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Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development

About Us

We believe that the outdoors is the place to make unique discoveries.

Surrey Outdoor Learning & Development is committed to achieving positive personal development through outdoor experiences that challenge the mind and body. Through these outdoor experiences, we guide participants to discover more about themselves by learning and developing personal, social, emotional, physical and key skills.

We treat each person we work with as an individual with his or her own unique core strengths and limitations. Together, we work to achieve the best each person is capable of, whether this be new-found self-esteem, the ability to communicate effectively with friends or strangers, or the completion of a strenuous uphill hike.

Self-evaluation and the recognition of achievement are the two fundamental principles behind our work. Participants must assess their own capabilities in order to perform. Ultimately, learning and development will then occur when an individual chooses to fulfil these capabilities through action and is able to recognise their actions as a new and remarkable personal achievement.

We exist primarily to serve young people and always will. For decades we have worked with a huge variety of schools, youth groups and young outdoor enthusiasts from all over Surrey and beyond. We work to achieve personal and social development through experiential learning in our outdoor centres:

High Ashurst Outdoor Education Centre is set in 56 acres of woodland on Boxhill, near Dorking, in the tranquil Surrey Hills ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The site has a colourful history with records dating back to 1706. Today High Ashurst is a wonderful wide-open space for learning and self-discovery in the natural environment. The centre offers a wide range of activities, including high ropes and a new state of the art climbing tower. The adjacent heathland is ideal for mountain biking and orienteering.

Henley Fort is a Victorian Fort built during the late 19th Century to protect London from invasion by the French; later it was used by the Home Guard in World War 2 as a re-supply depot. It is now an outdoor education facility offering groups a chance to take part in challenging activities or a living historical experience.

The centre is located on the Hog’s Back high above Guildford and not only offers a wide range of centre based activities but also the chance to explore the surrounding countryside and the Wey Navigation (canal). The Victorian Fort provides a stunning setting for our Home Guard history days.

Thames Young Mariners (TYM) is surrounded by 200 acres of public open space, which has been designated as a local nature reserve. Established over 40 years ago, the 25 acre site includes a 10 acre lake, alongside the River Thames, between Richmond and Kingston.

In addition to the land-based activities found at our other centres, TYM offers water-based activities in a controlled environment, providing a unique space for learning and self-discovery in the natural environment. The centre is recognised as a teaching centre by the Royal Yachting Association and the British Canoe Union.