Sun, Sea and Snow…

The slightly quieter Winter months have allowed us to find two weeks free to embark on some staff training.

We left the UK and particular the beauty of our homes in North Wales to find some new adventures further afield.

The end of November saw over 30 of us fly out of Manchester Airport laiden with climbing kit to search for the sun and sea that the islands of Malta and Gozo had to offer.  You will be pleased if you avoided Manchester that day with the chaos we caused with buggies, car seats and obviously the climbing rack that were needed at check in!  These trips have got bigger over the years as the staff team has grown and now includes extended families, including husbands and children.  Everyone young to old, enjoyed the climbing, the youngest members of the team only being months old and older members… (I’m not allowed to publish this information). 

The trips are invaluable with those with lost of experience sharing ideas, thoughts and skills with many of the new team and young inspired climbers, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  The sun definitely helps and a real family feel takes over with people helping each other with all sorts of tasks of making meals for the masses or shopping for supplies (Dave’s domaine!).

January saw another mass exodus to the Swiss Alps to look for snow.

Due to Christmas commitments, we didn’t take over Manchester this time but families and groups left the country on different dates, times and modes of transport for post Christmas skiing fun and all with a date in mind to meet in Grimentz for the now annual Arete ski trip.

Rich, Gareth and families enjoyed a week in Crans Montana before the renowned  big weekly shop ready to make their way across the valley to Grimentz. I am not sure Lidl knew what happened when we rocked up with 7 overflowing trolleys.  The children certainly had fun!

Grimentz was a perfect base for the variety of skills that we all bring to the slopes.  Dave was on a mission to tick off every run on his ski pass, others were happy to cruise down the piste and many taking on the brilliant touring opportunities the area has to offer.  There were lessons for all, young and old, from the more experienced in the group.  Personally I can still hear the voice of a friend in my head telling me how to improve my technique!

The centre works with so many experienced instructors who work for many different places and hold a wide range of qualifications.  We were lucky enough for them to impart their knowledge of recent training at Plas Y Brenin and Glenmore Lodge on avalanches.  This was a refresher for some and new information for our trainees.

Most of us are now back in work, getting ready for the busy year ahead.  Although these weeks are a lot of fun.  They allow us to spend time as a staff team, as friends but also with families.  It is a way of us all sharing experiences and goals for the following year, and reflect on the previous year at Arete. 

As a management team it lets us say a big thank you for the Arete family those who work with us all the time and their families who support us throughout the year. 

I think we really do embrace the phrase ‘Work hard, play hard’ – which is why you will find some members slipping away soon to seek those adventures again…

But for now we are all refreshed, invigorated and inspired for the next generation of adventurers to pass through our doors this year!

Keeping it local…

We are taking the opportunity between groups and trips up snowy mountains to continue to upgrade and make changes to the centre.

This week we have had local tradesman Tony into the centre.  He is starting the process of upgrading some of the flooring in the bedrooms, in the main centre.
Rich spent the beginning of the week removing the old carpet (which has done the centre well for many years) in preparation and then Tony has been putting his expert touch on laying the new floor. We are really pleased with how it looks.

We welcome St John’s Primary next week to the centre. I wonder if your dorm will have new flooring…

Come and visit the centre soon to see what other things we are improving

Spend Action-Packed Residential Trips Trying Outdoor Activities at Arete Outdoor Centre, UK

outdoor activities UK

All pupils wait expectantly for the school trip, as it’s a time to enjoy and make memories with their friends and teachers and gain valuable lifelong learning skills.

This year don’t just follow the regular trend; instead, take your pupils on real adventures using the natural playground that the Snowdonia National Park and surrounding areas have to offer, in this adventurous part of the UK. Come and join us at Arete.

Arete Outdoor Centre  offers a high-quality outdoor learning experience for all age groups.  Our location is ideal being close to the coastline of Anglesey, mountains of Snowdonia and the many rivers and lakes around for adventurous outdoor activities UK.

Chance to overcome your fears:

North Wales is a perfect location in the UK for children to face their fears, and take on new challenges and experiences whilst participating in  adventurous activities.  Outdoor activities  are full of action and thrill for the pupils.  They have the
opportunity to noticeably gain confidence through facing their fears of water,  height or new environments.  The pupils can overcome their fears through the group members supporting each other and encouragement from our experienced and highly qualified instructors. We make sure we choose our adventures so they are challenging, but all the participants have the ability to succeed. National research reveals after activities 84% of children felt that they were capable of doing new things when they tried.

Comfortable accommodation with personal space for everyone:

Comfort and personal space is a must during the residential trip to enjoy the time at its fullest and to make memories to cherish throughout life. You can hire dormitory-style bedrooms for exclusive
use and accommodate 10 to 100 pupils.

your mind for better mental health:

Mental health is an important issue for today’s young people, where outdoor activities in the UK can immeasurably help to de-stress minds thereby improving mental wellbeing. Spending time in the outdoors itself makes you feel happy and refresh with 79% of children reported feeling more confident in themselves. Experiencing water and land activities in the natural environment help the children to test their limit and learn new skills.

Strengthening relationships:

Studies say that outdoor activities help strengthen the relationships between pupils and teachers alike with 81% agreeing that they had better relationships with their teachers and 79% reported better relationships with their
class-mates after an outdoor experience. Facing challenges together helps not just enhancing the bond but to develop the ability to make decision among individuals, handle pressure and to stay
calm during difficulties.

Do not hesitate in trying outdoor activities with your school. 

Mining March

According to the Met Office, it was the 5th wettest March on record for the UK as a whole!

The wet weather, looming mine leader assessments and revalidations meant Arete instructors where driven underground to seek out adventures.

The abandoned slate, copper, gold and lead mines (to name a few!) of Snowdonia are underground labyrinths begging to be explored… The mines are rich in industrial history and can be explored on foot, or by using ropes and specialist equipment.

After a days work, instructors here have packed their head torches and helmets and headed off to discover a forgotten world. Half of the fun is locating the mine entrance in the dark, but lighter evenings towards the end of the month made the job a bit easier!

Here are some photos from our adventures…

5 years on…

This month marks 5 years since Arete took over the running of the centre and what an amazing 5 years it has been! We have continued the strong link with Worcestershire schools but have also welcomed new schools, colleges and groups from all over the country. We have challenged and enthused ‘learning through adventure’ with over 17,000 young people.


Expansion of the kitchen and dining room at Bryn Eryr is going well and is on track to be finished ready for the busy summer season. This year will also see the launch of the Arete Trust which will allow schools to apply for financial support so individuals, who may otherwise not be able to experience an outdoor education residential, have the opportunity.

Lastly, can we say a huge thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement over the last 5 years. If you haven’t already been to visit us this year we look forward to seeing you soon!

SUP Boards come to Arete

We have recently taken the plunge and bought some SUP boards for groups to use.  Eager to try out one the world’s fastest growing water sports the Arete centre staff headed out to Anglesey this month to try their hand at surfing a SUP board.

Easy to master, within minutes we were all catching waves, getting our healthy dose of Vitamin D, exercise and judging by the shouts of joy, having a lot of fun!!

What could be better than having another way to explore the coast, waves and lakes of North Wales. I think it’s safe to say we are all hooked and looking forward to sharing our new purchase with all that visit the centre.

Arete Outdoor Education Centre North Wales
stand-up up surfing Snowdonia
stand-up board Anglesey activity
outdoor paddle board surfing North Wales
sup surf for schools Anglesey