Plant bashing to paddleboarding: Unusual hobbies to try in 2022

What new hobbies do you hope to take up in 2022?

What new hobbies do you hope to take up in 2022? - Credit: Archant

Norwich is full of unusual businesses and groups offering something fun to try this year. 

And with folks looking to turn over a new leaf this year - many for health and wellbeing reasons - there's plenty to choose from. 

Here's a range of new places to try right here in Norwich.

Paddleboarding

EDP reporter Emily Thomson paddleboarding on the River Wensum with Norwich Paddleboard Hire.

EDP reporter Emily Thomson paddleboarding on the River Wensum with Norwich Paddleboard Hire. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Adam Tiffany established Norwich Paddleboard Hire during lockdown, and it acted as a safe form of exercise during the height of 2020's lockdowns.

Based out of Gibraltar Gardens in Heigham Street, Adam's paddleboarding sessions are a full-body workout - and customers can expect to not only crack a few laughs during a session, but to also burn around 400 calories per hour on the water.

He said: "A lot of people do it in the city because once you're on the River Wensum you paddle down about 500 metres and you're in your own little world.

"On the water, there's no one else around. It's a pure escape from city-centre life. 

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"Being out on the water offers a lot of people peace, and it's a group activity you can do with all your friends. It's a fun sport."

He added: "It's absolutely gorgeous. You wouldn't believe you're in the city. Essentially, the countryside is on your doorstep and people don't realise."

Adam takes punters on the water from April to October - so although paddlers have to hold off until the water's a little warmer, it'll be worth the wait.

The sessions are £19.99 for two-and-a-half hours on the water.

LARP-ing

There are many different Larp groups in Norwich. 

There are many different LARP groups in Norwich. - Credit: Steph Pardoe

Not many people have heard of LARP-ing.

Also known as live action role play, LARP is a type of game where people taking part physically portray their characters.

Ben Allen, of the University of East Anglia (UEA) Shattered Worlds LARP society, said: "There are places where you can do it in a very accessible way.

"The community itself is very strong and very caring, always trying to be more inclusive and always trying to explore new ideas."

And he explained that it's not just about "bashing each other in a field", and that many really take to creating their own costumes and props.

Norwich is home to an abundance of LARP groups and societies, so there are plenty of different games for people to try their hands at.

Plant workshops

Kerri Notman runs a variety of plant-based workshops at Leslie Terrance in Magdalen Road in Norwich

Kerri Notman runs a variety of plant-based workshops at Leslie Terrance in Magdalen Road in Norwich - Credit: Kerri Notman

Kerri Notman of Leslie Terrance Home plant shop in Magdalen Road heads up a variety of workshops for would-be florists and plant lovers.

From crocheted dreamcatchers intertwined with greenery to terrariums stuffed with cacti and fairy gardens, there's something for everyone.

Kerri said: "It's a really nice thing to do.

"Terrariums are in a glass bottle and make their own atmosphere within it. You kind of almost make a living ornament.

Kerri Notman runs a variety of plant-based workshops at Leslie Terrance in Magdalen Road in Norwich

Kerri Notman runs a variety of plant-based workshops at Leslie Terrance in Magdalen Road in Norwich - Credit: Kerri Notman

"The workshops are my favourite, because they're often with customers we haven't seen before.

"We do lunches in the café, so it's quite a nice social event for people."

'Balsam bashing'

Restoring a pond at Bramerton

Restoring a pond at Bramerton - Credit: Mark Webster

This hobby is not as aggressive as it sounds.

'Bashing' is an activity ideal for those interesting in preserving and maintaining the precious and unique ecosystem that Norwich has to offer. 

A form of conservation volunteering, the Norwich Environmental Action team's volunteers project officer Mark Webster explains how it's a perfect hands-on exercise for those keen to get out into the cities open spaces.

He said: "Quite a lot of what we're doing is trying to maintain a nice balance.

"It's a little bit more subtle than it sounds, but the trouble is that some plants just don't know when to stop, and would take over if they were just left."

From tackling blackthorns and balsam to restoring ponds to their former glory, there are plenty of ways to get involved, and in all weathers, too.

All kit is supplied and experts are on hand to guide.

All people need to join in is work-friendly attire and enthusiasm!

To get involved, contact Mark on 07740 899691.

What new hobby are you taking up in 2022? 

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