Misc. hobbies
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


Active sport
Arts & crafts
Hobbies & pastimes
Index A-Z


What is it?

  • There are very many other hobbies and pastimes that people do in their free time.  

  • Possible interests range from amateur radio to train spotting, and from bell ringing to model railways.  There is an overlap between some of them and other hobbies such as various forms of collecting and playing games

  • Some of the main organisations involved are listed below, and more information on the specific activities is available from them. 

  • Certain of these activities like astronomy or electronics may lead on to a more formal course of study (see learning hobbies and pastimes).

Find out more


Radio Society of Great Britain  www.rsgb.org.uk/
UK Radio Society  www.ukrs.org/
Change Ringing Resources  www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~rb/ringing/
British Electric Flight Association  members.netscapeonline.co.uk/ gordontarling/befa-index.htm 
British Model Flying Association  www.bmfa.org/
Model Electronic Railway Group home.freeuk.net/merg/  01273 844530
Model Railway Club  0207 837 2542
Train Collectors Society  01525 402545
British Model Soldier Society  www.btinternet.com/~model.soldiers/
Model Power Boat Association  freespace.virgin.net/a.coburn/ 
Model Yachting Association for the UK  www.radiosailing.org.uk/ 
Magician's Corner  www.tmc.ndo.co.uk/magic.html 
National Railway Historical Society UK Chapter  www.siam.co.uk/nrhsuk/
British Astronomical Association  www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~baa/
Royal Astronomical Society  www.ras.org.uk/index.html



Practical Wireless 
Radio Active Magazine 
Radio Communications 
Electronics And Beyond 
Elektor Electronics 
Everyday Practical Electronics

The Ringing World www.luna.co.uk/~ringingw/  
BMFA News 
Radio Control Models and Electronics 
Model Railway Enthusiast 
Military Modelling 
Miniature Wargames 
Model Boats 
Toy soldier & Model Figure 
Heritage Railway 
Railway Magazine 
Railway World 
Steam Railway 
Astronomy Now 
Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Getting started

  • Find a local group or club that covers the type of hobby that interests you (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of hobbies.

  • Check in your local library/paper or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Most of these are activities that can be done by people of all ages and both sexes.  They are also generally quite easy to take up, though there may be significant skills and knowledge involved for those seriously interested. 

  • Some of these other hobbies can easily be done at home on your own.  Amateur radio and model railway building are among them.  

  • But others, like train spotting, flying model aircraft and bell ringing, involve leaving home and participating with other in the activity.  Many people also enjoy the stimulus and social contact of belonging to a group of like minded enthusiasts.  

  • This may be an informal group of friends or a more formal local group.  The latter may be important in organising special event and/or competitions depending on the activity.

Equipment or clothing
  • Most of these hobbies involve some kind of special equipment, e.g. radios, model aircraft, railways etc.  

  • In some cases this is available at the location where the activity is done e.g. bells in the church tower.

A place or facilities
  • The main requirement is an appropriate space for the activity, whether indoors or outside.  

  • Train spotters obviously need to visit stations and similar locations.  

  • Groups usually meet either at such special locations or in a local hall or room, including sometimes at members' homes.

Have a go - get started now

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