Your Residential - Early Careers

welcome to outward bound

This page won't tell you everything about what to expect at Outward Bound. Partly because the experience will be different for everyone. And partly because a bit of the magic comes when you don’t know what to expect, but just get stuck in and see what happens!

You’ll be away from your daily routine, with your peers, friends and future friends. It’s time for your personal development and is a big investment in you from your organisation. There is a lot to be excited about. But we know there are some very common concerns…

How much will we do outdoors?

An average level of fitness is all you'll need at Outward Bound. You'll have the chance to try a variety of outdoor activities - from canoeing and abseiling to hiking and gorge walking. The most physical day would be if you do an overnight expedition, carrying your rucksack and wild camping in the mountains. We provide most kit - see what kit you need to bring here.

Personal hygiene in the outdoors is important. Going to the toilet or being on your period are all easily managed. We're all about humans and their needs and there's nothing our trainers haven't heard before. Just speak to them privately.

What about sleeping / eating / WiFi?

Our residential centres are located in some of the most beautiful and wild places in the UK. You'll be getting away from everyday life and you might just enjoy the break! WiFi is available in the main buildings, but doesn't reach to the bedrooms. Mobile signal is patchy, so if you want to call home and you're struggling ask to use a landline.

You'll get three healthy, high-energy meals a day and we can cater for all dietary needs, just tell us what they are on your Participant Information Form. Find out more about your centre here.

I'm scared of heights / water etc...

We work on the principle of ‘challenge by choice’. This means we'll encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try an activity you've not done before or go a bit higher / deeper than you thought you could. Realising you can do more than you think is a powerful way to help you build your confidence, self-belief and resilience.

But you are in charge... and there will always be things that someone simply can’t do. This might be you, or it might be a team mate. Whoever it is, whatever the task, the trainer and your group will respect this decision and that person will take a step back from the activity.

Will I be bored?

Your programme will be active and fast paced. After every outdoor activity you'll review what's just happened with your trainer and your group. You’ll reflect on your behaviour and how it affects others, you'll learn about your strengths and how to take this learning and apply it at work. This is what we call experiential learning.

You won't have time to be bored! But to make the most of this opportunity think about the programme objectives and what you want to get out of coming before you arrive.

Outward Bound merch

We've partnered with Serious Sport to supply our official range of Outward Bound clothing. There are personalisation options available too so you can customise your gear with your name or organisation's logo.

Support our charity

Did you know that Outward Bound is a charity? We work with over 20,000 young people every year who need financial help to come on our programmes. If you would like to help another young person to come to Outward Bound please consider making a donation.

Useful links...

Swipe through the arrows below for some more useful info.

Got more questions?

If you’ve any questions regarding your programme that aren't answered here, your first port of call should be your line manager or organiser of your programme.

Kit list

We’ll provide you with walking boots, waterproofs and a rucksack. If you have your own you can bring them, but please don’t buy them specially. All specialist activity and safety equipment will be provided as required.

Life at centre is pretty casual, we’re a jeans and trainers type of place in the evening. But for the outdoor activities you will need to bring clothing that will keep you warm and comfortable (not jeans). The weather is often changeable so we find that layers are always best. For a full guide on what to bring download our kit list.

Our centres

Aberdovey, Ogwen Cottage, Ullswater, Howtown and Loch Eil

At these centres, you’ll be in dorm rooms, sharing with at least one of your colleagues. Bed linen is provided, but you need to bring your own towel.


If you’re staying at Eskdale, you’ll be in a twin or triple ensuite room. Bed linen and towels are provided.

Wherever your programme is taking place, we provide kit, safety equipment and drying rooms. You'll also get three healthy, high-energy meals a day and all dietary requirements are catered for.

Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.


Our long-standing reputation for safety is one of the most often-stated reasons for using The Outward Bound Trust. We are referenced in our sector as the most experienced in our field. We pride ourselves on this and take our responsibilities seriously.

Click on the link below to see how we manage our health and safety and to access downloadable documents relevant to our courses, such as insurance documents.

Get involved

The best piece of advice we can give you is 'get stuck in'. It’s a cliché – but you’ll get out of Outward Bound what you put in. Your week might be challenging at times, but your group and instructor will support and help you.

There aren’t traditional classrooms at Outward Bound. No death by Powerpoint. You’ll be outside on adventure, and when you come back to centre, you'll have a dedicated review room where your group can talk about what you’ve learnt and how you can apply that back at work or college.

Many past participants say Outward Bound was a life-changing experience, so take a risk, get involved, you have nothing to lose.

Outward Bound Eskdale
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1600x800 work for us Ullswater map lake
Learning in new locations