A good activity to tie in with a beach or camping holiday, but also something your group could try out first by getting in touch with the organisations below:

Bristol Sailing School offers sailing lessons and RYA coaching courses, as well as windsurfing.

Young Bristol offers carefully structured taster sessions in Topper dinghys around the Floating Harbour, starting out from Pooles Wharf Activity Centre, Hotwells.

Spinnakers Sailing Centre, Exmouth, Devon

The Maritime Volunteer Service provides education and training to young people in all aspects of maritime skills and tries to encourage young people to go to sea.

The Sea Cadets take young people aged 10-18 who think they might want to take a sailing hobby as far as pre-Navy (or want a way of learning about the sea and sailing for free!).

See also Beaches, Camping, Canoeing, Outdoor sports



If your group like skateboarding, check out Hengrove Park. The wheels park caters for BMX, in-line skates and skateboards, while the play area has good stuff for everyone else. Other top outdoor ramp spots include St George’s Park in St George and Dame Emily Park, Southville. College Green and the front of Lloyds TSB building are regular city centre hang outs.

Motion Ramp Park St Philips, Bristol, provides indoor skateboarding, BMX and blading facilities for all levels – open till 10pm most weekday evenings, 6pm weekends. Gear can be hired. 

Try Knowhere for all skate stuff in Bristol.


Skiing and Snowboarding

Exciting and energetic, but make sure your young people are dressed up warmly – lots of layers! Both are skills that take time to master, so it’s definitely worth paying an instructor to take your group through the basics before they start. Visit Grassboard’s mountain boarding site to get an idea of the snowboarding scene, or ring these centres nearest to Bristol:

Avon Ski Centre

Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre

Pontypool Ski Centre

Snowdome, Birmingham


Ask around your communities to see if you can find some older people who remember traditional stories they can tell from their childhood, or with tales from later in life. Most older people know far more than they let on…

The following professionals will come to you:

Akoma - African Caribbean story tellers, highly recommended. Tel: 01452 541619  

Angela Richardson tells stories from other cultures used longside special resources, artefacts and activities. 

Storytree - African Caribbean storytelling with music

Su Squire (Tilly the Talespinner) performs and facilitates drama and storytelling workshops. She delivers a wide variety of different workshops and performance experiences in drama, theatre and storytelling ranging from one-off workshops lasting an hour to full day workshops, residencies and long term community projects.

Inez Aponte is a professional storyteller and workshop faciliator Tel: 07906 262301 

Kevan Mainwaring is an author, storyteller and teacher and runs workshops in the spoken and written word.

Eric Maddern – If you pay a visit to Cae Mabon in Snowdonia, its owner is a renowned and brilliant storyteller. 

Martin Maudsley - environmental storytelling. He is the director of the Bristol Storytelling Festival and runs regular adult and children’s story telling events at the scout hut on Redcliffe Wharf.  

Wolf + Water Arts Company use arts techniques, including storytelling, creatively and as part of the therapeutic process with groups who are socially, mentally or physically challenged.  The work  generates self esteem through the development of new personal and interpersonal skills, as well as raising a wider public awareness of the skills and problems of such groups.

Meanwhile, Wild Times - a Bristol-based storyteller site on has masses of information on the art of storytelling, the tellers, the stories, etc.

There is also a magical storytelling festival – Beyond the Border - which takes place every year at the medieval St Donats Castle, on the coast, just south of Cardiff.  A gathering of International tellers and performers from around the world, a stone’s throw from the sea and about 30 minutes drive from the M4 Motorway (Junction 33).  Day or weekend tickets available.

Trinity Road Library and other libraries often run story telling sessions (many with craft) sessions. 

The Society for Storytelling  aims to support and promote this most ancient of traditional art forms.



You’ll find lots of other leads to surf schools under Beaches and Camping, but for an overview of surf schools within striking distance, visit:

A1Surf provides a complete list of surf sports in the country and up to date surf reports

The Bristol Surf Club

Bluewings Surf School, Newquay£20 per lesson for a half-day’s tuition, including all equipment. Those who want to take part must be over 12 and strong swimmers.


Survival Skills

Young people often ask for this kind of activity, and can be encouraged to set it up themselves.

Chris Holland of Wholeland will run Bushcraft activities, courses or camps (including Survival Skills, Wilderness and Primitive living) bringing in timeless and basic skills like making shelters, fire by friction, identifying wild food and medicinal plants, making string from plant fibres, learning to move silently and invisibly. Storytelling gets intermingled and then there's the Native American style Talking Stick Circle.

Bods - Adventure Survival and Heritage Crafts - an outdoor education charity that aims to make the most of the unique opportunities for social education and personal development that adventure and nature proves. They also hope to give experience to those least likely to get the opportunity, especially young people, regardless of physical, emotional, spiritual, social, cultural or financial backgrounds.

For many more providers of survival and bushcraft training see Wilderness Gathering or Bushcraft UK.

If you or your group are interested in how other cultures still live and survive in the wild visit the Survival website.

Wilderness Survival – offers various wilderness courses including a family bushcraft weekend.



There’ll be pools all around you, but for an outside swimming experience organise a day out to the Portishead open air lido, right next to the sea. Or why not pay a visit to the Cirencester Open Air Pool with heated water from a nearby well. Built in 1869 this is one of the oldest outdoor pools in England and is set in beautiful surroundings next to Cirencester Park, very convenient for your picnic afterwards! Open May to September.

Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall, provides an enticing mixture of wild tidal pool swim and lido: there's a rocky base, a shoulder of dark volcanic rock at one end and regular invasions by tidal swells. Diving is not recommended because the shifting sands mean depths can change from tide to tide.

See also Wild Swimming