When life brings you autumn, take classes. Time to indulge your curiosity and find a hobby or pursue a passion even as the days grow shorter. Hunkering down at this time of year may be a given but it doesn’t mean your brain has to shut down. Studies show that engaging in leisurely activities improve happiness and reduce stress. Plus, everyone gets a round of applause for heading outside in wild, blowy weather. Well done you.
Sometimes activity is just better done as a group, this is where the real magic of the season happens. Gathering together with others, learning and doing while having a natter and a laugh. Let’s Go Ludlow has taken the pain out of searching for potential hobbies and passion pursuits with a compilation of 9 cosy things to do that stimulate both mind and body as the weather turns.
Book clubs: The latest luscious and lavish BBC production of Vanity Fair has got us thinking about books. Reading a book for individual pleasure is one thing but isn’t it great to share all you love or hate with others? Debate also always goes better with a glass or two! The autumn lends itself so well to curling up with a book. It’s also great to share. You may be inclined to have a go at setting up a neighbourhood book club or becoming a part of one. Lucy and I have decided to give it a go and invite you to join us at our first LGL Book Club at the Blood Bay, 15 November at 7 p.m. Just bring your favourite book along to introduce yourself and, of course, meet others and that’s it. Register for the event on our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sewing, crafts and upholstery: Boy do we wax lyrical about sewing at LGL, it’s where we first met after all! Sewing is just one of the many crafty pursuits to take up when days grow darker and colder. Make something for someone #makenotspend this holiday season. We suggest a day time or evening class at Marie’s of Ludlow or choose from a range of craft classes at Westhope College. If you would like pottery to be your thing join Loudwater Studio’s fortnightly Beginner’s Pottery Group.
Along the same lines of sewing and crafts but if you are in need of a bigger project to tackle, look no further than upholstery. If you’re new to it, we recommend beginning small as advised! There’s nothing worse for morale than a half-finished project to prick the conscience. Try Anita Lewis who organises classes in Church Stretton and also teaches at Westhope College.
Art: Apparently, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that all people can draw! While we might have drawn with abandon in our youth, many of us simply fell out of practice. Get the art muscle flexing and join a course. Try Life and Portrait workshops at Ludlow Assembly Rooms or the Ludlow Art Society. Or how about Art for Starters at Ludlow Mascall Centre every Wednesday, 10am to 1pm?
Flower arranging: Not just for summer. The wonder of flower arranging moves through the seasons. We have written about Tammy at Wild Bunch before and her wonderful flower arranging courses. Luckily there is still time to sign up for her next class called ‘Winter Drama’ coming up 8th November. It’s certainly an apt title as Tammy’s farm and work space just outside Leintwardine is all atmosphere — what with the dramatic views and her own brilliant warmth. It’s an easy call if your heart blooms for flowers.
Cooking: Here’s something you can do with your teenagers, sign up for a professional cooking course and have a chef practically all to yourself. Harriet Wakeford has launched a new cooking school, Colliers Cookery and with its beautifully designed and spacious workstations in a gorgeous setting on the border of Shropshire and Worcestershire, who could fail to be inspired? Moving from Masterchef to British Bake Off, there is cake decorating and sugar craft courses on offer from our the super talented Lindy Smith of Lindy’s cakes. Although we’re pushing to get you out of home, if desperation or necessity calls for it Lindy also has online cake decorating classes.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Horse riding: Fancy taking an amble along a forest path and taking in the views from a top a horse? There are a few places that cater to novices and experienced alike. Two that are worth a try locally are North Farm and Country Treks Equestrian. For other options see here.
Rowing: In an area resplendent with rivers, rowing has got to be on the list of boastful pursuits. The discipline, the team camaraderie and the beauty of cutting across water swiftly in tandem is surely enough to get you outdoors. Beginners are welcome at many clubs and the best bit is they offer training sessions in autumn too. The British Rowing Club can help you locate a club near you. But here are three to check out within 20 miles of Ludlow to save you the trouble of searching: Bewdley RC, Bridgnorth RC and Stourport RC.
Yoga: Seek and ye shall definitely find a yoga teacher or a class somewhere in your vicinity. The abundance and diversity available cannot be beat even in the countryside. Find them at leisure centres, village halls and there’s the possibility of having a teacher come to your home. In short, there’s very little excuse particularly as yoga is a balm to the body and soul. We can personally recommend one to one Yoga with Jules or her classes at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms and the Mascall Centre and classes at Teme Leisure
Tennis: Hands up if every single year at Wimbledon time, you wish you had learn to play tennis or carried on playing tennis or joined a tennis club?This is an activity you can do now in anticipation of Wimbledon, not just watching from the sidelines but understanding the agony and the triumph as you play on your own centre court. This could be news to some but tennis clubs don’t shut down in winter, they have lights for heaven’s sake! Dress warmly, dust off that racket and head to your nearest tennis club for group or one-to-one lessons. Try Ludlow Tennis club for starters or check out British Tennis for more information about the sport.