YHA Okehampton Activity Centres
School Trips @ Adventure Okehampton
Our family-run company manages YHA Okehampton, YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor and the Activity centre. As a partner of YHA, we work together to ensure that we provide a fantastic range of activities, that stretch the mind and body to develop new skills, build teamwork and self confidence, such that our participants return to their schools with new energy and more focus.
We were Bronze Award winners for Devon Tourism 2018 awards for "Active and Sporting Experience" and "Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism" reflecting our passion for delivering great residential experiences for all our visitors.
Why book Adventure Okehampton for Residential School Trips and Educational Visits?
With easy access to A30/M5, these activity centres are about 2 hour travel distance of Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester, Swindon and Southampton allowing schools to start their activity programmes around lunchtime and leave after an activity of their last day, maximising the time spent having new adventures. It is also close to Eden project, RHS Rosemoor and Dartmoor, so a combined package of activities and day visits is possible.
Many of our schools return each year, as we work with them, keep to their budgets and our team provide support for the organisers throughout the process from their first enquiry. Our teams are led by experienced managers that will work with you to understand your requirements, tailoring the programme and delivery style to your needs. During your stay each school are allocated a lead instructor, and you meet each day to discuss progress and ensure you are completely happy with the plan and to check any issues with accommodation and food.
We offer a range of 15 different adventure activities and many of our venues are private so you will only see other groups from our centres.
As Bronze Award winners in Devon Tourism Awards, we have been recognised for our efforts to be a Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable company. At YHA Okehampton, our grey water recycling provides enough water for the internal laundry and toilets. Our facilities at YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor have solar panels, underfloor heating and we are intent on becoming a carbon neutral venue.
Which Curriculum Subjects do you cater for?
We offer a range of different outdoor activities, from archery, watersports, cycling, climbing all of which have different skill sets. Each day we run three different activities that are combined together to give an expereince of different skills. Download our activity brochure from our web-site to see the full activity/learning outcomes matrix.
All our activities require an element of team building, learning to work together, value each others opinions and developing self confidence and awareness of others. Some activities require stamina, some strengthen, others accuracy and critical thinking, so usually different people will do better at some tasks compared to others. As many activities involve team games whilst doing the activity, over the residential period, their team skills develop.
We have our own lakes a short distance from the centre, and there we run a variety of different watersports activities (kayaking, canoeing, raft building). We also have access to a quarry where we can abseil into pools, do tyrolean traverses over rivers and gorge scrambling. The third watersports venue is River Exe and Exeter Canal Loop, where we have a full day using skills learned at the lake to undertake a journey from canal to river, including slides (if the water levels are right). These activity could contribute to gaining a British Canoeing watersports award.
We are close to Dartmoor National Park and there are a variety of resources downloadable from the National Park web-site that are worksheets for teachers to run their own sessions. We can assist in running river study days and guided walks to prehistoric sites and granite tors. The National Park education officer/rangers can be booked to run day sessions (additional costs apply).
What activities are available during group visits?
We offer a variety of different packages, that can be customised to suit the type of group and the budget available.
Our YHA Action Adventure Package: Great adventures in the outdoors don’t come much better than this! Start with an Ice-Breaker, followed by a Night Walk (to ensure everyone sleeps on that first night), Gorge Scrambling, Rock Climbing, High Ropes, Water Sports, Cycle, Mountain Boarding.
Our YHA Multi-Activity Package: This package offers a mixture of adventurous and on-site activities that make the most of the great outdoors and the hostel locality eg. Archery, Bushcraft, Climbing Wall, Night Walk, Weaselling.
Our most popular group activities for groups Ice-Breakers (Games), Gorge Scrambling, Rock Climbing, High Ropes, Water Sports and Archery. Other options include Orienteering, Guided Walk, Bridge Abseil (over 12's),
Additional bolt-ons-ons that may be booked out of season require your own transport and include Pony Trek and Surfing.
Day Visitors are welcome throughout the year, so local schools and colleges, scout groups, sports teams or those staying elsewhere can book activity days throughout the year. Different day packages such as Swallows and Amazons (watersports) and the Meldon Day which combines cycling, rock climbing and gorge scrambling. Ask for our pdf brochure for day visitors.
Out of season, it may be possible to book each venue on an Exclusive Use basis, regardless of group size. This offers options for groups looking for venues for field-trips for Geography, Geology, History and Environmental studies.
For schools interested in history, prehistory sites over most of Dartmoor, English Heritage's medieval site at Okehampton Castle, Museum of Dartmoor Life and traditional industries such as tool making at Finch Foundry (National Trust).
Close to Dartmoor and the English Riveria Geopark, YHA Bracken Tor offers a great base for a geology field trip. There is easy access to view granite intrusions, visit Hartland Quay to see the spectacular folds for the Crackington formation or head to Cornwall to the Geevor Mine.
For Geographers, Okehampton is central within Devon, offering venues for coastal studies, granite weathering and tor development, moorland management and prehistoric field systems. Dartmoor National Park and Royal Horticultural Society may offer specialist visits or workshops for groups.
For environmental studies, options include visits to Eden Project, RHS Rosemoor, Dartmoor National Park centres at Princetown, as well as booking Dartmoor National Park rangers for talks.
What size groups do you cater for?
In terms of residential capacity: 200. There are 120 beds at YHA Okehampton, divided in 3 modules, that can be booked separately or combined for large groups. At YHA Bracken Tor (1 km away), the House sleeps 35 and the Lodge 42. These can be combined for large schools, as the catering facilities can take 80 people in one sitting. Group sizes from 6 upwards. Free teacher place for every 10 Full Board places booked.
Do you offer on-site classroom facilities?
YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor is most suitable for those requiring a classroom, as the large Function Room seating 80 is only used for meals and can be booked between 9.30 and 4.30 for class use. YHA Okehampton has two separate rooms in each wing (Games Room and Lounge) that are offered as group meeting areas for their sole use during their stay.
Is there first aid on site?
Our activity instructors all have First Aid Certificates and some are resident on-site. In addition there is a minor injuries unit at the Doctors surgery in town.
Do you offer access for visitors with disabilities?
We have two accessible bedrooms on the ground floor sharing an accessible bathroom and one accessible bedroom (en-suite) at YHA Okehampton and one accessible bedroom with bathroom on ground floor at YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor (House only).
Do you cater for visitors with Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
Yes, we welcome everyone to Okehampton. Our fantastic instructor team can come up with a suitable residential programme to cater for all differing types of Special Educational Needs. This year we had a large group from a deaf school and to ensure that the programme met our standards and the group needs we adapted our activity programme and there was specialist advice given on how to communicate effectively prior to their arrival.
We are Bronze Awards winners for Active and Sporting Experience for Devon Tourism Awards 2018.
Adventure Okehampton has been awarded the Quality Badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, is a licensed activity centre with AALA and Adventuremark.
Our watersports centre is a recognised provider for BCU courses.
We work with many different partners to provide suitable residential experiences, including NCS citizenship courses, Rotary Young Leaders awards (RYLA), Rotary's Adventure 7, Young Carers courses, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and Ten Tors training expeditions.
As part of the YHA network, schools booking their residentials at our centre can apply to the Breaks for Kids fund for support. Other types of groups may also qualify for special funding from their Charity. Please enquire on booking for advice on how to make an application. Please note that the funding stream for Breaks for Kids has changed their application procedures for the current year (2019).
Special rates for schools
staying with us outside of peak season
25% off Full Activity Residentials: Price from £52.35 per day
25% off our winter rates: Price from £52.35 per night for full board plus 3 activities per day during November to February period. For the period in March and April, £55.35 per night.
Need more inspiration?
We are bursting with ideas on places that deliver first class teaching both outside the classroom and as in-school workshops. Below are a few similar suggestions to Adventure Okehampton , or head to our tailor-made trip form and let us know how we can help you!