It’s a new year, and many people decide that January is the best time to take up a brand new hobby. Whether that’s to fill their spare time, add a bit of juicy flavour to their tinder bios or simply give them something fresh to talk about this year (finally), hobbies can fill people’s lives with joy and it’s understood by health professionals that having a hobby or interest can actually improve your overall health. “New Year, New Me!” …and all that.
It’s the time of year for people to begin the mission of a personal rediscovery and recreate themselves through the bizarre hobbies on offer these days. According to reference.com, the most popular hobbies in the USA are gardening, genealogy, fishing, bowling and biking. Some of those I find more surprising than others – I must admit! Other popular hobbies include photography, collecting, reading, listening to music, hiking and sports.
I’ve seen a couple of articles online recently listing some of the more unusual things you can sign up to do, so I thought it would be interesting to see what’s on offer in Bristol in 2017…
On meetup.com you can find people similar to you to meet up and do the things you love! There’s a group called ‘Clifton Knitting and Crochet’ with 98 members who meet up at places like Bakesmiths on White Ladies. Knitting is an underrated art that can turn into a fun hobby! These days there are online stores on websites like etsy.com where you can buy beautiful yarn to make stunning pieces at home – and it’s nice to have something to show for it at the end!
There are classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They welcome complete beginners so you needn’t worry that you’ll make a d*** out of yourself. All the classes are pay as you go, so there’s no commitment and you can wait to see whether you feel up to it on the day. New beginners come every week, so you won’t be on your own if you do decide to make it your first class. The crowd is described as “friendly and welcoming” on the website, so bring your most comfortable shoes (avoiding rubber soles) and get dancing. You don’t even have to bring a partner, many people come alone so they rotate partners. Meaning you could make some new pals while you’re there!
These classes are ideal for people who live in either Bristol or Bath and want to take art classes but have no idea where to begin. Here you will use pencils, watercolour, charcoal ink, acrylic paints and pastels to create all kinds of pieces to take home. They also promise to teach art skills that you may remember from school such as proportion, shading etc. All is taught in a simple way tailored for beginners! The cost is £69 for 9 weeks in Bristol, £64 for 8 weeks in Bath (mornings) or £60 for 6 weeks in Bath (evenings) with all materials included.
Try climbing at Undercover Rock in St Werburgh’s in Bristol. “The Climbing Academy are proud to have bought Bristol’s original climbing wall in January 2016.” You can even work towards different climbing awards here to add some goals to your 2017 personal change around. If you want to do something different and improve your fitness, this is the new hobby for you!
There are weekend workshops, regular classes and group party options that can give you lots to choose from this year. My favourites from the choices online are The Chocolate Course, Master Pasta, DIY Tapas and Dine! There are so many different ones to choose from though, so you’ll find something to get excited about. This would also make a really nice gift, and they do gift vouchers that are worth looking into.
I’ve actually been to do this myself a few times, I even took my group of best friends to do this for my 18th birthday! Flying Saucers is a really good place to do it in Bristol, it’s located just off The Triangle. It’s a really cute cafe that serves tea and cakes to have while you paint. You can choose whatever piece you want (everything from piggybanks, plates, huge bowls, vases, different animal shapes, fairies, unicorns, dog/cat bowls etc), in prices to suit literally every budget. They have all the paints you could want, and they show you exactly how to do it before you begin. It’s so relaxing to do on a hangover, I’d highly recommend!
You can take wine classes at the Clifton Wine School, which I think would make such a sweet gift for your mum or aunt or even your best friend. Or if you’re a keen wine drinker, a fab hobby to take up! The courses are open to everyone, so you don’t need to have any previous experience of wine tasting (although I’m sure you have plenty…). It’s actually surprisingly inexpensive, as I thought it would cost a bomb. Evening tastings in Bristol start at £22.50, which I think is good value. Have a look at the website to see more.
Paddle boarding – SUP Bristol
With 146/151 reviews being rated as ‘Excellent’ on TripAdvisor, you can’t really go wrong with this option. Very tempted to get the girls together for a bit of this in the summer. I’m starting to get a bit sick of Airhop…
Hope you feel inspired to go grab your new hobby by the balls and let 2017 be the year of your life. Or if you’d rather; just try some of these on random occasions with your pals (..as I’m more likely of doing) and I hope you have a great time either way.