Is this right for me?
These residentials are designed for anyone looking to complete the residential section of their Gold DofE award. You must be aged between 16 and 25. We meet all of the requirements laid out by the DofE on this checklist
Which course is right for me?
This is completely up to you! We have put together a range of activity specific courses, based on our teams experience and strengths. The activity specific ones are great if you are looking to develop a particular skill over the week but if you just want to have a go at an exciting range of outdoor activities and meet new people, we have a multi-activity option too.
When do I need to pay?
Spaces are limited so it is best to book as soon as possible! To begin with, we will take a £50 deposit to secure your place on your chosen activity and dates. The remaining balance can then be paid in instalments but must be made in full six weeks before the first day of your residential.
How does transport to/from the site work?
Our site is based in the heart of the Mendip Hills AONB yet is still very well connected to the South West. We are just 10 miles from Bristol in one direction and Weston-super-Mare in the other. Our postcode is BS25 5PQ. You are welcome to arrive any time between 11:00 – 15:00 on the first day of your camp. We will run shuttles between Weston-super-Mare train station, Bristol airport and the local bus stop (local buses and the Falcon Flyer stop locally). There is plenty of free parking onsite if you want to drive yourself. On the Friday, we will check you out of the lodge in the morning but will run activities until lunch time. Lunch is provided on your last day so we will all have one last meal together before you head off at around 13:30 onwards. We will run shuttles back to bus stops, the train station and the airport.
Food & Drinks
We will provide three meals a day, starting with the evening meal on your first day and through to your lunch on the last day. We will provide a filling breakfast that will vary between days, an unlimited continental buffet will be available everyday with occasional cooked breakfast elements also. Over breakfast you will also make up your packed lunch from a range of options. Packed lunches will go with you on your day of activities. A two course evening meal will be served in the dining room. There will always be jacket potatoes on offer as well as a hot, home cooked meal with versions for all dietary requirements. Water, squash and hot drinks will be available at all times. You are welcome to bring additional snacks for in between meal times.
We cater for all dietary requirements. We will ask you to send any specific dietary needs ahead of your start date so we can be sure to plan the menu accordingly.
What do I need to bring?
We will send out a full kit list for each activity programme but you shouldn’t need to buy anything specific for any option. All options will require outdoorsy clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy and that you can easily move in. A good set of waterproofs is also recommended as we will go ahead in all weathers. If you have any of your own specialist kit (e.g. ski boots, mountain bike, helmet, harness) that you would like to bring, let us know so we can advise what we think best. You will also need to bring a sleeping bag and towel. We can provide a duvet (additional fee) if required if you are travelling by public transport and would rather not bring a sleeping bag. We will provide a pillow, pillow case and bottom sheet for your bunk. You will not need spending money but there is a cafe and vending machines located at our main centre and if you are on a course that includes a day trip (skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, climbing) you may want some spending money. All admission and kit hire is included in the cost and we will take packed lunches with us so extra money is not essential. We would recommend that you leave valuables at home. Mendip cannot accept responsibility for any valuables brought with you.
What is the accommodation like?
Our residential lodge was a countryside hotel until late 2018 when Mendip took it over. In 2019 we converted the bedrooms into en-suite bunk rooms so everything is brand new. Downstairs, we have kept the original charm so you will more like you are in a rural hotel than a bunkhouse, complete with lounge area and dining room; this space will be exclusively yours and your home for the week. We have 15 bedrooms, each sleeping between 4 and 9 people per room in double and triple bunks. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower facilities. Bedrooms will be single gender and age appropriate. All 4 activity weeks will be staying the lodge so evenings and free time will be a chance to get to know people on separate activities to you. Everyone staying the Lodge with you will be doing their Gold DofE residential. There will be a member of our instructor team sleeping on site each night.
Do I need any experience?
All of our residential weeks are aimed at complete beginners in their chosen discipline. If you have experience in the one you are looking to do, get in touch so we can chat through what you’ll be doing in a bit more detail. It might be that you’ll find it a bit basic for you and we recommend you give something new a go instead.
How fit do I need to be?
There is a certain level of fitness required for all of our courses. A lot of the activities will find you using muscles you didn’t know you had before and we will be outside and active everyday. If you have recently completed your Gold DofE expeditions, we would expect you to find this week challenging but easily achievable. You will have a comfy bed and hot shower and hot meals prepared for you so should be ready to go each morning!
What happens if there aren’t many people on the course?
In the unlikely event that there aren’t many people interested in your activity choice on your chosen date, we will get in touch. In your enrolment form, we will ask what your priority is and whether you would rather change date to definitely do your chosen activity, or if you wouldn’t mind changing to another skill or a multi-activity week instead.
Am I insured?
Mendip holds public liability insurance through the Activities Industry Mutual. Our insurance does not cover accidental injury or illness. We would recommend looking into your own personal injury and travel insurance.
SKI COURSE/ I have some ski experience, is this course right for me?
The ski week is aimed at complete beginners. If you have previously done a short session (e.g. part of a school activity day or with scouts/guides) and enjoyed it or have dreams of going on a ski holiday as a competent skier, then this course is right for you.
If you have done a ski course or a week on a ski holiday previously, then you might find this course a bit basic for your skills and would probably enjoy one of our other options more.
SKI COURSE/ I have never skied before, will I enjoy it?
As this course is designed for complete beginners, we would expect everyone to be in the same boat as you. If you are really unsure if you will enjoy skiing and are fairly local, book onto one of our group 1.5 hour “Try Skiing” activity sessions. If you decide to go ahead with any residential option after, ski or not, we will take the value you paid for that session off of your residential balance! Is the ski trip to an indoor snow dome guaranteed? To be allowed to ski at an indoor snow dome, you do have to be at a certain “recreational standard”. This is a rule by the snow dome and each participant will have to sign their own waiver to declare they are happy to ski at this standard. Our instructors are not allowed to teach at other venues. We are confident that in the time we have available, we will be able to get you to a recreational standard but this will require a certain level of commitment from you. We will be on the slope, whatever the weather, to get you practising your new skills. Our team will be happy to teach for as long as you are happy to learn so it may be that we go back to the slope after dinner – that’s the joy of having a ski slope on your doorstep! If our team don’t think you are safe to ski at the snow dome, they will discretely advise so on the Wednesday evening. In the event of this, we will give you options of other activities that are available for you to do at the main centre on the Thursday instead.
I have some climbing experience, is this course right for me?
The climbing week is aimed at complete beginners. If you have previously done a short session (e.g. part of a school activity day or with scouts/guides) and enjoyed it or fancy yourself as a climber, then this course is right for you. If you have done a climbing course or have extensive previous experience, then you might find this course a bit basic for your skills and would probably enjoy one of our other options more.
I have never climbed before, will I enjoy it?
As this course is designed for complete beginners, we would expect everyone to be in the same boat as you. If you are really unsure if you will enjoy climbing and are fairly local, book onto one of our group “Try Climbing” activity sessions. If you decide to go ahead with any residential option after, climbing or not, we will take the value you paid for that session off of your residential balance!
Full payment will be required by no later than 28 days before the first day of your course. Payments are non-refundable and non transferable. In the unlikely event of having to cancel the residential we will offer a full refund or a place on an alternative date. If we do not get the necessary participation on a specific course you will have the choice of either swapping onto our multi-activity programme or switching to any of our other DofE Residentials later in the year. Mendip is not liable for any travel or out of pocket expenses incurred due to cancellation. We expect behaviour of an appropriate standard whilst on residential. Inappropriate behaviour may result in refusal of participation of activities and in extreme cases, exclusion from the residential. This will be at the instructors and Mendip staff discretion. In the event of being asked to leave due to poor behaviour or non-compliance with our rules, no refund or reimbursement will be issued.