Posted by: marymarthatours | April 28, 2014

The Festival of Quilts International Show

This might seem like an odd blog posting.  We have had requests to include the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, on a tour, and I want to explain why we choose not to do so.  I would love to get there myself.  But there are rational reasons for our not including this major international quilt show as part of a group tour.

festival quilts logo

First, you can get there on your own quite easily, and therefore to pay others to make the arrangements is not “penny-wise”.  The show is held in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham right next to the Hilton Metropole Hotel.  There are direct flights from the US to Birmingham, a major UK airport.  There is a train station at the exhibition centre and a rapid transit link from the train station end of the convention centre to the airport.  From the Metropole you can either walk to the exhibition centre or take the hotel shuttle, and the hotel shuttle also picks up at the nearby airport.  The Hilton Metropole Hotel is a large and very nice facility with a lovely pool and restaurant.

Some folks going to the Festival of Quilts will want to view the show over a period of several days and might want to take the offered classes and go to presentations.  There is much to see and do at this huge international quilt event.  On our tours, we try to accommodate a wide range of interests.  Some would be upset with only one day at the show and others would find more than one day too much or even boring.  It would be difficult to accommodate everyone’s desires.

The dates for this quilt show are not always set far enough in advance for us to be able to do the planning for tour dates and make site bookings with sufficient time to then promote and fill the tour and make the final arrangements.  We cannot be as flexible ahead of time as you can be as an individual or with a small group of friends.

With the convenient transportation into and out of Birmingham, folks can go there as one stop on a trip that might include London, York, Edinburgh, or other places they wish to visit.  It’s possible to tailor-make a special UK tour for yourself that includes the Festival of Quilts and even manage it without driving a car.  You can book flights, train tickets, show admission and workshops, and lodging via the Internet and not pay others to do this for you.

I am currently working on the plans for our next UK quilt and needlework-focused tour that will travel in England in 2015 (Aug. 26 – Sept. 7).  We will be staying in York, Durham, and Penrith, visiting a variety of quilt and textile-related sites and other worthwhile locations.  We will spend an entire day at the Great Northern Quilt Show in Harrogate, with a second-day option for those who want to return to the event.  This tour will be land-only and travelers can add on UK events and locations before or after the tour to suit their interests and pocket books.  Some may decide to go to the Festival of Quilts on their own before our tour begins and then meet us in York.  If you are interested in the 2015 M&M tour, let us know ( so you can be one of the first to receive the brochure and registration form.

(by Martha)

2012 Great Northern Quilt Show in Harrogate, England




  1. Hi gals Count me in! Fran Kerlin

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Me too!

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