Get crafty - Autumn skills sessions in Cumbria and the Lake District

There’s one universal reason to take an Autumn holiday: to relax! From curling up with a good book to taking a big bubble bath, there are plenty of ways to feel zen without leaving the house (or the Threshing Barn!) However, not everyone feels relaxed doing not very much at all. If this applies to you, start relaxing by doing a lot! Learn a new skill, or invest some time in a favourite hobby - not only will you be taking a break from the daily grind, you’ll have something to show for it at the end whether it be a handcrafted gift or a few new dishes in your culinary repertoire. Luckily, here in Cumbria and the Lake District there are loads of fantastic opportunities for honing a wide range of skills. Get doing!


If you’ve been living in the city for a while, you’ll be missing the sight of clear, starry skies. Hadrian’s Wall is spectacular in the day time but also happens to be an excellent open air observatory. Autumn evenings are the perfect time to see the stars in their full glory, so wrap up warm, make a thermos of hot chocolate and prepare to be starstruck! Join in on one of the Newcastle Astronomical Society’s events for a proper tour of the heavens.



Whether you’re a beginner or on your way to being wildlife photographer of the year, there are some excellent photography focussed events going on this Autumn. Ullswater Steamers is offering an Autumn Colours photography lake cruise and walk: headed by expert photographer Mark Littlejohn, guests will explore Ullswater and its surroundings to capture the best views on camera. Dig out your DSLR and get snapping - this excursion is dog-friendly too! (21st Oct)

If a lake cruise doesn’t appeal, perhaps some pictures of a heritage steam engine chugging through the fells will. The Ravenglass Railway is also offering a chartered photography experience which allows passengers to travel along the railway and disembark at strategic points to snap away as the train performs run-pasts. (22nd Oct)



Use the Autumn months to brush up on your cookery skills - and then surprise the family with your newfound abilities at Christmas! Keswick Cookery School has several options that are sure to inspire your seasonal dishes, from a smoking/curing workshop to a full day on the preparation and cooking of game. If you’re in need of some more specific festive cooking tips, try Acorn Bank in Carlisle which offers cookery classes for small groups covering every aspect of food for the Christmas period. 



Get back to basics and try making things from scratch - maybe even craft some bespoke Christmas presents! For an all natural experience, head to Footprint at Windermere. The National Trust’s first building made from straw bales, Footprint offers a range of learning experiences including sustainable woodworking: visitors can learn to carve their own bench, spoon or bowl out of local greenwood and then take home their creation at the end of the day.

For even more crafty options, visit Quirky Workshops at the Greystoke Cycle Café. Try your hand at weaving a scarf on a loom, stitching your own leather handbag or making unique silver jewellery.  Take home your creations and wrap them up for truly personalised Christmas presents - or keep them for yourself as a well-earned treat.


With so many opportunities available, it couldn’t be easier to learn a new skill!  All workshops must be booked ahead of time - be sure to get yourself booked in.

If you've not yet booked your Autumn stay in our Threshing Barn you can do so here...

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