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Sculptural willow weaving workshops in the Yorkshire Dales

Curlews in the Dales landscape

About the Course

One day sculptural willow weaving workshops in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales with lovely views of Ingleborough, Whernside and Ribblehead.

This is a Willow Curlews workshop.

The tutor Phil Bradley lives in NW Cumbria near Cockermouth where he grows a total of 37 different varieties of sustainable willow on several local sites. The willow is used mainly for basket-making, but also for garden structures and sculptures as well as decorative animals and birds, which is a popular one-day workshop topic.

The workshops take place inside a renovated barn with original beams and excellent facilities. If it's sunny and warm enough we may move outside to take advantage of the amazing views all around. There are 10-12 places on each workshop and Phil is a very popular tutor as he only teaches a limited number of workshops a year, please make sure that you book early to avoid disappointment.

Phil's relaxed, gentle teaching style will guide the group through all the processes to make sure that everyone masters the basic skills for each stage of the willow sculpture starting with the frames which are then filled with random weave. The final details are added in stages to bring each sculpture to life and give each one their own unique character. It's lovely to spend a whole day with like-minded people, all absorbed in learning a new craft to create something beautiful that you can take home with you.

The sculptural workshops are very popular; the curlew is is a lovely iconic Yorkshire Dales bird that breeds in neighbouring fields around Broadrake and often flies over our site with it's lovely evocative call. The curlews look great in the garden set amongst tall grasses and meadow flowers or equally at home inside, maybe decorated with mini LED lights. The giant seed pods will add sculptural interest and height to the garden border and different shapes and styles will be demonstrated.
The plant supports will employ some traditional basket weaves into the structure and sweet peas or runner beans can be trained up over the upright framework.

Why not treat a friend or relative to a workshop for a birthday outing with a difference.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Course prices includes materials, a good lunch and all refreshments.


Rachel Benson at Broadrake Barn
Ingleton, via Carnforth
North Yorkshire
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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.

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Adults
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Tutor can travel

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1 day (9:45am to 4:30pm)

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In-person course
- - #30094

Enjoyed a wonderful day at the giant seed pod willow workshop. Rachel and Mike are lovely welcoming hosts who make you feel immediately relaxed and what a stunning location! Phil Bradley is a brilliant and talented teacher and I am delighted with the results of my work.
The facilities are excellent and homemade food delicious.
I can't wait to go back again!

In-person course
- - #30085

A last minute booking and had never worked with willow in any shape or form.

I can hardly believe that I finished the day with an amazing giant seed pod and 3 giant rushes for my garden. Absolutely delighted and my friends barely believe that I made them!

This was a fabulous day...wonderful hosts in Rach and Mike, an excellent patient tutor in Phil, scrumptious homemade food, a very safe carefully thought through covid environment, spotless spacious facilities, breathtaking location.

Many thanks
Linda 🌻

In-person course
- - #24966

The Curlew Willow workshop was an absolute joy. The setting at Broadrakes is very comfortable and the lunch provided was excellent. Phil Bradley is a great tutor and my curlew, which has been in the garden, has impressed visitors all summer.

In-person course
- - #24944

What a wonderful day- Phil was a brilliant tutor, he kept it fun and encouraging whist managing to get us all to make curlews - all slightly different, but all looking great. Ideal lunch and lots of tempting cake etc.

In-person course
- - #22041

It's a wonderful location.
I thought the hosting was first class and the tutor, Phil, could not have been better.
Many thanks for a wonderful day

In-person course
- - #22026

Phil is a fantastic tutor, showing you each step and then letting you get on with it, before moving on to the next stage. Rachel and Mike are wonderful hosts and we are honoured to share this unique location for the day, which makes the experience even more special. Everyone enjoyed a tasty lunch of homemade soups/bread and baking. They even provided fresh water, juice and suncream, as it was a hot, sunny day and we were able to work outside. Everyone had a unique hare to take home and I'm sure we all enjoyed it. Highly recommended, thank you Rachel, Mike and Phil.

In-person course
- - #15416

It was a wonderful location and the willow curlew modelling was a great experience. However the lunch was very poor. I informed them well ahead of the day of my gluten free requirements. The rest of group had a lovely lunch but I was presented with a packet of crisps and some crumbly defrosted biscuits to go with soup and strawberrys. I felt it really spoilt what was otherwise a great day.

Response from Broadrake Barn:

Please accept our sincere apologies Felicity – we admit that we totally forgot to get your GF bread to go with the Pea and Mint / Beetroot soups & Wensleydale cheese with sour dough lunch that everyone enjoyed, so could only offer you vegetable or potato crisps instead. Yes, we agree, they were a very poor substitute. There was plenty of soup to have more of which we did offer you. We then offered Bakewell tart(not GF) alongside a fresh fruit option the latter of which suits many of our guests, GF or otherwise and felt that seasonal strawberries was appropriate.
The home-made stem ginger cookies were made with GF flour; unfortunately they’re always crumbly, fresh or defrosted, but they taste just as good as the normal ones! There were also some GF Hob Nob biscuits and ‘Naked’ GF carrot cake bars available.
We won’t make these mistakes again and I'm very sorry that it spoilt the day for you.

In-person course
- - #5089

I have just attended a two day basket weaving course, taught by Phil Bradley at Broadrakes, and cannot praise it enough. Broadrakes has lovely new rooms with ample space for our group - a light, beautiful, clean and comfortable area. Our hostess Rachel Benson provided us with delicious lunch, tea breaks with home baked treats, and was friendly and helpful. Phil's teaching was fantastic, we all returned home with a basket, and enough knowledge to make others, and he interspersed his teaching with anecdotes and funny stories from the world of willow. I would not hesitate to attend another course at Broadrakes, or indeed one taught by Phil. Top Marks all around.

In-person course
- - #3002

I have recently attended a willow weaving workshop at Broadrake. This was taught by Phil Bradley and hosted by Rachel Benson.
What a fantastic day, we were well supplied with vegetarian food in a relaxed atmosphere and just as relaxed was Phil's style of teaching. He never got stressed and with his gentle manner and sense of humour he managed to get us all to produce a hare by the end of the day.
What I really liked was the fact that Phil not only taught us how to produce a hare but he got us to look at proportions and shape so that we could make other things in the future.

In-person course
- - #2986

Phil is a great tutor with endless patience, providing encouragement throughout the day. We all ended up with hares, despite some passing walkers (clearly townies) not recognising them as such. We had a lovely day out in the garden creating our works of art and the food that Rachel provided was delicious, with all tastes catered for. Can't wait for the next willow workshop.

In-person course
- - #2667

It was a wonderful day.I an not the most artistic person and I went home with a recognisable sheep. The setting is stunning as was were the refreshments.
phil's instruction was just right and has infinate patience.

Highly recommend this course.

In-person course
- - #2611

A most enjoyable day in a spectacular location, with like- minded people and great food! Under Phil's expert guidance we all managed to create recognisable sheep worthy of any flock.

In-person course
- - #2604

Great day, fabulous setting, a testament to Phils skill as a tutor that I came away with a sheep that will enhance my garden rather than be the butt of jokes

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