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School holiday camps and courses

From swimming with an Olympian to writing music with an award-winning Hollywood composer – and fun with mud in between.

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Want the kids to make new friends, learn new skills (or hone existing ones), have fun – and stay out of your hair over the hols? Book ’em onto a summer holiday course or camp at one of the region’s top independent schools.


Renowned for its music, no wonder Wells Cathedral School has some stonking summer music schools, run by world class musicians, for 8-18 year olds. Kids don’t have to be mini Mozarts though most summer schools require a minimum level of ability or experience and some ask for much more. Courses include summer schools for woodwind, brass, voice and jazz. Composing for Media, taught by award-winning composer (and Old Wellensian) Dr Richard Jacques, who wrote the score for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy sounds cool. From £745. Contact the school on 01749 834483 or email


Saddle up for four-day riding courses in July and August at Bryanston Knighton House and Bryanston School near Blandford Forum – the equestrian facilities are impressive. Bring your own horse or pony or borrow one of theirs and improve your riding skills in three arenas, grass dressage arena and show jumping on grass. From age 6 upwards. Cost around £350. They also offer art, dance and other sport camps. More info.


Loving the sound of Camp Teepee at The Paragon School in Bath, which ha a gorgeous forest school in its grounds. These day camps running in July and August for kids aged 6-11, involve lighting fires, cooking outdoors, making stuff out of wood and clay, wild drumming, playing woodland detective games, build shelters and more. Sadly, adults not allowed. From 18-21 July and 22-25 Aug, 9.15am-4pm, £40 a day.


Is your kids new to coding and keen to learn or a tech-savvy genius? The tech camps at Prior Park College in Bath promises to introduce advanced coding concepts (eek) to kids of all abilities between the ages of 5 and 11, through fun projects and puzzles. 25-29 July; 1–5 August; 8–12 Aug, from 9am-4pm. £40/day; £205/week.


Hop over to Sherborne Prep in Sherborne (obvs) for their Activate Camps: multi-activity (urban skillz, gold medal academy, global games and team challenge), hockey, cricket, freestyle soccer and netball for 5 to 14 year olds in July and August. Camps run from 9.30-4.30, with half days available. From £30 for a half day up to £180 for a full camp.

Swimming courses at Millfield this summer are being coached by the Millfield team and Team GB Olympian Jazz Carlin. It doesn’t get much better than that. Other summer courses of differing durations for children aged 5-17 at the famously sporty school Millfield, at both their Glastonbury and Street campuses, include athletics camps, cricket, football, rugby, adventurous multi-activities – plus dance, drama and performing arts. Prices from £84 to around £500.


Book the kids onto one of the holiday clubs and activities for 3 to 16 years old at Clifton College and enjoy a day out in Bristol? Holiday clubs: Minis (Preschool 3-4 years), Juniors (Reception – Year 3) and Kids’ Club (Years 4-8), a mix of indoor and outdoor play, games and activities. Activity courses include bushcraft, martial arts, mountain biking, cookery, fashiom hockey and tennis.

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