Outdoor Experiential Learning for Young People. Professional Development Programmes for Organisations All Programmes Bespoke
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Welcome to YMCA National Centre, Lakeside

The YMCA National Centre is one of the largest outdoor activity facilities in the country. Our core mission is to help people build a future, we do this by working with Schools, Youth Groups and Corporate Groups from all over Europe, helping them achieve their learning and development objectives through experiential learning.

These objectives can range from getting everyone together for a 'fun' getaway to in depth development goals linked with leadership, communication and improving confidence. Our qualified and experienced instructors make sure that all activity programmes are designed with each client’s aims and objectives in mind.

We offer in excess of 50 water and land based activities, with extensive conference and catering facilities and varying styles of on site accommodation for over 200 people.

As an educational charity (charity No. 1074571) we ensure that all profits are used to continually develop the centre’s facilities and help subsidise youth and schools programmes, ensuring that the facility continues to provide a great experience for more and more young people.


Who we work with…

  • Schools – Infants, Primary, Secondary, 6th Form, Colleges and Universities, international Schools and more.
  • Youth Groups – Princes Trust Teams, National Citizens Service (NCS), Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) and many more.
  • Corporate Clients – Apprentices, Graduates, Managers, Supervisors, Teams of Employees and more.


How we do it…

Outdoor learning is primarily an approach to teaching and learning through outdoor activities and experiences. The common thread is the focus on positive outcomes in personal and social development. Activities include recognised sports with an adventurous component such as orienteering, sailing and fell walking. Outdoor activities are purposely designed for their learning and educational value, contributing to an individual’s personal development.

Through undertaking challenging and adventurous activities, young people build a portfolio of positive significant experiences.


Individuals then reflect on these positive experiences, placing upon them meaning and reference that enable them to learn and give direction to their future.


As in life, the pattern is continuous. Once learning has been applied we return to building new experiences from which to develop further.


What’s New…

  • Family Residenitals - New for 2017

Why not do something different this year as a family?

YMCA Lakeside is an adventure waiting to be discovered. We’ll take you away from technology and into the great outdoors. From kayaking on Lake Windermere, to abseiling down Cathedral Cavern, there are over 50 activities available, and our trained professional instructors are there to teach, support and guide you every step of the way. Find out more here

  • Developing Self Led Learners (16's and over)

This programme aims to support students making the transition to higher Independence abd Self Reliance required in further education or work environments. Providing a period of reflection and discovery, in areas such as; Self Confidence, Resilience, Team and Interpersonal Skills, the students will be encouraged to take ownership of their Personal Development. The course provides practical content that extends and enhances the academic curriculum, especially Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (P.S.H.E.E), Citizenship and Life Skills. More Info


Work with us…

CVs are taken from October for Seasonal Staff for the following summer. Please post or email your CV to us (in October) if you are interested in becoming a seasonal instructor or a Day Camp Volunteer. More info

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Find Us

Location Map

YMCA National Centre
Newby Bridge
Cumbria LA12 8BD

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