Region: South West

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Charterhouse on Mendip, Blagdon, Bristol BS40 7XR

Contact: 01761 462 267



Somerset Outdoor Residential Learning Service (SORLS) is part of Somerset County Council. SORLS operates four residential outdoor centres offering a variety of outdoor activity and academic courses to children and young people.

They are Kilve Court, The Outdoor Centre, Greatwood  Kilves  and Charterhouse.


Charterhouse is located approximately 30 minutes south of Bristol and is set in the heart of the Mendip Hills, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is ideally situated for groups wanting to take advantage of the fantastic walks, local caves or climbing venues the area has to offer. The Centre makes use of the adjoining 70 acre nature reserve which offers an ideal base for those wanting to take part in a variety of outdoor and adventurous activities or study the geography and history of the area.

The centre takes residential bookings and can tailor make a programme to suit your groups needs or if you would prefer you can hire the centre and run your own programme.

Why is this venue great for School Trips and Educational Visits?

Charterhouse offers group bookings sole use of the centre and can accommodate up to 63 people in 11 bedrooms (some of which are en-suite), each accommodating between 4 -  6 people in bunk beds

It boasts a large dining room, modern kitchen, visitors lounge, classroom, boot room and an observatory.

It is an award winning centre, built using sustainable materials, including Western Red Cedar wood.  It is also has Sedum Roof and is heated by a woodchip boiler, with fuel sourced from a local provider.


What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

The staff team will great you on your arrival and work with you to make the most of your visit.

The centre has a modern kitchen that will provide all of your meals.

We offer groups a variety of activities. These include Abseiling, Archery, Bushcraft, Caving, Camping, Climbing, Fantasy Trail/ Night Line, Gorge Walking, Orienteering, Pond Dipping, Team Building and Walking

Programmes are tailor made to suit the visiting groups requirements.

Do you have a YouTube Video link regarding your venue?

Somerset Outdoor Residential Learning Service / Kilves promotional video

This venue has the following accreditation:

Charterhouse holds a licence issued by the Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS) for the safe conduct of activities it delivers, as required by law.

AALA licensed

What size groups do they cater for?

The centre has 63 beds in total.

We generally work with children and young people but the centre can be hired by adult groups. We look for a minimum of 20 people.

Activity group sizes vary depending on the activities planned. For some activities like caving we work on a 1-8 ratio. Other activities like archery work on a 1-12 ratio, whilst some activities incorporate the whole group.

Group sizes may be adjusted due to the weather, ability of the group or other factors which can be discussed before your visit.

What can they provide you with to support your school trip or educational visit?

A kit list and room plan will be sent out before your visit to help you plan your trip. A visitor’s handbook can also be requested.

Can you take photos, video or audio? Are there any copyright restrictions?

It’s up to visiting groups.


How do you arrange a risk assessment?

We can provide a risk management summary to visiting groups. A prospectus details various H&S documents.

A site visit can be arranged.

The Centre Manager can come to visit the school to talk to the parents, children and teachers before their visit.

What are the contact details for their education officer?

Educational Visits – Ian Head, Kilve Court.

Somerset County Council

What does it cost?

Activity group bookings - Costs  vary depending on what activities are chosen.
A typical 3 day activity course costs £140 per person. A week long activity course typically costs £230 per person. This includes all food, activities and accommodation.
School/group bookings: Supervising adult goes free with every 10 children

Is specific clothing required?

Clothing and equipment

Specialist equipment, such as helmets and harnesses, will be provided by Charterhouse. However it is important that all participants bring appropriate clothing for their visit. 

A kit list is available and will be sent to you when we request your final information. Essential kit largely consists of comfortable casual clothes, waterproofs, comfortable shoes and wellington boots. 

Participants are also required to bring their own bedding, unless alternative arrangements are made with the Centre Manager.  Bedding is provided for supervising staff.

Do you have first aid on site?

All instructors/duty staff are first aid trained.

What facilities do they have for school trips and educational visits?

The centre has a large hall where meals are eaten. It also has observatory, classroom, visitors lounge, limited WIFI for customers, 2 ceiling mounted digital projectors.

Are there disabled facilities?

We try to accommodate disabled visitors to the best of our ability. We have a disabled bedroom, lift and wet / shower room.

What are your opening days and hours?



Do you have any testimonials from previous customers who have visited you on an educational visit?

Visit our website

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?

Type of Visit: Bushcraft Caves & Caverns Climbing Crafts Ecological Recycle & Waste Centres Environment Centres Field Studies Film Making Outdoor Education Outdoor Pursuits Residential School Trips Sports Team Building Walking Tours Water Sports

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design Dance Design and Technology Drama English Environmental Studies Geography History ICT Mathematics Media MFL Music PE Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

SiGN UP For LATEST Events, Discounts & Special Offers 

Once your are signed up you will receive regularly into your inbox.