Why work at Outward Bound?

life and work at outward bound

We know that work is an important part of your life. From the people in your team to where you spend your time, from the values of your organisation to the money and benefits you take home.

And so at Outward Bound we do everything we can to make work as good as possible. As a charity we might not be able to flash the cash, but there are plenty of other things we think we do pretty well...

Outward Bound staff conference
benefits to suit everyone...
Your health

Healthcare scheme: Medicash is a cash healthcare plan that lets you claim back a fixed amount of money each year towards the cost of various treatments. Available to all staff as a taxable benefit after your probation period.

Long-term disability insurance: Provided by Canada Life. Income protection insurance provides for a proportion of your earnings to be paid as a regular income if you can't work due to injury or illness. You will be entitled to two thirds of your salary (minus state incapacity benefit) after 6 months’ absence for up to 5 years, covered from start date. Our policy also provides the following additional benefits for all staff covered by the policy:

  • Best Doctors
    This scheme allows you to have your medical case notes reviewed by experts for a second opinion in specific cases.
  • Medical Care Direct
    Access to Private Medical Treatment at a reduced cost. Fixed price package of private healthcare treatment – quoted up-front. Half-way house between private medical insurance and paying full price for private care.
  • Employee assistance programme Unum: In the form of an app, with easy access to medical and mental health support. Ranging from instant GP appointments to physio or counselling services.

Personal accident insurance: While at work or commuting.

Sick pay: 8 weeks at full salary in any rolling 12 month period.

Your wellbeing

Employee Care Counselling
Counselling, Advice or Health & well being advisory service.

Season Ticket Loans : these are available to any member of staff who is employed on a contract lasting longer than one year. You can apply for a season ticket loan to buy an annual travel ticket.

Cycle to work scheme: A tax efficient way to acquire a new bike

Your family
  • Life assurance: 3 x salary, covered from start date, including Employee Assistance helpline.
  • Summer Adventure discounts: One free place on a 19-day summer adventure and 75% off any 7-day programme, for close family members.
Your future
  • Pension scheme: Providing you are between 22 and state pension age you will be auto-enrolled after 3 months service into a Standard Life pension scheme. A minimum contribution of 3% of your salary is required, and The Trust will also pay in an additional 5%.
Your adventures
  • Extended/unpaid leave: Outward Bound has a positive and flexible attitude when it comes to extended/unpaid leave, especially when it comes to pursuing your own adventures. However, you do need to have worked for us for a while before you can put an application in!
  • Berghaus discount: Every quarter, employees can place an order from the Berghaus catalogue, at a significantly reduced rate

Where we're based

We have three offices and six residential centres. Head office is in Hackthorpe, Cumbria and our fundraising teams work from London or Glasgow.

Our centres

If you're joining one of our centre teams you can find out a bit about the local areas below - Loch Eil, Eskdale, Ullswater and Aberdyfi.

Aberdyfi / Aberdovey


Our team at Aberdyfi live either in the village or in the surrounding areas of Tywyn and Machynlleth. Aberdyfi has a fantastic micro-climate with above average sunshine hours and below average rainfall compared to the surrounding vicinity! There is a cinema in Tywyn and Aberystwyth is a 45 minute drive away.

There village and local communities are thriving and current staff are members of:

  • Emergency service teams, including mountain rescue, RNLI inshore lifeboat and North Wales Ambulance First Responder.
  • The rowing club and the sailing club.
  • Aberdovey Players (if you are into amateur dramatics) - watch out for the infamous annual village pantomime.

We don't know where to start for adventure... The village is ideally located on the southern edge of Snowdonia National Park, with easy access to Plynlimon, Cadair Idris, Arans and Rhinogs. In less than an hour and a half you can drive to the Brecon Beacons, and Black Mountains of South Wales or the mountains of North Wales. If you are into climbing then there are good sea cliffs to be had in both Pembrokeshire and Anglesey. There are classic climbing venues in North Wales with the nearest being Tremadoc. The Meirionnydd climbing guide is the local guide for the area.

It's a great base for mountain bikers, with Coed y Brenin and Machynlleth offering various trails and cross country routes.

If kayaking and canoeing are your thing then the nearest grade three is ten minutes drive away on the River Dulas. If rainfall is low then the there are two dam release rivers in the region - the Trywern and the Clywedog. Our centre is based on the Cardiganshire coastline for sea paddling; to the south are stunning cliff line paddles and to the north surf beaches. If you want tidal races then you have a choice of many in Pembrokeshire, Anglesey, Bardsey, and Menai Straits.

Finally (!) with a five mile long beach, Aberdyfi is great for kite surfing.


Lots of staff working at Ullswater/Howtown live in Penrith, with others choosing the surrounding villages or to travel in from Kendal or Carlisle.

Outside of work, there are opportunities to be members of the Ullswater Lake Rescue team or the Patterdale or Penrith Mountain Rescue teams. There is a sailing club at Pooley Bridge.

The local area is great for adventure - you can walk, bike and run on the fells and mountains; climb on anything from sandstone outcrops in the Eden Valley to mountain crags on Scafell and Esk Buttress; or paddle and sail the lakes and rivers. There are local orienteering, fell running and climbing clubs.

Ullswater centre is only 15 minutes drive from the M6 and the mainline train station in Penrith. Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick are all within 40 minutes drive. Further afield you are well situated to access Yorkshire’s caves, and the bigger mountains and rivers of Scotland. Penrith is a small market town and has a cinema, amateur dramatics as well as a good range of shops and places to eat out.

Loch Eil

Join the team at Loch Eil and you'll likely live on site or in Fort William or the surrounding villages. Fort William is just seven miles from our centre and as it's in the heart of Lochaber is known as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. Fort William has shops, places to eat, as well as a leisure centre with a swimming pool, bouldering wall, squash courts, gym and bowling alley. Fort William hosts a Mountain Festival every February and regular music events. Once a week in winter instructors usually visit the Ice Factor at Kinlochleven which has a rock and ice wall for climbers. Inverness is two hours away and Glasgow three.

Active local clubs include Lochaber Athletics Club famous for its hill runners and for hosting the Ben Nevis race every September, West Highland Wheelers including both summer time trials and winter mountain bike races, Lochaber Yacht Club, a canoe club who both river paddle and sea journey and singing and musical groups.

Ben Nevis dominates the area. The mountain attracts many walkers and climbers, and the winter scene is famous around the world. Just north of Fort William is Nevis Range, a resort that hosts mountain biking and the world famous Downhill Cup course during the summer, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

The ports of Mallaig and Oban are about an hour drive away. From here you can take ferries to the fantastic Western Isles.


Our Eskdale team live close by in the villages of Eskdale and Gosforth, or further afield and travel in, making use of the staff accommodation whilst working. The local community is spread out across the valley and becomes a thriving tourist spot in the summer months.

Outside of work, there are opportunities to join the Wasdale Mountain Rescue team, West Cumbria Mountaineering Club and Copeland Canoe Club. There are lots of other groups to get involved in locally, from cricket teams to amateur dramatics societies, pilates to karate.

Being in the Western Lakes there are lots of options for walking, biking and fell running. If you want to climb, you're a stones throw from the high mountain crags on Scafell to Eskdale’s roadside granite outcrops. If water is your thing, you can paddle the local lakes and rivers; or sail from one of the coastal ports.

Eskdale is in a quiet corner of the south western lakes, 60 minutes drive from the M6 and 15 minutes from Ravenglass train station. The Duddon and Wasdale valleys are just a short drive away, with Langdale and Ambleside a little further over the Hardknott and Wrynose passes. The coastal town of Whitehaven is within 30 minutes drive and has a range of shops, places to eat out and socialise.