For a long time, outdoor activities have been recognised as a source of enjoyment, a training ground for useful skills, a means of engaging with nature and the environment, and a way of providing both a physical and mental challenge. More recently, the educational world has embraced outdoor activities as a platform and facilitator for developing personal awareness and a knowledge of group dynamics and their effective management. Our boys learn about their strengths and weaknesses, develop robust approaches to problem-solving, and gain resilience in overcoming setbacks, as well as a detailed understanding of the mechanisms operating within a team.

At the end of the day, the experience was WAY more than a four day trip to the wilderness for a group of impressionable 16 year old boys. The memories will stay with them for life.

Parent of boy on Cairngorms trip

Eton has a significant history of producing adventurers and explorers and for some time has offered its boys interesting and challenging activities including mountaineering in the UK and abroad, sport and traditional climbing, ski racing, kayaking expeditions and Channel swimming. And, of course, adventurous training and operating in the outdoors are essential themes to the programme offered to boys who join the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). But as the educational benefits of all this have become clearer, Eton has taken steps to expand its outdoor activities programme, offering more activities to more boys within a structure that offers progression towards better skills and greater challenges. As far as possible, Eton draws on the experience, skill and qualifications of Masters to deliver this programme – there are considerable benefits to this dynamic – and Masters leading activities and expeditions use these ongoing opportunities for teaching character development.


boys take part in outdoor activities each year.

During their first year, House groups are offered a night’s camping at Dorney Lake where they learn basic campcraft and navigation techniques and enjoy swap stories around a campfire. During the Lent Half (term), we offer a carousel of outdoor activities to F Block (Year 9) on Tuesday afternoons. This provides tasters in activities including mountain biking, climbing, campcraft, orienteering and kayaking. Boys in E Block (Year 10) can choose one of these activities to pursue throughout the half.

Our Outdoor Education Programme is available to boys in D, C and B Blocks (Years 11-13). It is a progressive course focused on experiential learning and character development. It provides instruction and practice in basic outdoor skills, introduction to activities like indoor climbing, kayaking and mountain biking, and the opportunity to experience, plan and run expeditions. As they progress through the programme, boys increasingly have the opportunity to lead and instruct. We continue to offer exciting and challenging activities and expeditions during the holidays as a focus and a progressive challenge to our boys.

An enormous thank you to everyone for giving the boys this tremendous experience and inspirational trip. It has been wonderful to follow the daily explorations with stunning photography. Congratulations to you all.

Parent of boy on Alps trip

Recent and Future Trips

  • Mountaineering in the Brecons, Snowdonia and the Lakes
  • Mountain biking in the South Downs
  • Trekking on Dartmoor
  • A combined CERN visit and Alpine trekking