What you didn't know about Gwent Outdoor Centres

  • Who can use the service?


    Although catering mainly for young people, the Service also offers opportunities and training for teachers and other adults in a variety of locations. These courses link directly to the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) Guidance for Educational Visits launched in October 2008. The Guidance states that every school should have a named EVC and all leaders of educational visits should have appropriate training.
    We can offer pupils a range of experiences of outdoor and environmental activities of increasing challenge throughout their school career, covering a spread of National Curriculum,  A level /GCSE courses and personal and social development.


    In addition to being located close to rivers, caves and mountains, the centres have many on site facilities including good standard accommodation, high ropes courses, indoor climbing and traversing wall, forest schools site, camping facilities, problem solving challenges and orienteering courses.


    Course fees for young people from three of the four owning authorities are substantially subsidised providing excellent ‘value for money’. (Pupils entitled to Free School Meals are subsidised at a greater rate)
    Our centres take a flexible and innovative approach to meeting your objectives so please contact them to discuss your needs.


    We are also able to deliver a broad range of staff development courses:

    • Outdoor Education Advisors’ Panel accredited courses. Specifically- Educational Visit Coordinator (EVC),  Visit Leader  (VL) and Outdoor Learning Cards (OLC) training
    • British Orienteering accredited Teaching Orienteering Parts 1 and 2
    • National Governing Body Awards in canoeing, kayaking, climbing, caving, hill walking,mountain biking, orienteering and navigation
    • National Navigation Award Scheme
    • Mountain Bike Instructor Award Scheme (MIAS)
    • Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Minibus driver training (MIDAS)
    • Bespoke services such as all school staff development, specific curriculum linked training, school site mapping, hosting ‘away days
  • Gilwern Centre is one of the largest residential centres in South Wales with 90 bed spaces
  • We have a camp site with fire circle & open shelter for use by Scouts, Guides, DofE groups etc
  • Welsh Water run environmental courses at our sites
  • We have a Disabled abseil ramp, braille orienteering course and were creating a sensory flower border
  • Hilston Park is an outstanding Grade 1 listed building & has a SSSI flower meadow
  • Gilwern OEC was the site of a WWII army hospital which at its height had over 6000 casualties from the D Day landings
  • We have run D of E canoeing expeditions to France
  • You can hire Talybont centre as a self catering bunkhouse
  • Sue from Talybont is a forest schools trainer
  • Ian can run accredited MIAS Mountain Bike leader courses
  • We can run MIDAS minibus drivers courses
  • We are available for activities in the evenings, weekends and even over the school holidays
  • We can run Birthday Party activities such as the climbing wall or canoeing
  • Caryl from Talybont makes the best cakes in the world  (says David)
  • Bath Rugby Club and Newport Gwent Dragons have both used our centres
  • Both Hilston & Gilwern centres have been used as film locations
  • Jamie Owen, the BBC Wales TV presenter, has been caving with us
  • Rick from Hilston has appeared on Doctor Who
  • We have an indoor climbing wall for hire
  • Local communities can use us for meetings & events (eg Ecoday run by ESDGC)
  • Monmouthshire Building Society, Sainsburys, Welsh Water, Heads of the Valleys Training to name but a few local businesses have all kindly supported the centres
  • We have run charity abseils from Monmouth church tower
  • Gilwern centre has planted over 1000 trees over the last 10 years



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