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Fun courses to take in Cornwall

When it comes to thinking about a holiday in Cornwall, people are drawn to picturesque beaches, endless blue skies, tumultuous seas and incredible seafood. However, for those who have been on holiday in Looe before, or even first-timers to Cornwall looking for a different experience, there are lots of courses and workshops available in the county that give you an insight into the local culture and help you sharpen your skill set.

So for those who want to do more than wander the quaint Cornish coastal towns, see what you can sign yourself up to while staying in Cornwall.



Surfing is synonymous with Cornwall and Newquay it’s the unofficial surf town of the UK. There is so much about Cornwall that contributes to the surfer lifestyle beyond the beautiful beaches and incredible waves, and that is the laid-back atmosphere. If you are turning up to Cornwall with no idea how to tell the nose from the tail, never fear because there are lots of places to learn.

Some of the towns that attract the biggest crowds also have surf schools attached so no matter where you are looking to visit, you will be able to answer the call of the waves.

For those looking to avoid the crowds and have a lesson perfectly tailored to your abilities, head to Kingsurf Surf School in Newquay, Cornwall. Heading to the Mecca of British surfing may seem like the worst way to avoid the crowds, however, the Kingsurf Surf School has access to their own privately licensed beach offering an unspoilt location for a taster session or a progressor surfing course.

For absolute beginners who are looking for a gentler wave, head to Gwithian Academy of Surfing, which is close to the town of St Ives. The surf in St Ives Bay breaks very slowly giving first-time surfers a chance to find their feet and the top-notch facilities are perfect for those looking to warm up after a long day in the sea.



Coming from an urban environment into the wild countryside of Cornwall often inspires you to get in touch with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. Often this leads people to explore the great outdoors on hikes, however for those looking for a more filling way to connect with the land and seasons around you, why not try a foraging course?

There has been an ongoing trend that sees people reverting to more sustainable practices, from buying locally to growing their own veg. Part of this has inspired foraging, where people find ingredients and food growing wild, this not only gets people into interacting with the world around them but also into trying new recipes to cook the ingredients at home.

Fat Hen is a company that specialises in foraging workshops. From harvesting the local edible seafood to sourcing food for a Gourmet feast, there is a workshop to appeal to every cookery style and get people feeling inspired by the world around them.



The bounty of quality ingredients in Cornwall has called not only holidaymakers but top chefs to its shores. With the likes of Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth setting up shop in the area, it is no wonder that people are inspired by the Cornish food scene.

Cornwall is famous for its seafood thanks to the natural abundance from the surrounding coast and so much of this is bound up in Cornish culture, from crisp baked pilchards to stargazey pie, Cornwall is a county to inspire the taste buds.

So what better place to enjoy a cookery course than Cornwall? With local quality ingredients, stunning views and people passionate about produce, it is the perfect place to hone your skills. Philleigh Way is a purpose built cookery school that specialises in day courses for a variety of different cooking skills. Whether you want a casual introduction with cooking for beginners or a delicate dessert courses that expose the group to the skills behind mille-feuille and Chantilly cream, there is a course to suit everybody’s abilities and tastes.

For those aspiring chefs, a half-day, whole day or two-day course in Rick Stein’s kitchen may be preferable. Learn expert skills like the chef himself and with specific courses into fish and shellfish, British Seafood and Singapore Chilli Crab, it is perfect for those who love the fruits of the ocean.


Cornwall has long been home to a variety of creative industries and despite the hard work that living on the rugged landscape entails, the light, nature and wilderness or the area has inspired painters, potters and other craft producers to make their way to the most south-westerly tip of the UK. Some of these crafts have thrived in Cornwall for hundreds of years, so if you are looking for a taste of the county’s history, look no further than one of these important historic skills.

Working with willow has been around for hundreds of years and basketry is widely believed to be the oldest craft in the world and predating pottery. Working with willow is a great way to not only create something useful but also beautiful using local and natural products. Emma Scott offers courses in willow craft in Cornwall. Her locally and sustainably sourced willow ensures there is no harm to the environment and the projects range from baskets to birdhouses, perfect for complete beginners.

Another local craft that makes the most of the surrounding hedgerows and botanicals is soap making. Balance the ethical issues that surround modern day cosmetics with fun by making your very own soaps. Play around with the different scents, colours and exfoliants as well as learning the science behind the ancient art of soap making. Bloom Town is a skin care and beauty brand with a strong ethical mission that also offers these soap making workshops in the heart of the Cornish countryside.

Image Credit: Rob Bye, Providence Doucet, Robson Hatsukami Morgan, Krisitna Balic

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