Our Gold expedition training, practice and qualifying expeditions are open to ALL Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold level participants from any DofE group and organisation.
Why choose CTS for your expedition?
- We are one of the leading providers of DofE expeditions in the UK.
- We have over 40 years’ experience of organising and running high quality, affordable DofE expeditions at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, both in the UK and overseas, successfully supporting tens of 1000’s of young people through their expedition training, practice and qualifying expeditions.
- We have an outstanding reputation for safety, ‘best practice’ and keeping within the values, ethos and spirit of the DofE, with no compromises!
- We are able to offer memorable, challenging and beneficial experiences, which are open to all DofE participants from any background, DofE group and organisation.
- All our instructors are handpicked, not just because of the qualifications they hold, but also because of their knowledge of and safe practice, within the DofE Expedition section and the wider DofE programme; their enthusiasm and motivation; their commitment to ‘best practice’; and their ability to empower, inspire, encourage and engage with young people at all levels.
- As a leading provider of DofE expeditions in the UK, we have an excellent reputation among DofE Licenced Organisations, National Operating Authorities, Directly Licenced Centres, independent schools, local councils and organisations, for delivering the Expedition section to the highest standards and who regularly use us as their ‘preferred provider’ as well as recommending and booking participants onto our popular ‘open’ expeditions.
- You will have FUN 😊
“Dear Dave and all the other leaders. Hi it’s Kimberley and I just wanted to thank you for making last week such an enjoyable experience! I never thought I would have enjoyed it as much as I did, and much of it is down to the fun we had with you all, making me laugh when I really did not feel like laughing sometimes! Everything was so well organised and the food you gave us at the centre was lovely! I will definitely recommend you to others who want to do the award! Thank you again!”
“Thank you again for everything. The week spent with you guys was amazing and made the training and practice expedition an amazing experience. We were looked after really well and were made really comfortable and at ease during the whole week. It was my first time doing Duke of Edinburgh expedition and didn’t really know what to expect, but you guys made it a great experience that I will not forget. Thank you again and I’ll see you this summer 😁👍🏼“
ADVERTISED VENUES MAY NEED TO BE CHANGED RESPONDING TO GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS NEARER THE TIME OF THE EXPEDITION.
NEW ADDITIONAL DATE
PRACTICE EXPEDITION ONLY (COST: £120.00) – FULL
25th (late afternoon/evening) – 27th September (South Downs) – 2 nights & 2 full expedition days: PLEASE NOTE: This expedition meets the requirements of the Gold Expedition section using the #DofEWithADifference flexibilities and will enable participants, if they wish, to register for our qualifying expedition arranged in October using the fringe area of Dartmoor National Park, as advertised below or in a similar expedition environment, as per the DofE Expedition section requirements:
The practice expedition is part of the team’s preparation to successfully complete a remotely supervised qualifying expedition. If a practice is only able to be completed in normal rural countryside, then this would not be suitable preparation for a ‘wild country’ expedition; therefore the practice expedition must still replicate as closely as possible the conditions of the qualifying expedition.
EXPEDITION TRAINING ONLY
13th – 15th April – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
25th – 27th May – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
2nd – 4th August – (COMPLETED)
5th – 7th April
31st May – 2nd June
1st – 3rd August
COMBINED TRAINING & PRACTICE EXPEDITION
5th – 10th April (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)* – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
25th – 30th May (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)* – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
2nd – 6th August (Dartmoor)** – FULL (COMPLETED)
7th – 11th August (Dartmoor)** – FULL (COMPLETED)
24th – 29th October (Dartmoor)**
**Additional dates organised for 2020. Please contact us for further details.
5th – 10th April (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)*
30th May – 4th June (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)*
PRACTICE OR QUALIFYING EXPEDITION
6th – 10th April (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)* – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
31st May – 4th June (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)* – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
12th – 16th July (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountains area)* – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
3rd – 7th August (Dartmoor)** – FULL (COMPLETED)
24th – 28th August (Dartmoor)** – FULL (COMPLETED)
25th – 29th August (Dartmoor)** – FULL (COMPLETED)
25th – 29th October (Dartmoor)**
**Additional dates organised for 2020 – We are only able to take a maximum of 24 participants on these expeditions
6th – 10th April (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)*
31st May – 4th June (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountain area)*
11th – 15th July (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountains area)*
23rd – 27th August (Brecon Beacons – Black Mountains area)*
*We can only accommodate a maximum of 28 participants on these expeditions*
PLEASE NOTE: ‘The Black Mountain’ and ‘The Black Mountains’ areas of Brecon Beacons National Park are two distinctly separate regions of the National Park, approximately 50km apart, therefore, this meets the requirements of the DofE Expedition section for the practice and qualifying expeditions to be undertaken in different areas 😊
Participants are required to complete the compulsory expedition training at Gold level, to be signed off as competent to safely undertake their practice and qualifying expeditions. This is in addition to any previous training undertaken at Bronze or Silver levels and includes the topics outlined in the Gold Expedition Training Framework.
Download the Gold Expedition Training Framework
We deliver a separate comprehensive training programme for the Gold Expedition section that ensures each participant has the required skills, knowledge and attitude, to complete their practice and qualifying expeditions in a safe and enjoyable manner, which also helps to promote a positive experience whilst undertaking this aspect of their Gold DofE programme. We do not compromise safety, or the importance of the training topics that are required to be completed as part of the Expedition section, hence the longer training period than that delivered by some other providers. These are indicated in the Gold Expedition Training Framework, DofE Expedition Guide and The Handbook for DofE Leaders and is in keeping with the values, ethos and spirit of the DofE. The Expedition Training Framework states ‘The training plan for a DofE team should be a progressive process with skills being acquired on training sessions and then practised in the outdoor environment until participants are capable of carrying out the skills without support or adult intervention.’ This cannot be effectively achieved in one day!
The area of the Long Mynd in Shropshire is the venue for the training and it is run by a team of qualified and experienced instructors, all of whom have sound knowledge of DofE expeditions. It includes the opportunity for participants to undertake the Expedition Training Framework at Gold level, with emphasis on additional navigation techniques, enabling participants to develop confidence at navigating and other aspects required to successfully complete practice and qualifying expeditions. The training is ideal for both ‘direct entrants’; participants who have completed either Bronze or Silver levels or participants who require a ‘refresher’ prior to undertaking an expedition. Training is a combination of classroom and outdoor based learning. The base is at ‘Longmynd Adventure Camp‘, a fully equipped campsite & centre, with easy walking access onto the Long Mynd.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DURING THE COVID-19 SITUATION, THE DETAILS BELOW ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN ORDER FOR US TO RESPOND SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY TO GOVERNEMENT GUIDELINES AND THE DofE’S ADVICE REGARDING EXPEDITIONS.
Combined Training & Practice Expedition
Our combined training and practice expeditions are open to individuals or any number of participants from a DofE group. They offer participants who are unable to form a team within their DofE centre, the opportunity to complete the training and practice elements of the Expedition section over a six-day period. The training and expeditions are run by a team of experienced and qualified staff, all of whom have sound knowledge of the DofE. Route planning and pre-expedition checks take place the day before the start of your expedition, which also allows for the required ‘acclimatisation’ period.
Our practice expeditions are open to individuals or any number of participants from a DofE group and you do not have to have completed the Gold expedition training with us! They also offer participants who are unable to form a team within their DofE centre, the opportunity to complete the practice element of the Expedition section. The expeditions are run by a team of experienced and qualified supervisors, all of whom have sound knowledge of the DofE. Route planning and pre-expedition checks take place the day before the start of your expedition, which also allows for the required ‘acclimatisation’ period.
“Finally recovered and unpacked after an amazing week in the Brecon Beacons. Thank you to everybody who was a part of the week and helped make it such a fantastic and enjoyable time. The assessors and supervisors were exceptional, and without them it wouldn’t have been such a amazing experience. 😀 Thank you all!!”
Our qualifying expeditions are open to individuals or any number of participants from a DofE group and you do not have to have completed the Gold expedition training, or practice expeditions with us! They also offer participants who are unable to form a team within their DofE centre, the opportunity to complete the Expedition section. The expeditions are run by a team of experienced and qualified supervisors, all of whom have sound knowledge of the DofE. Route planning and pre-expedition checks take place the day before the start of your expedition, which also allows for the required ‘acclimatisation’ period.
““Hi Dave. Just wanted to say a huge thank you . As you know, I’ve done my Gold training, Practice and Qualifier with CTS and it’s been a great experience from start to finish. Lots of support and plenty of fun and laughter too, which gets you through the challenge. Best of luck with future CTS activities.”
Sleeping is in dormitories during the training and acclimatisation period prior to the practice or qualifying expedition, allowing participants to keep their own lightweight tents dry and ready for the expedition.
“Hi Dave. Thanks for all you did for us and all the other assessors on our Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had, and I never knew Duke of Edinburgh could be so much fun.”
“Dear Dave, Lia found the DofE practice expedition very challenging but very very rewarding. Thank you so much to you and your team for making her and the others feel welcome and for the excellent support and guidance you provided them throughout their time with you. Thank you so much also for making her 18th birthday one to remember the card, cakes, badge and singing, it meant a lot to her. She is looking forward to the expedition in July.”
The cost of the training (2.5 days) is £105.00 (inclusive of VAT) per participant. Your payment covers administration, all aspects of the training programme, accommodation, breakfast and evening meals. Participants supply their own ‘packed lunches’ for the two days.
The cost of the combined training and practice expedition (6 days) is £310.00 (inclusive of VAT) per participant. Your payment covers administration; all aspects of the training programme; accommodation; breakfast and evening meals during the training; breakfast prior to your expedition; safety provision and campsite fees. Participants supply their own ‘packed lunches’ for the expedition training. As a team, you must bring your own food with you for the duration of the expedition and organise your own transport to the venue.
The cost of the practice or qualifying expedition (5 days), is £235.00 (inclusive of VAT) per participant, per expedition. Your payment covers administration, safety supervision, indoor accommodation and evening meal for the first night, breakfast prior to your expedition and campsite fees. As a team, you must bring your own food with you for the duration of the expedition and organise your own transport to the venue.
If you register for all three aspects of the ‘open’ Gold expedition programme (training, practice & qualifying expeditions; or the combined training & practice expedition plus a qualifying expedition), the total cost is reduced to £525.00 (inclusive of VAT) per participant.
If you are registering for all three aspects of the ‘open’ Gold expedition programme, your practice and qualifying expeditions must be in different areas to meet the DofE Expedition section requirements, i.e. if your practice expedition is in the Black Mountain area of the Brecon Beacons National Park, your qualifying expedition must be in the Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons National Park or vice versa.
We contact all participants approximately two weeks prior to the expedition they have registered upon, with contact details of their Expedition Team, allowing for introductions to take place and make arrangements for menu’s, group equipment, etc. A full information pack and comprehensive ‘Participants Notes’ will also be included.
EXPEDITION TRAINING ONLY: Participants are expected to arrange their own transportation to the venue, however, in certain circumstances, we may be able to transport a limited number of passengers from Church Stretton Railway Station on the first evening of the ‘open’ training to take participants to the base camp, as well as transportation back to the station after the training. This does not apply to the combined training and practice expedition venue.
Download the ‘open’ expedition Equipment List.
Certain items of expedition equipment can be hired from us. Please see the Equipment Hire List further information and cost.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our DofE Expedition opportunities.
Before applying, please download and read our Terms and Conditions: Open Gold Terms and Conditions