Learning breaks are fun, relaxing and an interesting way to spend time with friends and family. Plus, going on a course with people sharing your interest, learning breaks are a great way to make new friends. Perhaps there’s a leisure pursuit or hobby you have pondered over the years about trying, a skill you’d love to learn or just a curiosity you fancy, but life has got in the way and you haven’t got around to it?
Why not take a staycation this year and chose a course in the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest National Park, surrounded by glorious scenery, abundant wildlife and the famous free-roaming ponies. Combine your learning time with a stay a New Forest Cottage, discover fantastic places to eat, traditional pubs for a drink and explore all that the area has to offer.
Cookery courses in the New Forest are plentiful and popular, but there are stacks of other courses available as well, below are some which may take your fancy.
All Under One Roof
Forest Arts Centre in New Milton and St Barbe Museum in Christchurch regularly run day workshops on popular and excitingly obscure topics. Choose from art appreciation and felt brooches to making papier-mâché animals.
Aye Aye Sailor!
Did you know the New Forest area has a stunning coastline and beautiful lakes? Take to the water with sailing lessons and powerboat training. Spinnaker Club at Blashford Lakes in the north of the forest offer sailing courses for all ages. Aqua Safe Powerboat School based at Lymington Yacht Haven have a vast number of courses for motorised vessels, and Hengistbury Head offers courses in sailing, powerboats, windsurfing, paddle boarding and kayaking which can be booked through Brockenhurst College.
New Forest Art School offers art tuition classes. Join for 2 day courses in lots of mediums to capture beautiful colours and learn a multitude of techniques. The courses are for complete beginners all the way up to established, talented artists wishing to hone their skill.
Getting to Grips with Wildlife, Nature and Heritage
Walking tours out in the forest are fascinating. You’ll learn all about the animals that live in the forest and discover nests and tracks that you would normally walk past without recognising. The heritage of the New Forest is just as interesting – who owns the ponies? Who looks after the forest? What happens if one of the animals are sick? Try Wild Heritage who are particularly good for families wanting gentle walks and strolls, or New Forest Guided Walking whose tours are aimed for much longer walks of between 9 – 13 miles.
Potty About Pottery
Book one-to-one tuition, join a group for a couple of hours, a day or sign up for a week-long course. The New Forest has a great choice of tutors, courses and dates to choose from. Have a look at New Forest Pottery Time, Moon Studio Ceramics and Woodside Pottery.
Bushcraft, Canoes, Kayaks and Axes
Learn how to survive in the wild on a day learning bush craft in the New Forest. You could also throw in some archery, canoeing, fire some crossbows and take part in some ancient axe throwing! Return home with a repertoire of outdoor skills even Bear Grylls would be proud of. Take a look at Insight Activities near Fordingbridge, New Forest Activities near Beaulieu and Avon Tyrell in Bransgore.
Ever fancied a go at woodturning? Create a sensational hand-made piece to take home and treasure as a keepsake of your time in the New Forest on a woodturning course. Andy Browne Woodturning and Graham Turner Woodturning offer lessons from half day to 3 day courses for beginners to improvers.
Feeling inspired? Before you book, take a look at our portfolio of New Forest Cottages sleeping from 2 up to 15 guests for availability.