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needlelace   needlelace and the leisure needle
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needlelace Residential Courses in Exmoor National Park (UK)

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Courses are run from Doreen's 16th Century Farmhouse in Exmoor National Park (pictured, right). Work on a piece of Needlelace of your own choice or learn a different technique - Point de Gaz, 3D flowers, coloured shading, Stumpwork or Embroidery - complete beginners are welcome.

Bed, breakfast, lunch, evening meal and coffee are provided, with good home cooking. Every afternoon is free for you to explore Somerset or continue working if you wish. The house is approximately 5 miles from the medieval town of Dunster, 6 miles from Minehead, 12 miles from Porlock and 3 miles from the sea, all within easy reach for an afternoon visit. Please e-mail Doreen for more info on the courses and availability.

Doreen's farmhouse
doreen course location local views
Course Details
On each of the courses there is a 'rest' on the Wednesday evening when we try a different craft. In the past we have tried rubber stamping, beading, ribbon embroidery and folk art painting.

Non-lacemaking partners are very welcome. It is beautiful countryside, suitable for walking, bird watching, painting and sightseeing. Roll over the small images (left) for a look at the surrounding countryside.
Equipment Needed:
Calico, sharps and ballpoint needles, adhesive film,
fine sharp scissors. A thimble if you use one, ordinary sewing cotton, any thread you may like to use (smooth). Additional materials are available on the course but fine scissors are essential.

exmoor in autumn
view from the veranda
sea view

Course Price List 2016

New Dates!

the residential course dinner at the farmhouse doreen
dinner at the farmhouse  
sewing together at the farmhouse  

£300( non-lacemaking friends or partners)
A deposit of £50 secures a place.


Feb 18th - 24th 2017

April 23rd - 28th 2017 Full



Send an e mail or telephone for a brochure

Tel:- 01984 641006

Marion's Peacock
The Ladies speak for themselves:
"The best way I know, of breaking the long winter months, is Doreen Holmes’  Needlelace course in February.

"You get a warm welcome from Doreen and Keith plus the dog.

"We all arrived in time for dinner on the Sunday evening then the course began on Monday morning after breakfast.  Everyone decided what they would like to do, then it was preparing patterns, discussing threads and colours etc.

"Over the years, in other courses tutored by Doreen, I have worked on venetian Gros Point, Youghal lace, Tape lace and my favourite which is Stumpwork.  I have completed, a clown, Beatrix Potter figures and I am now working on a casket (17th century style).  It has been great fun and with a lot of help and advice from Doreen, I have managed to work my children’s  occupations into the casket, i.e. a school mistress from the 1900’s, a Funeral Director’s window and a fish and the sea for my son (he runs a fish shop).  One side of the casket has my father, cutting and ‘laying’ a hedge.  The rest of the box is ongoing!  I am sure that I would not have accomplished as much without Doreen’s patience and help.

"Please don’t go to Doreen’s if you are on a diet!!! She is a superb cook and supplier of teas, coffees and home made cake. The atmosphere is really friendly and relaxing with lots of laughter to be heard."

Lynn Robinson
swan peacock Lynn's clown barbara's butterfly

"Thank you for a lovely week of Needlelace and needlework.  I left re- inspired, with problems solved, new ideas, new stitches and new techniques to use. I know I am not an expert needlewoman but you help me to be good enough to enjoy it."

Fran Goodfellow

"I first met Doreen Holmes in the 1980’s when she was a guest Tutor in Needlelace Techniques at Beamish Hall in County Durham.

"When Doreen moved to Somerset  and stated her intention to run Needlelace courses at her home, I was first on the list.  I have learned a great number of techniques from Doreen and recommend her as a tutor to any Needlelace maker whatever their experience, for her knowledge and patience.

"My husband accompanied me to Golsoncott where he walked, painted and explored the area.  His only complaint about the week was that, by the end of the week he had difficulty fastening his belt!"

Norma Reay
If you live too far away to attend one of these courses why not try one of Doreen's online classes - clear instructions, diagrams and photographs plus online help from Doreen, working at your own pace. Visit the Online Classes page for more information.