Please select a category:

Do you need to know about medical conditions?

It is essential that you let us know about any medical condition or injury when booking and that you also let your instructor know on the starting day of your day. This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to tailor our activities to suit you and to ensure the safety of other group members.

I already have a booking with you / I am about to book. Is my money safe?

Yes. Rest assured your money is / will be safe.

You may be desperate to have something in your diary to get excited about, but feel this is not the best time to be booking a programme or adventure. We get it! This is why we have introduced a Flexible Booking Policy.

All monies paid to The Adventure Element prior to Programme commencement are held within a holding account, ensuring refunds can be honoured, if required.

How fit do we need to be?

Because of our personal approach we will discuss your experience and fitness levels with you. From this we will be able to advise you on suitable objectives and deliver a day which suits everyones ability.

What happens if my Programme is cancelled due to COVID-19 national or local lockdown restrictions?

In the unfortunate event that your Programme has to be cancelled, we will notify you immediately. At this point you'll be able to select one of the following options:

  1. Transfer to a new date within the 2021 operational season.
  2. Place your booking 'On-hold'. If you know you’re going to reschedule the programme but are unsure of when, place your booking on-hold. The booking will be valid until 31st October 2022. Payments can be used against any of The Adventure Element programmes.
  3. Request a full refund. Refunds will be processed within 14-days of the cancellation.

To view all details of the policy, please click here: COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy

If someone can’t swim, can he/she still take part in watersports?

Yes, all watersport participants wear buoyancy aids. If anyone has difficulty with swimming 50m unaided, we do ask to be told this in advance so that our instructors can be made aware and can offer that person additional supervision and support.

What happens if the programme I am booked on is confirmed to run, but I no longer want to join to due to my concerns over COVID-19?

We have introduced a COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy, designed to give you more control of your booking. 

If you no longer want to join the programme due to your concerns over COVID-19, but the Programme is confirmed to run, you will be offered the following options:

  1. Free date changes to an advertised date within the 2021 operational season.
  2. Option to place your booking 'On-hold' for free. The 'On-hold' booking will be valid until 31st October 2022 and held at 2021 prices. Perfect if you do not know when you'll be available yet but would like to reschedule. Payments can be used against any of The Adventure Element programmes, should you choose to change to an alternative activity.

If participant chooses not to accept either of options 1 or 2, and wish to completely cancel the booking, the following will apply:

a) If notified more than 2 weeks before the programme start date, participant will be entitled to a refund minus the 25% deposit. The 25% deposit will be placed as credit against your account and is valid for use until 31st October 2022. All refunds will be made within 14 days.
b) If notified within 2 weeks of the start of the programme, the cancellation will be subject to our standard Terms and Conditions, sent at the time of booking and available on the website.

To view all details of the policy, please click here: COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy

Please note: Charges incurred for your cancellation are designed to cover costs we have incurred for your booking and the potential short time scale for us to re-sell your place. This includes, but not exclusive to administration, payment/credit card charges, accommodation bookings, staff costs.

I am due to start a Programme but I have tested positive / have symptoms of COVID-19 / been told to isolate by Test and Trace. What should I do about my booking?

Firstly, if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive or been told to isolate by Test and Trace, you should not be attending your Programme and should follow current government / medical advice.

All participants are required to complete a COVID-19 Screening questionnaire. This will be emailed to you 3 days before arrival. However, do contact us as soon as you're aware you have symptoms or have your test results.

We appreciate this is an unfortunate situation, and we want to assist you in completing your programme when you are well enough to attend. You will be offered the following options:

  1. Transfer to a new date. You can select an advertised date with in the 2021 operational season.
  2. Place your booking on-hold. If you know you’re going to reschedule the programme but are unsure of when, we can place your booking on-hold. Your 'On-hold' booking will be valid until 31st October 2022. Payments can be used against any of The Adventure Element programmes.
  3. If participant wishes to not transfer their booking or place booking 'on-hold' then: A refund can be granted minus the 25% deposit which will be placed 'on-hold' as a credit to be used before 31st October 2022.

To view all details of the policy, please click here: COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy

If my programme is cancelled due to COVID-19, and I choose to transfer to a new date or place the booking on-hold, can I then swap it for a full refund later?

No, unfortunately it is not possible to change your decision at a later date. This might sound unfair, and we appreciate your circumstances might change, but let us briefly explain why.

Since Covid-19 started affecting our operations in March 2020, we have worked hard to ensure anyone on a cancelled trip is offered the fairest and flexible set of options available.

As we move into 2021 we are in an unprecedented situation whereby nearly a whole years worth of programmes were cancelled in 2020 and bookings for 2021 are uncertain at this time. Critical to our survival is being able to plan ahead based on the choices our customers make at the point when their trip is cancelled, which is why the decision to place your booking on-hold, or to transfer to a new date is final once submitted.

If you transfer to a new date or place the booking on-hold, the original booking Terms and Conditions will apply, unless the programme is cancelled again due to another lockdown.

Transferred Bookings.
If in the future you want to convert your 'transferred' booking into a 'on-hold' booking, this will be possible up to 2 weeks before the start of the programme.

To view all details of the policy, please click here: COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy

Is previous experience necessary for some of your more specialised activities?

No previous experience is necessary. All our staff are fully qualified through UK National Governing Bodies and they will be able to make sure everyone is learning while having loads of fun!

The balance for my Programme is due, but there is the possibility of another national or local lockdown. Do I still need to pay the balance, or can I wait to see what happens?

Please go ahead and pay the balance, unless you have been contacted and informed that your Programme is being cancelled.

If, subsequently, there is a national or local lockdown and your programme is cancelled, we will contact you to make arrangements for you to either:

  1. Transfer to a new date. You can select an advertised date with in the 2021 operational season.
  2. Place your booking on-hold. If you know you’re going to reschedule the programme but are unsure of when, we can place your booking on-hold. Your 'on-hold' booking will be valid until 31st October 2022. Payments can be used against any of The Adventure Element programmes.
  3. Request a full refund. Refunds will be process within 14 days of the cancellation.

To view all details of the policy, please click here: COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy

How do The Adventure Element Ltd decide if it is safe to deliver a Programme within the COVID-19 pandemic?

A great question. Overall, the safety of our participants, staff and anyone in connection with the programme is paramount.

Initially, we follow current government and industry advice and best practice. If government guidance states that education, training or outdoor leisure activities can take place, with mitigation and COVID-Secure measures in place, we should be able to deliver your Programme.

During the 2020 season we worked hard ensuring our activities, courses and programmes are COVID-Secure. Subsequently, we delivered 13 Gold Open Expeditions using 'DofE with a Difference' and having our own mitigation measures in place.

These include:

  1. Implemented COVID-secure Operating Procedures
    These have been written following current government and industry best practice.
  2. COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire
    All staff and participants involved in a Programme are required to complete a COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire 3 days prior to commencement and adhere to our COVID-secure operating procedures.
  3. 'We're Good To Go' Industry Standard We're Good to Go
    This is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
  4. Programme Alterations
    We have adjusted our Programmes to ensure greater social distancing and space. The number of participants have been reduced and we make careful selection of what type of indoor facilities, accommodation and venues are used. This includes single occupancy tents on DofE Expeditions.
  5. Updated Joining Instructions
    There are sent to each participant before their Programme commences highlight any additional measures they will need to make before attendance. These instructions are sent on payment of final balance. This is normally 8-weeks before the commencement of a Programme.

What age range do you work with?

Under 18s are welcome as long as they are accompanied for the duration of the course by a parent or legal guardian. We can easily arrange family days with children as young as 5 years. However, this is only on certain activities. Please visit the Activities page for age restrictions.

I was due to complete my DofE Practice Expedition with my school and then join one of your DofE Open Qualifying Expeditions. My school have now cancelled the Practice Expedition due to COVID-19. Can I change my booking with you from a Qualifying Expedition to a Practice Expedition?

Yes, of course. This is a regular occurrence and we are happy to help you wherever possible to help you achieve your Award. We will do all we can to make places available on our programmes. However, please be aware that the Practice Expedition may already be full and we may only be able to offer an alternative date.

What clothes need to be worn?

Each activity is different. We will provide you with a full kit list when booking. All technical clothing and equipment is provided.

What’s included in the price?

The cost of your activity day will include all instruction and technical equipment. If requested, we can also provide breakfasts and packed lunches.

Whats not included in the price?

We do not provide transport between activity venues. We will discuss this requirement with you at the point of booking. We will also, provide you with directions and a map to the activity venues.

Where will we get changed?

We do not operate from an activity centre or building. Please be aware that this may mean you will need to get changed in the outdoors. This may mean in your car, behind a bush or in private behind a towel.

Where will we meet the instructors?

We do not operate from an activity centre or building. Your instructor will either meet you at your activity venue or at a local cafe with all of the equipment needed for the day.

Are all of your staff DBS checked?

Yes, all staff working with young people hold a DBS Enhanced check (Disclosure Barring Service). Ina addition, the subscribe to the update scheme.

Are you approved for use as an activity provider for schools like ours?

We are supported by many LEA's across the country who trust in our standards of operation. We have hundreds of young people each year visit us for their adventure residential or day events. We are licensed by AALS and follow national professional standards. Visit our Safety and Accreditation page for more information.

Can we visit you before we make a booking?

Of course! We would actively encourage you to pay us a visit. The best time to visit is whilst we have a programme taking place. This is so we can show you what our incredible outdoor experiences are all about. One of the directors would be pleased to escort you around the facilities, view the accommodation and activity venues. We'd be eager to answer any questions you may have regarding any aspect of your trip.

How many accompanying staff need to come on the trip and do they need to take part in the activities?

We require one member of staff per activity group for welfare and safety reasons. Each activity group will have a maximum of 10 young people. These accompanying staff will travel free of charge. Any additional staff will receive a discounted rate. We actively encourage everyone to take part in activities, including staff! We see this a great opportunity for the young people to relate to you in a different way. However, it is not essential but would require all staff to be present and with the group.

If a young person can’t swim, can he/she still take part in watersports?

Yes, all watersport participants wear buoyancy aids. If a young person cannot swim 50m unaided, we do ask to be told this in advance so that our instructors can be made aware and can offer the child additional supervision and support.

Is previous experience necessary for some of your more specialised activities?

No previous experience is necessary. All our staff are fully qualified through UK National Governing Bodies and they will be able to make sure everyone is learning while having loads of fun!

What’s excluded?

Travel to and from your accommodation and activity venues. Unless requested, groups will need to arrange for minibuses or coaches to transport their groups to activity venues. Please discuss requirements with us. Transport to activity venues can be arranged, this carries an additional cost for the hire of minibuses.

What’s included in the price?

All of our schools and youth group programmes include instruction, all technical equipment, accommodation and meals. Your groups' first meal will be highlighted on your booking confirmation. This is usually dinner on the first night. Groups will normally bring their own packed lunch for day one of their programme. A packed lunch will be provided on the final day of your programme.

Who is responsible in the evenings?

Your programme will include an Instructor lead evening activity. This can sometimes extend late in to the evening. Following this the instructor will hand responsibility back to the accompanying staff. The Adventure Element staff are on call 24 hours should you need them but will not be resident at your accommodation.

Do you accept under 18s?

Although our courses are aimed at adults, we will consider allowing 16 & 17 year olds on some courses. We will need an adults consent in order to accept a booking from an under 18 year old. Please call us to discuss the options.

How fit do I need to be?

All of our courses assume you have a certain level of fitness; The key is choosing the course that is right for your level. Our course notes and pre-requisites, will help you to understand the level of fitness and technical ability needed for each course. However, if you still aren't sure please contact us to check.

What’s excluded?

Travel to and from your training course and to venues used as part of the course. Registration costs, memberships or certification fees are not included. Accommodation and food is not included unless specified in the course material.

What’s included in the price?

All of our training courses include instruction and all technical equipment, if required.

Will you arrange a private course for a group or individual?

Yes. If our scheduled dates do not suit you or your group we'd be happy to arrange a 'closed course' to match your availability. Please get in touch.

Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?

You must have individual travel insurance to take part in the trek. We will not accept you on the trip unless this is in place 8 weeks prior to departure. You will need insurance that covers you for the type of activity and altitude of your trek. The policy must include suitable cover for rescue and repatriation and emergency medical expenses. Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date.

How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?

They should be rated within the -15C comfort zone. From the night upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night sleep is important to giving you the best chance to do this trek. 3 season sleeping bags can be enhanced by using on inner silk sheet (or similar). The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and ensuring plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead. It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that's inside the bag. Once you have warmed up the bag the down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at body temperature. For best results it is best to wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. You could also wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.

I have food allergies; can these be catered for?

Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.

Should I take a Down jacket?

They are highly recommended and are worth their weight in gold on summit day. They will be warm during the evenings around camp as well as essential for summit night. A layer system comprising of several layers of base layers, fleeces, jumpers and a thick coat will suffice on most summit nights prior to the high camps but nothing beats the efficiency of a good down jacket (esp. when topped with a water proof layer).

What do the porters carry? Is there a weight limit for my bags?

Your porter bags should be a "duffel bag" or rucksack variety and should not be a suitcase or hard bodied metal case. They should weigh around 15 kg when packed for the trekking phase of the trek. This weight limit is ample and usually everybody can plan to take only enough clothes and equipment needed for the mountain. Please bear in mind that on top of your load, porters will also have to carry a share of the food, kitchen equipment, camping equipment and their own survival gear. It is important to follow your supplied kit list carefully. This will ensure you are carry the right amount.

What happens if I am unable to summit due to ill-health or altitude sickness?

Your expedition leader is constantly monitoring your health. Unfortunately though, some people do get sick or struggle with the altitude. In this situation your leader will discuss options with you from an early stage. Should it become apparent that you are unlikely to be able to summit you descend accompanied by one of our experienced local staff. As this is outside the itinerary you would need to meet any additional costs incurred as a result.

What happens if there is a problem on the trek?

In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local mountain crew are all experienced in dealing with any problem that might arise. Our guides are highly experienced and trained in wilderness first aid and can handle most emergencies to the highest level of competency. Additionally, we ensure that external assistance is also available if required. This could include access to helicopter rescue(if available). It must be understood though that this kind of rescue can take hours or days to reach an incident as we are operating in remote locations.

What should I carry inside my daysack?

A daysack is worn at all times during the trek. The content of this is mandatory and should include: a fleece (for when taking breaks or weather changes) a full set (top and bottom) of waterproofs, hat and gloves. Also include sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal medication and a head torch.

How fit do I have to be?

Race the Sun Lake District is achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness who are prepared to put in plenty of training beforehand. The more you train, the more you’ll enjoy the challenge. It’s a great incentive to get fit and work a load of different muscles, whilst knowing you’re raising funds for an excellent cause at the same time.

Where does the drinking water come from?

It is essential to your health that you drink as much water as possible. This is why there is always a fresh supply of water for you to top up your drinking bladders. This is local water taken from taps, watering holes or streams and then purified on your behalf. We always ensure that our drinking water is 100% bug free.

Do I have to carry all of my stuff?

The good news is that all you need to take with you when you set out is what you’ll need to get round that part of the challenge. Each separate element of the event finishes back at the Rawnsley Centre where you can access your kit and refresh ready for the next stage!

What about bikes?

You need to provide your own bikes and we would suggest a road or hybrid bike for this challenge as the route is all on-road (for those of you who have taken on this challenge before, we’ve taken out the off-road sections so that road bikes can be used). Your bike must be well maintained and in good working order and we recommend a thorough service before the big day. You should carry a puncture repair kit and pump with you, along with a spare inner tube. There will be a bike mechanic on hand at the event briefing and on the day to deal with any urgent repairs.

Do I need canoe experience?

Canoe experience is not necessary for this challenge. Your team of four will use two-seater sit-on-top canoes that are rafted together. The canoes, paddles and buoyancy aids are provided and we also have qualified canoeing instructors to brief and help you out if needed.

Do I need special equipment?

This is a tough event and you really need to come prepared with the correct equipment for the challenge and know how to use it. We will provide you with a full kit list but this can give you an idea: For the cycling, you must wear a helmet and bring your own bike, fitted with front and rear lights, in case of fog or if you start or finish in the dark. For the trekking section, walking boots or fell-running trainers are advised. It’s a good idea to also carry a first aid kit just in case. All specialist equipment for the canoe section is provided.

What if I don't have a team of 4 yet?

Don’t worry if you haven’t confirmed your team of four yet; you can register now to secure your place anyway! When you manage to secure your other team mates you can then get them registered via the online booking system.

What about parking and accommodation?

Your parking is covered by us, so you can pull right up to the event base without having to worry about where to go. Keswick is a market town with a lot of choice of accommodation, so you can stay really close by and enjoy all the town has to offer.

Is this challenge for me?

YES! This trek is suitable for all people with the correct training. we can not stress enough the importance of being fit for this event. The minimum age for this challenge is 18 years old (14-17 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). The one thing everyone will have in common is a great sense of adventure and a desire to succeed.

How fit do I need to be?

This challenge is very strenuous - it is very challenging and has been designed to be this way. Remember, you are trekking for 2 consecutive days, covering approximately 30 miles... and it’s full of ascents and descents! The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy this challenge. Training beforehand is essential, and lots of it!

Where will we stay?

We would normally advise to stay in a local hostel or bunkhouse to keep things cheap. However, there are lots of hotels and B&B's in the area. We can help advise on the best location.

Do I need specialist kit?

We will supply you with a comprehensive kit list of what to take once you register to take part. Other than a good pair of walking boots, waterproofs and small rucksack (and perhaps some walking poles), you do not need any specialist kit.

Do I have to carry my own luggage?

No. Your main luggage will be transported to the accommodation by the transfer vehicle on day 1. Your main luggage will then stay in your room at the hostel until check out. You will need to carry a day pack for items needed throughout the day (packed lunch, waterproofs, warm layers, sun screen, water etc.).

What’s not included?

Travel to and from the Lake District. Alcoholic drinks, personal insurance and tips and gratuities for mountain leaders and drivers.

What support is there on the challenge?

There will be a strong support team with professional mountain leaders. Full, comprehensive medical kits will be taken and we are never too far away from hospitals if needed. A support vehicle with driver will provide extra support as required.

If I drive my car to the venue, can it be left there while I am on expedition?

Yes, no problem. You will be able to leave your car at the bunkhouse or venue we have booked for the first part of your programme. At the end of the expedition, we can assist you in returning to collect you car. Please note, The Adventure Element does not accept any responsibility for the security of your vehicle.

What happens if I get tired?

There will be regular rest stops for drinks and snacks but we do need to keep to a relatively tight schedule in order for the challenge to be completed in 24 hours. If, for any reason, you are unable to keep the pace of the main group, it may be suggested that you retire and meet the support vehicle.

Am I able to get public transport to the start of the DofE expedition?

All of our venues are carefully selected so they have easy access by public transport. To get to the venues, it would would normally involve getting a public bus from the train station. We will provide you with full travel information once you have made your booking.

How will I know the expedition has reached minimum numbers and is confirmed to run?

We require a minimum of 7 participants for an Open DofE expedition to run. Its very rare that we have to cancel an expedition due to low numbers. A decision to confirm the expedition as running is made 4 weeks before the start date. We will make contact with you in the unlikely event that we have to cancel. In this event, your booking can be moved to a future date with us with in 12 months, or alternatively, we can offer a full refund.

What can I do with any clothing or equipment I do not need whilst I am on expedition?

If you want to bring additional clothes or equipment that you do not want to use during the expedition (i.e. clothes to travel home in), you can leave with your instructor. Your instructor will arrange for somewhere for your belongings to be stored while you are out on expedition. They will then return it to you at the end of the programme. Any belongings are left at your own risk so we advise not to bring anything of value.

Who will be in my team?

Open expeditions are designed for individuals who are no table to join their own groups expedition dates. This means there will be participants (aged 16-24 years - Please our Safeguarding policy) from all over the country as part of the programme. This is great opportunity to make some new friends and share in the experience together. We will carefully select teams prior to your arrival based on age and experience. If on arrival we feel personalities and characters would work better together, we will adjust the teams accordingly. Completing an Open expedition is a great way to meet and work with new people and will be a very positive experience.

Can I bring fresh food on the expedition?

If you have booked an Open expedition, you will have access to a fridge in the bunkhouse during the first 2 days of the programme. After this, you will be eating your expedition food. Our advice is to only plan to use fresh foods for the first few days of your programme. After this, you will be on expedition and can not guarantee your food will stay fresh.

Can I go shopping after I arrive at the expedition venue and before I start the expedition?

We would rather you bring everything you need for the whole programme and expedition on day 1. The programme is packed with content so taking participants shopping can effect the flow of the programme. However, if you have your own car, you are more than welcome to take yourself shopping in the evening once the day has finished. Our expedition venues are approx 10 minutes drive from the nearest supermarket.

Can I come with a friend?

Yes, The DofE allows for you to attend a Residential trip with one other person that you know.

What time does the programme start and finish?

The week will start by meeting at Penrith Train Station at 13:00. Your week will finish by being returned to Penrith Train Station by 15:00.

How do I arrange my food?

Your team will be given a budget for food for the week. Between you, you'll allocate someone (the accountant) who will take responsibility for the money and help oversee the various actions the team makes in spending the money.

With the assistance of your instructors, your team will create a menu and shopping list, and then go shopping at one of the local supermarkets. If your team thinks you can afford to all go out for a pizza or have a takeaway meal, then that's what you can do. But, always bearing in mind that once the budget is spent, there will be no more!

What camping and outdoor kit do I need to bring?

The majority of the camping and outdoor kit is provided for you. But, if you have your own, then please bring this along too. We will be providing:

  • Tents
  • Stoves and Gas
  • Sleeping Bags & liner
  • Sleeping Mats
  • Rucksacks
  • Torches
  • All technical activity equipment 

You will need to bring your own personal clothing including boots and waterproofs. A full kit list will be provided on booking your place.

What facilities are available at the Base Camp area?

Your programme will be based from a local village hall which also has its own camping area. We have full use of the village hall which has excellent catering facilities along with toilets and showers. There is also a lounge area and large hall. 

The village hall is in a remote area of Ullswater, there are no local shops with in walking distance, but we will be making visits to the shops during the week.

The area does have good mobile phone signal.

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