Region: Greater London

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Accommodation & Residential Trips

Address: Burnt Mill Lane, Harlow, Essex CM20 2QS

Contact: 01279 620270



Based in the heart of the community it serves Harlow Outdoors is an exciting and vibrant centre for outdoor learning. Set in beautiful Essex parkland beside the River Stort, the centre is just 10 minutes from the town of Harlow. With good river access, a climbing tower, high and low ropes challenge courses and a 60-acre lake Harlow Outdoors provides a variety of land and water-based opportunities.

This venue has LOtC quality Badge. 

Harlow operates mainly as a day centre – around 90% of courses are run on this basis. The centre also offers camping and canal boat accommodation (the latter comprises two traditional narrow boats and one wide beam canal barge, all modified to provide improved access). Another option is via the ‘wild country’ programmes, when participants stay at local campsites, bunkhouses, hostels or hotels.

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

The centre is renowned for its work with schools, youth groups and colleges. Courses at Harlow are the ‘Adventure Alternative’ – bringing life and variety to the National Curriculum. Instructors use the natural challenge and excitement of outdoor activities in a structured, safe framework, for all young people.

What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

Courses at Harlow are designed to help young people learn new skills, develop self-reliance and self-esteem and take on new responsibilities. Instructors – all experienced, qualified professionals – ensure the balance of learning, enjoyment and safety is always maintained. Programmes can be tailored to a group’s specific learning objectives, whether part of the National Curriculum, or ‘for fun’. As part of the Essex Youth Service, Harlow Outdoors is committed to providing activities that meet both educational and personal objectives. With its partner organisations Harlow is involved in drug education, personal, social and health education, peer support programmes, youth consultation, crime and disorder prevention, diversionary programmes, sport development and school “off the street” initiatives. Courses are run as weeklong residential programmes in Harlow/the French Pyrenees, or as a series of one day sessions.

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Study Options as part of the National curriculum:

Physical Education, Cross curricular activities, PSHE

Other Activities:

Team building, problem solving, canoeing, fitness, sea kayaking, rock climbing, Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions (Harlow is an accredited award centre), Multi activity youth group (8 – 13 years) networking, communication. 

What size groups do they cater for?

The centre can cater for 70 participants engaged in activities

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

Teacher's packs, Objectives forms and participant sheets are all provided, as is all equipment needed.

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

Yes – this is fine by prior arrangement.

How do you arrange a risk assessment?

The centre provides risk assessments for its activities and accommodation on demand, if the group is leading its own delivered activities it is the responsibility of the group leader to risk assess the activity.

What are the contact details for their education officer?

The centre has a curriculum coordinator.

What does it cost?

Costs vary depending on activities. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements as we can tailor make a package to suit your needs, within your budget.

Is specific clothing required?

We provide all safety equipment and will advise you on any specific clothing required for your chosen activities.

Do you have first aid on site?

Yes – there are always first aiders available.

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

The centre has vending machines offering health options and has areas set aside for lunching.

Are there disabled facilities?

This centre specializes in offering a full range of activities for young people with special needs.

Age of Children / Pupils: 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years

Type of Visit: Outdoor Education Outdoor Pursuits Personal Development-Mentoring Sports Team Building Water Sports

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design Citizenship English Geography History ICT MFL Music PE PSHE Science

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

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