In an increasingly busy world, hobbies provide a way to slow down, switch off and achieve something tangible – here are some suggestions for you to try
1. Improve your photography skills
Everybody’s a photographer these days – but we’re not all masters of it. Whether you want to document your kids growing up or create still life masterpieces, photography is a creative, satisfying and useful hobby that’s well worth pursuing – and with smartphones, it’s one of the most accessible, too.
2. Get music lessons
Here’s another hobby that’s good for your brain as well as immensely enjoyable – learning a musical instrument. Whether learning the guitar so you can jam with friends or playing the piano for your own pleasure, music stimulates the brain in a powerful way because of our emotional connection with it. But it’s not just about that: the pleasure of improving your skill and playing pieces of music is, quite simply, immeasurable.
3. Try camping and caravanning
Earlier this year, research revealed that the number of caravans and motorhomes on the road is set to soar by 50,000 in the next five years. That’s probably because more people are discovering what seasoned campers already know: it’s an affordable way to stay in some of the best spots not just in the UK but in Europe too; there’s great camaraderie and a sense of freedom. Campers and caravanners observe that even if you set up camp 20 minutes from home, you’re still ‘away’ and holiday rules apply. Sounds like a great way to spend your weekends. Find out about the Boundless camping and caravanning group – a great place to get started.
4. Find a book club
Research suggests that reading for just half an hour every week increases health and wellbeing. It also broadens knowledge, increases confidence and there’s even evidence that it can help slow the decline in memory and brain function as we age. So, whether enjoyed as a solitary pleasure or as part of a reading group, it’s a cheap, portable and intensely satisfying pastime that does you good, too.
For reading recommendations and online discussions, try the Boundless Reading Room.
5. Restore something to its former glory
There can be few hobbies more rewarding than restoring a neglected and beaten up object into a shiny, revitalised version of itself. Whether it’s a vintage tool, an antique chair or a classic car, dedicating time and energy to fixing it up is uniquely satisfying. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Find out how to start restoring a classic car with our beginner's guide.
6. Learn to cook
Whether it’s perfecting a tricky showstopper bake or experimenting with new flavours, cooking is a therapeutic and inventive hobby and you’ll never run out of new things to try. It’s a surefire way to win friends, too. You could take a cookery course to get the basics or brush up your skills, and meet fellow aspiring cooks.
7. Make your garden grow
It’s ever-popular, and with good reason – gardening is a hobby you can get stuck into whether you have a sizeable plot or a balcony. Creating a stunning display of containers is just as fulfilling as tending a flowerbed, and that applies to veg too if that’s more your thing.
8. Hit the road
If you enjoy precision driving or the thrill of speed, try a motorsports group. From beginners to experienced drivers, everyone with a passion for being behind the wheel can get involved in a wide range of events. Most can be done in your own car, including track days on race circuits and an ultimate test of your skills. With the Boundless Motorsports Group you can also get exclusive access to tours of motorsport venues, and meet like-minded people.
9. Take up golfing
Golf is notoriously difficult to master, and maybe that’s why it’s hooked so many people in – a great round of golf is tremendously rewarding. It’s a good way to get outside and do a lot of walking, too. Four million people who play golf in the UK can’t be wrong, so if you haven’t already given this a go, maybe it’s time…
10. Time for a brew? (Beer, that is)
As craft beers go from strength to strength, home brewing is receiving more recognition, too. The winner of the Great British Homebrew Challenge even gets their beer produced by craft brewery Thornbridge and sold in Waitrose. Things have certainly moved on since it was just a way to save money – many amateur brewers take it very seriously indeed.
Boundless members can get discounts on things like golf clubs, gardening tools, brewing kits, and kitchen equipment from big name brands like John Lewis and Argos with our shopping card. So make the most of it and don't wait to start learning something new.