Every October half-term COAST comes to the North Norfolk….coast. But what is it? Where is it? Who does it? And why do they do it?

Well let me start by answering the first of these questions, as it’s the simplest. COAST, otherwise known as Cromer and Sheringham Arts and Literary Festival, is, as their website, www.casaf.co.uk, says, “a week-long festival in various locations throughout the region aiming to promote and provide access to the arts”. Tick! Next question.

Where is it? Now this one is a bit harder… There are various different events taking place in over 20 locations ranging from churches, The (fantastic) Atrium in North Walsham, Sheringham Little Theatre and of course, we do our bit to help out as well, with the gardens of The Grove covered with sculptures from wicker warriors to lions.

The people involved are, well, quite remarkable, there are musicians, writers, sculptors, painters, poets, actors and dancers. They all have two things in common, they are all local to the Cromer and Sheringham area and they are all passionate about the arts.

But why?

Errr… Good question… what is it that brings someone to think “I know, I’ll put these two pieces of wood on this bit of metal and see what happens”, or to try to describe a scene that is particularly touching to them with just oil paints and a canvas?

The answer is not money, but it may be the opposite. Most of the artists wouldn’t describe themselves as professionals, although some do make a living out of it; most would describe themselves as amateurs. Which is the point really. Amateur comes from the word amare, or love. They do it because they love it and with love comes passion. And when you are passionate about something you are alive, you can feel it, you are interacting with the aesthetic, which as everyone knows is the opposite of anaesthetic, meaning lacking feeling, numb, or dead to sensation. So what does COAST bring to North Norfolk? It brings life.

We are very lucky in Cromer to have a wealth of local talent, from the unknown to the celebrated, on our door step. At The Grove, we have worked with Samuel Thomas, Lance Beeke, Chris Croton, and Alison Moore to name but a few. We are even luckier to have the wonderful backdrop of our 18th Century country house to showcase the talent of the North Norfolk COAST.