If You’re: Looking to learn a new language
Then Try: Courses at The Language Centre Newcastle
Whether you’ve struggled to make your admittedly-fussy order for a cheeseburger on the Côte d’Azur (no gherkins or tomato please, monsieur), or accidentally said goodbye to someone upon meeting them (hallo is Hungarian for goodbye – we didn’t know either), we’ve all fallen victim to the language barrier. The Language Centre in Newcastle offer a plethora of Modern Foreign Language courses delivered by specialist, experienced tutors. From Arabic and Japanese, to French and Spanish, each course is graded from Beginner to Intermediate, and will teach you everything from speaking and pronunciation to understanding and cultural awareness.
Third Floor, 6 Old Eldon Square, Newcastle NE1 7JG
0191 447 4770
If You’re: Ready to break out of your shell
Then Try: Beginners Improv Course with The Suggestibles
Want to impress at the next game of family charades? Or are you simply looking to boost your confidence? The Suggestibles’ Beginners Improv Course for adults is the perfect place to start. Led by expert teachers, you’ll be taught the creative, team and communication skills of improvisation while you have lots of fun – with interactive group games, pairs exercises, basic scene work and storytelling techniques helping you to become more spontaneous and less self-conscious. Not a natural? Fear not, as the improv classes don’t require any acting, comedy or performance experience. All you need is a willingness to have fun.
Jurys Inn Newcastle, Scotswood Road, Newcastle NE1 4AD
0191 209 4282
If You’re: A crafty creative
Then Try: Classes at The Quilt Shop
While we won’t blame you for thinking patchwork might be passé, we will blame you for turning a blind eye to the therapeutic, restorative effects it can have – not to mention the comfort you’ll get from your creation. The Quilt Shop in Morpeth run a number of quilting and patchwork classes suitable for sewing novices and fabric fanatics alike. Whether you want to make a statement cushion for your sofa, or a cosy quilt to keep you warm in bed, their wonderful workshops will build on your textiles talent while providing a perfect space for relaxation. For those less experienced, the ever-popular ‘stitch and chat’ classes teach the basics of free-hand sewing, while intensive two-day workshops will leave you a seasoned seamstress.
Unit 4, Grandstand Services, Fairmoor, Morpeth NE61 3JN
If You’re: Bonkers about baking
Then Try: Beginners Bread Making with Earth and Fire Bakery
Go from amateur to artisan in a couple of hours as you learn how to mix, knead, prove, shape and bake beautiful bread with Earth and Fire. At the Rising Sun Farm in Benton, their Beginners Bread Making classes will see a professional baker guide you through the basics using quality local ingredients, before you try your hand at producing a range of artisan loaves, buns and baguettes – which you’ll (hopefully) bake to perfection in a wood-fired oven. No experience is necessary, so pop on an apron, grab a rolling pin and get kneading. Great British Bake Off 2021, we’re coming for you.
Rising Sun Countryside Centre, Whitley Road, Benton NE12 9SS
If You’re: Mad about music
Then Try: Classes at Musicstart
We can imagine there’s nothing quite like the feeling of picking up a guitar and effortlessly strumming out a singalong classic. But while that may feel like a distant daydream for many of us first-timers, there’s still hope yet for you to fulfil your Bryan Adams-shaped ambitions. Musicstart provide a range of travelling music classes for all ages and abilities across Tyneside and Teeside, led by professional musicians with a wealth of expertise in the industry. Be it guitar, piano, saxophone, drums or even vocals, each one-to-one session adopts a fun approach to learning new instruments and uses tried-and-tested techniques to build your musical mastery. But it’s not all melodies and riffs – learning a new instrument is also proven to build confidence, discipline and perseverance, providing vital life skills that are sure to keep you in tune throughout the year.
07891 343 524
If You’re: Ready to speak up
Then Try: Workshops with Be A Great Speaker
Imagine if Martin Luther King let his nerves get the better of him? We’d have never found out about his dream. Therein lies the inspiration behind this next set of workshops. Run by Chris Edmondson, a highly passionate speaking and communications coach, Be a Great Speaker is a travelling speech skills consultancy offering one-to-one speaking tuition for those across the region who struggle with public speaking. Whether you’ve got a big presentation coming up at work, a best man speech to prepare for or if you simply want to combat your anxiety, you’ll be taught a range of core skills to boost your confidence and kick-start your journey towards becoming a public speaking aficionado.
The Quadrus Centre, Woodstock Way, Boldon NE35 9PF
0191 519 7299
If You’re: In need of some zen
Then Try: Yoga classes at Ananda Wellbeing
When the start-of-the-year slump arrives with a vengeance and you feel your patience is wearing thinner (we know how you feel), taking time for yourself is the perfect remedy. As cliché as it sounds, learning how to disconnect and indulge in some self-care will provide you with all the mindfulness and clarity you need – and a yoga mat is the perfect place to start. The Ananda Wellbeing Studio in Middesbrough offers a packed schedule of daily yoga classes, including Vinyasa Flow, which links movement to breath in a continuous flowing sequence of poses, and Hot Yoga – an intense mat-work class to build strength and sweat off all those festive excesses.
10 Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 1QA
If You’re: Snap happy
Then Try: Photography Workshops at Going Digital North East
Whatever you get up to this year, you’ll probably be taking as many pictures as possible to capture your best moments. After all with the rise of social media, it seems everyone is now a photographer. But having the skill to take a beautiful, living room wall-worthy picture is a tougher task. Going Digital North East’s photography workshops will teach you how to do just that, covering essential equipment skills and how to become more creative with your camera (a free-to-loan DSLR) in some of the North East’s most scenic spots, such as Souter Lighthouse and the Durham Dales. From shooting wildlife to natural light portraits, you’ll have all the expertise to create a picture-perfect masterpiece in no time – so clear some space on that living room wall.
If You’re: Keen to get into the swing of things
Then Try: Golf Classes at N1 Golf
The coveted British Masters will be hosted in the North East this summer, so what better time to brush up on your golf swing? While it’s unlikely you’ll be striding down the fairways alongside Tiger and Rory, there’s no harm in trying to improve your game, especially when the benefits for both body and mind are so great. With a flood-lit, covered driving range, grass pitch-and-put and a challenging nine-hole course, the N1 Golf academy in Morpeth (formerly The Gubeon Golf Centre) is the perfect place to give it a shot. Their classes are led by a team of highly experienced PGA Qualified coaches who will teach you the foundations of a solid swing, from driving off the tee to putting on the green, and welcome all abilities – sparing your blushes when your first wayward drive soars into the trees.
Walton Road, Morpeth NE61 3YJ