In-person course

Wood carving for beginners and improvers at Ness Botanic Gardens Cheshire



This practical 2 day weekend course is designed for complete beginners with no previous experience, and those with a small amount of experience who wish to improve their wood carving skills. Students will learn the basic skills necessary to creatively carve wood with hand tools. Students will produce a carved board of cuts and a relief carving to take home. For adults age 18+.

The venue, Ness Botanic Gardens on the banks of the River Dee, is widely known for its plant collections and beauty, plus there is a great café on site.

Your tutor, John White, is an experienced woodcarver, he has over thirty years experience in a diverse range of woodcarving projects. He is a qualified teacher, holds City and Guilds in Woodcarving and teaches for The International Chippendale School of Furniture.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All materials, use of tools, equipment, course notes, light refreshments. NB Refreshments not currently included due to Covid regulations.
Good conversation and a friendly, relaxed and fascinating learning experience, great to support wellbeing.


John White at John White Woodcarving
Ness Botanic Gardens
South Wirral
CH64 4AY

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Fathers Day
  • Limited mobility
  • Mothers Day
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • UK Holiday
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.


In-person course
- - #28179

Perfect course and venue for the beginner/aspirant woodcarver...….
Think I'll go on to Stage 2.....

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thanks Michael, good to hear you enjoyed it, and hope to see you again.
kind regards
John & Carol

In-person course
- - #27945

I did this course at the end of January. It was great, John had so much patience and made no attempt to rush us. He explained everything clearly as we went along.
I really enjoyed the whole course and learnt so much. I had never done any carving before so was a wee bit scared of making a mess of everything. If you enjoy making things or just messing about with wood, have a go at this course, I am sure you you won't regret it.

Maureen Brown

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Hi Maureen, thank you for your kind review. I am very pleased you enjoyed it, especially as you travelled quite a distance.
Very best wishes John & Carol

In-person course
- - #27855

Always been keen to work with wood and this course offered a new challenge and l certainly wasn't disappointed and would highly recommend.

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thank you Paul, glad you enjoyed it and hope you continue; always happy to help kind regards John & Carol

In-person course
- - #27785

An excellent, easy to follow course which even for a total beginner in his 50s was basic enough for me to follow!!
John was extremely patient, even with me and my very sharp tools 🩹 🤕

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thanks Tim glad you found it interesting, you were great with the tools, feel free to contact us if you need any more information. Kind regards John & Carol

In-person course
- - #26466

My daughter and I had never used chisels or dabbled in woodcraft before we attended the Beginners Class but the prospect of creating a carved owl in a weekend really appealed to us. Although we were apprehensive at first we were soon under the spell of John’s brilliantly humorous but technical way of teaching. A small class with all tools provided and lots of one to one encouragement meant the whole weekend was a great time for all the students. We absolutely loved the course and hope to continue woodcarving now that we have been instructed in the basics. A ‘must’ course for anyone interested in crafts and wanting a new creative challenge.

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thanks Pam, very pleased to hear you both enjoyed the course and that you are now on your way to being happy woodcarvers

In-person course
- - #26459

Had a fantastic weekend on John's woodcarving course. Learnt loads and came home with my own piece of carving (an owl). Thank you John (and Carol for organising everything). Will definitely keep on carving. Was a complete beginner but feel confident I have the right basic skills now. Great fun too - even for someone with limited mobility - John made sure that I was still able to fully participate. Thanks xxx



Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thanks Barbra, pleased to know you are continuing

In-person course
- - #26452

Great course and a super environment to get creative in, this is my 2nd course as I enjoyed the 1st one so much. From a taster weekend beginners course for carving, the course turned my slight interest into a passion for working with wood. The tuition was perfect, the tutor was friendly, patient and professional. Learning from someone with this level of skill and knowledge is truly inspiring.

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thank you Gill, so glad you have enjoyed the courses.

In-person course
- - #25682

I have now completed the beginners and the intermediate course and my only complaint is that there are no more to do! From absolutely no knowledge at all, John managed to extract two pieces of carving from me, which really are all my own work. This is due in no small part to Johns teaching style which gives everyone the confidence to have a go and with an emphasis on the fundamentals.
Great teacher and a very relaxed and enjoyable course.

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thank you Andrew, so glad you enjoyed the courses. We may well include an Advanced weekend course in the future.
Kind regards
John & Carol

In-person course
- - #25354

A weekend well spent with expert hands on tuition from John, offering masses of help and advice along the way. I would recommend this beginners course for anyone wanting to learn the art of wood carving. So much advice and information, I went away inspired and ready to move onto my next project.
Take part, take notice and you will not be disappointed, but don't take any sandpaper with you.

Response from John White Woodcarving:

Thank you Stuart, glad you enjoyed it, especially as there was a ban on sandpaper lol.

In-person course
- - #10632

I decided to do this course as I've never worked with wood at all (in my day the girls only did needlework/cookery at school). It's been on my bucket list for a while.
I was apprehensive at first but John's teaching technique soon made for a relaxing weekend. We had loads of ideas and information given to us and expert demonstrations from John. Lots of help was given where needed.
I feel shattered now it's over but really enjoyed my weekend, doing something different. I actually just about ended up with an almost complete owl (very proud) but could probably have done with an extra day to complete that and practise some more basic techniques. Would definitely consider doing a follow up course; this was excellent and well worth the money.
Thanks John.

In-person course
- - #8692

For anyone who is thinking of taking up woodcarving, or has started and wants to get some coaching then this is one of the best ways to do it

John is an excellent teacher. He has great patience and unfailing good humour

His explanations are clear and easy to follow and he always seems to be on hand to assist anyone who is finding anything a little difficult to do.

Everything is provided - including tools if you don't have any of your own.

You start by practicing the ‘basic’ cuts but soon move on to making recognisable shapes

On the second day you move on to carving an owl starting with the explanation of how to mark out the piece of wood ready to carve. Getting the carving fully finished does require concentrated effort but it is well worth it to take home a completed piece and leaves the beginner with a great sense of achievement.

Leave a review


Please note that email addresses added here are not published. Contact information will not be shared or used for marketing unless you opt to receive our monthly newsletter about UK creative courses. You will be notified by email within two weeks if the course provider responds to your review.

Have you done this course?