Skill-cation: Holiday & Learn New Skills on the Isle of Wight

Come to the Isle of Wight and learn a skill, and you might even create something beautiful to take home with you. From digital artistry to traditional skills brought back from obscurity, plus loads of land and water sports skills that you might like to learn. Take a pick from our round up of the best on offer this year.

Shooting Stars

Graham Reading has photographed the stars for over 20 years, especially for OK Magazine and the Sunday and daily papers. He recently relocated to the Isle of Wight where he continues to shoot for the nationals, and, luckily for us he has brought his glitz to our local social gatherings. Graham is offering courses in press photography and wedding photography, and courses for people who simply want to understand their cameras. He can give one to one sessions if preferred and may be offering residential courses soon.

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Stay: If you want to stay where famous stars have slept then opt for one of our more upmarket hotels such as The Royal in Ventnor, North House in Cowes or The George in Yarmouth – and during The Isle of Wight Festival stay at the Lakeside Park Hotel. Shhh.


Beautiful wood

Learn the traditional craft of wood turning and produce a beautiful bowl, made by your own fair hands, then why not book a half or full day course at Mulberry Tree Woodturning in Porchfield. Wood turner Andy  Fortune has many years of experience and specialises in making bowls, platters and hollow forms from locally sourced timber from the Isle of Wight.

 Learn from him all about turning tools, lathes, faceplates and chucks, wood preparation, reverse turning and finishing at this workshop on the edge of Newtown marshes – a beautiful place to explore after you finish your course. His beginners and intermediate bowl turning courses have proved to be very popular and every participant has left with a broad knowledge of bowl turning and spindle turning techniques and the confidence to continue this fascinating craft on their own.

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Stay: At the nearby Little Gloster restaurant with rooms, a boutique B&B by the sea at Gurnard, and awake to the sound of the waves lapping the shore with breakfast overlooking the sea.

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Tiny Home Love

From sewing a pinafore and making a clay window charm to spending a weekend in Mindfulness retreat; at brand new Tiny Homes Holidays you can book one of their three unique and individual tiny homes and learn something new – or learn about yourself. From the same team who created the fabulous Vintage Vacations airstream holidays, at Tiny Homes you could learn willow weaving with Wyldwood, sew a vintage fabric tote bag or even make your own wooden spoon.

Reserve your favourite Tiny Home – EilidhHygge or Silva and then choose a studio event to enhance your stay by checking out the events calendar. These are inclusive holiday packages with the emphasis on wellness in all its forms. The Isle of Wight with its slower pace of life, clean air and stunning scenery is the perfect place to nurture your well-being.

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Yoga heaven

Fancy a yoga retreat at the Island’s newest luxury boutique hotel? There are three separate yoga weekends planned at Haven Hall this year,  the first of which is over the weekend of March 9th to 11th with experienced yoga teacher Carol McCartney, who has been inspiring and teaching people on the Isle of Wight and abroad for over twenty five years.

Carol’s teaching is rooted deeply in the traditions of Advaita Vedanta , Sivinanda and Kundalini, offering a potent cocktail of flowing asana , Kriya and Pranayama and Meditation. Over twelve hours of practice will be offered throughout the weekend, from the early morning Sadhana, through to evening Meditation. Pranayama, Mantra and Mudra as well as Dance will all be explored and there will be a Special Guest workshop and a Sound Immersion.

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Stay: Haven Hall has stunning wrap around 180 degree views from Shanklin Bay to the white cliffs of Culver, award winning grounds, a heated swimming pool with two treatment cabins (treatments extra) and grass tennis court.  All six beautifully decorated en-suite rooms in the main hotel have sea views, along with most of the bedrooms in the eight self-catering apartments and all the accommodation is five star.

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Get Active

And if you fancy something a bit more energetic then take a look at what Isle of Wight Adventure Activities have on offer. Everything you could imagine from Coasteering, where you clamber around the chalk cliffs at Freshwater, as the waves buffet you from below, to learning Bushcraft in one of our forests and the ancient art of archery; and they have specially tailored kids and family courses too.

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Stay:  IWAA is based at Tapnell Farm where you can get back to nature by staying at Tom’s Eco Lodges, which include wooden cabins, Eco pods, modulog pods and even safari tents. Many have hot tubs under the stars for relaxing after a hard day’s adventuring.

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6 February 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles