Hit the Road - The English Coast
Itching to get outside? Hit the road with Art Fix and check out our must-see art destinations for your summer plans. We’ll keep you up to date with all of the best and most exciting exhibitions, galleries, and museums, and throw in some food and culture tips to complete your trip.
- Location: Bircham Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk
- Houghton Hall will be open Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from 11 am to 5 pm. Please book your time slot online beforehand
- Direct trains from London King’s Cross take 1 hour and 37 minutes. Taxis from King’s Lynn train station to Houghton Hall take approximately 25 minutes
- Nearest Airport: Norwich (50 Minutes) or London Stansted (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Today we take you to Norfolk, a county in the East of England about 200km north of London. In addition to being a birdwatching hotspot and being the host of miles of unspoilt sandy beaches, Norfolk is famous for its many beautiful castles and stately homes such as Sandringham, the Queen’s much-loved country retreat, and Houghton Hall. One of Norfolk’s finest Palladian mansions, built in the 18th century for the nation’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole.
Enough of the history, here is your next must-see: on Sunday the 12th of July, Houghton Hall opened its gardens to 24 fantastic outdoor sculptures by Anish Kapoor.
The exhibition features 24 sculptures, including a series carved in marble which will be displayed throughout the grounds. Sir Anish Kapoor is a famous British Indian sculptor, and a large-scale public sculpture legend. You may know him from his work “Cloud Gate”, nicknamed “The Bean”, in Chicago.
Kapoor explores both biomorphic and geometric forms with a particular interest in negative space. “That’s what I am interested in: the void, the moment when it isn’t a hole,” he explains. “It is a space full of what isn’t there”. The works include a five-metre diameter concave mirror of polished stainless steel, called Sky Mirror. The mirror, made in 2018, reflects the sky above (likely some of the UK’s usual scattered clouds).
If it is a scattered cloud kind-of-day, head inside the house, where you will find sandstone sculptures and a selection of drawings and smaller works by Kapoor from the past 40 years.
Enjoy the famous Norfolk sky gazing (vertigo proof) experience!
While you’re there don’t forget to take a look at the impressive permanent collection of contemporary sculptures by world-renowned artists. The first work was commissioned in 2000, a ‘Skyspace’ by the American artist James Turrell.
Since this inaugural commission, sculptures by Richard Long, Anya Gallaccio (a copper beech hedge based on the signature of the current marquis’ grandmother, Sybil Sassoon), Stephen Cox, Jeppe Hein, Rachel Whiteread, Phillip King and Henry Moore have been added to Houghton Hall’s amazing garden repertoire.
- For a nice cup of tea, go to The Stables Café.
- There is an impressive list of places to stay on the website of Houghton Hall.