Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft  


Carving Master Class with Ray Mears

Working the Fabric of the Forest

Ray Mears will introduce you to the joys of wood carving and to the tools of the trade. Whether you are an experienced woodworker or have never picked up a knife or axe before, Ray and his team will help you individually to create an object of elegance and functionality.

This inspirational day will be filled with expert tuition and hands on learning in the most peaceful woodland surroundings. Once the day has come to an end you will return home with the fruits of your labour as both practical items and treasured memories.

Further Information

Carving is one of the great pleasures of the forest. A practical skill that unlocks the true potential of knife, axe and saw, it can take years to master but only moments to enjoy the simple satisfaction gained from working the grain of our most treasured resource: the fabric of the woodland itself. Learning these ancient skills from Ray Mears, a true woodsman and expert of over forty years practice is an opportunity not to be passed by.

You will be guided through the use of axe and knife as Ray uses these tools to create an object of practical elegance. At each stage you will apply these skills to your own work under the supervision of Ray and his team, with the campfire close at hand and surrounded by beautiful woodland. With care and guidance, you will take away the fruits of your labour: a unique handmade item that will serve as a reminder of your day for years to come. More importantly, you will hold the skills of the woodsman in your mind and muscles to practice, improve and master for yourself; truly a gift for life.

No previous experience is necessary to enjoy this wonderful day and Ray's skill as both carver and teacher will ensure that each individual's standard will be catered for. Inspiration is never in short supply on a Woodlore course and as well as being at the heart of the ancient Wealden forest, there will be a stunning array of hand carved utensils, expertly finished and decorated with natures symbols for you to admire and gain encouragement from.

Details of your Experience

The Carving Master Class will take place on a private estate close to Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex. Please bring a packed lunch and wet weather gear just in case!

This course will start at 09:00 and will finish at 17:00.

Joining instructions will be sent to participants of the course 9 weeks before it is due to start, giving details of where to meet, at what time, and what to bring with you.

Dates, Costs and Bookings

  This particular course has already taken place and there are no other dates currently available. Please sign up to our mailing list for future course updates.

Course Reviews

Carving Master Class with Ray Mears is rated 5/5 based on 18 customer reviews.

All of our reviews are from people who have attended our courses.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 18

  Very well paced and supported course. I haven't done much in the way of carving so was happy to go at my own pace and have the guidance when/where I needed it. The deep knowledge of Ray was hugely interesting and helpful. His team were fantastic! Thank you to everyone, it was a fab day in the woods.  


Rated: 5/5

  2 of 18

  It was a fantastic experience, and a wonderful day spent outdoors in the Sussex countryside with like-minded folk. Ray and all the instructors (Wayne, James & Jamie) were all very helpful, patient, and generous with their time. I'll probably end up going on another one of these at some point in the future, as there's always something more to learn.  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 18

  Could you please pass on my thanks to the support team on Saturday, they were excellent. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received. There was plenty of time to talk and understand what we were trying to do and Ray was a true gentleman, very down to earth and chatted away with us all day. It will be a day I will look back on and smile and remember fondly for the rest of my days.  


Rated: 5/5

  4 of 18

  I received the carving course with Ray Mears as a 40th birthday gift and had a great time in the beautiful woods (perfect sunny weather also helped). I’m not a bushcraft enthusiast but am interested in many of the tools and techniques. Ray gave the group an interesting insight into the history of some of the equipment and his intelligence and genuine passion shone through, leaving one feeling inspired to be more in tune with both nature and our historical connection to it. Thanks Ray and team for a brilliant experience.  


Rated: 5/5

  5 of 18

  Absolutely brilliant. Special memories created on this one day wood carving course. Somewhat expensive in terms of paying in a foreign currency e.g. NZ dollars but still worth it to hear and learn from a true expert. I dearly hope Ray continues to be an active teacher and keeps publishing material. I look forward to having another experience like this again sometime in the future. Thank you to Ray and his team for enriching so many people's lives.  


Rated: 5/5

  6 of 18

  I had a fantastic day learning to carve. Who would have known making a spoon would be so tiring! My forearms are still aching so I would recommend some forearm exercises. All in all a great day out. Thanks to Ray and his team.  


Rated: 5/5

  7 of 18

  This course exceeded my expectations. Ray and his instructors are highly skilled, very knowledgeable and excellent teachers, and the day was organised so that we would learn as much as possible. In fact, the day just flew by and felt like a few hours. There were frequent humorous moments, which made the day even more memorable, and we were all so engrossed in our projects that I witnessed the unique sight of people with a common interest working earnestly in complete silence! The course was run with the attention to detail which is the hallmark of Woodlore, and the camp was permeated with the smell of happiness, woodsmoke. Very highly recommended.  


Rated: 5/5

  8 of 18

  I've been a fan of Ray Mears' TV programmes for 20-odd years now and aside from Sir David Attenborough I can't think of anyone else who is so inspirational. I booked the course as I wanted some hands-on experience with wood carving but also to meet the man himself. He is everything that he appears to be - patient, welcoming, hugely knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. The day was excellent - I can't say any more - if you're thinking of booking but unsure because of the price or distance then just do it. Life is short and the opportunity to meet and spend time learning with someone like Ray is worth every penny.  


Rated: 5/5

  9 of 18

  Attended the Master Carving Course yesterday and had the privilege of meeting Ray and the other Woodlore team guys. We started with a log and finished with a very passable carved spoon. I thought my knives were sharp until I saw what Ray does with his! An excellent course and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I never realised wood carving was such hard work! An absolute joy to be with Ray for a day.  


Rated: 5/5

  10 of 18

  What an excellent day! Helped by the weather, by being blisteringly hot, but mainly by the day. The crew were all friendly and helpful whilst also being very professional, they corralled us all from various car parks and shepherded us to the clearing where we were to spend the day. The group were of mixed ability and were pleasantly sorted by Ray himself into groups. Tuition was tailored to the individual and was only given as need or requested. Ray gave an interesting talk on axes, (and as a result I have now resurrected Grandfathers felling axe from 1936!) and there uses and the all-important sharpening thereof. Later we had a similar lesson on knives and the best way to sharpening them (please tell Ray my knives and axes are now so sharp it’s scary!). I left with a spoon of which I am most proud, and use. But more importantly I have expanded not only my skill set but also my confidence. I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who has a desire to carve wood, as all of the techniques used on the day are transferable to any and all other projects. The man himself has a presence and bearing that at once makes one feel at home but makes you listen and learn. Testament to his passion and involvement is that six months later I met him again and he remembered me from the day. That either says a lot about him or a lot about me.  


Rated: 5/5

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about this course can be found here. If you have a question about this course, please contact us.

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