5 hobbies that have become more popular in the past year

With shops and restaurants closed, and millions of people being placed on furlough during the pandemic, it’s no wonder that many turned to an array of intriguing and sometimes bizarre hobbies to fill their ample free time.

Though many will be looking forward to being able to return to some sense of normality in the coming months, with the added insurance of a COVID-19 antigen test, we’re looking back at five of the most popular hobbies people have taken up in the past year.


During the pandemic, many of us found our green thumb, with millions around the country using their gardens, balconies, windowsills and any other disused surface as a place to store their new, leafy family members.

In the early months of lockdown, when spring was in the air, people flocked to their gardens to plant the seeds of a new hobby. Many began small, taking on a succulent or two, but some wanted more and began growing vegetables and fruits, learning how to care for them and eventually how to incorporate all their new veggies into their meals.

Gardening was an incredibly accessible hobby, allowing even those without gardens to join in with indoor options. it also encouraged us to be out in the fresh air at a time when most were confined to their homes.

Online workouts

With gyms and exercise classes off-limits to us all, working out moved online. Memberships to online workout classes shot up with many preferring the accessibility of a home workout, led by a professional. And though gyms are now opening back up to the public, and many are looking forward to returning to in-person workout classes, with the help of a Healgen Antigen test to keep us all safe, online workouts are still happening and will likely be here to stay.


Less vigorous but more therapeutic hobbies also held people’s interests, including everything from knitting and crocheting, to painting by numbers and clay craft kits to try out at home. People’s creativity was exercised in a number of ways, and with it came a number of independent businesses, too!

The crafting craze led to a surge in the ‘side hustle,’ allowing those on furlough to not only occupy their time, but also earn a bit of extra cash through platforms like eBay and Etsy.


Another craze that was more homely and less healthy was the banana bread craze. For a few weeks at least, it seemed you couldn’t open Instagram without seeing another friend making a banana bread. Shops ran out of flour, there was a national yeast shortage and homes around the country smelled like baking at all hours of the day.

The baking trend meant that for people who had, perhaps, never had the time to try it, were trying out new recipes, breads with all kinds of fruit in and cakes that filled their freezers and stomachs for weeks.

Learning a new language

Whether it was Spanish, Mandarin or Sign Language, people around the UK decided to use their newfound free time to upskill, and with a number of educators moving online and creating free, accessible resources, it couldn’t have been easier.

Duolingo and YouTube provided people with new and exciting ways to learn. Hopefully, as we return to normality, many can use these newfound skills in their lives, perhaps on a trip abroad.

As everything goes back to normal, let’s hope people can still find time for the new hobbies they picked up during a year that really was like no other.

Abel Lila

The author Abel Lila