You don’t have to go anywhere to start learning something new. You can learn online, from a book, read the newspaper or watch a television programme.

Online learning

Leeds Libraries has online facilities available free to library members, such as reference websites, ebooks, magazines and audiobooks.

Learn with the Open University  – take a free course online with OpenLearn. Explore lots of subjects that might be inspiring, challenging or help your career such as beginners’ French or psychology. The BBC produces programmes with the Open University, available on Freeview television, with a wide range of popular presenters.

BBC Sounds website has music, playlists, radio programmes, book readings, relaxation music, interviews and lots more – there’s bound to be something to interest you.

WEA runs online courses, which can be low cost or free of charge for people on low incomes

Learn a new language with DuoLingo

You can find free online learning on several websites – they have paid courses, but you can try many for free and there’s lots of subjects and skills on offer:

Wellbeing courses

Learn more about mental health and self-help:

RecoveryCollegeOnline offers free courses on topics such as sleeping problems, anxiety and stress.

Leeds Recovery College offers a range of free courses and workshops (online and in-person) which focus on mental health and improving wellbeing. 

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service online courses can help you learn more about common mental health problems and learn some mindfulness techniques.

Creative courses

Swarthmore Education Centre offers online and on site courses including creative and wellbeing classes.

Develop a new skill with Skillshare. Find what fascinates you whether that’s drawing, photography or creative writing.


The Royal Horticultural Society has tips on growing houseplants, in case you want to test your green fingers indoors. You can also try their Beginner’s guide to gardening for simple steps to gardening outside.

The Eden Project has ideas for gardening for everyone, including how to look after your garden in the winter and ideas for gardening beginners.

Gardeners World magazine has gardening jobs for the current season.

Explore the natural world

The Forestry England website and social media have amazing images, interesting podcasts and more. Explore forests at home from your sofa.

Museum tours and virtual sightseeing

Take a virtual museum tour – you can travel to the Louvre in Paris, the ruins of Pompeii, Park Guell in Barcelona the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, from the comfort of your armchair. Or, discover objects and stories at the Science and Media Museum. You can even virtually explore exhibits from Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Visit the University of Leeds galleries’ sculpture collection – The Stanley and Audrey Burton collection is available to view online via, which has lots more UK art collections to explore online.

Brush up on your history – with the Royal Armouries, they’ve created a learning hub to help children, but there are also stories on their blog and videos on their You Tube channel that are for adults too.

Explore Yorkshire – can’t go to local landmarks, so visit them virtually with Welcome to Yorkshire. There’s lots of family fun with a Yorkshire Day In.

Take a virtual trip around the world – a visit to the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Taj MahalNew York’s CityMachu Picchu and the ancient ruins of Athens – is just a click away.

My Learning has free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage resources available on their website.

If you need help to get online

Even people who don’t have a computer or smartphone can get online in Leeds. Your nearest library has computers you can use for free and there are drop-in sessions and other free digital learning in Leeds to develop your digital skills. You can find out about learning basic digital skills from Digital Inclusion Leeds.