Hobbies are great. They make us interesting, they help us form connections and they can even help us start up a conversation. When we move to a new country, sometimes it’s the last thing on our to do list. Maybe when we are thinking about work, money, studies or visas then hobbies lose all priority. Hobbies however, are important and leisure time should consist of doing leisure activities. Free time shouldn’t just be spent watching Netflix and wasting time until it’s your next meal. Guilty! If you’re nodding your head in agreement, great. If you aren’t moving your head at all because you already know this, then let’s see how you feel about my next point. Sometimes we just don’t believe in ourselves enough to start up a new hobby. Sometimes we can’t do things because we’re worried about our level of English. I know it’s true. I’ve been there myself. But because I like sharing and I have a good imagination I’ve decided to create a list. Just. For. You. This is a list of hobbies, and their places, that you can do regardless of your level of English. They are all close to our brand-new school building in the heart of London, in Aldgate!
Rock-climbing – https://www.citybouldering.co.uk/ £11/ £14 per session
Arm day! Yeah, it’s a challenge but it’s every enjoyable. Rock climbing at City Bouldering is a great experience because they change it up every so often. They’ll show you the walls and off you go. The staff there are lovely but it’s unlikely you’ll need to interact much apart from “hello”. You can book your session in the link above. But definitely give yourself a good few days off afterwards. You might have sore arms.
Swimming – St George’s Leisure Centre www.better.org.uk ~£5 per session
Swimming is even better, at Better! Do you see what I did there? Because the name of the company is called Better. You just book your sessions online or face-to-face, there it’s really easy and then boom! Off you go! Swim to your heart’s content. This Centre is really lovely. It has 2 swimming pools, the main one is 33 metres and has 6 lanes, and they also have a 3x1m and a 2x1m diving board. None of the other hobbies here are going to turn you into an Olympian. Yes, you can share your medal with me.
Swimming lessons https://swimminglessonlondon.co.uk/ ~£65
If you’re nervous about going in public or need to learn then you can book yourself a private lesson. The benefit of this is that even if you aren’t sure the instructor can physically teach you what to do. Words can be difficult, but they can demonstrate for you and you’ll understand right away. I’m not a strong swimmer myself, so I’d prefer to take a class like this. The best way to do it is to book a block of lessons where you can get a little discount all online.
Dance classes https://www.thelondonacademyofdance.com £prices vary
Dance classes here are spectacular. There is a wide variety of styles so make sure to check out the website and book the one you most want to do. There is absolutely no judgement here. The main goal is to have fun. People from all over the world are dancers. And people from all over the world live in London. Some of those people might be from all around the world and dance here so you might even make a friend from your country. Or hopefully another one so you can speak in English.
Football in the park
I can’t even give you a location because if you ever spot a bunch of people playing football in the park all you have to say is hey guys, can I join? And instantly you’ll be having a jolly kick about. That’s the beauty of sport. The fact that borders don’t matter, the way that the sport transcends languages and barriers. Goodness, that’s poetic. Maybe that’s why they call it the beautiful game. Anyway. Make sure you wear decent trainers and are a good sportsman.
Arts and craft class https://www.instagram.com/dotty_by_design/ £5 and upwards
I did a soap making class with Dotty by Design and so I can personally tell you it was amazing. As soon as I did it, I was talking to total strangers, some people even turned up by themselves and it didn’t even matter that they were alone. Dotty is a really lovely woman, and even if you create the ugliest soap in the world like I did, she won’t even mind! There are all kinds of classes you can try. She goes to different locations in London so you can try out soap making like I did. Or kitsune or even candle making and decorating. A hard recommendation for you creative crafty people out there.
Cookery lessons https://www.sozai.co.uk/ £85
So, this one is a Japanese culinary arts place, so it is a bit niche but if you prefer to cook a different cuisine, there are tons of places in London. Just google it. The pictures look absolutely amazing and I have no problem telling you that whatever you create… basically… won’t look as amazing, you won’t be able to produce anything that looks as amazing as the chef’s. But it’s still a lot of fun!