In our previous article, 8 unusual hobbies you might not have tried, we came up with a list of unique pastimes to consider if you’re looking for something new to get stuck into. And after seeing how many of our members enjoyed the ideas on offer, we decided to pull together nine more.

So, whether you’re looking for a hobby that’s creative, educational, will get you out into nature or help you keep fit, we hope this list has something to spark everyone’s interest…

1. Weaving

Weaving

At its most basic level, weaving involves interlacing threads of yarn to form a fabric, and it’s one of the oldest and longest-surviving crafts in human history.

In fact, there’s evidence that humans wove textiles as early as the Palaeolithic era, some 20,000-28,000 years ago. And nowadays, it’s still used to make all kinds of things, from clothes and towels to jewellery and decorative wall hangings.

Though, weaving is more than just a means to an end. It’s also a fun and creative way for people to express themselves. And while you may have an image of a giant loom weaving hundreds of strings of fibre together in your mind, it’s actually quite accessible. All you need to get started is some yarn, a tapestry needle, a shed stick, a weaving comb, and a loom (which you can make at home using cardboard and tape – this video will show you how).

Weaving can also be incredibly rewarding, as your creations will make beautiful additions to your home, or can be given to your loved ones as gifts. Plus, meditative, mindful crafts like this – which involve repeating calm and deliberate actions – can be helpful for reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

So, if you’d like to get involved with this fun and creative pastime, then why not read this beginner’s guide to weaving from Masterclass? Or you can watch the video below.

2. Climbing

Climbing

Thanks to the ever-increasing availability of artificial climbing walls, its inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the release of inspiring documentaries like Free Solo and The Dawn Wall, climbing has exploded in popularity in recent years.

As well as being fun and giving you an effective cardiovascular workout, climbing can also help to improve strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination.

Plus, climbing can be beneficial for our mental health, too. As an activity that requires you to focus intently on each movement, it’s great for helping us to stay in the present moment and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. Research has also shown that climbing may be beneficial for improving symptoms of depression and our ability to regulate our emotions.

As with most sports, accidents can happen in climbing, but it’s actually a much safer activity than you might think. This study found that climbing sports resulted in fewer injuries than other popular sports like basketball, sailing, and football – with indoor climbing in particular being the most injury-free out of all the activities studied.

If you want to get involved in this exhilarating hobby, then the best way is to enrol in a class at your local climbing facility – preferably indoor, as it’s generally considered to be a safer and easier learning environment for beginners. Taking a lesson with an experienced instructor will help you get acquainted with the basic techniques and safety practices. Plus, you’ll be able to rent all the equipment you need (shoes, harness, etc).

After you’ve completed your first lesson or two, you can choose to continue taking lessons or develop your skills on your own. Then, once you feel confident, you can even look into climbing outdoors, which is a great activity to pair with a weekend away!

And just remember, it’s never too late to start climbing. Just check out Maria Kittl in the video below, she’s an 89-year-old rock climber from Austria who swears that rock climbing has helped her to stay fit and healthy in later life.

3. Element collecting

Element collecting

Shoes, magazines, stamps, toys, postcards, perfume, comic books, trading cards – people love to collect all sorts of things. And having a collection-based hobby is not only fun and satisfying, but it can help us to explore a subject we’re interested in.

Plus, nowadays – thanks to the internet – it’s never been easier to get in touch with other collectors, so starting a collection can also be a chance to become part of a sociable, like-minded community.

Though, if you want to start a collection but you don’t know exactly what you’d like to collect, then why not give element collecting a go?

From sodium and hydrogen to berkelium and promethium, elements are the basic building blocks of the universe and they make up everything from the device you’re reading this on to the cup of tea in your hand.

Collecting samples of these elements and assembling them in a collection can be both rewarding and educational. It’s also a nice hobby to share with any children in your life who’re curious about science and the universe.

To find out a little more about this unique hobby and how you might go about getting started, why not check out this blog post from Luciteria? Or, to get an idea of what the element collecting community is like, then you can visit the element collecting section of the online forum, Reddit.

4. Archery

Archery

Archery is certainly an underrated hobby. It’s not only a fun and sociable way to spend your time (seeing your arrow fly through the air before thumping into the target is endlessly satisfying) but it’s got a range of benefits for our health and wellbeing too.

For example, you might be surprised but you can burn a lot of calories during an archery session. In fact, during the 2012 London Olympic Games, The Economist found that archers burn more calories than their teammates running in the 100 and the 1500 metre races.

Practising archery regularly can also improve your focus, hand-eye coordination, strength, balance, and posture – and it’s a low-impact sport, which means you won’t have to worry about putting unwanted strain on your joints. Once you’ve honed your skills, you might even find you want to get involved in competitions.

Remember, as with all the hobbies on this list, it’s never too late to get involved. And if you need some convincing, why not take a look at this 2018 interview with Aleksander Kiskonen? The 79-year-old Estonian learnt archery for the first time in his mid-50s, and since then, he hasn’t looked back. Twenty-four years later, he was still competing – even travelling to Switzerland to participate in the 2018 World Archery Masters Championships.

If you like the sound of getting stuck into archery, then the best thing to do is to sign yourself up for a beginner’s course at a club. Not only will all the equipment be provided for you, but your instructor can walk you through all the basics, including the correct shooting technique, archery etiquette, and all the safety information.

You can use the handy search engine below from Start Achery to find a club near you and begin your archery journey!

5. Genealogy (tracing your family tree)

Genealogy

‘Where do I come from?’ It’s a question that we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Some of you may already know a little about who you descended from, or where your ancestors originated, while others might have absolutely no idea.

Either way, tracing our family trees can help us learn a little (or a lot) more about ourselves and our place in the world (and putting on your detective cap and doing some digging can be fun!) So, if you’re looking for a new pastime, why not consider tracing your family tree?

With the help of tools like the internet, it’s never been easier to trace your family tree. Through various paid-for and free-to-use services, you can search public records to find things like birth and marriage certificates, and wills, to help you plot your ancestors’ lives and journeys.

Though, tracing your family tree doesn’t have to be strictly limited to the internet. Your research could also involve searching through your loft, speaking to distant relatives, or scanning gravestones in a cemetery for an epitaph bearing your ancestor’s name. You never know, it could even take you to another country entirely!

It’s worth bearing in mind that tracing your family tree isn’t something you can get done in an afternoon. If you’re wanting to follow it back a few centuries or so, it’ll often take time and dedication. That being said, it’s also a flexible hobby, so you can pick it up and put it down whenever you like (though it can get pretty addictive!).

To find out more about how to trace your family tree, why not take a look at these guides from Historic UK and Age UK?

6. Foraging

Foraging

Foraging involves searching for, identifying, and collecting food in the wild. This could include anything from plants and herbs to mushrooms and berries. And like all of the hobbies on this list, there are a multitude of reasons why you might want to consider foraging if you’re looking for a new pastime to sink your teeth into.

A key one is that exploring our natural spaces in search of food is an effective way to connect with nature. Research has shown time and time again that spending time in green spaces can lead to decreased feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as boost our attention, memory, and creative capacity.

Additionally – as wild foods are thought to be more nutritious than shop-bought alternatives – eating things that you’ve foraged can have plenty of health benefits. Foraging in local areas is also thought to be beneficial for the wellbeing of our planet too, as it, among other things, decreases our ‘food miles’ (the distance, resources, and fuel used to transport our food).

And lastly, there are countless species of edible plants and fungus in the UK, so foraging can open us up to a whole new range of textures and tastes. So if you’re interested in getting creative in the kitchen, then this could be the perfect hobby for you.

To find out more about foraging and how to get started, why not check out these beginner’s guides from National Geographic and BBC Good Food? The Woodland Trust also has some excellent guides on responsible foraging, popular foraging recipes, and what to look our for each month.

Note: There are a number of species of plants and fungi in the UK that are toxic to humans, and excessive harvesting can do damage to our precious ecosystems. For these reasons, foraging should always be done sensibly and responsibly in order to protect ourselves and the environment. And it’s worth doing plenty of research before you set off into the woods in search of tasty ingredients. Why not check out these tips for being a safe and responsible forager from Much Better Adventures?

7. Rollerskating

rollerskating

Fast, funky, and fun, rollerskating is another unique pastime that’s recently reemerged as a way for people of all ages to keep fit and have a good time. It’s an excellent low-impact, cardiovascular exercise that incorporates every muscle in our bodies – so just by rollerskating a few times a week, you can burn calories and improve strength and balance, all while being gentle on your joints.

Whether it’s gliding along the path in your local park or busting some moves at a rollerdisco, rollerskating is also a relatively cheap, flexible, and accessible hobby – all you need is a pair of skates and some safety equipment, like a helmetpads, and some wrist protectors or gloves.

Rollerskating is also relatively easy to get the hang of, but once you do, there’s no end to the potential progress you can make. The internet is full of tutorials to help you along on your journey; from taking your first few glides, all the way to more complex moves like the grapevine and crazy legs.

Learning by yourself or with a friend through internet tutorials is a good way to get involved with rollerskating at your own pace. All you need to do is find a smooth, relatively empty space, like a cycle path, driveway, or carpark. Or, if you’d like some extra help, you could even think about investing in some lessons at you local rink.

And remember, it’s never too late to get involved with this funky hobby. Just ask Edna Davoll who’s in her 80s and still hits the roller rink twice a week!

8. Making and/or painting miniatures

Making and/or painting miniatures

Do you want to get lost in a world of your own making? Creating and painting miniatures is a unique hobby because it allows you complete freedom to design and build your very own universe from the ground up. Whether you’re into fashion, fantasy, trains, or architecture, the sky’s the limit with this crafty activity.

The first thing to consider is what kind of project you’d like to take on. If you like the idea of starting from the absolute beginning, then making your own miniatures from scratch may be your best bet. The web is full of tutorials on how to make a variety of tiny things, so why not check out these how-tos from The Mini Time Machine, or head on over to YouTube?

Another way to go is to paint ready-made models. This still gives you a wide creative scope as how you paint each individual model can bring it to life in an infinite number of ways. It can also save you time and money because all you’ll need to buy are the miniatures themselves, plus an acrylic paint set – so it’s a great way to go if you’d just like to dip your toe in the water.

Amazon has a good selection of both paint sets and blank models (for example, cars and people). And, for some tips on how to paint models using acrylic paint, why not take a look at this article from The Spruce Crafts?

Once you’ve decided whether or not you’d like to make your miniatures from scratch or buy and paint them, the next thing to do is to decide what you want your world to look like. Maybe you’d simply like to make individual models, or perhaps you’re interested in designing a sprawling diorama? Things like train yards, aircraft hangers, doll houses, and battlefields are popular among miniature enthusiasts.

To get some inspiration for your first miniature project, take a look at these ideas on Pinterest. And for more information on miniatures in general, check out this beginner’s guide from The Spruce Crafts.

9. Flower arranging

Flower arranging

Humans have been arranging flowers for milenia. In fact, the ancient Egyptians are believed to have arranged flowers for special occassions like burials and processions over 4000 years ago.

Nowadays, however, flowers are typically arranged by florists for events like weddings, funerals and birthdays, and to decorate spaces like restaurants, hotels, and even homes. But flower arranging is also a satisfying and creative hobby enjoyed by lots of people all over the UK.

Flower arranging is incredibly accessible – especially in the spring and summer months when the availability of local fresh cut flowers is high. You can buy flowers, grow them yourself, or even find wildflowers to arrange into a beautiful bouquet. This article from Reader’s Digest will give you some tips on foraging for wildflowers.

Not only is flower arranging a fun and creative way to reconnect with nature but, like climbing and weaving, it’s a mindful activity, so it can give our mental health a boost. Even better, studies like this one show that simply having flowers around us is good for our physiological and psychological wellbeing, so you’ll feel the benefits long after you’ve finished arranging them.

Plus, your creations will undoubtedly bring some colour and cheer to your home, or even make thoughtful gifts for your loved ones.

So if you’ve got an eye for colour, a passion for being creative, and an appreciation of the beauty of the natural world, then why not give flower arranging a try? Our article, 17 of the most popular and classic flower arranging styles, is a good place to get started. Or, we have plenty of floristry courses available on our site.

Final thoughts…

From climbing and archery to element collecting and flower arranging, we hope this list of unusual hobbies has something to pique everyone’s interest.

For more hobby-related inspiration, why not check out the hobbies and activities section of our website, where you’ll find articles like 10 different sports and activities to try and 22 fun activities to do with kids?

Do you have any unusual hobbies? If so, what are they? We’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation over on the Rest Less community forum, or leave a comment below.

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