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 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 among tall grasses and meadow flowers or equally at home inside, maybe decorated with mini LED lights.
Why not treat a friend or relative to a workshop for a birthday outing with a difference.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
Course prices includes all refreshments and a good lunch. A materials charge of £10 to be paid direct to Phil on the day.
This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 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 long journey to the venue was well worth it.The day was a Christmas present from my son for me and a friend.He took us up there,then he and his girlfriend went off to climb Ingleborough!
We were warmly greeted by Rachel with a cup of tea.There were 7 of us on the course,all social distancing in place.
Phil,the tutor was great and took us step by step in creating a wonderful willow garden support.The rapport was great,making the day instructive and fun
The view from the venue is amazing.We were served with hot drinks and cookies all day long and had a wonderful home cooked lunch.
A fabulous day which my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed and my garden support is ready for my sweet peas!
I really enjoyed the Willow Plant Support day. Phil was good fun and made learning what to do easy to follow and broke each stage into easy to follow steps. He was there when you needed help and gave you encouragement when you could cope on your own. The lunch taken in the lovely bunkbarn was just what we needed after working hard all morning.
I am looking forward to coming in July, all being well covid-wise, to make a Curlew.
Thank you for a wonderful day.
Response from Broadrake:Hi Lizz, Lovely to have you here and glad that you appreciated Phil's excellent tuition. We are very lucky to have him teach here so often. Looking forward to seeing you here again. Rachel
Excellent day. The tutor was great. Everybody very welcoming. Lovely refreshments and lunch.
Really enjoyed my day. Highly recommend
Response from Broadrake:Thanks Elizabeth for your 2nd review of the Willow Plant support workshop! Always good to be doubly appreciated and nice to have confirmation that what we offer here goes down well. Rachel
We had a superb day learning an ancient craft with a master craftsman. The surroundings were wonderful and Rachel's admin was efficient and professional and the lunch was delicious.
Response from Broadrake:Hi Isabel and Stan,
I had a lovely day, and took home a really nice willow structure. Rachel and Michael made us feel very welcome, made us a wonderful lunch and were the perfect hosts. Philip is a great tutor and I found his instructions easy to follow and his gentle manner of teaching really helpful. I would definitely recommend this course to anybody who would like to try working with willow.
Response from Broadrake:Thank you Fran for your great comments - and glad that you took home more willow for another plant support! I did warn you that working with willow can be addictive...! Hope to see you at Broadrake again soon! Rachel
Great day. Lovely tutor. Rachel and Mike very welcoming. Lunch and cookies excellent.
Thoroughly good day. Would recommend.
Response from Broadrake:Thank you Elizabeth! It was lovely to meet you. I hope that working with the willow has inspired you to continue weaving - it's pretty addictive!! Hope that plant support 2 turns out well and maybe we'll see you again for another willowy day here.
Spoon Carving with Steve Tomlin.
A fantastic 2 day course. The tuition by Steve was excellent and conducted in a fun and highly enjoyable atmosphere. Not only is Steve an excellent carver, he's also a great teacher and lovely guy.
Boradrake Barn hosted us splendidly, providing heapfuls of wonderful homemade food (I recommend the macadamia cookies). Rachel and Mike were the perfect hosts and the stunning setting is one of the best you can get. If you're reading this review and wondering whether to book. Just book it! You wont regret it.
Response from Broadrake:Thanks Duncan for your lovely comments! It's great when folk come to a workshop and go away fired up to continue a new craft; you will have plenty of resources in your own woodland to make use of your new tools to carry on carving!
Dad & I had a great couple of days learning to carve spoons with the most fabulous view of the Dales. We were very well looked after, improved our carving skills greatly & ate delicious food! Even well catered for our fussy dietary requirements. Would definitely recommend this course! We had a great time. :)
Response from Broadrake:Thank you Hannah and Chris - it was lovely to have you along and great that you appreciated the 2 days. Steve Tomlin, the tutor, asked where we found such great people to teach - so thank you for making the first spoon carving session back after Covid such a success. There was much chat and laughter amongst the carving - very important! I hope you continue to carve - all your first spoons and spreaders were excellent for first-timers. Well Done!
I have wanted to learn blacksmithing for years and my wife bought me this experience day for my birthday. It was one of the best days I've had, I loved every minute of it. The venue was beautiful, the food was lovely and the tutors were fantastic. I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to set up my own little forge at home.
Thank you for an amazing day!
Attended a one day willow weaving course making a curlew. Rachel is a wonderful host providing a warm welcome on arrival to a wonderful renovated barn. I was very reassured that all measures in line with covid regulations were in place andIi was able to completely relax and enjoy a fantastic course with Phil at the helm encouraging us all that we would be able to make a willow curlew by the end of the day! - and he was right!
Homemade biscuits quiche and cake all made by Rachel really made me feel so looked after and it was the best day I have had since March! Really well worth going on. Thankyou Rachel for making me feel very welcomed.
I enjoyed making the square basket. It was a very different type of basket to ones I have made before and was clearly explained by Phil. The venue was a very pleasant space, with plenty of room and light. The food was excellent.
Brilliant course, the instructors are friendly and knowledgeable, as others have said the course is a curled keyring and a dragon coat hook. The course is set in beautiful surroundings overlooking the Ribble Viaduct. The hosts Rachel and Mike were also top notch, making sure we were fed with homemade lasagne, biscuits and cakes (plenty of tea and coffee too). Highly recommended! Wear old clothes, decent comfortable shoes (not trainers) and if you're going in winter or a chilly day, dress up with layers.
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!
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.
What an excellent day!
I've always wanted to try my hand at blacksmithing and this course certainly did not disappoint.
We made a key ring and a dragon coat hook.
Andy and Adrian were excellent teachers, very patient and knowledgeable
Plenty of tea & biscuits provided during the day and the meal at lunch time was superb.
The setting of the bunk barn is also excellent, lovely views over Ribblehead viaduct.
Would highly recommend! :)
The location is gorgeous, the food was delicious, the staff were welcoming, and the course was brillliant. I couldn't recommend it enough!
The last time I got hands on was back in the seventies, CSE metalwork class at school, thank you for an interesting and excellent day, good company, hospitality , food, oh and the memories of youth!
Brilliant day. Great instruction and instructors. Superb lunch.
Thoroughly recommend the day.
This is an excellent course which builds on the beginner's course which I have done previously. Steve is a many skilled person who is also good at teaching. He models a process then monitors your efforts and offers advice in a friendly, constructive manner. It was a lovely relaxing day in good company from my fellow course members. The venue is tremendous, the location dramatic and wonderfully isolated. Rachel and Mike from Broadrake run a very high quality bunk barn in Chapel-le-Dale, it's difficult to concentrate on the carving as the views are so beautiful, regardless of the weather. Luckily there was time for both. On both courses Mike cooked an excellent lunch which were both very tasty. There is home baking and unlimited tea and coffee and always a friendly chat from Rachel. A perfect day. Thank you.
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.
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.
Wow! I've met some really interesting, lovely people and learned so much about basket weaving in the stunning setting of Broadrake Barn. Thank you Rachel for hosting and sharing your magical space and delicious food and to Phil for being such an ace teacher - the attention to detail, careful instructions and demonstrations ensured that we all produced a basket of our dreams. Thrilled with mine - just need to add those grab handles and then get on down to the orchard to fill it with apples. Looking forward to seeing the 2020 programme for Broadrake and can't wait to get back for some more willow wizardry.
Response from Broadrake:It was great to meet you Kate, and see the lovely baskets you've already made - hoping that you will create another one at Broadrake in 2020!!
I have just enjoyed 2 great days on a frame basket workshop with Phil Bradley at Broadrake Farm. It was a very relaxed course with excellent tuition from a master basket maker, who always had another trick up his sleeve for the times when we came across difficulties. Everyone finished a lovely basket to take home, and some of us caught the bug and bought more materials to carry on with another at home!
Phil's portfolio encompasses all possible uses of willow; from baskets, garden features, children's dens to sculptures in willow as he is tutor to several courses at Broadrake.
The setting is a beautiful farmhouse within sight of the Ribblehead viaduct, the food provided was excellent, healthy and homemade. I enjoyed it so much I can't wait to go back and try something else.
I have just spent the last two days at Broadrake on a frame basket workshop led by Basketmaker Phil Bradley. What a wonderful couple of days in the most stunning setting. The workshop was great fun, extremely informative and I’m delighted with the basket I made! Rachel is an expert when it comes to hospitality and the constant flow of home baked goods really went down a treat. The accommodation in the newly renovated bunk barn is spotlessly clean and extremely reasonable for a stop over or longer break. I cannot recommend Broadrake highly enough!
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
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.
I was bought the experience as a Christmas presant, really fun and enjoyable, great instructors and fab food, at the lunch break, a good social experience to. Opportunities to take a weekend in the Yorkshire dales with the borders of Kendal not far. Would deffo recommend!
A very relaxed and informative intoduction to spoon carving in a great venue. Looking forward to more of the same!
Just finished the two-day October 2018 course with Steve. On the train home as I write and already I want to come back. Steve was so willing to share his spoon carving skills (and he's pretty good at it) it made learning a pleasure. Rachel and Mike have a beautiful place and are the most welcoming hosts. The weather was cold and rainy and we were warm and well-fed and completely absorbed in our spoons. When the cloud lifted the views were stunning.... It was a wonderful way to spend two days. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning a woodcraft.
A fantastic day! Great fun, company, tuition and food. Thank you so much for a taste of the blacksmith’s life.
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: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.
My second time at Broadrake with willow weaving. You guys are amazing. Phil show us plenty of new skills, I met a great bunch of people and had a grand time. Food was excellent. After 2 days of pleasant labour in stunning scenery I went home with 2 baskets and some cuttings that now have grown into a mini willow plantation ;) I will be coming back! Can not fault this course; money well spend.
I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 days making a frame basket. I've now booked for the round basket course and (easily) persuaded my husband to book on the willow curlew making course.
Broadrake is a lovely spot, Rachel is an excellent host and cook, and Phil is a great teacher. And the basket I made is very useful too.
An ideal beginner's course for someone interested in spoon carving. Steve is a very good teacher, very patient and will illustrate each step. Broadrake is an excellent location, Rachel and Mike have done a wonderful job with the bunkbarn which is stunning. Ribbleshead viaduct can be seen from the property with Whernside just behind the property. Mike and Rachel are very good cooks/bakers and you will be treated to their veggie lunch and sweet treats.
A very informative course with step by step tuition. Steve demonstrated each step and then allowed us to have a try, offering help and advice all along. He was able to answer any questions put to him and kept reminding us of good technique. We all came away with a spoon original to our own design.
Broadrake as a venue is in a very scenic part of the Yorkshire Dales with the Ribblehead viaduct in the near distance and Whernside just behind. Ideal for a walk if you happen to stay a night or two.
There was an excellent lunch and wonderful home baking. All in all a great day.
This is a brilliant course! Steve is an amazing instructor and was able to answer any questions that were thrown at him. Everyone had a great time, the venue was lovely, Lunch was awesome, and the course was one we'll remember forever. The spoons came out great thanks to Steve’s guidance and I'd recommend the course to anyone interested in learning a fun new skill.
A really informative introduction to the skills needed to make a wooden spoon from a tree trunk. Steve is a very patient and friendly tutor demonstrating each step and helping when needed but at the same time allowing us to be creative and end up with a spoon that was unique to each.
Broadrake is a fantastic venue and Rachel and Mike friendly and welcoming. Excellent home baking and substantial lunch contributed to an excellent and relaxing day (not good for the waistline!)
An excellent course, well led.
Good company, delicious food, a new skill attempted in beautiful surroundings.
Very pleased with result.
The glorious weather added to the enjoyment.
Will come again.
Response from Broadrake:Thank you Carole - it was lovely to meet you and share the learning experience! The sunshine was a real bonus!
A very enjoyable and instructive time - great location at Broadrake in beautiful surroundings, friendly hosts Mike and Rachel supplying lashings of good food and continuous tea, coffee and home-made biscuits. Expertly tutored with all the gear and help you need for a productive day with hammer and tongs!
Really good. Given that the things you would make are worth about 60 quid if you bought them, that means the food (there is loads) and tuition is only £40. Excellent value for money and a really great day.
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.
A fantastic day in the most beautiful location! After a day of help and encouragement, spurred on with tea breaks and homemade goodies we left with a real sense of achievement (and a son who now wants a forge at home!) This come highly recommended!
Marvellous surroundings a very interesting course .we were able to make key rings then dragon hangers in the full day course.wonderful food was provided to keep us sustained which we enjoyed looking out across to ribble head viaduct .new friends were made.great day 10 out 10 .
A really great experiance, I enjoyed the course and did far more than I expected. We were tutored and looked after wonderfully. The food was exceptionally good. Thank you for a really great experience which I hope to repeat again in the future. I would recommend this to all.
Adrian and Andy were very patient and made great teachers. A really enjoyable day , a great lunch and a fabulous view. What better day is there?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I would recommend this course to anybody. The makes were not too difficult but did stretch our skills. Adrian (and his beautiful assistant, Andy) was easy going and had time for us all. We worked at our own pace, no pressure to rush. I was really pleased with my makes and the family were very impressed. The food was home made, plentiful and tasty. Rachel and Mike were very hospitable sharing their home with us for the day. Thanks to everyone for making this such an enjoyable day.
What a fantastic day! despite finding the black smithing really difficult I came home with a key ring, a dragon that looks like a dragon and a lovely twisted hook. Thank you so much Adrian and Andy for your patience!
The setting was beautiful and the food delicious, Rachel and Mike were the perfect hosts and my course mates friendly and helpful; the whole day exceeded my expectations.
A great day. I had always wanted to try my hand at blacksmithing, and Adrian (helped by Andy) showed us all what to do and how to do it. Some things seemed easier than I had expected, but others required patience and tweaking to get the desired results. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and were happy to help each other. There was a plentful supply of cookies, biscuits and cake washed down with copious brews, and lunch was plentiful and delicious. Many thanks to Rachel and Mike who made us all feel so welcome to their lovely home Broadrakes - which enjoys fabulous views of Ingleborough and the historic Ribblehead Viaduct. Definitely not an experience to be missed.
The Blacksmith course was a great experience which I was given as a 16th birthday present. I already have an interest in blacksmithing/metal working and I thought it was a nice surprise.
Adrian took us through all the steps for making three items and offered lot's of advice and help, both for on the day and in the future when I do any blacksmithing at home. Altogether it was a great day and I would strongly recommend it to the experienced or inexperienced.
Rachel and Mike were wonderful hosts and provided some lovely homemade food and hospitality which was very much appreciated.
Thanks to you all for a great day.
Me (aged 15) and my Grandad attended the course last February and it was great! We got to create 3 items (each) which turned out really well considering it was the first time Grandad and I worked with metal, so Adrian's tutoring must have been very good. Which it was. Me and my Grandad truly enjoyed the experience and the hospitality was great, and for the price it was, we got more than ours monies worth. We do recommend going on this day course as you will not regret it and you will learn lots of skills which are very useful, especially if you want to do Blacksmithing in the future.
Thanks to Mike and Rachel for organising such a great course.
I made a key ring and dragon hook and two leaf hooks on this brilliant day; the hooks are up in the garden shed being put to good use, and my key ring is used for my bike lock key.
Adrian and his mates were very encouraging and worked with each of us to hone our blacksmithing skills. I was amazed at their patience (and humour) as we tried to craft a piece of steel into something that resembled a leaf!! I went away very satisfied and proud of my creations, and now have a stronger bicep.
Definitely want to go again.
An excellent day. Very satisfying to turn a flat piece of steel into something. The tutors are really helpful, friendly and go at the pace of the group. Just the right amount of input, letting you get on by yourself and helping out when your hammering arm is getting tired! The hooks you make are actually quite useful too. The views across the Ribble Valley from the barn are fantastic so you can take a break from hammering and enjoy the scenery. The food is all homemade and delicious. All in all a great day.