Country crafts courses, workshops & holidays
including traditional skills & rural crafts



uk flagAssington Mill

based: Suffolk, UK
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Assington Mill, set in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, offers over 55 different short 1-3 day courses at very reasonable prices. Courses are mainly on rural skills and crafts and include a very diverse range: from bee keeping to mosaic, ballroom dancing to storytelling and from scything to felt making.

| country crafts | wood crafts | pottery/ceramics| photographic | England |

uk flagBlack Country Living Museum

based: West Midlands, UK
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Heritage skills courses, a programme of short hands-on courses for adults teaching the heritage skills of the Black Country. A range of 1 and 2-day courses including: willow basket weaving, canal art, stone masonry intro ...

| country crafts | basket making | England |


uk flagCotswolds Rural Skills

based: Gloucestershire, UK
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Training courses in a wide range of rural skills and crafts throughout the Cotswolds, courses from local instructors, organisations and community groups; there are courses in: dry stone walling, blacksmithing, stone carving, hedgelaying, scything, lime mortar, horse logging, coppicing, thatching and green woodworking.

| country crafts | thatching | England |


uk flagCentre for Alternative Technology

based: Powys, Wales, UK
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Offering a programme of craft courses including: willow basketry, charcoal making, woodland management, mushroom and fungi identification and cultivation, earth ovens, building Tiny House and felting.

| country crafts | basket making | Wales |


uk flagForest Crafts

based: Devon, UK
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Running a variety of courses for all levels, covering the practical skills used in woodland crafts. Courses include: charcoal burning, rustic furniture, hurdle making, coppicing, hedgerow wine making, horse logging and working horse courses. B&B accommodation available.

| country crafts | England |


uk flagNational Trust (The)

based: London, UK
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National Trust Working Holidays in locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Rural skills working holidays provide a opportunity to learn traditional skills from an expert whilst doing vital conservation work. Skills include hedge-laying, coppicing, green wood work skills or cider making.

| working/volunteer | country crafts | UK |


uk flagNational Holidays five star Featured Site

based: UK

UK Breaks»

National Holidays logoCountry and Craft Show breaks in the UK, by coach. Visit shows, packed with demos of rural crafts and country living; also: show jumping, display teams, fashion and flower shows and cookery demos. Packages include show admission, hotels and coach travel.

| country crafts | UK |


Dorset Centre for Rural Skills

based: Dorset, UK

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Day and multi-day courses in rural crafts and traditional building techniques, including: blacksmithing, cob maintenance, straw bale construction, glassblowing and spoon carving.

| country crafts | England |


Ragmans Lane Farm

based: Gloucestershire, UK

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Short holiday courses in permaculture, cider making, willow craft and bee keeping, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Bunkhouse or yurt accommodation on site.

| country crafts | cider tours/making | UK |


Will Lord

based: Suffolk, UK

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Prehistoric experiences and workshops; day and weekend courses to learn how to make prehistoric tools such as arrowheads, axes and knives.

| country crafts | sculpture/carving | England |





Celebrating traditional craft skills, formerly used in everyday life, now rediscovered as recreational activities and interests. Covering holiday courses in time-honoured country and rural crafts like: basket weaving, dry stone walling, soap making, thatching, fishing fly-tying, hedge laying, bee keeping, hurdle making, leather craft, coppicing, coracle making, charcoal burning ... If it's not listed in one of our other arts and crafts sections and it's an old everyday craft skill, then we'll probably list it here!


We've also picked out some of the more popular country crafts for particular attention (click links to see the dedicated sections):

Fly Tying & Fishing Rod Building»
Learn to tie a fishing fly or build your next rod, these skills are dealt with in a dedicated section. Fly tying is a tradition dating back at least to the C13th, perhaps even before that as some historians believe that ancient Chinese fishermen were the first to use artificial flies. These days modern materials have changed the craft, the skills needed are largely the same, but there are more styles of fly tie than ever. While it's easy enough to buy in the flies you want these days, some people still enjoy the skill and artistry required to tie their own.

Basket Making» Basket making really is an ancient craft, humans all over the world have been weaving baskets, from a whole range of materials, for as long as can be traced. Our dedicated basket weaving section covers multi-day holiday courses and workshops in basket weaving and willow work. Basketry courses to learn to make woven containers and baskets, to weave fences, furniture, garden structures and to create sculptural art pieces.

Soap Making» Another craft with its roots way back in history, this time (arguably) to about 3,000 BC! As a craft skill, current-day hand-made soap tends to use the techniques and materials of yesteryear rather than the chemical ingredients used in commercially manufactured modern soaps. There are a number of different methods used (melt and pour, cold process, hot process and re-batching) and we are happy to list courses using any of these.

Thatching» All over the world, and for many centuries, man has used thatch as a roofing material; but times and roofing materials have moved on, so the use of thatch in developed countries is now generally limited to existing thatched buildings, or new builds where a rustic look is sought, or where thatch is used for ecological reasons. Thatching is still called for in these buildings, but it's a skilled craft and years of apprenticeship are need to get to the level of thatching a full roof; but is possible to learn enough on a recreational level course to try a garden project, learn to make simple thatch repairs, or just to get a taster of what this ancient skill is all about.