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A perfect post-lockdown activity for SA seniors – unleash your creativity

Posted By Marilynh / April 22, 2020 / 5 Comments

YEI members – check out this vibrant, living classroom
which is a proven nurturing environment
and a place where your creativity could thrive


Swellendam WS 1200


You may have found that the last few weeks have brought about a need for real creativity or a desire to learn or meditate.  Why not take a step further, and check out this vibrant, living classroom, which is proven to be a nurturing environment.  A place where creativity could thrive.

Is now the time to take the bull by the horns and indulge yourself in enriching experiences?  From learning how to bake that perfect loaf of sourdough bread, to finally restoring that rickety heirloom to its former glory, to concocting herbal remedies for your family’s health and wellbeing?

Later this year, dependent on when the crisis lets up, the picturesque historic town of Swellendam will be transformed into a vibrant campus where you can immerse yourself in the ultimate indulgence of learning.   Don’t expect a rigid, academic approach!  Rather expect an amazing experience where participants can rub shoulders with other like-minded people, while expanding their knowledge or skills. 


SWS aged 3


The courses are grouped together in five themes – mind and body, food and wine, nature and heritage, crafts and design, and creative art.  A tantalising array of more than 50 courses, covering a myriad of topics. 

A concentration of experienced artists and other Swellendam experts in their field are willing to share their wisdom (and wit!) and skills with others at the Swellendam Winter School.  The facilitators of the courses are deeply knowledgeable and contagiously passionate about their subject matter.

A quick, sneak peak into some of these courses will pique the interest of any established artist or a curious mind in search of a new hobby.


SWS - pottery yoga


Popular Afrikaans novelist Ingrid Winterback will have your creative juices flowing in no time with her writing course.   Master Baker Meraai van Wyk will soon have you making your very own soulful country bread.  Heidi Lund will introduce you to the airy magic of colourful meringues.   Wine lovers can rejoice with specialised courses in a day of vertical wine and food pairing plus an introduction to the wines of the Swellendam region, run by Swellendam’s very own charming Garth Luxton.

Perhaps nature and heritage are more your thing?  Historian Johan Kriek give an overview of the fascinating intersection of Dutch, English, Khoi and Xhosa heritage.   Suurbraak-based artist and activist, Donovan Julius will offer a visually rich journey into Khoi Heritage.   And so the list goes on – a range of learning opportunities in the great outdoors: from  cultivating organic vegetables to growing and using edible weeds.

The jam-packed Home Craft and Design theme offers attendees the opportunity to learn a range of practical skills through fun and interactive facilitation.  From artisanal soap-making, to paint techniques and decorative fun with the DIY queen, Lisa Spaarwater.  Designing jewellery from kelp and a crash course in decorating your home like a professional.  The list is endless and a whole heap of fun!


SWS flyer


“We want Swellendam Winter School to be two things: personal and professional,” says founder and director, John Paisley. “We want participants to feel like they’re getting a peek behind the scenes of our facilitators’ creative processes, and we want them to leave feeling like they’ve learned from the very best.”

“Our Swellendam Winter School retreats are all about offering attendees a truly immersive experience,” says facilitator, Saskia van Leeuwen. “By stepping out of your ordinary daily routine into a beautiful environment, and eating delicious, healthy food, we believe you’re able to nurture and grow your creativity.”

So whether you’re a budding hobbyist, a potential entrepreneur or a promising professional, you’re invited to the Swellendam Winter School!


The date:

Due to the Corona pandemic, the start of the Swellendam Winter School is postponed to June this year, with the possibility of further postponements should circumstances require.  SWS will run this year!

Find out more: 

Website:  Click here
Courses:  Take a look at the courses here

General Enquiries:

Email:  admin@winterschool.co.za
Tel:   078 778 5365 (between 09:00 and 16:00).

Course dates, bookings and payment: Margie Walker
Email:  programmedirector@winterschool.co.za

General SWS policy: John Paisley
Email:  director@winterschool.co.za

SWS logo


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  • Wilma van den Heever
    April 23, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Please keep me updated regarding this program.

    • Marilynh
      April 23, 2020 at 8:19 am

      Hello Wilma

      We most certainly will. It’s a fabulous Winter School, with so much to do and learn.

      Warm regards

  • alison palmer
    April 24, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Good afternoon
    Please can you let me have the prices of the Home craft and creative craft courses.
    Also, please keep me updated with the dates when known
    Thank you

    • Marilynh
      May 4, 2020 at 9:52 am

      Dear Alison

      Thanks for your query. We will pass this on to the Swellendam Winter School.

      Kind regards

    • Angela Watkins
      May 4, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      Dear Alison, we have asked the organisers to contact you directly with your query. Regards YEI

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