Itching for a new hobby? Take your pick and go master something new. Whether it’s pasta making, learning Portguese or how to aerial hoop, you can do it all in Canterbury.
Paint your own a flower on Canterbury East car park wall
Canterbury East Station, Canterbury, CT1 2RB
From 10am – 1.30pm on 28th May, everyone is invited to paint a flower on the Canterbury East car park wall. The best flowers on the car park wall which will include a month’s free sports centre membership and a cream tea for two at the Beaney. At 2.30 the Train Station Master will select his favourite pictures and award two train tickets and other prizes from Dane John bandstand.
Try stand up paddling, kayaking or canoeing along the River Stour
Canoe Wild, King St, Sturry, Canterbury CT2 0BX
Guided tours or taster days are the ideal escape into the beautiful Stodmarsh Nature Reserve and a chance to paddle in a new and exciting way, whether you’re new to paddling or an experienced paddler. You can go on a wildlife safari with friends, or have tuition in a new water sport of your choice.
Cost: varies depending on activity
Join an art discussion group at the Sidney Cooper Gallery
Sidney Cooper Gallery, 22-23 St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ
You might have been part of a book club before, but have you ever been part of an art group?
On the first weekend of every exhibition at the Sidney Cooper Gallery, you can join a discussion group. Led by a member of the gallery team, this session will give participants a chance to carefully look at the show, gain insight into the work, and talk about their thoughts and reactions to the work. No specialist knowledge is required, and the sessions are open to all ages.
Beat your personal best at Canterbury’s Parkrun course
University of Kent Sports Pavilion, Canterbury CT2 7SR
Parkrun organise free, weekly, non-competitive 5km timed runs at The Pavilion at the University of Kent. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in – run along the Crab and Winkle way and have your time recorded in the weekly race.
Make your own fudge with your friends
The Fudge Kitchen, 16 Sun St, Canterbury CT1 2HX
Participate in a fudge making demonstration with a fudge expert, who will divulge the secrets of how to produce truly fantastic fudge.
You’ll also get the opportunity to taste lots of the fudge flavours on offer and at the end of your experience, you can select a 6 slice box to share (this is included in the price).
Cost: £100 for 1-3 people.
Improve your strength and flexibility with an aerial hoop or silks class
Inspire Fitness Factory, Spring Lane, Canterbury CT1 1SU
Have you ever thought of running away and joining the circus? First, you need some circus skills! Build your core and enhance your flexibility while learning a new skill. Don’t be put off if you can’t do a press up, their classes are designed to build strength.
Cost: £50 for 5 weeks
Learn the art of life drawing
Conquest House Gallery, 17 Palace St, Canterbury CT1 2DZ
Kathryn Rennie, the Conquest House resident artist, will be on hand to assist and instruct in this monthly life drawing class. They meet every 2nd Thursday 6.30- 8.30 for life drawing and every 4th Thursday (same time) for art club, where people can do their own thing. Based in Canterbury at Conquest House, in Palace Street.
Cost: £10 per person per session.
Step into a Salsa class
Westgate Hall, Westgate Hall Rd, Canterbury CT1 2BT
Classes are held every Thursday night at the Westgate Hall in Canterbury from 8.30pm. They have 4 levels including complete beginners and there is no need to pre-book, you can just turn up and pay on the door. You don’t need to have any previous dance experience to enjoy the classes, and you can bring a partner or friends or come on your own, as the classes are structured so that nobody is left without a partner.
Cost: £7 / £6 concessions
Learn how to make pasta, sourdough, or artisan bread
Canterbury Baking School, 22 The Ness, Canterbury CT1 3NL
If you’re want to learn how to bake bread like a professional, book in a slot at the Canterbury Baking school to learn the lifelong skill of baking artisan bread with different heritage grains, making pasta, pizza or sweet-dough treats. They run workshops every Wednesday and Sunday of the year out of their homely workshop.
Learn how to swing dance
Bramleys Cocktail Bar, 15 Orange St, Canterbury CT1 2JA
Bramley’s cocktail bar is host to a weekly Monday swing class and dance. There are no swing dance classes through the month of May, but if you want to get your swing dance fix this Thursday, you can head to play islands for some 1950s Rock n Roll, bowling and laser tag. Classes start at 7pm.
Cost: £5 / £4 for students.
Discover how to make your own raw chocolate
Sacred Energy, Hillside Cottages, Littlebourne Rd, Bekesbourne, Canterbury CT4 5EN
Raw chocolate has been hailed as a new superfood due to its nutritional properties, which include many essential nutrients and B vitamins. The cacao beans are left outside to dry naturally instead of being roasted, preserving nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and vitamin C. Sacred Energy hold private chocolate making workshops for those interested in learning – and you can take your box of treats home with you!
Cost: £50 for 1-to-1 tuition, £150 for up to 10 people (make your own group)
Join a gospel choir
The Old Chaucer Technology School, Spring Lane, Canterbury CT1 1SU
The choir is open to everyone, whether you’ve sung in front of audiences of thousands, or you like to perform shows to your rubber duck in the shower. Led by Beth Clarke and Emily Watts, the choir is open to anybody of any age, as long as you love singing! The group meet every Monday at 7.30pm at Chaucer Technology school.
Cost: Suggested donation of £2.50
Get fluent in French (or Spanish, or Russian, or Japanese)
University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ
The University of Kent offer 11 languages to choose from at different levels, starting from October. Specialist language groups can be found on MeetUps.com
Learn skills in media
Gulbenkian, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NB
If you’re 13-25, you can join ART31, SCREEN31, or TECH31 to learn and hone new skills in media, technology, film or photography at The Gulbenkian.
Get to grips with the manual settings on your camera
8 Orange St, Canterbury CT1 2JA
Whether you want to learn how to take better seascapes or you need practice for an upcoming event, there are courses available in Canterbury to help you along your way. The Images of Canterbury course topics include evening and night photography, wildlife, portraits and more.
Go on a cocktail masterclass
5-6 St Margaret’s St, Canterbury CT1 2TP
Start your party night off in the right way and learn how to mix & muddle a selection of your favourite drinks. The best part of the masterclass is you get to drink the fruits of your labour.
Put your poetry to the test at an open mic
The Foundry Brew Pub, White Horse Ln, Canterbury CT1 2RU / 6-8 Rose Ln, Canterbury CT1 2SJ
The ‘YOUR BARD‘ poetry slam picks a different theme every month (this month’s theme is ‘entanglement’, to be interpreted as you like), so that you can stretch your writing and performing muscles. If you prefer, there is also a ‘Poetry Happy Hour‘ at Waterstone’s on 23rd May – between 5-6pm you enjoy 10% off all poetry, and from 6:30pm, you’re invited to come and read your poems.
Relax with some yoga in the woods
Sacred Energy, Hillside Cottages, Littlebourne Rd, Bekesbourne, Canterbury CT4 5EN
Just outside of Canterbury in Bekesbourne, there is a yoga group running workshops in the woods every Thursday at 10am. Stretch out an rejuvenate, surrounded by trees and birdsong.
Join a roleplay gaming group
Dice & Destiny, 13 Borough, Canterbury CT1 2DR
Role player games are having a bit of a resurgence at the moment, with more and more people trying it out. At it’s core, it’s just making up stories! At Dice & Destiny, you can join find people to play with and set off on a new adventure. You and your friends tell a story together, guiding your heroes through quests, encountering battles with deadly enemies, chance encounters, romantic intrigue, and much more. It’s whatever you make it.
Become a drama queen (or king)
The Marlowe Theatre, The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS
There’s no experience required to join The Marlowe People’s Company, a community theatre group. The group is designed to engage those that want to explore their interest in theatre further and experiment with a range of performance techniques. A 10-week course is absolutely free!
For those with a little more theatrical experience, you can audition for the Canterbury Players, one of Canterbury’s oldest dramatics groups. They produce three shows a year in with a high calibre cast and crew, taking a great deal of pride in every aspect of their productions. They perform at the Gulbenkian Theatre (University of Kent, Canterbury), The Playhouse Theatre, Whitstable and The Marlowe Theatre Studio as well as smaller, more intimate venues around Kent. They also offer workshops and training sessions throughout the year for members. They welcome new members, from actors to backstage crew – all that they ask is that you are willing to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in!
Cost: £25 for an annual membership