COVID-19 Coronavirus update

Covid-19 Information

How are we responding to COVID-19?

Updated 2 November 2020

Our priorities at Outward Bound are simple, we want to do everything we can to support the young people who need us most as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We paused delivery of our traditional residential courses on 21 March 2020. This was in line with government advice – and we continue to work to current government guidelines (adapting where necessary for differences between England, Scotland and Wales).

Read on to see how we are adapting our programmes (in the short/medium term) so that we can safely deliver Outward Bound interventions to as many young people as possible.

Summer Adventures

We couldn't run our planned 2020 Summer Adventures due to social distancing constraints. Instead we launched 1000 Days of Adventure in August.

You can still book to attend a non-residential activity day at our Ullswater, Aberdovey and Loch Eil centres during the February 2021 half-term break. These are run in line with current guidelines and we'll continue to monitor and adjust accordingly. We are also continuing to take bookings for residential programmes in Summer 2021.


The latest guidance from the Department for Education and the Scottish Government advises schools against overnight residentials for the Autumn 2020 term.

However, after talking with many schools, we have taken the extremely tough decision to postpone all overnight residentials for students until the end of March 2021. To better support schools in this uncertain time, we have created our new In-School Adventures. This allows us to bring Outward Bound to the schools, working in their grounds or the local area. We are running our In-School Adventures in accordance with current government guidance.

We are taking bookings for our In-School Adventures now and until Easter 2021. We are also taking residential bookings for all our centres for April 2021 onwards.

Please be assured that this decision is not based on a need to reduce our costs and nor does it suggest a threat to the future of Outward Bound as a charity. We are currently running residential courses for our Early Careers clients, working with young people in employment, as and when guidance permits this to happen.

Early Careers (Apprentices and Graduates)

We are running Early Careers programmes at our Eskdale centre, adhering to the latest government guidance around social distancing and group sizes. We have led our sector in developing best practice for COVID safe community living and outdoor learning. For our Early Careers customers who are unable to travel, we’ll explore different ways to support their talent development programmes.

We are taking bookings as normal for all programmes in 2021 and beyond.

Information and contact

Further information on how we are adapting our delivery is available here: COVID safe at Outward Bound.

We are not able to take phone calls on our main office lines but continue to provide a full service remotely via email (contact us). We're really grateful for your ongoing support and patience in these exceptional circumstances.

Looking to the future

The challenges that young people face will not have disappeared but will have been made worse by this pandemic. And the need for Outward Bound; for space, freedom, adventure and fresh air will be there.

Founded in the Second World War, Outward Bound has been there to help young people face challenge and manage uncertainty in their lives for almost 80 years. This is now needed more than ever before. We are determined to continue to do what we can to support the greater societal need and to protect Outward Bound and our wider family. As a charity our mission is to help young people defy their limitations – and when we come through this we will be ready to serve the thousands of young people who need us.

How you can help

There’s no doubt, as a charity COVID-19 will have a significant impact on Outward Bound. Many of you have asked how to help, and on this occasion it’s to make a donation to support young people attend Outward Bound in the future.

Make a donation

Resilience in an uncertain world

Being young has never been easy. Maybe now more than ever. We're drawing strength from the words of our co-founder and the experience of young people who’ve been to Outward Bound.

Be inspired, read more