Outdoor & Adventurous Activities

At A Wilderness Way, outdoor adventure is, and always has been, fundamental to our care for children.

About Us

Wilderness Experiences

We passionately believe in the transformative power of outdoor activities, which allow children to explore the world around them, as well as to explore themselves.

AWW was founded in 2006 as a mobile, short-term crisis intervention service. We operated from cottages and campsites in the heart of the Lake District and South-West Scotland, offering children who were in crisis the opportunity to engage in outdoor and adventurous activities, usually for the first time in their lives.

These ‘Wilderness Experiences’ provided respite and relaxation, creating the breathing space which the children needed to enable them to begin to recover
from trauma. We learnt from experience that when the children were having fun, challenging themselves and learning new skills, the benefits to their emotional and physical wellbeing were enormous.

The activities they participated in had a positive impact not only on their progress during their placement, but on their future lives. Our children thrived in this challenging and exciting environment, and we knew that we would always keep outdoor adventure as one of the cornerstones of our care.

AWW is very proud of our heritage as a provider of outdoor-focused children’s services, and our spirit of adventure and belief in the life-changing power of the outdoors remains at the very heart of what we do. Today, we continue to provide AALA approved and licensed adventurous activities, from kayaking, abseiling and ghyll scrambling to mountain biking, Via Ferrata and wild camping.

We capitalise on opportunities for personal growth and reflection.

Our qualified outdoor instructors offer a wide range of activities according to the needs, interests and strengths of each individual child. Our bespoke programmes ensure that all children enjoy and succeed, from the child who is reluctant to take part at first, to the child who loves to go on extreme adventures.

Our outdoor and adventurous activities are an integral part of our care. We use outdoor education as an opportunity not only to have fun, but to promote emotional and physical wellbeing, and to explore concepts which are relevant to our children, such as risk, personal safety and self-image. Sessions are planned into a child’s programme by our Multi-Disciplinary Team to ensure that we capitalise on opportunities for personal growth and reflection.

We also seek opportunities to involve two or more children in activities together wherever we deem this to be safe, in order to develop teamwork skills and help build positive relationships.

We use outdoor education as an opportunity not only to have fun, but to promote emotional and physical wellbeing.

We are lucky enough to be located amongst some of the most stunning scenery in Britain, with a world of outdoor activities on our doorstep.

Because it was my first time coming up here from London, at first I was scared to do some of the activities. I wanted to do them but wasn’t confident enough. But doing the activities with Ben has been such a boost.

He always pushes me to go further and encourages me and I always look forward to going out with him. He has become like a brother to me, and doing outdoor activities with him has been my favourite part of being at Wilderness. We talk about what it’s like being here and what we want to do in the future, and how to become a better person.

One of our children reflects on her experience of doing outdoor activities with another child 

Our legacy of using ‘Wilderness Experiences’ to challenge and inspire children will remain fundamental to our ethos, approach and success in the future

What Others Say About Us

I am truly taken aback by the level of care you have shown. The staff have gone out of their way to show him the attention and care that he has never had. When I visited him, it was like I was looking at a different child to what he was before he came. He was not like a child in care, he was like a child in a family. You have literally saved his life.

Social Worker

All children and young people thrive, and they make progress while living at the home. Because of the services provided the children and young people experience an individualised, stable and consistent home life. Children and young people benefit from the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to education and care. They each achieve their full potential and, in many cases, do so beyond previous expectations.


I am so grateful to the AWW team for their dedication and commitment to caring and supporting Sam. He recently reported that being at there gave him the space to think and the opportunity to reflect on his attitude and make plans for his future.

Social Worker

I have to share my delight at Luke’s progress at AWW. Thanks to your support, in the last 17 weeks Luke and has turned his life around significantly. From where he has come from to where he is now, I am so proud of him.

Social Worker

The placement was really good and beneficial to me. The staff were all really supportive and nice and always made themselves available to me if I had any problems. The outdoor activities that were offered helped me to have a better outlook and showed me that I can do so much more in life, and it really helped me process and made me feel like a better person.


As METCO Officer for Cumbria Police I have regular contact with the team at AWW in relation to vulnerable children at risk of CSE and going missing. If a specific incident has occurred, the Home Manager and I speak on the phone to discuss the best way forward. She also attends CSE risk assessment meetings and we receive Philomena Protocol forms when a young person arrives in placement.

Cumbria Police