Senior Schools


Our senior school courses are designed specifically to your age group and their prior experience. We want to stretch and challenge the young people that come to us and make the very most of the incredible landscape that we have here.

The course content below gives you a feel for what we can achieve with a senior school group over six days.

Mountain expedition

A two-day, two-night expedition into the mountains.   We leave in the afternoon from the old stone stables at Lone to tackle Foinaven.

The evening walk-in allows us to gain some height and wild camp in one of a handful of incredible spots and waking to breathtaking scenery.

The main day across the ridge is challenging.   A skyline traverse from east to west along a crumbling quartzite ridge.   The 360 degree views take in Orkney to the north-east, around past Cape Wrath with the isles of Lewis and Harris on the western horizon.

High on the Foinaven traverse

As we drop off the western end of the massive we camp again, amongst the maze of hill lochans and rocky outcrops that fill the void between the mountains and the sea.

Walking back to the adventure school the following morning completes the expedition – put down as a visible benchmark of challenge and achievement.  It forms the backdrop of everything else we will do during the week.

Rock climbing and abseiling

Five climbs and an abseil on the ancient rocky outcrop on the hilltop above the Adventure School. Routes of differing heights and difficulty to challenge all abilities. Learn to manage the ropes for your team.

Survival skills

Collect tinder, kindling and driftwood from the shoreline. Learn to light a fire with striking flints and manage it for cooking. Forage for wild foods from the seashore to cook and eat, and learn to build shelters from old yacht sails. Vital skills training before ‘survival island’.

Sea kayaking in Loch Laxford

We’ll head out into Loch Laxford in small pods.   The lower reaches of the sea loch are pitted with coves, bays and small channels between islets and rocky skerries.

Heading towards the outer reaches the seascape and rock architecture change and we feel the effect of the ocean.  Gentle swells running in off the Atlantic send white spray up the rocks and cliffs around Ardmore Point.

We’ll stop in one of a number of sheltered coves for lunch, returning to the Adventure School late in the afternoon.

Paddling amongst the skerries in Loch Laxford

1966 Atlantic Rowing Boat

We’ll head across the sea loch to Ardmore to see John Ridgway’s 1966 Atlantic rowing boat and Rebecca’s 1992 Cape Horn sea kayak.

Lobster creel and sea fishing

Using our two workboats, Argo and Victoria, we’ll head into Loch Laxford to lift lobster creels or fish with landlines, depending on the season.

Beach day

A chance to relax and reflect on the week. Bodyboarding and beach games on the golden sands at Oldshoremore.

Survival island

Survive together overnight on an un-inhabited island without the input or intervention of teachers or instructors.

Search the island for a modest kit supply and use it to create a camp, to build a campfire and forage around the island for wild foods and shellfish.

Independence and responsibility in an environment that you have become familiar with.

Watch the sun set across the Atlantic and light up the mountains that you climbed at the start of the week.

Teams on survival island as the setting sun lights up the mountains

My association with Ardmore goes back a number of years. Apart from the wilderness and unique beauty of the place, every person who has been there has returned a changed person. Why? Because there is a breadth of experience offered, which allows young people to learn in a few days what might normally take many years. A few days, a week, perhaps a month defines a person for life. Once you have been, you are compelled to return again and again.

Nick Haddock MBE MA, former Headmaster, St. John’s, Leatherhead

A Case Study: St John’s School Leatherhead

St John’s School Leatherhead have come to us for 11 consecutive years with a mixed group of 4th and Lower 5th pupils (14-16 year olds). Their course is designed to stretch the pupils, drawing out inner strengths and skills and giving opportunity for peer leadership.

The experiences on the mountain and on ‘survival island’ are reviewed as a team with Mark and Rebecca. Lessons learned in this environment are applicable in any walk of life and the school staff who come with the pupils see it as no coincidence that the young people who come to us go on to hold positions of responsibility in later years at the school.

Read more about the three principles.

More information

Interested in a course for your school?

Call or email Rebecca for an informal chat and to find out more.

Contact Rebecca