Whilst taking part in an Outward Bound adventure can help to improve your existing English language skills by giving you the opportunity to meet with lots of English speakers, our adventures are not designed as language school courses and will be conducted entirely in English. We therefore advise that participants have a good level of spoken English before arrival, to ensure that they are able to safely take part in all activities. This is a guideline only, but we recommend that students have at least one of the following or an equivalent: Cambridge First Certificate, Trinity College Level 7 or above or any examination equivalent to CEFR level B2.
Aberdovey, Wales - Aberdovey
Loch Eil, Scotland - Loch Eil and Fort William
Ullswater, England - Penrith
As part of the all-inclusive package of your course, we offer a free pick up service from the train stations closest to our centres. Don't forget to call your centre to confirm your expected time of arrival.
A bus service (number 398) runs from Glasgow Central Railway Station to Buchanan Bus Station every 10 minutes or you can walk to it, in a similar time.
There is parking available to drop off participants but we encourage you to use the coach transfer service, where possible.
Your course start and finish time can be found in the FAQs section for your chosen adventure.
You will form part of a mixed group of no more than 14 people from throughout the UK and often, all over the world. Almost all of the people in your group won't know each other. This is all part of the Outward Bound experience - a chance to make new friends and meet people from different backgrounds.
This will depend not only on the type of course you have chosen but also the other participants, the time of year and the weather. Typically you can expect to do some of the following activities, eg gorge walking, rock climbing, overnight expedition, hill walking, kayaking and canoeing.
Your Outward Bound adventure will be both physically and mentally challenging, with our longer courses offering the highest level of challenge. Every course will involve an exciting mountain expedition, over two days or more. As part of this, you'll be carrying your personal and group equipment in a rucksack, which is provided by the centre. Having a reasonable level of fitness means that you'll enjoy your experience more and will have the confidence to try new things. However, having plenty of enthusiasm is equally as important.
The Trust is able to accept childcare vouchers as payment for courses at our Ullswater Centre, which is registered with OFSTED’s Voluntary Childcare Register and has the unique reference number EY443840. For more details please contact us.
Some sections of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme can be completed as part of your Outward Bound course. Please refer to our course fact sheets or access the DofE matrix and our programme overview. (33kb pdf)
Yes. Your instructor, who will remain with you for the duration of the course, will be fully qualified. In fact, Outward Bound instructors are some of the most qualified in the industry. For more information see our instructors and safety page.
We will provide you with all specialist activity and safety equipment, including waterproofs, boots, tents etc. You will only need to bring personal clothing and footwear, including things to wear during the evening, when you're not taking part in activities.
Make sure to look at our suggested kit list, which can be found on each course page.
Please note that mobile phones aren't permitted during activities and can be left with your instructor for safekeeping. Mobile reception is limited at all of our centres, because we're located in real wilderness environments. However, you will have access to a payphone, should you require.
We also advise you to leave your valuables such as jewellery, iPods etc at home. However, if you really can’t live without them, you will have access to a safety deposit box at the centre. For safety reasons, aerosols and penknives are prohibited.
You also don't need to bring a lot of spending money with you, as our courses are all-inclusive. However all centres have a small shop, which sells snacks, souvenirs and clothing. How much you need to bring will depend mainly on the length of your course but we advise approximately £15 per week, plus a £10 refundable deposit for equipment.
Our centres are set in some of the most spectacular environments in the UK with plenty of history and heritage in our buildings. When you're not camping out you'll be staying in single- sex dorm-style accommodation, with people of your own age. Most of our rooms now have en-suite facilities. We provide bed linen as part of your all-inclusive package but you will need to bring your own towels. Your room will be functional yet comfortable, but most of your time will be spend out and about or socialising in our lounges on an evening.
You'll be served freshly prepared food with plenty of variety on offer. Take a look at our sample menu. Our catering team can also meet any dietary requirements, provided you let us know in advance.
Our course fee includes a fully comprehensive course and travel insurance for all participants. The policy covers participants traveling from within the UK & from overseas. For more information, click here.
Out in the wild there are no toilet facilities available, so be prepared to go back to basics. Your instructor will advise you on the best ways to manage your personal hygiene before you set off on expedition. You can find more female-specific information on taking care of your health and hygiene during your course here (64kb pdf).
We all live and work in the outdoors and so health and fitness is very important to us. We actively discourage smoking, those under 16 are not allowed to smoke. If you are over 16 and must smoke your instructor will direct you to a designated smoking area, this is the only smoking area. There is no smoking on activities including expeditions.
Participants who break these rules will be dealt with in the normal disciplinary process. Any participants found to be smoking in Outward Bound buildings may be immediately required to leave the course as there are major safety issues. Staff who smoke may only do so at work in a designated outdoor area (in line with the information in the staff handbook) out of sight of participants. This applies to all contractors, visitors and Aramark staff.
Consumption of alcohol during an Outward Bound course is banned at all centres.