Bringing Outdoor Learning to Life

The Wilderness Centre offers a perfect opportunity to take outdoor learning to another level with our high quality, residential experiences and inspiring day courses for schools, from Reception age upwards.

Set on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, The Wilderness Centre has a long history of providing school residentials having been run by the County Council for many years. Purchased by private owners in 2014, who are passionate about the educational benefits of outdoor learning, it has now undergone major refurbishment and can accommodate 54 guests in 2-8 bedded rooms.

Serving schools from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds and within easy drive of Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff, our most popular courses are 3 day/2 night stays where we combine outdoor and adventurous activities with excellent indoor facilities, including a climbing wall, comfortable bedrooms and high quality catering. Other options and durations of trip are available, including day visits, week long stays and weekends. In addition, if you bring more than 25 pupils you benefit from exclusive use of the site and amenities.

All of our school programmes are bespoke and designed in consultation with your group leaders to ensure specific outcomes and objectives are met, such as our popular Saxon days developed to support the primary curriculum. We are fully approved by A.A.L.S. and the Institute for Outdoor learning and our staff team have more than 20 years of experience of working with schools to deliver exciting and relevant outdoor experiences. We have also recently achieved the prestigious Gold standard award from the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC), which goes beyond just the safety of centres and measures all aspects of the centre from administration and communication, facilities, food and the quality of the learning and adventure and its educational validity.

Copy of 2016-04-13-Gastrells-2-stars-45.jpgCratestack activity in our beautiful woodland setting

Sample Programme


AM (9.30 - 12.30) Arrive after 11am. Following a site welcome talk, fire drill, health and safety information, the children unpack and settle into their accommodation. They will then eat the packed lunch that they have brought with them.
PM (1.30 - 4.30) Orienteering on site and crate stack activity.
EVE (7.00 - 8.00) Night walk through woodland, searching for signs of nocturnal animals.
AM (9.30 - 12.30) Full activity day which may include on-site and/or off-site activities. On-site activities may include but are not limited to crate stack, tunelling, archery, bush craft and problem solving. Off-site activities may include but are not limited to rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking or forest navigation. 
PM (1.30 - 4.30)
EVE (7.00 - 8.00) Activity session followed by campfire.
AM (9.30 - 12.30) Clean rooms, pack bags and vacate bedrooms by 9am, followed by team challenges incorporating low ropes, fire lighting and problem solving activities.
PM (1.30 - 4.30) Lunch and final team debrief before departing around 2pm.
EVE (7.00 - 8.00)  
Schools 4 - small.pngCratestack - team work, personal challenge and fun
2016-04-15-Gastrells-0-stars-381.jpgClimbing Wall
7image015.jpgSaxon day