Teaching & Learning

Ghyll Head

Ghyll Head, Manchester City Council's, Outdoor Education Centre, based in the heart of the Lake District National Park is a fantastic location and environment to experience the great outdoors.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751

Why choose One Education for Outdoor Education

Our inspirational outdoor courses not only deliver one of the most memorable experiences of a young person’s life, they also boost the curriculum, key stage learning, and student development.

The outdoor learning staff are highly competent in the activities they instruct. Our experienced and trained instructors are skilled at finding the right pace and tone in working with a group and enabling students to be secure and safe with their outdoor experience.

Our friendly team of experienced qualified professionals ensure that everyone has a safe and fun, action-packed adventure, whether you book for a full week, a weekend or a day session.

Many thanks to you and your wonderful staff for another fantastic learning experience for our children and staff last week. We feel privileged to be able to visit such a superb Centre; all credit to you and your team.

Jonathan Powers
Chapel Street Primary School

What a fantastic experience and brilliant resource for our children. Our group had the opportunity to take part in so many different activities that they wouldn’t usually do. It was a pleasure and a privilege to see them develop in confidence and find their ‘inner strength’. Thank you for all of you for your enthusiasm and commitment to outdoor education.

Meryl Blackburn
Chorlton Park Primary School

Manchester’s hidden Gem. Seeing the children at our school acheive and succeed is the greatest pleasure I could witness. If anyone out there has a bucket list make Ghyll Head one of your wishes. To all of the staff keep up the excellent work and god bless you all.

Corina Blades
The Willows Primary School

One Education

Ghyll Head OVerview

Ghyll Head, Manchester City Council's Outdoor Education Centre, based in the heart of the Lake District National Park is a fantastic location and environment to experience the great outdoors.

The high quality outdoor learning opportunities are ideal for children to develop and build their learning through an adventurous and challenging environment. Courses and activities can be planned in advance to ensure that they meet your school’s learning objectives and giving you the opportunity to enrich your curriculum.

Every course is tailored to the needs and interests of your group. We build the programme around you.

Not just for kids

Ghyll Head Staff

Accessible for All Students


Schools, Academies and Youth Group Visits

Ghyll Head


Schools, Academies and Youth Group Visits

Join us for a residential or day visit and we will use your learning objectives to plan a programme suited to your needs; giving you the opportunity to enrich your curriculum and link outdoor experiences to key stage learning and pupil development. Courses are fully accessible offering an exciting and valuable learning experience for all students.

Weekend stays suit a range of client groups from schools, youth clubs, community groups and even staff groups and your stay can be extended to Monday morning.

Experience the full outdoor education experience and join us for the full week (four nights or more). That way groups form good relationships and there are plenty of opportunities for pupils to develop and refine strategies and skills to improve performance. If a full week isn’t what you’re looking for, a split week might be; this means your organisation is with us for the whole week but during that time you escort two groups for either two or three nights each, a great option for any school group and suitable for younger pupils or those with additional needs.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751

Not just for kids

Team building really does challenge thinking and bring people together, building trust and improving team outcomes and performance. We work with adult groups using creative and challenging activities to support group development. Working together you will learn new skills, challenge behaviours, build friendships and explore alternative approaches.

Team-building is an important part of any staff development programme and engaging in interactive, fun and inclusive experiences is a great way to bring your team together. Informal and more formal classroom spaces are available, allowing you to make the most of your time with us between fun activities on land or lake.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751

Accessible for All Students

Ghyll Head is an IOL Adventure for All centre that is an inclusive and accessible provision serving a wide and varied range of students. Our bungalow is fully equipped with profiling bed, hoist, large wet room and open plan feel. Our main house ground floor is level access so that students can eat and have social time together. We have fabulous boathouse facilities on the lake, accessible sailing boats, canoes, hoist, changing room.

Students can abseil and zip wire with adapted equipment; and we have wheelchair-friendly trails around the grounds and provide three-wheeler rough riders and power chairs. Off- site we can explore the tunnels at Cathedral quarry or visit a real cave in Yorkshire. We have a “can do” attitude and we believe the only limit should be your imagination. We work with many special schools, youth organisations and charities, resourced provision schools and Pru Units and have run expeditions in Scotland and the Lakes with these groups.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751


  • Nov - Feb: £54.50 +vat per head per night
  • Mar - May: £72.50 +vat per head per night
  • Jun - July £86 +vat per head per night

(Prices include food, accommodation and activities. 1 free staff place for every 10 students.)

Please note we offer a discount for bookings of more than 40 places. We are also able to offer Bungalow and some House dates on a self-catered and self-programmed basis please call the office for more details.

From our well supplied kit store we offer all the specialist equipment that you'll need for your stay, waterproofs, boots, wetsuits, wellies and any specialist protective equipment at no extra charge. You can download a full kit list with top tips from the resources area.

Ghyll Head


You can enjoy over twenty different adventurous activities at Ghyll Head. Every course is tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of your group; we build the programme around you and your pupils.

On the water


The sheltered waters of Windermere provide a perfect opportunity to learn to sail. Our instructors and coaches are able to provide courses for all abilities. Our range of boats includes the single-handed Funboats, Laser Stratos and a Drascombe Gig. Our two Access 303 dinghys, allow sailors with disabilities the freedom to sail with an instructor or independently. Ghyll Head is a registered Royal Yachting Association and RYA Sailability Centre offering a wide range of courses up to Instructor Level. Sailing can also be offered as part of our GCSE PE programmes.


Our single seat kayaks are modern, smaller and very manoeuvrable which are great for games and exploring on the sea, as well as improving skills and boosting confidence. We have great whitewater venues close by for those wanting to progress their moving water skills. We can also deliver British Canoe Union star awards for personal performance. Kayaking, like canoeing, is a module of the GCSE, BTEC and A-Level PE syllabus and is a great way for students to increase their overall grades whilst taking part in an exciting new sport.


Canoeing is a very popular activity if your group is looking to explore and journey on Lake Windermere. Used on their own they can be paddled solo or tandem, mastering the basic skills of turning and forward paddling. An exciting variation if you have a larger group is to raft two canoes together to make a catamaran. This provides a great team building activity, creating a stable vessel capable of navigating the wildest conditions of Windermere without fear of capsize.

To progress your paddling skills we have a river fleet of canoes and can take you to some of the Lake District's finest white-water rivers. Canoeing along with Kayaking can be offered as an option for GCSE, BTEC and A-level PE and is an option for DofE skills courses and expeditions.

Sit-on-Top Kayaking

Sit-on-top kayaks are designed to go straight and fast. They are stable and easy to sail, there's no problem with capsizing you simply fall off. They're a great kayak to explore the lake with and play games on, which always boosts confidence and skills.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751

In the mountains

Rock Climbing

As a full or half-day activity, rock climbing is a great way to explore some of England's finest mountain venues. Climbs can be single pitch, which are ideal for groups, or multi-pitch for a bit more adventure. You can also join us for rock climbing tuition in other regions as we have extensive experience of the Peak District, Welsh and Scottish climbing venues. Rock climbing is offered as part of our GCSE PE programme.


Traditionally used by mountaineers to descend from high mountain routes and by cavers to explore deep potholes. This presents great personal challenge. You are introduced to the best techniques and we encourage you all the way (whilst also holding your safety rope). We use a number of venues ranging from introductory grassy bank abseils through to 120ft descents into Cathedral Quarry.


Our experience of organising and supporting expeditions spans four decades, we are passionate about giving young people unique experiences which have a profound, life-changing impact. Join our regular hill walking, canoeing or biking expeditions in the Lake District, Peak District, Wales and Scotland. Expeditions have included a week circumnavigating the Lakeland fells, paddling across Scotland via the Great Glen and sea kayaking around the Hebridian coastline.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed bikes. You can mountain bike at Ghyll Head on our superb course in the grounds as an introduction to the fundamentals before progressing to one of the local circuits, such as the Rosthwaite Loop or Claife Heights.

Coastal Scrambling

Coastal scrambling is a very popular activity if you want a climbing experience with a journeying element. Using one of our local coastal venues, such as Humphrey Head, you are challenged to traverse the limestone cliffs overcoming the natural climbing problems en route. Humphrey Head also provides the opportunity for curricular links to work on coastal environments. Humphrey Head is home to a family of peregrine falcons which can often be seen soaring close to the rock face in search of prey.

Ghyll Scrambling

Ghyll scrambling involves the challenge of following the watercourse over natural obstacles such as spectacular cascades and waterfalls and whether done wet or dry this is guaranteed to be one of your most memorable activities. Watching students develop from their first tentative steps, precariously balancing on the edge of deep pools, turn into sure-footed agility, can be one of the most rewarding activities of your stay. This is an ideal activity a team challenge.

Hill Walking

Ghyll Head is surrounded by some of the country's finest hills and mountains, from the small but beautiful Gummer's How overlooking Windermere, to the mighty Scafell Pike, let us introduce you to the joys of hill walking. Walks for all ages and abilities and on a variety of terrains from simple valley walks to high level ridge scrambles. Hill walking also links well with the geography curriculum and the stunning locations provide an inspirational setting for literacy and art based activities. For GCSE, BTEC and A-level students our instructors are able to offer training and advice for you to get the most out of your awards.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751

In the grounds

Ropes Course

A real test of agility our ropes course is set in the woodland grounds of Ghyll Head and is designed to be a challenge for participants of all ages. A great warm up activity before advancing to our climbing tower or All-Aboard high ropes activities.


A superb test of communication and team work, in small teams students are set the challenge of navigating through the spooky forest following only the rope line set ahead of them. As the name suggests, it's a very popular night time activity though it can be done using blindfolds in the daytime too.


A balanced alternative to some of our more adrenaline-fueled activities, archery requires thought and precision, often allowing individuals over-shadowed by their more active group members to shine.


We have been teaching Bushcraft and wilderness skills at the Centre for many years, long before Bear Grylls and I'm A Celebrity brought it to the public imagination. Using our 17 acres of woodland grounds we are able to deliver across a range of skills such shelter building, fire lighting, plant identification, and bow-making, as well as pioneering skills such as cordage making and knot tying. A great way of getting back to nature and away from technology.


Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace. We have a number of on-site courses at Ghyll Head with a range of challenges and difficulty. If you want to go further afield you can explore the superb forest courses of Grizedale and Whinlatter. Orienteering is a popular option for GCSE PE groups who want the chance to gain high marks in a new activity.

Team Building

Communication, planning, time-management, identifying and utilising resources, trust, are just a few of the important skills required to be an effective team member. They are essential business and employability skills. Our experienced instructors and facilitators use a wide range of problem-solving activities to deliver an effective and fun environment, helping individuals become valuable team players. Activities can be short sessions included as part of an outdoor activity course or multi-day events specifically focused around team building.

The Dead Shed

The Dead Shed is our environmental classroom with a difference. A hands on opportunity to find out about the flora and fauna of the Lake District National Park.

Contact us or call 01539 443 751


Dark Tunnels Exploration

The dark tunnels of Cathedral Quarry provide you with a great half-day alternative to our full-day caving visits. The quarry has a spectacular main cavern followed by smaller dark tunnels to explore. An inspiring venue with plenty of industrial archaeology to investigate and material for creative writing, it provides a rich learning experience for groups of all ages. The tunnels experience combines well with an abseiling activity either using the introductory 40ft wall or for those wanting a bit more excitement the 120ft big wall.


During your stay with us, you will be situated close to some of the country's finest caves, suitable for beginners through to experienced cavers wanting to develop single-rope technique skills. Caving is a full day activity and you will experience the right level of challenge for your group to get the most out of your day. Caving not only offers an opportunity for adventure but also the chance to learn about cave structure and formations, so is ideal if you want to enhance the science or geography curriculum.

High rope activities

All Aboard High Ropes

A real test of nerve and teamwork. The challenge being to ascend a seven-metre pole using the holds provided and then to mount a platform. If this is not challenging enough you can then invite up to three more of your friends or colleagues to join you! Participants are involved not only in climbing but also in the essential role of helping each other to safely ascend the pole.

Climbing Wall

Our purpose-built climbing tower has two walls with climbing routes of varying difficulty. Used as an introduction to climbing or as part of one of our skills progression courses, the walls give you plenty of opportunity to work on climbing fundamentals. The climbing wall is a good choice if you would like to visit the Centre for the day and combines well with a zip wire and lake-based session. Climbing can also be offered as one of our GCSE, BTEC or A-Level PE options.

Zip Wire

Our high zip wire involves you launching yourself off the top of our climbing tower; stepping off the top is something you have to do yourself, it's a personal challenge supported by your team. At the end, your team will work together to help you abseil down from the zip wire in a safe and unique way. It's very fast and gets your heart pounding and understandably is one of our most popular on-site challenges

Our lower zip wire is accessible from the ground and allows students with additional needs to get used to the idea of swinging through the air at great speed. We support students with disabilities to get to the top of the tower through a unique system of trapdoors, so all your group can complete this challenge. It really boosts confidence and is an unmissable part of the One Education Outdoors experience at Ghyll Head.


We pride ourselves in putting children first and delivering exceptional services at affordable prices to schools. Here are some additional benefits of working with One Education.

Cross curricular links

Highly qualified, experience instructors

Adventures in the real outdoors

Supporting students with complex needs

Be Challenged!

Embrace the opportunity to enrich your curriculum and link outdoor experiences to key stage learning and pupil development.

Learn more

Ghyll Head


Ghyll Head House

ghyll head house

The main house is the central hub at Ghyll Head. Bursting with traditional lakeside character, it is ideal for larger groups with a 52-bed allocation, dining area and social spaces ideal for quiet time, learning and indoor activities. The main house is fully catered and the team will work with you to ensure all your dietary needs are met. The house hosts the main kit store and large drying area. Many groups book both the Main House and Bungalow to give a total capacity of 68 beds on site.


ghyll head house

The purpose-built bungalow offers modern facilities and is ideal for smaller groups, family stays and groups with additional needs. The accommodation has up to 16 beds, offers a self catering option for visitors as well as catered, and has the most breath-taking views across Windermere, Coniston and Langdale. Situated only a few minutes' stroll from the main house. It is also possible to offer a combination of Bungalow and camping during the summer months to increase the possible group size of your course.

Windermere Boat House

ghyll head house

We have direct access to England's largest lake and have a range of water craft to suit all abilities including two specialist access dinghies. We have two safety boats and provide you with wet suits and all the safety kit you need. Our stunning cedar-clad boathouse is only a five-minute walk from the centre and has modern accessible facilities giving all students access for to the lake, jetties and showers. It boasts an equipped classroom with spectacular lake views. A lift through the building gives access to the ground floor and jetties where a hoist transfers those with mobility difficulties onto water craft.


ghyll head house

Our 17 acres of private grounds are put to great use. From team games on the lawn to string trails through mature oak woods. We have a meandering wheelchair-accessible path to take you through the grounds and woods to our view point and fire pit. We have an accessible tipi for winter evening camp fires and marshmallow toasting where the atmosphere is fantastic!

Our accessible climbing tower gives a range of climbing challenges, hidden in the woods is an 'All-Aboard' challenge and a range of problem solving challenges are scattered in the grounds to form part of the team-building process.

Training courses

Training courses & Conferences

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Training Course

SIMS 7 – End of Key Stage Assessment Seminar - 1 April 2020

An update seminar to brief you on the changes to the procedures and requirements of the statutory assessment process in 2020.

Training Course

SIMS 7 – Basic Excel and SIMS - 2 April 2020

SIMS 7 Office users: If you would like to further your skills, benefit from tips and tricks that will make your office work easier this course is for you.

Professional Qualification

MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) Foundation and Practitioner 6th - 10th April 2020

This combined MSP® Foundation and Practitioner 5 day course will ensure that delegates acquire all the information they need to become efficient MSP® Practitioners as well as all the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to sit both exams.

Training Course

SIMS 7 – Key Stage Assessment Hands-on Training - 21 April 2020

This course is for school administrators responsible for entering and submitting end of Key Stage, EYFS and Phonics Testing data to the DfE/Local Authority

Training Course

SIMS 7 – Key Stage Assessment Hands-on Training - 22 April 2020

This course is for school administrators responsible for entering and submitting end of Key Stage, EYFS and Phonics Testing data to the DfE/Local Authority

Training Course

SIMS 7 – End of Year Seminar Primary - 28 April 2020

This course is for staff with responsibility for preparing SIMS for the new school year who are experienced users and have a good knowledge of SIMS including Pastoral Officers, Administrative Staff and Data Managers.

Training Course

Y6 Writing Moderation- 29 April 2020

A 1/2 day course to give delegates the opportunity to discuss pupil's writing in line with the National Curriculum. Jo Gray and Laura Lodge, experienced Manchester moderators, will ensure that the course provides delegates with up to date Key Stage 2 statutory assessment arrangements for Writing.

Training Course

Primary Music Coordinator’s Networking Meeting - 29 April 2020

A chance for Primary Music coordinators to find out about current local and national issues with regards to music education. There will also be the opportunity to network with other colleagues, forging links and creating opportunities.

With enough warning we can cater for most diets; vegetarian, halal, allergies etc. Please let the kitchen know ahead of time to allow us to prepare.


Yes, we supply waterproof jackets and trousers to all our course participants. Sizes range from Junior XS to Adult XXL.


Our boots and wellies range from UK13 Junior to UK 12 Adult.


No, you have exclusive access to your accommodation building. You don’t have to worry about other school’s students keeping you awake at night.


No, all participant’s wear a buoyancy aid regardless of being able to swim or not. If you inform your instructor that you are not confident in the water, they can take this into account when running the session.


We don’t provide towels or toiletries.


Yes, the Bungalow can be taken as a self-catered option. Depending on the time of year we also occasionally let out the Main house on a self-catered basis.


Both of our residential facilities can be booked for family and friends courses.


Our Bungalow and Boathouse is fully accessible. We also have a wide range of adapted activities that allow our wheelchair using guests to have an amazing adventurous course.


Yes we hold an AALA licence. Our license number is L13215.


No, you will need to arrange your own transport to the Centre. If you are travelling from Manchester, we are happy to suggest travel companies who we know bring groups to the Centre. If you are booking a midweek 2 night course it is also worth considering contacting the school booked in for the other half of the week, as you may be able to share transport costs.


Meet the team

Head of Ghyll Head

Julie Cunningham

Julie has worked in the outdoor industry for 25 years. Having worked in secondary education, she brought the passion, enthusiasm and experience to the centre. Julie now jointly Head’s up the Centre overseeing the outdoor provision. She has a strong ethos on inclusion ensuring the centre is accessible for all.

Finance and Admin officer

Gill Wilkinson

Gill has brought a wealth of commercial and education experience with her. She is first point of contact with schools and groups, supporting them in an efficient and caring way her focus being on excellent customer service. She is a keen fell runner and has completed the prestigious Bob Graham round.

Ghyll Head Instructor

Rob Humphries

Rob has worked in the Outdoor Industry since 1996, and strongly believes that the challenges presented by Outdoor Activities promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, physical and social development of students. He is a keen climber and can be found exploring the Lakeland Mountains.

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Enquiry form

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Address details

Universal Square,
Devonshire St North,
M12 6JH

Phone Numbers

Main Contact:
0844 967 1111
One Education Outdoors:
01539 443 751
One Education Music:
0844 967 1116