Thursday , May 19 2022
Spotlight: Collingwood Coastal 1

Spotlight: Collingwood Coastal

Collingwood Coastal |

Norfolk skipper Zoe Dunford uses her love of sailing to inspire her new range of wallpapers and fabrics, called Collingwood Coastal

Spotlight: Collingwood Coastal 2
Credit Ana Maria Pavalache

As the only female skipper at the North Norfolk sailing company, the Coastal Exploration Company, Zoe Dunford takes those in search of adventure or simply some me time, out on to the salt marshes and tidal creeks at Wells. 

She sails beautifully restored local boats including a crab boat, a whelk boat and a mussel boat, with those lucky enough to sail with her enjoying wonderful scenery, fascinating wildlife commentary, a locally sourced meal, and even a wild swim! 

These traditional boats inspired Zoe to create her own nautical wallpaper, when she couldn’t find anything she particularly liked to decorate her beach hut, also at Wells, with.

Thus she sketched the boats which, in time, evolved to create beautifully made wallpaper, now available in two coastal colours.

She explains: ‘I started sketching the boats during the successive lockdowns because I missed everything about them! The adventure they represent, the landscape through which they sail, and the people I sail with – both the teams at the Coastal Exploration Company and Neil Thompson’s boats, as well as the clients we take out. 

‘The tide floods the North Norfolk saltmarsh twice daily, leaving it unspoilt and one of the UK’s last great wildernesses. It represents to me a place of escape, solitude, and connection to nature. The boats help open up access to this special place, via the temporary waterways that are created when the tide floods through the meandering network of creeks. It’s an in-between place – not quite sea and not quite land.’

Spotlight: Collingwood Coastal 3
Collingwood Coastal dark blue boats on light grey behind desk, styled by Louisa Sugden at The Little Stables, Norfolk

Zoe has also created cushion covers, again with the sailing boat design, and also a quirky beach hut print, again inspired by the famous ones at Wells.

Plans are afoot to develop the range with more goodies for the home including tote bags, aprons and tea towels, while continuing to honour Norfolk’s coastal heritage. So watch this space for more!

The company name is inspired by a family connection to Admiral Lord Collingwood, who took over command of the British fleet when Nelson was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar.

  • Collingwood Coastal is stocked at Tatty Tides in Holt, The Alder Tree in Wells and The Granary in Norwich.
  • For information about hiring Zoe’s beach hut, her shepherd hut or her holiday cottage, visit
  • More information on the Coastal Exploration company, visit
Spotlight: Collingwood Coastal 4

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