Courses, classes and activities


Alternative Therapy


Far superior to a nasty blast of air freshener, learn the subtle art of aromatherapy, with beginner’s classes in essential oils and massage. An 8-week non-vocational course is available through the CEC, starting 27 Jan, priced £48 (£13 concessions). CEC, various locations, 469 3250,,

Find your happy place at a yoga class to suit you. The Aditi Yoga Centre runs courses for yoga virgins or veterans. Beginner’s classes must be booked in advance but other programmes can be joined at any stage in the term. Beginner’s classes, £70 for 8 weeks. Aditi Yoga Centre, Alva Street, 226 2601,

Learn what some Indian children learn from age five and up, with beginners evening classes in soothing Indian head massage, or shiatsu massage from CEC (see above). If you’re less interested in learning the techniques, but want to enjoy the benefits, Aditi (see above) offer pregnancy, reiki, shiatsu or foot massage therapies.

If you’re frazzled after Christmas stress, drop in for lunchtime meditation at the Edinburgh Buddhist Centre. The first one in 2009 takes place Wed 7 Jan. Five- and six-week meditation courses are also available. Edinburgh Buddhist Centre, Melville Terrace, 662 6699,

Turkish Baths
Like the idea of a spa therapy, but need change back from a tenner? Portobello Swim Centre contains one of Britain’s few original Victorian Turkish Baths still in use. The hammam has four rooms of varying temperatures, where you can sweat it out, feel energised, then chill-out. Entry is £5.70 for adults. Portobello Swim Centre, The Promenade, 669 6888,


Drop in on Pilates and ashtanga yoga classes at Gather in Glasgow. Or fantasise about being somewhere sunnier with salsa dance and djembe drumming courses. Classes start at £6. Gather in Glasgow, Ruthven Lane (off Byres Road), 07967 188 513,

With meditation, tai chi, yoga and Alexander Technique tuition under one roof, the Glasgow Buddhist Centre knows lots of ways to send you away calmer than when you arrived. The weekly ‘Essentials of Meditation’ class begins 20 Jan, 7.30pm and runs for six weeks, priced £63. Glasgow Buddhist Centre, Sauchiehall Street, 333 0524,

Thai yoga massage
Learn ancient Thai yoga massage and be an asset to friends and family for life. The next introductory day for beginners takes place on 22 Feb, or there are courses to advanced practitioner level. All courses are accredited. Prices vary. Metta, Newcourt Street, 07956 911 159,

Arts and Crafts


Edinburgh College of Art offers plenty courses to unlock your creative side, on everything from printmaking to life drawing or sculpture. Classes restart on 5 Jan. Telford College also run a wide range of BTECs, A-levels and Foundation courses in fine art, digital art and design. Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, 221 6109, email, download course programme at Telford College, West Granton Road, 559 4000,

CEC runs a range of classes for those with a crafty touch. Feltmaking and soft furnishing classes are available for all levels of expertise, plus courses in calligraphy, dressmaking, photography and how to make those little sugar flowers on top of cakes. Term begins 26 Jan, courses start at £60 for ten weeks. See Edinburgh, Alternative Therapy.

Can’t resist customising their clothes, or altering vintage finds? Telford College offer a range of fashion-related courses, including stitched textiles and theatre costume, with a purpose built textile studio where you can hone your skills. Prices vary. CEC, Telford College, see Edinburgh, Art and Alternative Therapy.

Leith School of Art’s runs weekend workshops on jewellery making, and something called ‘It’s A Stitch But Not as You Know It’, bringing together plastics, metals and paper. Spaces still available for workshops, but evening and day classes are fully booked for next term. Prices vary. Leith School of Art, North Junction Street, 554 5761,

Always dreamt of being a rock star? Make 2009 your breakthrough year. A starting point may be the recording studios at Sound Sound at Split Level Studios. East Mains, Ingliston,, 0131 333 5024, 07912 674 631,

Stained glass
Fire your enthusiasm for the magic of stained glass with Madge at Creative Glass Designs as she teaches students how to design, cut and weather their own panel. Five two-hour sessions cost £95 or an all-day Saturdayworkshop is £80. Creative Glass Designs, Drum Brae South, 339 5135,

Boost your portfolio through the range of photography courses at Stevenson College. Gain qualifications whilst learning camera, darkroom and digital imaging techniques. Stevenson College, Sighthill, 535 4700,


The Continuing Education programme at Glasgow School of Art offers evening, day and summer taster courses for those yearning to pick up a paintbrush. There are also portfolio-focused courses if you need to bulk up your stash of work. Courses runs over two terms, 20 classes in total. Portfolio Advisory Weekend – Sat 14–Sun 15 Feb, Glasgow School of Art, Renfrew Street, 353 4500, download a prospectus at

Forget that scene in Ghost and see for yourself how to throw a pot. Evening classes for adult beginners take place at the Firework Studio, Wednesdays, 6.30-8.30pm. After the six-week introductory ceramics course, individual pottery lessons are available. Firework Studio, Dalhousie Street, 332 3738,,

Glass design
Get a feel for glasswork with RDW’s six-week beginner course on Thursday evenings. Learn trade secrets whilst making two stained glass panels. £125 for six weeks, including all materials and equipment. RDW Glass, Fleming Street, 0141 556 3312,

With good industry contacts and purpose-built facilities, Cardonald College is earning itself a solid reputation for its fashion courses in design, textiles and fashion technology. Distance learning and part or full-time options are available. Cardonald College, Mosspark Drive, 0141 272 3333,



Subtitled films could be a thing of the past after an extensive but manageable series of Spanish, Japanese, French or German lessons. The University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Applied Language Studies offers short courses to take you closer to linguistic perfection. Term begins 12 Jan, and courses last 11 weeks. There is an open day on Sat 10 Jan, 11am–3pm to enrol or enquire about courses. Institute for Applied Language Studies, Hill Place, 650 6200,


Francophiles should head to the Alliance Française, for specialist tuition in current affairs, or the chance to brush up on your conversational or business French. The next course in beginner’s French starts 7 Feb. Alliance Francaise, Park Circus, 331 4080,

Practical Skills


Save a small fortune at Mother’s Day, by signing up for a floristry course at Telford College. The part-time ‘Creative Floristry’ class teaches everything you ever wanted to know about colour, texture, balance and construction, but were afraid to ask. Course begins 3 Feb and runs until March. Telford College, see Edinburgh, art.

Bicycle maintenance
Going green seems a great idea – getting a puncture does not. The Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op offers bike maintenance and wheel-building classes. Half-day foundation courses are £24.47 and day-long intensive courses, £47.96 including lunch. Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op, Alvanley Terrace, 0845 257 0808,

There’s an awe-inspiring range of speciality food classes through the CEC, including baking and vegetarian cuisine, the incentive to get you singing in the kitchen in no time. Or for cookery lessons without fear of being slagged by any know-it-all domestic goddesses, Cookingmania run men-only cookery evenings. Mon from 5 Jan, classes are £40. CEC, see Edinburgh, Alternative Therapy; Cookingmania, Main Street, Davidsons Mains, 336 2012


One-day, evening and five-day cookery courses are available at The Cookery School to tart up your culinary skills. Evening classes let students cook two dishes every week, then sit down and dine mid-class. Equipment and wine are provided. Day classes have individual ‘themes’, including a chocolate masterclass for the sweet toothed. The Cookery School, Glassford Street, 552 5239,



Aerial Skills
Jennifer Paterson shows her class the ropes – and ribbons and silks – of aerial dance, guiding them through trapeze work too. Improvers class starts 7 Jan for 6 weeks, £75. Out of the Blue Rehearsal Studio, Dalmeny Street, Leith,, 07989 978598,


For first-timers or experienced climbers, Glasgow Climbing Centre promises a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of surfaces. One-off lifetime membership is £10, adult entry is £7.10 or a yearly pass is £290. Glasgow Climbing Centre, Paisley Road West, 427 9550,

Try aerial acrobatics at Lansdowne Parish Church. Total beginners will be flying through the air in no time. Prices and times vary. Spinal Chord, 416 Great Western Road,, 07863 132 481.

Something Different


Wine Appreciation
CEC, see Edinburgh, art.

Comedy Stand up
CEC, see Edinburgh, art.


Club Noir, venues vary,,

Novel Writing
Centre for Lifelong Learning, Strathclyde University, George Street, 0141 548 4287,

Theatre Studies
Ramshorn Theatre and Film Studio, University of Strathclyde, Ingram Street, 0141 552 3489,


Find the steps to suit you, from the range of dance classes on offer. With everything from breakdance to ballet and Bollywood, there’s bound to be something to help you find your groove.


Dance Base, Grassmarket, 225 5525

Telford College, West Granton Road, 559 4000,

Edinburgh Tango, venues vary. Email,


Dance House, St Andrews Street, 552 2442,

Ashanti Dance Studio, Great Western Road, 07949 155 922,

Anniesland College, Hatfield Drive, 357 6093,


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