dream home! Beautiful photos as always, you must have had a wonderful stay 🙂

    Julia xx
    Check out my last beauty post here: http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.fr/2015/08/disappointing-makeup-products.html

  • This looks so beautiful. Lovely that Custard can accompany you on the adventure too. Sounds so dreamy and romantic! Love that opening picture of the two of you!

    Katie <3 | http://www.KALANCHOE.co.uk

  • michela ampolo

    that sportscar is amazing 🙂

    littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it

  • Allie

    Oh. My. Goodness. You are a vision lady! That dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you! xoxo.

    http://www.midwesternamamlove.com

  • The exhibition looks delightful! My only adventure to Norfolk was to visit Houghton Hall… I will have to return again soon; it looks amazing. 🙂

    https://cobblestonesandcrumpets.wordpress.com/

  • This place looks beautiful, especially at night.

    Mel x

    http://mediamarmalade.com

  • whatkatysaid

    I love everything about this post! Especially love your dress!!

  • toe
  • Another place to put on my bucket list! Absolutely stunning. This seems like the perfect place to relax, a sort of home away from home. This post left me grinning from ear to ear 🙂
    -Claire
    tallgirlbigworld.com