Knowledge is power, they say – so get along to one of London’s short courses and learn a new skill WORDS Daniel Landon

For travellers

Fed up with your photos not doing justice to the places you visit? To get the best results you need to know how to compose a photo and what all the settings on your camera do. This is where Nigel Wilson Workshops (courses from £60) come in. Under Wilson’s expert tutelage you can learn a range of new photography skills, including using a basic digital camera.

If you’re going off the beaten track, how you handle tricky situations can mean the difference between a few bruises and something worse. Life Systems runs excellent, hands-on courses (from £175) on what to do if the worst happens – from a car crash to terrorism.


For foodies

To impress and fatten your friends, learn how to make a scrumptious cake at the Cookery School, or get down and dirty with a hunk of dead animal, and tell a rump from a rack, by taking a butchery course with The Ginger Pig.

A pint of traditional English ale is about as different from a lager (such as Stella Artois or Foster’s) as it is from a glass of sherry. You can discover the difference at the perfectly named Beer Academy.

Vinopolis is London’s homage to wine. It runs hugely fun wine tasting nights and longer courses if you want to get really serious about your tipple.


For life and love

Let’s face it: most people who are single want a) a partner, b) more sex, or c) both. And those already in relationships want a) a smoother relationship, b) more sex, or c) both. Fortunately, help is at hand. For tips on how to flirt, girls-only courses run by Vodka And Chocolates and hosted by Aussie Sue Ostler, are great value and provide killer advice. Unless you’re already a god or goddess in the sack, you might want to check out

To help you cope with ups and downs, life coaching can be invaluable. An ex-TNT staffer found Aspiring Change (founded by an Aussie) a massive help during some tough times.

And if you want to boost your personal awareness and develop practical skills to deal with the threat of physical harm, the people at Personal Safety Training have you covered.

For performers and arty types

There are loads of places in London where you can learn to dance properly. Pineapple Studios is one of the best, while Dance Attic is fun and great value. For pole dancing, hula hoop or burlesque try Pole Stars.

Begin your journey towards an Oscar by taking an acting class at the City Academy. A one-day introductory course is £59.

If you fancy your skills on the decks then head to the Subbass DJ Academy.

For painting and drawing, check out the Islington Arts Factory. To put some lead in you pencil try Dr Sketchy (, where “beautiful burlesque performers and rippling hunks of man-flesh” are available for you to draw.

Teach English overseas

Teaching English overseas is a great way to combine work and travel – whether it’s in Japan, Italy, Thailand or just about anywhere else. To help you on your way, TNT is hosting introductory courses in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).

The weekend-long courses will be run by International TEFL Training’s experienced staff, and those who complete the course will get a TEFL certificate that’s recognised in non-English speaking countries worldwide.

The courses will run from 9am to 6pm on October 24-25, at the TNT offices in Earl’s Court. The cost is £130 (normally £200) and there’s a limit of 20 places.