Niche hobbies you can try out on your next getaway, from wine-making to spoon carving

Paper: Hobby staycations

Why not pick up a new skill on your staycation? (Picture:

Ever dreamed of picking up a new skill but didn’t know where to start?

How about trying it out on holiday?

From creating intricate wire sculptures from the comfort of a cosy inn, to sci-fi surfing on the Thames, here are some of the quirkiest activities you can book for your next trip.

Wire-sculpting in Sussex

Along with Britain’s oldest pick-your-own fruit farm (Maynard’s), East Sussex’s perfect village of Ticehurst has long been home to The Bell, a cockle-warming, dog-welcoming inn that regularly hosts cool craft-based day retreats.

If you don’t fancy lampshade-painting or modern calligraphy, how about learning how to make wire sculpture? You’ll be taught how to create a 3D form, which can be anything you like, with tutor and exceptional artist Jane McCall.

Wire sculpture of a woman with curly hair

Create your own sculpture

It’s held on Thursday, August 5. Rooms cost from £135pn B&B, and the course costs £120pp.

Head here to find out more

Wine-making in Devon

Dartington Trust Crush Course Winemaking course

Get stomping

Luring creative thinkers for almost a century now is the eco-conscious Dartington Trust.

On this 1,200-acre haven near Totnes, courses are today taught in subjects from printmaking and plant-based medicine to kinaesthetic awareness.

Beginning on July 2 is a weekend retreat where you will learn something even more useful – how to make your own wine.

You will get the opportunity to experiment with grapes and yeast and even find out how to put the fizz into sparkling wine.

Book the two-night ‘residential’ option to stay in the estate’s 14th-century hall and have time to stroll its woodland and gardens beside the delightful river Dart.

From £425pp full board.

Head here to find out more

Spoon-carving in Hertfordshire

@william_st_clair Instagram Pic Pictures of the spoon carving workshop that takes place at Brookhouse Woods

Anyone for a cheeky spoon? (Picture: Jennifer Reilly)

Overlooking the Frome Valley, Brook House Woods’ thicket includes a treehouse, two tree cabins and a yurt. Each is stylishly comfortable, while the surrounding, idyllic estate also houses a cider-tasting room, yoga classes and al-fresco cinema.

Another possible distraction are green woodworking classes taught on request by co-owner Will: using unseasoned timber, he’ll have you carving spoons, spatulas, stools or even rocking chairs.

From £230 for two nights’ self-catering. Taught al-fresco, woodworking courses begin at £35pp.

Head here to find out more

Foiling on the Thames

E-foiling must credit the SHAC Surrey Hills Adventure Company

Zip along the Thames on an extra special surfboard (Picture: SHAC Surrey Hills Adventure Company)

‘McFly, you bojo, those boards don’t work on water,’ taunted Biff’s underlings in Back To The Future.

Happily, using a similar toy they do for guests of the The Mitre – a historic hotel recently reopened near Hampton Court.

Having installed hip interiors and a buzzy brasserie, its new owners are debuting fun offerings from supperclubs to, yes, a chance to ‘foil’ along and above the Thames!

Learning to ride surfboards raised by a submerged hydrofoil, you’ll astonish every passer-by.

One-hour classes from £99pp.

Head here to find out more

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