Note: for updated information on courses, classes and workshops, please click here to visit the Penny Post Summer 2018 Guide.
If you’re looking for courses, classes or workshops to join there’s plenty on offer in our local area (for kids, please scroll down to the foot of the post):
DRAWING & PAINTING
Art classes for adults in Newbury, suitable for beginners to improvers. Covering various topics using a wide variety of mediums including watercolour and acrylics – all paint materials supplied in class. To book call Carrie on 01256 810 933 or contact via the The Seasons Art Class website
Watercolour painting weekends. Frankie Cummins has been teaching in her home studio for nearly 30 years. Famous for her wit and inspiring techniques, Frankie’s painting weekends in Great Bedwyn are a must for any watercolourist, however novice. Book on 01672 871 858 firstname.lastname@example.org
Drawing and painting classes for adults, at both beginner and improver level, at the Grove Adult Learning Centre. Click here for more information.
Oil-painting classes take place weekly in Hampstead Marshall Village Hall. Contact Chris on 01488 658 587 0r email email@example.com.
Ceramic sculpture and pottery courses with sculptor Diana Pattenden in Newbury. Term-time courses to get creative with clay and learn how to sculpt, slab, coil, throw, fire and glaze. Contact Diana on 07887 844 981, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website.
Wide range of interior-design courses with AwakenHiddenSkills in Inkpen – whether you want a new career or wish to refurbish your home. Expert tuition with all materials, lunch and notes supplied. Click here for course details (including Curtain Making and Interior Design) or contact Terry on email@example.com 07990 970 158.
Pottery classes at the Grove Adult Learning Centre near Wantage. Whether you’ve never tried it before or have experience, all abilities welcome. Enrol via the website here.
Craft workshops at The Wantage Mix including mosaic, crochet, silver jewellery, upholstery and pallet upcycling.
Upholstery and other leisure and lifestyle classes coming soon at St John’s Marlborough Adult Education.
Photographic courses for beginners and beyond with Elizabeth Vickers Photography for help using your camera and taking better photos with a DSLR. Bespoke courses for A-level or GCSE project work also available at regular dates to suit you. Visit the website for more information.
Spoon-carving days with Chris of Oneday Woodcraft. Learn to use an axe and knives to create a spoon in this workshop at his relaxing woodland workshop between Hungerford and Newbury. Click here for 2018 workshop dates.
A Boat Full of Wool offers unique craft workshops on board a cosy narrowboat floating up and down the Kennet and Avon canal between Hungerford and Kintbury. They offer fun, on-trend crochet, knitting, arm knitting and pom-pom workshops. Click here for upcoming workshops.
Fused-glass workshops with Sue Lashmar in Baydon. Learn how to make beautiful glass items to treasure. Beginners first make a tile or coaster then can expand into bowls, jewellery, hanging decorations etc For upcoming workshop details visit suelashmar.co.uk
Stargazey Workshops in Swindon run weekly craft classes in many different subjects. 2018 events will include needle felting, silver jewellery-making, mosaics, cushion-making, Roman blinds and decoupage. Please contact Claire Anello on 07771 881 376, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook page.
Sewing, embroidery and bookbinding courses at the Old Chapel Textile Centre National Needlework Archive near Newbury.
Flowers & Gardening
Floral workshops and talks. Fancy learning how to make a flower crown in time for festival season? Interested in a different way to arrange flowers in a container? And what is the best way to not kill your houseplant? Martin & the Magpie florists in Hungerford have lots of interesting talks and workshops, including a plant painting course with local artist Jane Corbett. Book your tickets here now.
Floral art courses coming soon at St John’s Marlborough Adult Education.
Growing2Gether community gardening workshops & outdoor learning activities including Hanging Basket Workshop on Sat 14 Apr and Forest First Nursery. Visit growing2gether.org or contact Sharon at email@example.com
Food for Thought
Honesty Cookery School run by award-winning cookbook author Romilla Arber near Newbury offers a mouth-watering range of cookery classes including Italian Bread Making, Southeast Asian Classics, Meat Free Sri Lankan Cooking, Nourish the Body and Mind with Yoga & Vegetarian delights and Ottoman Palace Cuisine. Book at cookeryschool@
Healthy cooking course with Ridgeway Nutrition covers healthy family meals, sustainability awareness, fun food for weight loss, tasty meals for any dietary or health concerns. Click here for all services offered by Ridgeway Nutrition (and scroll down to find this course).
Macaron masterclasses for all ages at The Real Macaron Company in Newbury. Small classes combining a detailed demonstration with a practical, hands-on session, and lots of tips and advice on how to make this increasingly popular treat. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07887 870 274 to book or visit the website for upcoming workshop dates.
The Lambourn Wine Circle is a fun group that runs eight-week terms to learn more about the grape and taste some super wines from new regions. Contact Brian Davis on email@example.com or 01488 670 468 for next course details and friendly events and tastings
Bread-baking workshops (using sourdough and wild yeast) near Wantage and near Abingdon with The Wild Baker.
Hogan Music Academy in Newbury offers a wide range of courses and classes for people of all ages and abilities on most instruments as well as ensemble playing, songwriting, sound mixing and a number of specialist workshops. Contact 01635 49657 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
Choir 55 for over 55s at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury who want to have fun singing. No previous experience required. Click here for details (part of the Ageing Creatively programme)
Alice Simmons singing teacher based near Marlborough offers lessons in a variety of genres to children and adults. Beginners welcome. DBS certified. Contact alicepsimmons@gmail.
Rock Choir in Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Wantage and Marlborough is the UK’s most popular contemporary choir for keen singers with no audition or previous experience necessary. Go to www.rockchoir.com to find details of your local choir.
Opus 2 is a friendly mixed-voice choir performing a range of traditional, sacred choral pieces to contemporary, popular compositions at a high standard. For more details contact Jane Pike on 07780 767 408 or email@example.com.
Phoenix Brass is a very friendly fourth-section band which is open to all and practices in Froxfield year-round. Recruiting all players, especially cornets. Contact 01672 515 176 or 01672 512 634.
Marlborough Accordion Orchestra has a Beginners’ Group , a Training Orchestra and an Advanced Orchestra, all for all ages, practising in Wesley Hall, Marlborough. Accordions and music available for hire. Contact Marilyn Mason on 01672 5126 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Phoenix Brass Training Orchestra at Froxfield Village Hall. Instruments and tuition provided. All ages and total beginners welcome. Contact 01672 512634 or email@example.com.
Marlborough Community Choir welcomes everyone, with no auditions, no need to read music. For more information please visit the website.
Sing the World acapella harmony singing group meets at Speen Parish Hall to sing Gospel, folk, Eastern European, African and other songs from around the world. No auditions or requirement to read music. Led by natural voice practitioner Tessa Hall. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01635 523 379 or visit the website.
Community Theatre Makers at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury. No auditions, open to adults of all abilities. Click here for more information.
Play for Today at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury. Adults can collaborate to devise a new play in just one day. Click here for more information.
Watermill Theatre drama courses: Prologue, Associate Youth Theatre (Juniors and Seniors). Adult Drama Groups (no previous experience necessary), Fourth Wall (for adults with learning difficulties) and Duologue at Arlington Arts (a deaf and hearing integrated group for anyone over 12 years). Please contact Emma on 01635 570 934 or email@example.com
NYT (Newbury Youth Theatre) for 14-21 years. Berkshire’s only youth theatre that performs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every August. For latest reviews visit the Facebook page.Weekly term-time rehearsals at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury. No auditions. To enrol please click here.
Ballroom, Latin American and sequence dancing with Cheek2Cheek Dance in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Weekly Beginners classes in Boxford, Lambourn and Wantage. To book courses online, visit the website or call/text Alison on 07780 624784.
Dare to Dance for over 55 beginners and improvers. Part of the Ageing Creatively programme at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury.
Dance classes in Thatcham with the Kennet Valley Dance School including adults’ fun fitness classes and adults’ beginner and children’s ballroom and Latin American. Contact Karen Goodall on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07952 313 768.
Ballet/tap/dance/street dance for 2.5-13 years with Starlet Inspirations Dance School in Basildon. For class times and to book a free trial contact Louise 07789 518 563.
Stretch the Mind
Try something new: learn a language, improve your IT skills or write for pleasure. Click here to browse the leisure courses at Newbury College or call 01635 845 000.
Enrol at The Vici Language Academy in Newbury to learn French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic and English as a Foreign Language. Visit the website to see their wide range of tuition including intensive one-to-one coaching, online courses, GCSE revision and relaxed conversation and cultural workshops.
To learn Spanish, join the Spanish Learning Club, where language meets culture. Based in Kintbury, they offer complete beginner, private classes, intermediate groups and conversation and film clubs. Please contact Angela Quiroga on angela.spanishclub@gmail.
Community learning at Grove Adult Learning Centre (part of Abingdon & Witney College) near Wantage. A wide range of courses including genealogy, office and counselling skills, conflict resolution, IT and languages. Click here to browse courses and enrol.
ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) with Berkshire School of English: friendly English-language courses at all levels for non-native speakers, families, businesses and schools. New courses include Grammar Course (intensive and part-time) and English for Driving in the UK. Please click here for more information on all available courses.
Italian and Japanese language courses at various levels at St John’s Marlborough Adult Education
U3A The University of the Third Age runs small groups for retired or semi-retired people to explore learning opportunities in almost every subject. Click here to find a group near you.
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia free advice sessions at Hungerford Library for anyone with concerns about a child who is struggling at school, college, uni or work, or click here to request a free 30-minute no-obligation telephone chat.
Alpha Course (11 weeks) each session looking at a different question around Christian faith. All welcome. Held at Hungerford Vicarage. Click here for next course details.
Skills & CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
Baby, child, adult and elderly first-aid classes from Daisy First Aid (run by a highly experienced retired police officer and mother). Baby & Child First Aid courses,private classes in your own home and bespoke classes for schools and organisations including epi-pen, diabetes, CPR and defibrillator training all available. Contact Juliet Rudkin on 07719 663 406 or email@example.com.
Driver CPC training (which needs to be undertaken every five years by all lorry coach and bus drivers) for individuals or companies provided by CAE Logistics Ltd based in Lambourn. Contact Cate Earl on 07802 649 902. 5% discount for every extra person you book and pay for – so, if you organise a group of 10, you get 50% off.
English-language courses for professionals for those working in a wide range of professions (including English for Business Communication) at the Berkshire School of English. Please click here for more information on these.
From HR to bookkeeping, click to view the Professional Vocational Courses available at Newbury College.
Teacher training at local schools through Excalibur Teaching School Alliance’s School direct PGCE programme, based at St John’s Marlborough and local primary schools. Click here for more information.
Public speaking: Newbury Speakers Club is a warm and friendly toastmasters club that helps members become better communicators and leaders. It generally meets twice a month month at Newbury Rugby Club. It also providse mentoring and support for speakers of all abilities.
Regulated first aid courses for HSE compliance, including hazardous rural industries (tree surgeons, farmers etc) and voluntary organisations including sports clubs, activity providers and Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Half and full day courses delivered at your premises and available within 50 miles of Newbury. Contact Mike Samuels at CPR First Aid Training.
Nightingale Fitness runs mixed age and ability 12-week fitness classes and indoor/outdoor bootcamps in Newbury and Thatcham starting 26 March. Visit the website or call 07885 551750.
Fitness at The Lambourn Centre various classes every morning and evening for all abilities as well as gym membership, kids trampolining and gymnastics. Supervised gym sessions for 11-15 yrs. Contact 01488 73690 or visit their website.
Spin/indoor cycling at the Hungerford Leisure Centre. Popular fitness activity on stationary bicycles to a great soundtrack, for every level of ability. Pre-booking recommended. Contact 01488 683 303 or visit their website.
Zumba. Friendly, fun dance and cardio exercise for all ages and sizes. Termtime morning classes in Marlborough, East Grafton, Wootton Rivers and Great Bedwyn on various days. For more information please contact Joanna on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07710 115 324
Nordic Walking turns a walk into a work-out, improving your posture while enjoying the local countryside with Wessex Nordic Walking. in Marlborough, Swindon, Hungerford and Newbury. Free tasters, special poles provided. Click here to register interest or contact Ashley on 07540 784 959
Accomplish Fitness Studio near Hungerford. Visit the website for more details.
Seeds2Glory just south of Hungerford with fitness gurus Ricardo Defazio and Shiv O’Connell. For more information, click here.
Cycling UK Wantage is a friendly group offering rides for all types of recreational rider predominantly on the roads and occasionally along the local by-ways and bridleways. Visit their website for details.
Ignition Tennis offers a range of tennis coaching for all ages and abilities throughout the area for clubs and schools offering term-time lessons, schools coaching, parties, one-to-one lessons. See also Easter Tennis Camps for kids below.
Badminton at Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Play for fun and keep fit with Kintbury Badminton Club, member of NDBA league. Contact Cliff Verrall on 07478 699 313 or email@example.com or Frances West on 07780 698 723 firstname.lastname@example.org
Touch rugby at Hungerford Rugby Club for anyone (men and women) over 16 years old. A lot of fun, with instruction if you’ve not played before. Click here for more details or contact Pierre on 07713 215 014.
Cycling lessons at your home or a convenient public place for all ages, total beginners up to long-distance riders and triathaletes. Available within a 50-mile radius of Newbury. Contact Caroline Lane on 07712 470 405 email@example.com
Falkland Cricket Club on Enborne Road, Newbury has great training facilities including grass practice pitches, astroturf net facilities and a bowling machine. To enquire about joining please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Volleyball for all abilities and disabilities. Starting soon in Newbury. Please contact Haddon for more details on email@example.com or alternatively call 01635 760 535.
Fives at St Barts School, Newbury. A handball game played in a small squash-style court with two teams of two. All abilities welcome. For anyone 12+ years. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and times.
Fitness for the Elderly & Less Mobile
Home exercise kitbag for West Berkshire residents who want to improve their mobility and balance but struggle to get out to a class. On clearance from your GP or health professional, you will receive tuition at home on exercise as well as a resistance bands and ankle weights to aid exercise. To apply contact Nick Rance email@example.com or call 07702 892 518.
Oomph! Seated exercise elass deliverers – Get Berkshire Active is looking for venues to set up new Oomph seated exercise sessions. Full training can be given to staff and no previous experience necessary, just a smile and some enthusiasm! A fun, sociable class to get your whole body moving. To register contact Nick on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07702 892 518.
Sit tall stand strong (chair-based gentle exercise class) at the Lambourn Centre to improve mobility and prevent falls. Contact 01488 73690 or visit their website.
‘Ever Active’ gentle sports (for over 50s and people with mobility issues): click here for local schedule of, walking football and walking netball (slowed-down version of the games), disability cricket and new age bowls (a form of ‘short mat bowls’ using softer, lighter balls) in Lambourn and Newbury.
Volleyball for all abilities and disabilities. Starting soon in Newbury. Please contact Haddon for more details on email@example.com or call 01635 760535.
Nordic Walking as Well Being programme of walks and gentle exercises for anyone with health or fitness concerns. A safe way to walk yourself fitter, including exercises for flexibility, balance and strength whilst using poles to increase joint mobility. Coming soon to Hungerford/Marlborough area with Wessex Nordic Walking. Contact Ashley on 07540 784959.
Mindfulness for Stress courses (eight weeks) in Newbury, Swallowfield and Midgham with Living Well Mindfulness. Book a free taster session or contact Sheila Bond on firstname.lastname@example.org 07990 584 078.
The Wellbeing Centre in Newbury offers complementary therapies and treatments to support physical and emotional wellbeing, personal development and mental health. Also yoga, mindfulness and meditation classes, tai chi, pilates and a variety of workshops and events. Pregnancy and post-natal classes and services are a speciality. Contact 01635 552 874, email@example.com or visit The Wellbeing Centre.
FitBackandBumps an exciting new pre- and post-natal exercise programme delivered by a Chartered Physiotherapist, helps remove the fear of exercising during pregnancy and after birth. For details click here.
Carers programme (including first aid, building resilience, safer moving and handling, yoga for relaxation) at Grove Adult Learning Centre (part of Abingdon & Witney College) located next to Grove Library near Wantage. Click here for details.
Sport in Mind promotes mental well-being through sport by offering a range of sports and physical activities designed for people experiencing mental health problems.
Recovery in Mind is a social enterprise in Newbury that helps people with mental-health problems live a more meaningful life. Free courses are available for individuals, as well as courses for organisations to support the wellbeing and positive mental health of staff or students.
Yoga & Pilates
Ayurveda yoga and chakra-balancing workshops at St John’s Marlborough Adult Education.
Pilates sessions part of the Ageing Creatively programme at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre Newbury. (Details of spring and summer courses available on website from 22 March.)
Yoga at Grove Adult Learning Centre near Wantage including Restorative Yoga, Mixed Ability and Yoga Club – click link for course dates.
My Kind of Yoga with Eunice Learmont in Swindon. Suitable for beginners and improvers. Book a free trial by contacting Eunice on her Asia Zen Wellbeing facebook or 07973 987 938 and to enquire about yoga workshops and one-to-one or small group private classes.
Hatha yoga in Great Shefford Village Hall on Monday evenings. Year round, drop-in class with June Frith 07507 933 219.
Pilates – friendly, traditional classes held in Stockcross and Peasemore. All abilities welcome. Choice of morning classes and flexible attendance possible. Instructor with 16 years experience. Contact Gillian for more information 01235 814 299 or 07981 362 867
Tai Chi & Martial Arts
Matt Ward Karate runs courses for juniors in Bishopstone, Marlborough, Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wroughton, Ashbury Chilton Foliat and Lambourn. Private adult sessions by appointment. Contact Matt on Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org or 07774 645 476.
18-stance Tai Chi and Qi Chong at St John’s Marlborough Adult Education.
Chen-style tai chi courses and one-to-one tuition are provided by GreenChi at various locations in the area.
Fury martial arts and street self-defence in Newbury, Andover and Swindon. Visit the website for details.
Young Family Fun
Toddler Rave at the Corn Exchange Newbury – interactive music sessions that are perfect for those aged one to five (and their grown-ups). Click here for more information.
Youth theatre for four to 19 years at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury. No auditions. Various age groups. Click here for more details.
Creation Station at the Corn Exchange Learning Centre in Newbury allows pre-school aged children to get creative with arts based activities. Those aged 18 months to 11 years can also come along to the Creation Station Family Fun Workshops.
Family music sessions at the Corn Exchange Newbury with Nick Cope for eight years and under (with their grown-ups).
Superhero first aid classes for seven years plus from Daisy First Aid (run by a highly experienced retired police officer and mother). Practice on manikins wearing super hero capes and learn CPR to the Nellie the Elephant tune! To book contact Juliet Rudkin on 07719 663 406 or via the website or by email to email@example.com.
Badminton at Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Play for fun and keep fit with Kintbury Badminton Club, member of NDBA league. JContact Cliff Verrall on 07478 699313 firstname.lastname@example.org or Frances West on 07780698723 email@example.com
Teen Rangers 12-16 years take practical action for nature while having fun. Monthly sessions on the first Weds or at weekends, often at the Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham. Booking is essential online here or with firstname.lastname@example.org Tools provided.
Interactive science classes with Mini Professors – hands-on fun in Newbury with new Saturday classes launching from May 2018. Click here for information about workshops for primary schools and nurseries.
Mermaid Swimming Experiences for children 6-14yrs with AquaSplash at Ridgeway Leisure Centre near Swindon. Group and private swimming lessons for all ages. Click here for more information.
Children’s Macaron Baking Days for 7-12 year olds. Contact email@example.com or 07887870274. Private “Bake with Me Parties” can also be booked.
Plus lots more holiday activities in our What to do this Easter Holidays guide
Dog training for working breeds in Marlborough with Jill Thorpe. Small, relaxed classes starting with good manners on the introductory foundation course, working on the basic commands, steadiness and an introduction to the puppy retrieve. Contact Jill on 07901 651 663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dog behaviour with Zen Dog Whisperer Ken Stronach. Learn how to create a bond with your dog and resolve any behavioural problems. Ken works with you at home or via Skype. Advance booking recommended. 10% discount for PP readers. Contact him on 07866 620933, at email@example.com or follow him on facebook to learn more.
and lastly…something a bit different
Shalbourne Gliding Club just south of Hungerford offers a range of classes from 15-minute trial lessons to full courses. Visit the website for details.
Barbury Shooting School near M4 J15 offers practice sessions and tuition for clay shooting, archery, air rifles and simulated game days.
Reading Climbing Centre offers a range of courses and classes for all levels of ability including NICAS qualifications and bouldering.
Have fun deciding what you are doing to do – and doing it!
Penny Post makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is correct but all details may be subject to change. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you know or believe any of the details above are incorrect or if you run a class or course which you would like to see included.