London's Most Alternative Classes

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 24 months ago
London's Most Alternative Classes

In the market for a new hobby and want to go a bit more offbeat than knitting or Zumba? Sign up for one of London's more unusual classes.

London Terrariums

London Terrariums

Occasionally, everyone wants to lock themselves up in a bubble for the rest of their life. This class won't teach you that, but you can create a tiny little bubble planet for a patch of nature. That's the aim at London Terrariums, where you learn to make your beautiful own terrarium. Think of it as a gardening class for Londoners who don't like the outdoors.

Book (months) in advance for your desired workshop as these guys are ferociously popular. Classes range from £25-60 depending which type of terrarium you desire.

Qi Gong

So we headed down to a Shaolin Temple and whacked ourself with a bundle of sticks, and now it's your turn. If you want to stand out from the endless crowd of yogis (but still want to reap its rewards), then the ancient Chinese practice of qi gong is perfect. It strengthens your core, improves your flexibility and there's nothing more relaxing than a well earned energy massage to end your day.

Give it a go in Tufnell Park's Shaolin Temple. Lessons are usually £15, or a yearly pass is £80.

Anthropomorphic mouse (or rat) taxidermy lessons

Mice doing mice

The British Academy of Taxidermy offers more than just this hyper-specific class, but this was the one that stood out to us the most (remember, we're going for unusual here). Finally, somewhere to construct the tiny mice scenes that haunt your dreams. Props are provided, but if you're feeling really enthusiastic, do go on and bring your own.

£50 for one, or £70 for two people. Takes place at Islington Arts Factory.


Pyrography is the art of writing with fire. Although it sounds like something that would appeal to your friendly neighbourhood pyromaniac, pyrography is actually very safe — there are no naked flames involved. If you're not confident about your freehand drawing skills don't worry — there are special brands with pre-made patterns you can use.

£39 at London Craft Club.

Medieval sword fighting

Time to party like it's 1399. That's right, sharpen your blade because it's time to swing it recklessly at someone (OK, not recklessly — that's the first thing you'll be taught). Medieval sword fighting is a western martial art that takes much training and dedication to master.

£14 per session or £45 per month at London Longsword Academy.

Brew Club

Brew your own beer

Craft beer is conquering the nation, and you can make your own special blend. All you have to do is turn up and brew — everything you need is provided. Then, return two weeks later to bottle and pick up your now fully-brewed beer. It's £100, which might seem like a lot, but considering you get 40 bottles of your own beer, it actually works out at a pretty decent rate of £2.50 per beer.

£100 at Brew Club in Clapton.

Hula hoop

Anna the Hulagan

Hula hooping isn't just for kids in the playground. Anna the Hulagan was the first person to start teaching hula hoop classes in London. She's been at the heart of London's hula hooping community for years, and has watched it grow proudly. Join her if you're looking to get toned, coordinated, learn tricks and meet some new people.

Hulagan Tricks is £6 per class. Book in advance. It's at The Hugh Cubitt Centre in King's Cross, every Wednesday 6.30pm-7.30pm.

Last Updated 13 January 2017