6 Life Skills
Unleash your hidden talents, from photographing the south of Spain to catching and cooking dinner in Devon
Learn photography in Cádiz
Cadiz epitomises fiery Andalucian living: famed for sherry quaffing, flamenco dancing and boisterous carnivals. Participants on the Luzia Epicurus course get their bearings looking over the city (above), before moving on to the Bodegas Pedro Romero, a six-generation sherry house, and Bolonia beach, with tall dunes giving views across the Strait of Gibraltar to Africa (3-day course from £365, inc excursions and meals, not inc accommodation; luzia-photo-courses.com)
Arrive: Jerez is the closest airport to Cadiz— Iberia offers flights from London Heathrow, changing in Madrid. From here, trains reach Cadiz in half an hour.
Stay: Cadiz’s Hotel Argantonio, in an elegant 19th-century townhouse
Learn to shoot a film in Berlin
From the riotous clubs of the Weimar Republic in Cabaret to the fall of the Iron Curtain in Goodbye Lenin, Berlin’s history has made it a stirring backdrop to movies. Play a part in this cinematic tradition by joining the Met Film School on a two-day course, shooting around the Tempelhof district. Learn the ins-and-outs of making a movie, from script-editing to lighting techniques, directing professional actors and cutting a mini feature.
Arrive: EasyJet flies to Berlin Schonefeld Airport from Edinburgh, Gatwick, Luton and Manchester while British Airways flies to BerlinTegel airport from Heathrow.
Stay: The Circus Hotel has simple, bright rooms in the Mitte district.
Learn to ride a horse in South of France
There can be few landscapes better savoured from a saddle than the French countryside south of Carcassonne — a patchwork of tumbledown villages, looming fortresses, thickly wooded valleys and mountain rivers, with the Pyrenees as a backdrop. To see it, join Unicorn Trails’ Pyrenean short break — a three-night horse-riding trip suitable for novices, clippety-clopping atop trusty steeds. Participants are based at the village of Cranes, spending three nights stabled in a rustic b&b and passing the days trotting through the oak forests nearby with an instructor. Among the destinations on the itinerary is Rennes-le-Château, a hilltop town that enjoyed five minutes of fame after being mentioned in The Da Vinci Code.
Arrive: Ryanair flies to Carcassonne from London Stansted and Liverpool, with seasonal flights from East Midlands and Glasgow.