You're never too old to learn a new skill or craft. We pick some of the best courses on offer.

Online courses have certainly upped the ante in recent years. Digital learning is no longer a dry experience but nowadays, courses smack of expertise and colour, many giving you access to world class experts. Learn the inside story to success from masterminds. Over 2020, we have all learned new skills in lockdown, whether it's setting up Zoom meetings or drinks parties, taking part in a Pilates or yoga class, with many more of us adding online learning to the list. What could be simpler than logging in for short bursts and improving your knowledge, it beats scrolling for hours on Instagram.

Gift online courses

With many shops closed around the UK at the moment, if you've left your Christmas gift shopping until the last minute, giving one of these courses or voucher is the answer. They are the type of gifts with plenty of mileage as the skills learned will last a lifetime.

Create Academy

UK based, Create Academy's courses let you get in touch (or reconnect) with your creative side. Whether you're planning a home or room revamp, want to improve your flower arranging skills or learn more about nutrition and home cooking, you'll find a course here. Cleverly the company has connected with established names in their respective industries and each of the video courses is entertaining, taking around five plus hours in all to complete, all of which you can do at your own pace. .

Learn interior design with Rita Konig, decorating with flowers with Willow Crossley, nutrition with Amelia Freer and coming soon, James Wong's guide to indoor gardening

Gift vouchers cost £127 each, with a voucher covering the full cost of one course.


Masterclass is the Rolls Royce of online learning, connecting you with the world's best offering a dizzying range of courses. If you want to hone your business and leadership skills, photography, cooking, writing or acting, you'll be spoilt for choice on this streaming platform.

Annual membership is £170 with access to all of the courses, at the moment standing at 100+ across nine categories, with more added each month. You can download videos and watch offline and there are PDF workbooks for every class. There are, on average, twenty lessons per class with each taking around ten minutes.

Sign up to Jeff Koons on art and creativity, Salman Rushdie on storytelling and writing, Anna Wintour on creativity and leadership and Martin Scorsese on filmmaking. If you want to improve your practical skills in the kitchen, Gordon Ramsay is on hand or want to upskill your art of negotiation, Chris Voss spills the beans.

BBC Maestro

BBC Maestro is new to the digital learning scene, leveraging on its stars, who impart insight and practical tips in different fields. There are twenty-five plus lessons with such experts, each delivering video courses teaching you everything you need to know to help you on the path to success.

You'll find Marco Pierre White on cooking, Jed Mercrion on writing drama for TV, Gary Barlow on songwriting, David Walliams on writing books for children, understanding of wine with Jancis Robinson, Ozwald Boateng on fashion design and entrepreneurship with Peter Jones.

The cost is £80 a course.

Intelligence Squared Plus

Intelligence Squared has made its name with its lively debates. Plus membership gives you access to live, interactive events online every week, where you can ask questions to speakers, vote in live polls and interact with other members of the audience. Subscription gives you access to multiple events, live and on-demand, featuring the world’s top thinkers and opinion formers. Membership also gives 15% discount on tickets for online courses and masterclasses.

Membership is £14.99 per month, £149.99 a year.

How To Academy

Calling itself the 'home of big thinking', the How To Academy hosts talks with leading experts from Nobel laureates to Pulitzer Prize winners, where influential artists and thinkers share their insights and ideas in livestreams and live events. Masterclasses

£17.50 + VAT a month lets you join every talk live and gives access to the entire videl libary of 200 + past live stream events. For the intellectually curious, membership is a gift with lasting joy.

Learning With Experts

Learning With Experts brings people together through its courses covering a range of subjects including gardening, food and drink, jewllery, photography, floristry, antiques and wellbeing. Best selling courses (from £35) include Planting the Piet Outdolf Way, the Art of Chocolate Making with Paul A Young, An Introduction to Bread Making with Richard Berinet to the River Cottage Cooking Diploma at £320

Learning With Experts stands out from its rivals in that you can share assignments with fellow course mates, You have lifetime access to all course content and can continue chatting with classmates.

You can start courses whenever you want and complete them at own pace. You'll have access to inspirational videos from your expert tutor along with assignments to practise what you've learned. Tutors can provide feedback.

By Team GWG
Updated May 2021

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