Friday, 22 January 2016

Time to widen your horizons

Holiday in lovely locations worldwide while learning a new skill or pursuing a favourite hobby

Written by Wendy Gomersall
Drive a Locomotive
Premier Cottages is offering courses including sailing, chocolate-making and arts and crafts at properties around the country. For example, guests staying at East View Farm Holiday Cottages in Norfolk, can drive a steam locomotive at the Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, where a Footplate and Driver Experience Course is available. Four friends and family can go along for the ride, too.

A four-night stay for up to six people in Plum Tree Cottage costs from £475; a four-night stay for two in Nutmeg Cottage from £275. Steamtrain driving experience costs from £80 per person.


travel-590-2F Zeen hotel on the Greek island of Kefalonia

Botanical painting

New expert-led courses at The Watermill at Posara, in Tuscany, Italy, include painting courses and knitting courses. For example, Painting Plants With Coloured Pencils (14 to 21 May) is led by Janie Pirie, who specialises in botanical illustrations. The cost, from £1,345 per person based on two sharing, includes tuition, seven nights’ accommodation, all meals (including local restaurants), drinks and apéritifs, transfers (to/from Pisa), local transport, materials and a midweek excursion. Non-painting partners are welcome and receive a £200 per person discount. Flights extra.

020-7193 6246,

Photo adventure
 If you are visiting Swedish Lapland, book a Scandinavian Photoadventures tour, available between 15 February and 15 April, from £300 per person. Run by two Sami women, participants travel by car and snowmobile from Kiruna to look for the Northern Lights, and receive expert advice on photographing them. Dinner and an overnight stay is in Kebnekaise or Nikkaluokta, depending on the weather, then after breakfast next day you will return to Kiruna. The price includes a guide, warm clothes and shoes, and use of a camera plus tripod. Bring your own memory card.

0046-70639 0545,

travel-590-3Beechenhill Farm in the Peak District

DIY olive oil

Would you like to help with the olive harvest on a Greek island? In October this year, the Koumoudos family, owners of the boutique hotel F Zeen on the idyllic Ionian island of Kefalonia, is inviting guests to pick olives with them from trees surrounding the hotel. The olives are bagged and then you’re taken to the local olive press where you can watch and learn all about the pressing process. Later, the finished product will be sent to your home as a very special holiday memento. Rooms at F Zeen cost from Є160 (£120) per night for B&B.

020-7183 5383,

Folk art
Art lovers can take a step back in time with an unusual folk painting course at Beechenhill Farm in the Peak District. Guests learn how to use local eggs mixed with pigments to produce artwork on linen. Two nights B&B cost from £88 per person based on two sharing. Folk Art Workshops are £30 per person for a partday course; £55 for a full day.


Contact Wendy at
Prices correct at time of going to press.

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