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11 quirky new hobbies to try in Norwich in 2020

PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 December 2019

Creative courses on offer in Norwich include songwriting. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

Creative courses on offer in Norwich include songwriting. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

DragonImages/Getty Images/iStockphoto

From songwriting to baking sourdough, if your resolution for the new year is a new hobby, here are 11 courses and workshops in Norwich to get you started.

Explore the dressmaking courses on offer at MakePlace in Norwich. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphotoExplore the dressmaking courses on offer at MakePlace in Norwich. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

1. Screenprinting

Learn screenprinting, letterpress and a host of other techniques at Print to the People. An artist-led social enterprise, it's dedicated to promoting traditional printmaking processes at its studios at the Old Box Factory in Pitt Street, Norwich. Courses and workshops run throughout the year.

2. Dressmaking

Painting is a great way to switch off from our 'always on' culture. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphotoPainting is a great way to switch off from our 'always on' culture. Picture: Getty Images/ iStockphoto

If you've seen Me Made May trending on social media, you'll know that it's a month-long challenge where sewists who make their own clothes showcase their handmade wardrobe. If you fancy joining the slow fashion movement, but don't know where to start Makeplace Norwich in Magdalen Street, run by the team behind Anglian Fashion Fabrics, holds an array of dressmaking workshops and courses - from tote bags to trousers - with tutors Pippa Pease and Lisa Smith-Clare.

3. On song

For every occasion, there's a song. Discover the secrets of songwriting on a six-week evening course at City College Norwich, Ipswich Road. Aimed at anyone with an interest in songwriting - it's not necessary to play an instrument - the course will look at how to seize inspiration and generate ideas, approaches to writing lyrics, rhythms, riffs and tempos, song structure and chords and melody.

4. Creative writing

Could this be the year that you finally make a start on the novel you've been promising to write? The National Centre for Writing in King Street is a brilliant resource for anyone who wants to write but doesn't know how to begin. Courses and workshops coming up this year, with experts in their field, include beginners' fiction, poetry, food writing and life writing.

5. Take art

Drawing and painting is a great way of switching off from our 'always on' culture. Go off (Instagram) grid at Anteros Arts Foundation in Fye Bridge Street where you can learn the basics of drawing, oil painting, watercolour painting, sculpture and more.

6. Put on an act

All the world's a stage. If you've ever daydreamed about performing, tread the boards at Stage Two at Norwich Theatre Royal, which offers courses in acting, modern musical theatre and dance. Or if you prefer to stay behind the scenes, there is also a scriptwriting course.

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7. Use your loaf

The smell of freshly baked bread is hard to beat. And Norwich bakery Bread Source runs one-day Essential Sourdough courses at its shop in Upper St Giles, with the aim of giving participants the skills and confidence to make their own at home.

Workshops are led by award-winning baker, author and teacher at the Artisan School of Food in Nottinghamshire, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. And three different breads are made during the day - a traditional white sourdough, a sourdough rye and a flavoured sourdough - with Bread Source's own sourdough starter.

Emmanuel goes through every stage, from sustaining the culture and how to work with it, to mixing, moulding and baking.

Dates up to spring 2020 are online now.

8. Go green

Sales of houseplants and accessories are booming - especially among millennials. Terrariums are a gorgeous, and Instagrammable, way of displaying greenery and Urban Jungle at Costessey, on the outskirts of Norwich, offers workshops to get you started. Even better, there's cake too.

9. Perfect patisserie

Learn how to make Great British Bake Off-worthy patisserie at Macarons and More's Cookery School. Taught by founder Tim Kinnaird and the Macarons and More team, plus the occasional special guest, classes lined up for the start of the year include brownies, cookies and marshmallows, cinnamon buns, doughnuts, croissants and Danish pastries and, of course, their signature macarons.

10. Time to shine

Norfolk County Council's adult learning service offers an array of creative courses, including jewellery making. Silversmithing courses and one-day workshops for beginners start in January and run throughout the year at Wensum Lodge in King Street. Participants will learn basic light metalwork techniques and processes, working with copper, brass, silver and resins to make rings and chains.

11. Say cheese

Fielding Cottage at Honingham near Norwich has been making award-winning goat's cheese for just over 10 years - and now they're sharing their secrets at their regular Friday courses on the farm.

It includes an insight into the science of the cheesemaking process, a tour of the state-of-the-art factory and the chance to get hands on and expert tuition to make your very own goats cheese to take home.

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