Outdoor educational activities

Whether your group books an activity led by one of our National Trust Outdoor Centre team, or uses the island to undertake self-exploration and investigations, a trip to Brownsea is a real adventure.

Why choose Brownsea?

  • As the birthplace of Scouting and Guiding, Brownsea has a long history of supporting adventurous outdoor learning.
  • Brownsea is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for various habitats and species, offering lots of opportunities to learn about nature, the environment and sustainability.
  • Wide range of adaptable outdoor activities and educational sessions which can support curriculum-based learning.
  • Our dedicated Outdoor Activity Centre offers good facilities including seating for lunchtimes, bag storage, adventurous activities, plus plenty of outdoor learning spaces.
  • Easily accessible from the mainland with regular ferry services from Poole Quay or Sandbanks Jetty.
  • The Outdoor Centre is located near South Shore Beach and has a large camping ground and bunkhouse plus a Trading Post with displays of Scouting and Guiding artefacts

What you can expect

  • A warm and friendly arrival experience. You will be greeted by a member of the team who will confirm your arrival, activity times and where the facilities are.
  • Activities start from the Visitor Centre or Outdoor Centre, both of which are accessible on foot from the quay and we also offer access for our less abled visitors.
  • Safe and fully risk assessed activities and site all expertly led by our friendly and experienced team.


Each of our instructor led learning sessions run for either 1 or 1½ hours, making them perfect as morning or afternoon session. Any activity can be adapted to suit the needs of your group, so please do let us know what interests you when making a booking. 

We have a range of instructor led educational activities from £3 which include studying our unique island habitats and our most famous resident; the rare red squirrel.  Scouting heritage activities include a survival challenge or an outdoor adventure, from £5.20 per person. We also offer more sporting activities like archery or low ropes from £60 per session. 
We have four self-led packs on offer including orienteering and our new night time safari pack, with prices ranging from £8.50 for orienteering to £20 per pack for the other three themed packs.  

Download our full activity list here:

2020 Learning activities and prices (PDF / 1.4MB) download

Why not do a recce?

If you’re interested in the learning offer on Brownsea why not visit us free of charge to check out our facilities, activities and meet our Outdoor Learning Manager? We’ll happily chat through your needs, costs and help tailor your day to your group’s requirements.  We’ll welcome you on the island free of charge, but you will still need to pay for the ferry crossing.  If you are interested please email our Outdoor Learning Manager: catherine.wright@nationaltrust.org.uk