Discover outstanding beauty
The UK offers opportunities to gain your Duke of Edinburgh Award without the need to travel too far from home. Let us show you the wonders of this country that are right on your doorstep.
The UK has some of the most varied landscapes. With rugged mountainous areas, deep valleys, lush forests, crystal clear lakes, lochs and an ever changing coastline there is something for everyone.
This relatively small island is a real jewel in the crown. No two areas are the same, even the weather can change in a flash. It is home to some incredible wildlife, from the majestic birds of prey to the playful sea lions and the wily fox.
It doesn’t take long to get away from the crowds and find yourself in the wild open countryside. The UK is not a soft option for your DofE Award, it has challenging extremes in terrain and it takes skill and determination to conquer this glorious land.
Arran is described as Scotland in miniature from the highlands in the North to the lowlands in the South. With an outstanding variety of wildlife, flora and fauna this is the ideal location for your Silver or Bronze expedition. The Island is steeped in history and packs a lot into its 56 mile circumference. It is a walkers paradise and there is also plenty of opportunity to pack in water based activities such as kayaking. Look out for the cheeky otters and you may even get to see the majestic golden eagles that are prevalent in the area.
Fort William is a town in the western Scottish Highlands and known as a gateway to Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak. It is also an area that has some of the most rugged landscape and wildest mountains. Fort William is on the shores of Loch Linnhe where you can try your hand at various water sports including kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. With forest trails galore, an old railway line and an untamed landscape, Fort William is the perfect destination for your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Deep in the heart of the Cairngorms in one of the UK’s most stunning locations, you can try wild camping as you look out for the magnificent reindeer. There is an extensive mountain range for you to trek your way through. The only question is will you take on the steep and challenging terrain or the vast open wilderness? Whatever you choose to do on this unique and wild adventure, it is definitely a place that you will truly earn your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and impress friends and employers alike.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
In 2002 Loch Lomond and The Trossachs became Scotland’s first national park and it is easy to see why. The area is outstandingly beautiful and has so much to offer. While you are there you can go kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on the Loch taking in the amazing scenery as you make your way across the water. Or maybe you would like to trek across the mountain of The Cobbler or Ben Lomond and gaze upon the exquisite views from high above.
The forests of The Trossachs contain the Great Trossachs Forest Path which connects with the famous West Highland Way, where you can complete the walking section of your DofE. This forest area covers 160 square km and is home to a plethora of wildlife within its varying habitats. The truly stunning scenery along the loch shores, hill slopes and mature woodlands that are so rich with history make Loch Lomond and The Trossachs an ideal area to complete your Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Torridon is a magnificent mountain paradise that is perfect for those of you who want to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountains. Not only that it also contains 5 of the National Trust’s 46 Munro’s, including Liathach, peaking at 1,054 m and Beinn Alligin, at 985 m, making it a great place to check them off your list. Hikers and climbers love it here as there is such a wide variety of walking and climbing routes with over 18 miles of paths to choose from. You can enjoy the solitude of this area while gaining your DofE Award and come back feeling accomplished and renewed.
The Brecon Beacons are a stunning mixture of mountains and valleys deep in the lush green Welsh countryside. This is the perfect area for completing the walking part of any Duke of Edinburgh expedition and suits participants of all levels of fitness. Whether you wish to climb every summit or stick to the valleys following the glistening waters of the many streams and lakes, the choice is yours. While you are there, don’t forget to check out some of the caves and waterfalls before setting up camp in one of the many isolated farm campsites.
Snowdonia National Park is a fantastic place to enjoy wondrous mountain walks. It is home to Snowdon which is the highest peak in England standing at 1,085 metres. Full of challenging mountain hikes with the opportunity to climb to the summit of Snowdon itself, this is a great place to complete your Gold DofE expedition. Or you could simply walk the paths along the base of these stunning peaks. There is certainly plenty to choose from with such a variety of routes and campsites along the way topped off with breathtaking scenery.
Peak District - Dark Peak and White Peak
Believe it or not it used to be illegal to walk on Kinder Scout in the Peak District only a few decades ago. Thankfully, you can now enjoy the UK’s first ever National Park without fear of imprisonment as you trek through the altering terrain to gain your DofE Award.
The Dark Peak is a desolate exposed moorland covered in a blanket of beautiful purple heather. Below the moorland the steep-sided cloughs are lined with areas of oak-birch woodlands interlocked blocks of conifer plantations.
The White Peak is known for its gentle rolling limestone plateau interspersed with limestone dales. The dales are steep-sided in stark contrast with the plateau lands above. These dales also contain some of the finest ash woodlands in Europe.
Dartmoor is one of England’s remaining unspoilt wildernesses and makes a great area for wild camping. As you trek through the wild winding open spaces past the impressive granite tors and make your way through the ancient woodland you will definitely get to practice honing your compass skills. This rugged and isolated area is just right for completing your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and you may even catch a glimpse of the famous Dartmoor Ponies while you are there. It is a perfect place for the adventurers who enjoy remote places, high mountain peaks and awe inspiring summits.
The South Downs are the ideal place to gain the bug for walking. These chalk hills extend for around 260 square miles across the south-eastern coastline in England and have the most amazing sea views in Hampshire. On a clear day you may even be able to see all the way to France. The South Downs National Park forms an even larger area than the chalk range and includes large parts of the Weald. It is recognised as the most important chalk landscapes in England today. You could plan your expedition to include The Long Man of Wilmington and The Seven Sisters. Gaining your DofE Award in Britain’s newest National Park will certainly be an experience that you won’t forget.