English longbow making weekend in the heart of Nailsworth Gloucestershire

Serving the string


As the country starts the long journey to opening up again we will be restarting our courses in July with new social distancing and smaller numbers.

We start this course on a Friday evening at 7pm -9pm laminating three woods together - usually hickory, lemon wood and purple heart - for the stave. Over the next two days - 9am - 5pm - we mark out shape and tiller the bow and make a string. We also attach and shape horn knocks and make and fit a leather handle.

No previous experience is necessary as you are clearly guided step by step through each procedure. If you are over 6 foot please let us know when you book your place.

The weekend is taught by Gavin Pond. Gavin has 25 years experience of teaching people from all walks of life. He has studied baroque lute and guitar making at West Dean College in West Sussex and has extensive experience of working with people with special needs and challenging behaviour.

He has been running Long Bow Weekends for over 15 years and has helped make long bows that have won competitions. For 10 years he worked at The Acorn School as the Craft teacher where he taught musical instrument making, carpentry, pottery, longbow making, silverwork, and blacksmithing. He has also built and restored furniture. He is a visiting tutor at West Dean College.

We ask for a £55 non returnable deposit when you book a place and there are up to 6 people per course in our Community Workshop.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 8 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

The price includes all materials, tools and tuition. There are teas, coffees and biscuits provided but we ask participants to provide their own lunches. We are in the middle of Nailsworth and there are many cafes and shops to choose from or you can bring a packed lunch.


Pam Brown at Nailsworth Community Workshop


Nailsworth Subscription Rooms
Bath Road
Nailsworth, Stroud

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday
  • Wheelchair users


18 hours (9:00am to 5:00pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.



The course doesn’t currently have live dates

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Stafford Jordaan - - #28220

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In-person course
Jon Stubbings - - #24836

Had a fantastic weekend and came away very proud of my impressive longbow.

Really never been very good at practical skills but with Gavin's help and taking it step by step it was all achievable and very enjoyable.

All done in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere with a very jovial host.

Can't recommend highly enough :)

In-person course
Rob James - - #24829

Gavin obviously loves what he does and passes that on with enthusiasm. He created a very relaxed atmosphere where learning was enjoyable and made the weekend great fun and interesting by not only providing detailed explanations about Bow making and the science behind it but also throwing in a bit of serenading on the guitar and some Lonny Donnegan on the old wind up gramophone.

If you think 2 days is a long time, think again. The time went rapidly with many people saying “is that the time already?” Gavin spends a lot of time and effort ensuring that what you end up with a very well made and beautifully finished Longbow.

The facilities in Nailsworth are good with several good restaurants and some good places to stay, we stayed at the Amberly Hotel which was comfortable with a good breakfast and an easy journey to the course location.

In-person course
Tim Stokes - - #24827

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In-person course
Niall Macdonald - - #24802

I've just returned home from this amazing course. Gavin was a superb instructor, knowledgeable, engaging and a consummate craftsman. The were eight of us on the course, some who were already archers and others, like myself, who just wanted a new challenge and to produce something amazing. From the outset Gavin had a way of teaching that was both instructive and entertaining, describing each stage in enough detail to allow us to carry out the work without being too prescriptive. The result was that by the end of Sunday everyone had an individual bow that looked fantastic and suited the maker perfectly. I cannot recommend this course highly enough.
Thank you Gavin.

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