Combining hobbies with holidays

Combining holidays and hobbies

Are you looking for interesting holiday ideas this year? Combining hobbies with holidays is one way to enjoy some quality time. We share some ideas where you can enjoy your favourite activities with journeys you can do by foot, car, sea, or rail.

Enjoy home comforts

Let’s start with destinations within easy reach of home. The UK has a diverse range of landscapes and regional specialisms, with locations offering the following activities:

  • Pottery classes – Learn how to throw a pot on a pottery workshop holiday in Devon, Hampshire, or Wales. Work on a project while exploring beautiful coastline areas.
  • Bird watching – Budding twitcher who loves spotting birdlife? Visit the RSPB’s Minsmere and Dingle Marshes coastal nature reserve in Suffolk or the huge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust site at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
  • Quilting – This traditional craft has seen a resurgence in recent years. Head to North Norfolk to learn sewing, quilting, and embroidery techniques.
  • Bread baking – Improve your baking skills at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School near Driffield, where you can also learn to bake with sourdough and other foodstuffs.
  • Knitting and crochet – Travel up to the Trossachs National Park in Scotland, where you can learn new techniques from a knitting and crochet expert in a beautiful retreat.

Interrail across Europe

If you’re a certain age, then you will remember the interrailing trend back in the 80s and 90s. However, as more people are switching to eco-conscious ways of travelling, the Interrail Pass is firmly back on many people’s agendas. For example, crossing into France via the Eurotunnel gives you access to 33 countries and opens up the European continent without stepping onto a plane.

As well as offering some of the activities we’ve listed above, each country has its specialist produce. There are plenty of culinary experiences across Europe if you prefer these to hobby-based activities:

  • Cooking classes – Learn patisserie skills in France, pasta-making in Italy, and sustainable Andalusian cuisine in Spain. Head north to discover Swedish cinnamon bun-baking on the Stockholm archipelago. These experiences often involve visiting local markets and producers.
  • Foodie experiences – Prefer tasting food to cooking meals? As the largest producer of olive oil, Spain is the perfect place to sample sun-kissed olives. Taste balsamic vinegar in Modena, Italy, and Tuscany offers a range of foodie experiences.
  • Wine tasting – Travel to the Champagne region in France to see how they produce this famous regional drink, or head to Bordeaux to enjoy their wine. In Italy, you can sample prosecco in Treviso and Valpolicella wine in Verona.

Greek island hopping

Desperate for some summer sunshine? Instead of booking the usual package holiday in Corfu, why not embark on a land-sea adventure and head to the Mediterranean? First, take the Eurostar from London to Paris and catch a train to Italy. Next, travel down to the Adriatic coast, where you can board a cruise ferry to the Greek islands. You can then island-hop across different locations to match your preferred activities.

Ferry boats are much smaller than large cruise ships, giving you access to a broader range of smaller Greek islands and various experiences.

  • Tennis in the sun – Improve your tennis skills and enjoy some social sessions, too, training with Andy Murray’s former coach, Mark Petchey. This coaching programme is based in Rhodes and Analipsi, a small island in the Peloponnese.
  • Watersports holidays – Learn how to sail with a flotilla experience around the Ionian Sea. These holidays often include windsurfing, dinghy sailing, and some land-based activities such as cycling.
  • Painting retreats – Head up into the Cretan mountains to experience painting retreats led by experienced artists. Crete is the most southern of all the islands, but you can reach it by sea. There are ferries from Athens and various Aegean islands.

Make a list of the hobbies or activities you would like to combine with a holiday. Then, shortlist the countries you would like to visit. You might be surprised that many of the ideas listed above are available at home or in your desired location.

If you are considering taking an extended travel break, you will need to get a financial plan in place. Get in touch to book your review with our financial planners.