New Year, new you: group trips to try something fresh

Date Posted: 01/01/2014

The Scarlet

Pictured: The relaxation terrace at The Scarlet resort in Cornwall.

New year, new you: whether you want to learn a skill, get fit, or detox after the festive season, here’s some group holiday ideas to ease you into 2014.

Luxury fitness with 38° North, Cornwall

Luxury eco hotel The Scarlet is teaming up with 38° North to offer luxury fitness holidays in the New Year. 38° North is a team of qualified fitness experts offering personalised training tailored to individual abilities.

A group holiday can include runs across Atlantic coast paths, beach workouts, yoga in the Scarlet studio, mountain biking across Cornish moorland and surfing sessions on Mawgan Porth beach. You can also enjoy the Scarlet spa in a cliff-top hot tub and refuel with locally sourced, healthy dishes from the Scarlet restaurant.

Photography lessons in the Lake District

Set in the Lake District and suitable for all groups from beginner to expert, Lakeland Photographic Holidays aim to take you off the beaten track to capture some of Cumbria’s awe-inspiring views with a focus on nature, landscapes and walking.

Each day is spent with landscape photographer John Gravett, who provides practical coaching from the field. Breakfasts and packed lunches are provided and at night participants can enjoy four-course home-cooked dinners complemented with post-production reviews of images taken during the day.

Workshops cost from £685 for six nights, including accommodation, tuition, food, soft drinks and excursions.

Learn to drive a steam train in Norfolk

From March next year, the Bure Valley Steam Railway at Cromer in North Norfolk will offer courses in steam train driving.

These will comprise an education in the principles of steam locomotives - including safety, preparation and driving the train.

Become a domestic god or goddess in Devon

A weekend dinner party course at Ashburton Cookery School will give groups a host of dinner party ideas and teach you recipes for canapés, starters, main courses and desserts. Over two days you will learn a selection of recipes and be given pointers on how to best organise your kitchen so you can get ahead and spend time with your guests when they arrive. 


Pictured: Expert chefs to guide you through hands-on cookery courses at Ashburton Cookery School.

This is a hands-on course so you will be cooking throughout the day, learning to perfect the recipes and picking up some plating and presentation tips.

Courses include two days' tuition, course notes, recipes, and meals. GTOs can also book on-site accommodation.

Singing tuition in Cumbria

This weekend away at Higham Hall in Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, is designed for those who have attended previous Singing for the Tone Deaf weekends at Higham, as well as any interested beginners - including those who have never dared sing before.

Over the two-night break groups can learn new songs, vocal exercises and music reading skills.

Craft skills at Bedruthan in Cornwall

Slow to Cornwall’s pace and marvel at the coastline whilst learning a new skill at Bedruthan in north Cornwall. The award-winning hotel offers a host of crafty breaks, from learning how to sew and weave baskets, to cob oven making and bee keeping.

Alternatively, if you’re keen to make a fresh start in 2014 and fully detox from all the festive partying, book a spa break and sit back and relax in Bedruthan’s spa pool, cleansing cedar sauna, eucalyptus steam room and lavender caldarium.

Honeymaking sessions in Shropshire

Get close to nature on a weekend-long bee-keeping course at Tiger Hall in Shropshire - you’ll get expert tuition and guidance from Charles Millar, who has been keeping bees for 12 years.

A group holiday can combine several hours of practical beekeeping - working with the bees, in pairs or on your own - with the relevant theory, learning fascinating facts as you go. Two-day courses take place in April and May next year and cost from £375 with an overnight stay at the nearby Long Mynd Hotel.

Dancing with Strictly stars in Manchester

You can join BBC Strictly Come Dancing stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag for a weekend dance break in Manchester. Enjoy a dance class with Anton and Erin, watch them showcase their ballroom skills, get exclusive backstage access after their performance for autographs, and join a black tie ball in the evening.

Group accommodation is at the four-star Village Premier Hotel and Leisure Club and the early bird package price is £175 per person.

This list of attractions amd destinations was compiled by VisitEngland. Group travel organisers can visit the website of England’s official tourist board for further advice on planning a group visit to any of the featured sites and attractions.

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