No one is travelling – so go online and learn skills for when we can

Discover your fix in a click! No one’s travelling anywhere – so this is the time to go online and learn new skills for when we can

  • Participate in cookery lessons with Massimo Bottura – an Italian maestro chef 
  • Tracie’s Latin Club holds dance classes over Zoom for those of all ability
  • A free Open University course gives participants an introduction to astronomy

Don’t mope around. 

Thanks to the internet, there are courses galore to explore — from dance, painting, learning a language, navigating the stars and much more. 

Go online now and your next trip abroad will be even more rewarding…


Art and soul: Get creative with a course in painting. Creating an image of the great outdoors might be just the tonic for those feeling cooped up

Painting has always been a wonderful way to relax, and creating an image of the great outdoors might be just the tonic for those feeling cooped up.

Rosalie Haizlett is an artist who specialises in natural illustrations and this beginner friendly class is taught from her home in rural West Virginia. The course follows how to take a good reference photo, create accurate pencil sketches, layer watercolours to give depth and add realistic textures.

DETAILS: Thirteen lessons of Watercolour In The Woods: A Beginner’s Guide To Painting The Natural World (, from £13 a month).


Massimo Bottura is one of the world’s greatest chefs. His three Michelin star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, has won countless awards and been named the world’s best more than once.

Cookery lessons with this Italian maestro are wildly sought after but thanks to Masterclass — a website with courses from experts and celebrities — they are widely available.

DETAILS: A year’s access to all classes is £133 or £66 for a single course (


An online dance class will have you sashaying through your next holiday

All that is required is a partner (or a mop) to get comfortable with the steps that will have you sashaying through your next holiday.

Whether it’s dancing the tango in Argentina or visiting the salsa clubs of Cuba.

Tracie’s Latin Club is based in Southampton and holds dance classes over Zoom for those of all ability. It’s Latin and ballroom on Monday, Argentine tango on Tuesdays, Wednesday is cha cha and Thursday is advanced salsa.

DETAILS: A six-lesson salsa course is £30 at with the first lesson free.


Technology and learning a language have made natural bedfellows, with many great apps to choose from. 

Duolingo is a good option and free, while Babbel comes highly recommended, too, costing from about £5 a month.

DETAILS: Visit or  


An iPhone photography course will have you returning from holiday with countless first-rate snaps

Lions on the African plains, the great monuments of Europe or sweeping beaches in far-flung climes can all make great photos. But while we tend to think of photography as an expensive hobby, most of us are carrying brilliant cameras — our phones — with us all the time.

This course will have you returning from holiday with countless first-rate snaps.

Tips include how to use natural light when taking pictures, framing people, landscapes and architecture, plus how to edit photos on the free app Lightroom.

DETAILS: Iphone Photography: Take Professional Photos On Your iPhone is £49.99. For details, see


Most of us are not too familiar with Russian Tuvan throat music, pygmy pop or the sounds of the Kalahari bushmen. But as music is undoubtedly the real global language, now might be the time to learn.

With lessons including how Paul Simon’s Graceland came about with help from musicians around the world and an exploration of Cuban music via the Buena Vista Social Club, this free online course from Pennsylvania University is just the ticket.

DETAILS: Classes take five to seven hours per week at


A free course from the Open University uses a telescope via webcam to give participants an introduction into astronomy. Pictured is the Milky Way over Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands 

There are some spectacular locations around the world to spot stars: Africa, the Australian Outback, the Maldives, South America — and even remote parts of the UK.

Try this free course from the Open University that uses a telescope via webcam to give participants an introduction into astronomy.

DETAILS: This eight-week course is free at 


Travelling around the world does, of course, have an impact on the environment.

But there are things we can do to help. This National Geographic course over six weeks covers an introduction to conservation, animal species and spaces, the challenges illegal wildlife trade poses, conservation planning and scientific expeditions.

DETAILS: The course is free at


How about brushing up on your knot-tying or perfecting that golf swing for a post-lockdown activity holiday? 

Activity-based holidays have always been popular, whether it’s sailing, skiing, playing golf or fishing. And it might seem unlikely, but there is plenty we can do to prepare for some of these trips during lockdown.

So how about brushing up on your knot-tying, perfecting that golf swing or even practising some fishing casting?

DETAILS: The Royal Yachting Association has online courses at (, try for some tips on fishing and perfect your swing at 


Thanks to the rise of podcasts (fuelled by lockdown), there are thousands of online travel lectures.

Listen to explorers’ words about expeditions in Antarctica, historians talking about the ancient civilisations such as the Mongolian nomads or accounts of the unexpected joys of surfing in freezing water.

DETAILS: The options are endless but is recommended for its many free talks.

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