It is time to Get Active Outdoors. If you want to start hill walking, rock climbing, scrambling or learn winter skills, then check out the subsidised BMC Active Outdoors courses. Suitable for all abilities and levels of experience there is something for everyone.
The great outdoors is a place where you can adventure into the unknown with friends and family and leave behind the stress and demands of everyday life. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to know where to begin. The courses on offer are there to help you make that transition and provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge required to have a safe and fun outdoor experience. You may already enjoy indoor climbing or country walking but want to take these activities further, into rock climbing, scrambling or winter mountaineering.
The Active Outdoors courses on offer are in hill walking, rock climbing, scrambling and winter skills. Subsidised by Sport England, they are great value because we use selected providers to run them at a discount, meaning you get skills and know-how for less. All are run by selected and experienced, Mountain Training-qualified instructors, so you know the tuition you receive is of the highest possible standard.
Decide which course to take from the list below.
Courses in North Wales
Plas y Brenin is the National Mountain Centre and is in the heart of the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales. The centre offers hill walking, climbing, scrambling and winter skills courses along with full board and self-catering options depending on your budget. For dates, course information and to book contact the centre directly.
Walking – Head for the Hills courses
This two day course is designed to give a grounding in the essential skills you need for a lifetime of hill walking. With no previous experience required it’s your chance to walk in one of Britain’s most spectacular mountain landscapes under the friendly and superb guidance of experienced instructors at a bargain price. Not a bad way to spend a weekend. Book here
Rock Climbing - Ready to Rock courses
Ready to Rock courses are designed to help indoor climbers make their first moves onto rock. There are two course options: a two-day programme for adults and five-day programme for 14 – 19 year olds and families. To take advantage of what is on offer you will need to have been climbing indoors already as this is not a course for absolute beginners. You will need to be able to put on and adjust a harness, tie in to the rope and belay a climbing partner. The instructors will then teach you additional skills to climb outside Book here
Scrambling – Leave the beaten track
This two day course is aimed at walkers who have some experience of walking in the British hills and mountains but wish to learn specialist techniques for getting over steeper, rockier, exposed ground. To get the most from this course you should have a good level of mountain fitness and some experience of steep summer hillwalking.
The course will cover equipment, basic scrambling techniques, movement skills, assessing risk and route choice, hazard management, simple ropework for scrambles, and plenty of time on the hills. Book here
Winter Skills – Confidence to go out in the hills
Do you enjoy hill walking in the summer? Do you want to take your skills to the next level and discover the delights of winter walking? No previous experience of winter hillwalking is necessary. However, you should have some summer hillwalking experience and as winter days can be strenuous, a reasonable level of fitness is important.
The two key focuses on this two day course are navigation and security on winter terrain. You will be out on the hill each day where winter navigation skills, use of ice axe and crampons, terrain and route choice, and winter equipment selection will be covered.
The Welsh winter can be fickle, and snow and ice conditions cannot be guaranteed. Throughout the course there will be a flexible approach to the programme to make the best possible use of the prevailing conditions. If there is no snow the course will still run. Book here
These courses are offered more locally using local providers. They are aimed at those who wish to take their first step outdoors and provide one day taster sessions or two day development courses.
Indoor to Outdoor courses
Have you done some climbing indoors at your local wall and would like to try climbing outdoors or have no outdoor experience but can tie in to a harness and to safely belay your partner? Then these courses are for you. Climbing equipment will be provided on the day but if you have your own equipment (rock shoes, harness, helmet) then you are welcome to use them. Find a course near you.
Outdoor Sport Climbing – Young people
The BMC subsidises a series of outdoor sport climbing courses for 11-17 year olds, teaching the skills needed to safely climb on bolt protected routes. These courses are aimed at young people who are already lead climbing indoors and want to make the transition to climbing outdoors. These courses take place across England and Wales, meaning that there will be a one near you, and at £30 for a full day's instruction they are a bargain. Click here for more details
Trad Climbing courses for Young People
Courses are open to 14-18 year olds who are confidently climbing on indoor walls. Participants should be well practised at belaying, and it is recommended that participants are climbing a minimum of 6b indoors. These courses would be ideal for young people who have competed in the BMC's Youth Climbing Series. Click here for more details
BMC Club Workshops
A range of courses to help members of BMC affiliated clubs to develop their skills in the outdoors – outside first aid, trad leading, scrambling, navigation and improvised rescue for climbers are just some of the subsidised courses available. Click here for more information
For a full list of courses and workshops run by the BMC click here
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National Trust - Introduction to Hill Walking
In partnership with the National Trust we are delivering a series of one-day courses to provide the basic skills for safely venturing in to the hill and mountains of the UK. Run from National Trust sites across England these courses are the ideal first step in to the great outdoors.
For information email Carey.
Mountain Training Hill and Mountain Skills Courses
Looking for a hill walking course nearer you? The BMC's sister body Mountain Training launched two new personal skills courses for new and improving hill walkers on 1st April, 2014.
While not part of the BMC's 'Active Outdoors' brand, these courses are a practical introduction to the skills required to get started in hill walking and mountain walking. The courses aim to equip participants with the basic knowledge and essential safety skills required to start pursuing their own participation in hill and mountain walking as a leisure time activity.
Click here for more information about Hill & Mountain Skills courses
We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.
From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.
Did you know that we've just launched a new U27 membership offer for just £1 / month? And with full membership from £1.66 / month, it's never been easier to join and support our work: