Pottery and Gin Making courses, what do they have in common?

So the New Year is here and what’s more, it is the start of a new decade! We took this as a challenge to come up with some ideas for days out with a difference for you to try out whilst you are staying with us in the Staffordshire countryside. Both places are within easy reach of Heywood hall so your day will be hassle-free. What’s more, you will go home with a sense of achieving something you may never have thought of doing. So why not give it a try!!

We scratched our heads and thought a lot, whilst listening to the rain falling in the stream. We came up with, guess what? something to do with liquid and distillation made locally. Then we thought, what is local and guests from outside the area can see, touch and maybe create something themselves?
After a bit of searching, we found Mathew and Rachel Dimbleby from Dimbleby Ceramics in Trentham, the home of the Potteries, which has a rich heritage of making high-quality products. Rachel is the artist, Mathew is the potter and they have teamed up to combine their talents to make unique ceramics which feature Rachel’s watercolour illustrations. The exquisite illustrations are inspired by friends and family’s animals as well as wildlife from the wood at the back of the couple’s studio, with each piece having a story to tell.

Pottery Courses: We have teamed up with Mathew Dimbleby from Dimbleby Ceramics in Trentham. Mathew has worked in ceramics and the arts for over 30 years, including manufacturing, teaching, education, management and lecturing. He is a naturally skilled teacher.  He shares his knowledge  and enthusiasm with great generosity, guiding  most novice potter to making their

Pottery Courses Staffordshire

Mathew hard at work

work of art. So if you are like me a complete beginner, don’t worry he will guide you through making your creation! He has also received platinum status for his course.

Things to do in Staffordshire

Mathew’s work

The day includes; clay preparation, centring the clay, throwing cylinders with the aim of producing forms of even thickness. Developing basic forms and wiring pots off the wheel.
What’s really great is there is a maximum of 4 spaces per course, to allow really focused tuition. The cost is £175.00 per person plus a special Heywood Hall discount of 10%. Please visit the Craft Courses Website for more details.

You can take a locally sourced packed lunch from Denstone Hall farm shop,  just across the road from Heywood Hall.

Pot throwing courses in Staffordshire

Mathew Dimbleby






Nelson’s Distillery & School:  Created by Neil Harrison previously a celebrated chef who perfected his skills in marrying flavours of food, wine and spirits to create the wonderful Nelson’s Distillery. Neil combined his years of expertise and refined palate from the food industry to develop his renowned London Dry No.7. Not long after came its stronger sister – Navy Strength, playing homage to Admiral Nelson. Both spirits are unique in that they contain 27 botanicals (most gins contain 5/6) they offer a clean, fresh taste which at the same time is deeply and surprisingly complex.

Nelsons Gin School

The Creator, Neil Harrison

Branching out from its flagship Nelsons London Dry Gin,  Nelson’s now offers over 10 flavour and seasonal variations. This includes its multi-award-winning Timur Gin and it’s expansion to the dark side with its rich flavourful rums and it’s recent Christmas creation, Nelson’s Vodka!
As a connoisseur of an amazing gin, Neil decided to start his own Gin and Vodka School. He wanted to share his knowledge and let others experience the joy of creating their own personal Gin.
Nelson’s Distillery School near Uttoxeter lasts for 5 hours. It includes an in-depth introduction into the art and precision of distilling, all whilst learning of gins colourful history. You will immerse yourself in the 60+ botanicals available, picking and blending to create your own unique recipe before distilling, waxing and labelling your own 70cl craft gin creation. What’s more, it will be ready to take home that very day.

Nelsons gin making school

The classroom where Gin is created!

Gin making course

Nelson’s Gin

Enjoy lunch and light refreshments and not forgetting plentiful amounts of gin over the course of the day. (Taxis are recommended).
Book as a pair and share in the enjoyment of creating a joint combination, or book a still each and create two distinctively different spirits. Even better, hire out the whole distillery and treat your family and friends to an unforgettable experience!
Prices start at £115.00 per person for an individual still or £77.00 per person for a shared experience.


Should you wish to book a suite with us at Heywood Hall  please follow the link. We look forward to welcoming you