Outdoor residentials involve young people spending time away from home, with their peers, and undertaking adventures in new environments. These residential support personal and social development and improve health and wellbeing. The outdoor centres on this page offer accommodation and learning where lifelong engagement with the outdoors is encouraged with all its positive mental and physical health outcomes.
Outdoor Education Centres
Vicarage Road, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, LL24 0AD
This large Victorian property has been specially adapted to provide self-catering accommodation for groups of up to 33. The 8 dormitories vary in size from 1 to 10 beds, complete with duvets & linen. The Centre is centrally heated & has a common room, large kitchen, drying room, hot showers and outdoor seating. Located in Betws-y-Coed, the Woodlands Centre is an ideal base for outdoor activities in Snowdonia.
Snowgoose Mountain Centre, Station Road, Corpach, Fort William, PH33 7JH
Enjoy our loch-side location overlooking the Caledonian Canal, with Ben Nevis & Fort William just 4 miles away. Ideal for the outdoor enthusiast with advice & guiding available for walking/climbing, river, loch and sea kayaking, open canoeing & dinghy sailing. Outdoor equipment hire available.After a day in the fresh air return to a hot shower and a comfy private bunkroom ideal for families, groups & clubs.
Kirkstead, Tatterthorn Ln, Ingleton, Carnforth, North Yorkshire LA6 3DU
Dales Lodge offers luxury hostel style accommodation on the outskirts of Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales. Oozing quality with a Swiss chalet feel, the Lodge sleeps 28 across 6 rooms. With underfloor heating throughout. A small meeting room with climbing wall, whiteboard and TV is available to hire and outdoor activities can be organised. Book a bed, a room or the whole place. It’s perfect for a family holiday, a weekend away or a gathering of friends.
Osmotherley, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 3AH
Situated in a beautiful secluded valley in the NY Moors National Park, this refurbished mill with en suite rooms, is perfect for those wishing to explore the Yorkshire moors, dales & coast. You can book the whole Mill, a room or a bed. Great for educational groups, families, outdoor clubs and gatherings of friends. Group activities and catering available. Next to Cod Beck reservoir, Cleveland Way, Coast to Coast & Lyke Wake Walk.
Blue Peris Mountain Centre, Dinorwic, Caernarfon, Gwynedd. LL55 3ET
White Peris Lodge is part of Blue Peris Mountain Centre in the heart of Snowdonia. The Lodge sleeps 13 across 4 rooms. Well equipped, there’s a self catering kitchen, central heating, hot showers, bike storage, drying rooms, picnic tables & parking.While the Lodge is perfect for families & small groups, the main Centre sleeps 60 & is ideal for large groups & schools. Outdoor activities available.
Cerrig-yr-Adar, Rhoscolyn, Holyhead, Anglesey, LL65 2NQ
Located in Rhoscolyn, a great base for adventure, education & exploring. Escape the busy world, enjoy the outdoors with low environmental impact.
A family run 4* bunkhouse in Rhoscolyn, AONB on Anglesey Coast. 5 mins’ walk to beach at Borthwen, close to Anglesey Coastal Path. Perfect for family groups, clubs, schools, universities. Ideal for kayaking, climbing, sailing, walking, bird watching, beaches.
Old Hollow, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 4NR
Run by Boundless Events, the Malvern Centre nestles in the picturesque Malvern Hills ANOB.It sleeps up to 114; The South Block sleeps 55, The North Block sleeps 43 and the self contained Chalet sleeps 16. Book by the unit or book the whole site. There is a large commercial kitchen, a dining room with seating for 60 and plenty of classrooms & break out spaces. Outdoor activities are available.
Station Road, Askrigg, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 3HZ
Low Mill Outdoor Centre, a not-for-profit charity, lies on the edge of the pretty village of Askrigg in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales.With good access to many walks, cycle routes, rivers, climbs and caves it is the perfect base for all types of groups; schools, clubs and friend & family get-togethers.
George Amey Centre, Simpson, Milton Keynes, MK63AG
The Caldecotte Xperience on the south eastern edge of Milton Keynes offers an unrivalled choice of glamping or residential accommodation for groups of 18 to 239. Situated just 10 mins’ drive from the M1, it is easily accessible from all parts of the country. Catered or self-catering packages are available and a whole range of outdoor activities can be booked if required
Seathwaite, Borrowdale, Keswick, CA12 5XJ
High House in Seathwaite, at the head of the beautiful valley of Borrowdale, offers comfortable bunkhouse accommodation. Popular with walking/climbing clubs and educational groups, early booking is advised. Group bookings only. Large common room with stove (coke/coal). Fully equipped self-catering kitchen, 2 washrooms/toilets and a shower. Drying room. Large grounds with tables, benches and firepit. Accessible by car. Club members may occasionally use a 3rd dorm unless exclusive use is booked (midweek only).
The Old Playhouse, Great Hucklow, Derbyshire, SK17 8RF
With all of the Peak District National Park within easy access, the centre is an ideal location for activities and tourism and it welcomes a wide range of groups. 31 or 52 bed configurations can be booked.The spacious centre includes; a large lounge with library, TV and wood burning stove, well equipped kitchens & dining areas. An extensive network of paths give access to the countryside. Adventure activities available, great for team building & courses.
Portinscale, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5UE
Hawse End Centre in the Lake District sits at the head of the magnificent Borrowdale Valley on the shores of Derwentwater. Guests enjoy easy access to Keswick and the mountains beyond via launch or lakeside walk.The house is a large, comfortable, country mansion ideal for large groups, while the cottage is more suited to smaller groups or large families.Outdoor activities can be arranged.
Hagg Farm OEC, Snake Rd, Bamford, Hope Valley, S33 0BJ
Situated in the Peak District’s Woodlands Valley, Hagg Farm offers comfortable accommodation for up to 44 people with an additional 18 beds in the John Hunt Base next door (also in this guide). Part of Nottinghamshire CC’s Environmental & Outdoor Education Service, Hagg Farm is available for private hire by groups, families, clubs & charitable organisations. It can be booked on a self-catering or catered basis.
Glasbury on Wye, Powys, HR3 5LP
The Woodlands Centre is a Grade 2 listed Regency building overlooking the River Wye and with wonderful views of the Black Mountains. Woodlands can accommodate up to 58 students plus staff. Bedrooms are located on single sex floors with rooms accommodating 4, 6 or 8 students. A further 24 students can be accommodated in the Woodlands Bunkhouse. We use the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park and surrounding areas to deliver our real adventure based courses.. Camping is also available in the grounds. Get in touch for a quote for your group.
Find out more
Penrith Road, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4JW
Denton House is a purpose built hostel in the lake District offering bunkhouse accommodation.Warm and well equipped for self-catering, the centre was designed for groups with parking for 40 cars.There is equipment storage and access to the River Greta across the road.
The Old School, Rhyd Ddu, Snowdonia, Gwynedd, North Wales LL54 6TL
The Rhyd Ddu Bunkhouse provides group accommodation at the foot of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) & the Nantlle Ridge. Sleeping 30 in 6 bedrooms, it has a fully equipped kitchen & a large communal dining room with a big screen. Glorious views, central heating, fast WiFi, parking, secure bike storage, drying room & garden. Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow case & towel. Pub, café, & steam train station all within 2 minutes’ walk.
Porter Lane, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Matlock, DE4 4LS
Mount Cook, a fantastic purpose built centre, offers groups of 8 - 180 the perfect base for an exciting weekend or holiday in the Peak District. A whole range of outside activities can be organised on- or off-site for a min of 8 people. Popular with schools, clubs, corporate team building, weddings and gatherings of friends and families. B&B, full or half board. Self-catering with sole use bookings.
Lowick Green, Ulverston, LA12 8EB
Within the old primary school at Lowick Green, nestled between Coniston Water (4 miles) and Ulverston, the bunkhouse has a lounge with wood-burning stove, large kitchen/dining room opening onto a patio with great views of the mountains and an outdoor area with campfire.All groups staying in the bunkhouse need to be doing an organised activity.
Ackers (ARC), Waverley Canal Basin, Small Heath, Birmingham, B10 0DQ
Ackers Residential Centre (ARC) is a purpose built accommodation centre set in 70 acres of semi rural land just 2 miles from the centre of Birmingham. Perfect for The Sea Life Centre, Cadbury World, Thinktank, The Bull Ring shopping centre, National Motorcycle Museum & the NEC. With 9 sleeping rooms, a fully equipped self-catering kitchen, dining area and a rec room with TV, DVD, games and comfy seating. Ackers Adventure provide instructor led outdoor activities on site which can be incorporated into your stay.
Hacche Mill, South Molton, EX36 3NA
Perfect for an adventurous or relaxing break. The Rock and Rapid Adventure Centre offers activities such as climbing (climbing wall on-site for lessons or use by experienced climbers) coasteering, raft building and canoeing. The bunkhouse can be rented out for sole use, or an activity package can be put together for your group. This can vary from a few activities to a full programme, including food. Just 20 mins from the North Devon coastline. Hen and stags welcome as are family and school groups.
Quantry Lane, Belbroughton, Stourbridge, Worcestershire. DY9 9UU
Bell Heath Centre, set amidst 20 acres of secluded woodlands, offers the perfect rural escape with excellent transport links to Birmingham. The centre sleeps up to 92 and outdoor adventures can be organised on site. This spacious centre is perfect for large family gatherings, reunions, weddings, stag/hen parties, schools, faith groups & corporate events. Facilities include a commercial kitchen, a hall (seating 100),lounge & games room.
Great Longstone, Bakewell, DE45 1NY
Thornbridge Outdoors offers excellent flexible group accommodation. With its superb location in the heart of the Peak District you have access to wonderful countryside, quaint villages, stately homes, and the traffic free Monsal Trail, popular with walkers and cyclists.
The Venture Centre, Maughold, Isle of Man, IM7 1AW
Maughold Venture Centre Bunkhouse overlooks farmland with views out to sea. The popular beach of Port e Vullen is just 10 min’s walk away. Enjoy self-catering accommodation, with en suite, centrally heated rooms. Tasty meals are available from the neighbouring Venture Centre, where you can also book kayaking, abseiling, air rifle shooting, archery, gorge walking, dinghy sailing & team events. With its own stop, Lewaigue Halt, on the Manx Electric Railway you have easy access to Douglas, Ramsey, mountains & tranquil glens.
Arctic Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7PQ
Cowes Base Camp is located at UKSA, a charitable organisation and leading watersports centre. It offers catered holidays by the sea with optional activities for families and groups of all sizes. Choose from private 4, 6 or 8-person rooms. The Base Camp is directly on the waterfront. Facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, canteen and full-sized sports hall.
Wolsingham, County Durham, DL13 3BQ
Carrs Farm Bunkhouse is a converted 17th century barn with stunning views over Weardale. It provides comfortable bunk bed accommodation for groups of up to 21 people in three rooms. There is a fully equipped self-catering kitchen, games/lounge area and outdoor seating with BBQ.Situated on a working farm at the heart of the North Pennines. Guided walks and outdoor activities are available for groups and schools.
LLanmadoc, Gower, Swansea, SA3 1DE.
Situated on the Gower Peninsular, St Madoc Centre offer superb facilities for groups of between 40 and 81. Set in 76 acres of fields, woodland, headland and coastline, with tennis & volleyball courts, playing fields and a campfire area, it is ideally suited to schools, youth & church groups, corporate events, weddings and friends & family get-togethers. Optional outdoor activities and catered packages available for school groups.
Ennerdale, Cleator, CA23 3AX
In the untouched Ennerdale Valley of the Lake District, Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre beckons. At the base of Pillar and Red Pike, this eco-friendly centre offers spacious communal areas, a classroom, and a sprawling meadow for relaxation or activities. Ideally located for self-led adventures, with connections to outdoor providers, you are sure of a memorable stay for all ages, especially schools and universities.
La Rue de la Pouclee et des Quatre Chemins, St Martins, Jersey, JE3 6DU
Close to the pretty fishing port of Gorey in St. Martins. With a range of B&B rooms from twin en suites to private dormitories. The perfect mix for individuals or groups. Large communal WiFi lounge with TV & DVDs and a games room. Packed lunches & adventure activities can be pre-ordered.
The Old Home Farm Yard, Stackpole, nr Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, SA71 5DQ
The 147-bed, Stackpole Centre is the perfect venue for large families/groups, schools, & outdoor activities. Close to wild woodlands & stunning beaches. It comprises four large group houses, 2 of which are dog friendly. Book by the house or book the whole centre for your sole use.
Princetown, Yelverton, Devon. PL20 6SL
Set in a beautiful secluded valley in Dartmoor National Park, Bachelors Hall offers groups of all kind the chance to experience the freedom of the moor and the vastness of the landscape.Formerly run as a tradition youth hostel, it was completely refurbished in 2019. Sleeping 60 across 6 rooms and 2 pods it is centrally heated with a commercial kitchen and large separate dining room/classroom. Outdoor activities can be organised if required.
Barrow House, Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5UR
Derwentwater Independent Hostel is a stunning Georgian mansion, standing in its own spacious grounds between the Falls & the Lake, with stunning mountain views. Just 2 miles from Keswick, close to the Coast to Coast route and the delights of Borrowdale, it makes a great base for individuals, families, and groups of all types. Book a bed, a room, a camping pod or take over the hostel.
The Well Road Centre sits in its own grounds in the charming town of Moffat. It is ideal for all types of groups, family get togethers, conferences, residential workshops, sports and outdoor activity clubs. The Centre has two spacious meeting rooms, a large bright self-catering kitchen, dining room fully equipped for 65, games hall for indoor activities and table tennis room. Bring your own sleeping bags or linens for single duvets. Ample parking & storage.
Main Road, Hathersage, S32 1BB
St Michael’s Centre, located in the village of Hathersage, provides high quality family friendly group accommodation, surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Peak District National Park.
There are comfortable dormitory style bunk beds and a lovely central hall which provides a fantastic communal kitchen, dining and lounge area for enjoyable shared living. Attached cottage also available separately or for larger groups.
Fisherhead, Robin Hoods Bay, Whitby, Yorkshire. YO22 4ST
The Old School House welcomes schools, groups, walkers and families to the picturesque village of Robins Hood’s Bay. Home to one of the best beaches on Yorkshire’s east coast. At the end of Wainright’s Coast to Coast walk and on The Cleveland Way. Ideal for groups of families and friends to book exclusively and also available to individual families looking for an affordable holiday by the sea.
Glenbeg, Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, PH26 3NT
Glenbeg Bunkhouse & Bothy are part of the award-winning Cairngorms Activities Centre, situated just outside Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park. The well-equipped bunkhouse sleeps 25 in 3 bedrooms, while the cosy bothy sleeps 6 in one bunkroom.Outdoor activities are available. Aviemore, Speyside Way, Dava Way & the River Spey are all close by.
Porthdafarch Road, Holyhead, Anglesey, LL65 2LP
Anglesey Outdoors is an ideal base for groups, individuals or families. Just a mile from Porthdafarch Beach & the coastal path & only 2km from Sustrans Cycle Route 8. It has 4 self-contained areas each with their own self-catering & bathroom facilities. These can be hired individually or together. Optional full catering. There’s an on-site bar/bistro & a drying room. Glamping also available.
West End, Summerbridge, Harrogate, HG3 4BA
Amidst stunning landscape overlooking Thruscross Reservoir on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this self-catering centre offers excellent facilities in bunkrooms plus an en suite leader’s room. Well equipped kitchen, dining, lounge & shower/toilet areas.Ideal for team building, youth groups & family parties. 12 miles from Harrogate & Skipton. No stag or hen groups.
Nuthurst, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 6RF
A former boarding school nestling in beautiful countryside, Gaveston Hall accommodates groups of all sizes. The 100 beds are spread across dorms, private single/twin rooms & chalets.Set in magnificent grounds with a football field, tennis court, woodland walks and fishing lake. Inside there are table tennis & pool tables and an indoor swimming pool. Room for coach parking.
Hagg Farm OEC, Snake Rd, Bamford, Hope Valley, S33 0BJ
The John Hunt Base is situated in the High Peak on the site of Hagg Farm (also in this guide). The base offers comfortable, family friendly accommodation for groups of up to 18. It is ideal for sightseeing, hill walking, trail running and biking as well as quieter pursuits such as photography. There is a picnic area, wildlife garden with fire pit and a playing field with climbing boulder. Activities can be arranged including climbing, stream scrambling, caving & on-site high ropes.
Cobbler’s Lane, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2PX
Cumulus Outdoor Residential Centre is situated in the small seaside town of Swanage on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. The purpose built centre sits in 6 acres of private grounds and has 4 separate accommodation units sleeping 16,32,32 or 47 which can be hired individually or together. The centre is popular with groups of friends/families, schools, youth groups, DofE & corporate groups. A whole range of outdoor activities are available for your group if required. Dogs welcome with prior arrangement.
Off Renscombe Rd, Worth Matravers, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. BH19 3LL
Surrounded by open farmland & a short walk from the Jurassic Coast, MYTIME’s R&R Retreat Accommodation Centre offers the perfect base for enjoying the spectacular Isle of Purbeck. With a World Heritage Site & the South West Coast Path on its doorstep, it is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Just minutes from the idyllic village of Worth Matravers and the popular Square and Compass Pub, there’s truly something for everyone.
Letcombe Regis, Wantage, OX12 9NE
Only a few steps from the historic Ridgeway National Trail, Court Hill Centre enjoys breathtaking views over the Vale of the White Horse. Reclaimed barns surround a pretty courtyard garden.
Providing accommodation for schools, families, groups and individuals, the centre offers evening meals, breakfasts and picnic lunches. There is a beautiful high-roofed dining room which retains the atmosphere of the old barn. A meeting/class-room, camping and self-catering kitchen are also available.
Kington, Herefordshire. HR5 3NN
In rural Herefordshire, close to the Welsh border, Dunfield House provides accommodation for groups of up to 96 with sole use of the house, stables, parkland & swimming pool. Both accommodations can be hired separately or as sole use. The Stables sleep 23 and has a self catering kitchen. The Main House provides fully catered accommodation for 73. A great choice for school, youth, music or church groups, training courses & family get-togethers.
Outdoor education centres are a great way to expand a child’s horizons. For many a stay at one is the first time they’ve spent a night away from home or their parents. It can be a massive challenge, but one that will make them stronger. The range of activities on offer at OECs is vast, most will offer adventurous activities like climbing or archery. They can also offer more learning-based experiences where the students will explore and learn about the natural world.
Sustainability Centres, or Environmental Outdoor Centres
Often in spectacular buildings and always in stunning environments. Environmental Outdoor Centres provide catered accommodation (self-catering is often possible with sole use) and a variety of outdoor environmental educational activities. Great for creating a world where everyone feels connected to the environment so they can enjoy the benefits it gives and make choices that help protect it.
Monkton Wyld Court, speaciling in environmental edication since the 1960’s Adventurous Outdoor Education Centres
Many outdoor education centres specialize in providing activities that most people don’t normally get the chance to do. Things like rock climbing, abseiling, archery, canoeing and many more. What is on offer depends on the centre, they will have information about what they do on their websites or if you get in contact with them. Again, they will be happy to tailor programs to you so you can achieve the objectives of your visit.
Many of these exciting events will take people outside of their comfort zones. Something that can be hugely beneficial. Some may even confront fears (heights is a common one) and being able to overcome these obstacles can give a huge confidence boost. It may even help when back in the classroom.
Archery taking place at Mount Cook