This small cluster of islands off the north-west coast of Scotland feels just like being abroad, only you speak the language and don’t need a passport. If you Google the island of “Tarensay” you’ll find it’s famous as the host of the TV series Castaway, an early, outdoorsy Big Brother style show, where a group of people (including TV presenter Ben Fogle) had to battle it out for survival together. Here you could take your camera and create your own Castaway show. Not only will this widen your CV skill set but you will amaze your mates and family with your Gold DofE expedition across golden beaches, rugged moorland and mountain tops with views across the Atlantic.
If you’re after a brain-repairing break to get away from all your coursework and exams, then this spectacular sweep of beautifully wild mountainside is the perfect place for your Gold DofE expedition. For four days you might not even see another Gold DofE group at all as you walk past mountains like Suilven and Stac Pollaidh, but rest assured, your supervisors or assessors will be watching out for you as you navigate your way independently through vast, open mountainside, remote glens, tranquil lochs and tumbling rivers. Your Dof E expedition here will stand out as truly unique on your CV.
Fort William is the UK’s official outdoor capital city. It’s one of the most exhilarating places to start from for your DofE Gold expedition and a fantastic place for a celebratory ice cream at the end. Nestling at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, it is a mecca for hill-walkers of all shapes and sizes and easily escaped to from London on an exciting overnight sleeper train and buses from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Starting your Gold DofE expedition here will give you not only some of Scotland’s most impressive peaks but also an impressive entry on your CV.
Try wild camping in some of the UK’s most beautiful locations with a DofE Gold expedition deep in the heart of the Cairngorms. You might even be lucky enough to catch sight of a reindeer as you travel through this massive range of high Scottish mountains. The choice is yours – you can take on the steep, challenging, and massively rewarding high tops and tundra-like wilderness, or plan a route over the famous old drover’s paths, also used by ancient, kilt-wearing clans to driving stolen cattle through the mountains. Either way, doing your Gold DofE in the Cairngorms will impress not only your mates, but anyone reading your CV too.
Until recently Scotland was only one of 2 countries across the world without national parks. In 2002 that all changed with the formation of Scotland's first national park - Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. How about walking sections of the famous West Highland Way on your DofE Expedition? Or perhaps take in the distinctive mountain of The Cobbler or Ben Lomond? Which ever you choose you will not be disappointed with the terrain and views using this area for your expedition. It's just a short distance for Glasgow so it is easy to reach for those of you travelling from the south by train.
Being on the border of Scotland and England this area has been the site on many battles - giving you plenty of ideas for aims for your DofE Expedition. It is also the leaset populated county in England with only 62 people per each square kilometre! That means you will be sure to find wilderness for your expedition and get away from the crowds. It's easily accesible from both the north and the south so come and explore the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland for your D of E Expedition!
If you’ve ever munched on Kendal Mint Cake on a Bronze or Silver DofE expedition, this is your chance to explore its birthplace - the breathtaking scenery, market towns and charming sleepy villages of the Lake District. And if you’ve never tried it, quick, stock up! Doing your Gold DofE expedition here will see you on a journey through glacier-gouged valleys, green pastures, past blue ribbon lakes and high, lonely tarns. You’ll stay in a combination of wild camps and secluded farm sites, so this is a great choice for expeditioners who love the thought of Gold DofE on their CV but would like the occasional use of a proper loo.
Heard of the Yorkshire Three Peaks? You have now. Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough are often tackled together in one monster day, but on your DofE Gold expedition you could get a feeling for this great challenge by taking these mountains on one at a time. Or for those who fancy fewer ascents, you can skirt around their bases, bumping into the local wildlife and waterfalls. Either way, you’ll be revelling in a deep sense of fresh open space even though you’re only just north of Manchester, Leeds and Bradford with good train and bus links (great for celebrating your successful expedition afterwards!).
The North York Moors National Park is truly unique in the variety of landscapes that it offers - it has vast open moorlands, picturesque villages, wide dales, atmospheric woods and a beautiful Jurassic coastline. With the largest expanse of unbroken heather moorland in the UK, it is easy to get away from it all in the North York Moors. Pilgrims once settled on the Moors and used crosses to mark their way across them - today they are one of the most recognisable features of the area. Also famed for some of the finest examples geology in the world, people travel here from all over the world to see fossils of dinosaur prints and sea dragons. A wonderful mix of the best things that the UK has to offer, it is easy to see why this area is so popular with DofE groups.
Your grandparents could have been arrested and jailed if they had done a DofE expedition here. Back in the day it was illegal to walk on Kinder Scout so local walkers organised a mass trespass in 1932 and five of them were locked up. But their renegade action paid off and funnily enough, the Peak District ended up as the UK’s first National Park a few decades later! So now you can walk this heather-covered moorland without fear of being thrown in prison. An expedition here looks great on your CV and is really easy to get to by bus and train from Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds and you can walk the Trans Pennine Trail, part of the E8 Walking Route connecting the Peak District to Turkey some 2,500 miles away!
If you’re looking for fantastic mountains then look no further than Snowdonia National Park for your Gold DofE expedition. Home to Snowdon, the highest peak in England at 1,085m, this landscape is wild, rugged and definitely spectacular enough to bring your CV to life and impress future employers. Whether you are after a challenging mountain route, fancy having a go at summiting Snowdon itself or simply want to walk along the paths at the base of these fabulous peaks, Snowdonia offers a great variety of route options and great campsites for your DofE expedition..
This is a beautifully green part of Wales, with a great mix of mountainside and valley walking to suit every Gold DofE expedition participant’s needs. The Brecon Beacons is brilliant for all levels of fitness and excellent extra curricular info to brighten up your CV. Here you can plan a route through swooping mountains, staying high and climbing every summit or you can create an equally exciting route through rolling countryside, following sparkling streams and exploring lakes, waterfalls and caves on the way. Camping isolated farm campsites increases your independence and camp craft skills but still allows you to use proper loos!
Pembrokeshire lies at the tip of the south-west coastline of Wales. If you are after a very special place to do your Bronze or Silver DofE expedition then look no further. Secluded coves, open beaches, paths around the headlands and many rare wildlife species and habitats - Pembrokeshire is the place to come if you're looking for something special beyond the physical challenge of an expedition. Being so far west, you might think that getting to Pembrokeshire will be a problem. However, with excellent road and railway links you can be there in a flash - and we bet you won't want to leave at the end of your expedition.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are Britain's largest protected wetland within the status of a National Park and home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the UK. While the main way of the exploring the Broads is by water, it may comes as a surprise that there are some fabulous walks in the area with no less than three long distance footpaths passing through: the Weaver's Way, Angles Way and Wherryman's Way. The Broads are easily accessed by train with a direct service to Norwich (right in the middle of things!) from London in less than two hours and various connecting services from the Midlands via Peterborough. If you want a truly different experience for your DofE expedition, then pick the Broads!
Exmoor is one of the secret gems of the south-west. Beautiful, wild moorland (made famous by a novel about Lorna Doone) meets the stunning North Devon coast with it's series of footpaths, woodland and villages. Our base is the fishing village of Lynmouth, renowned for the flood disaster of 1952 when the same amount of water that flows down the River Thames in a year came tumbling from Exmoor in 24 hours, down through Watersmeet and swept the village away. Your expedition will take you through lots of different landscapes, so if variety is what you're after without having to climb any big hills then Exmoor is the perfect choice: you'll pass through old oak woodland, open moors via the Two Moors Way, around headlands overlooking the sea and end in Lynton for ice creams and a short ride down the cliff railway (a water-powered funicular) to the beach at Lynmouth, perfect!
Easily accessible from London by public transport, you can start you expedition at one train station and finish at another. Walking on the South Downs is a great introduction for your DofE Expeditions, for either bronze or silver, giving you some ascents of hills that will give you stunning views out to sea and across Hampshire. On a really clear day you could be lucky and see France! The Long Man of Wilmington and The Seven Sisters might feature in your expedition. You will have a fantastic expedition walking in Britain's newest National Park!
Dartmoor is a great wild camping venue and one of England's last unspoilt wildernesses. Doing your Gold DofE expedition here will see you winding your way past the famous large granite tors, through ancient oak woodland and honing your compass skills over wide open spaces. Tread softly and you might even catch a glimpse of the rare Dartmoor Ponies. Rolling, rocky and lonely, this area is fantastic for Gold DofE participants who love adventures in remote places but are not so concerned about summiting or seeing high mountain peaks. It’s a great place to develop your independence and makes an eye catching entry on your CV. Your can celebrate completing your expedition with a famous Devonshire cream tea!