Gold D of E Residentials

Complete your award and meet like-minded people in the heart of the Purbecks

From the tranquil waters of Poole Harbour to the dramatic limestone sea cliffs along the Jurassic Coast and everywhere in between, our activity residential explores every inch of the Purbecks while enjoying the comfort of indoor accommodation and hot showers.

Brenscombe Outdoor Centre has been a Duke of Edinburgh – Approved Activity Provider since 2018 and has helped hundreds of young people complete their DofE Gold Residential section.

A DofE Gold
Residential Activity Schedule


Arrive at Brenscombe
Introductions, centre tour and expectations

Ice breakers & Team Challenges

Delegation of roles, planning and ordering of food


Self-cooked BBQ (instructor to assist)

Catapult Challenge


Self-cooked breakfast

Rock Climbing & Abseiling at Dancing Ledge

Lunch on the cliffs


Continued Rock Climbing at Hedbury


Self-cooked dinner

Blind Trail & Field Games


Self-cooked breakfast

Heathland Cycle to Cleavel Point

Kayaking & Raft Building in Poole Harbour

Lunch at Cleavel Point


Big Canoeing Journey in Poole Harbour


Self-cooked dinner

Air Rifle Shooting & Archery


Self-cooked breakfast

Navigate to Burnbake Ropes Course

High & Low Ropes Challenges

Lunch in Burnbake Woods


High & Low Ropes continued


Self-cooked dinner

Outdoor Social & Campfire


Self-cooked breakfast

Bushcraft in Brenscombe Woods

Lunch cooked over your open fire


Review and reflection on the week

Departure from 2pm


An action-packed programme

We fill the week with a wide range of activities so you are able to maximise your time with us. Expect full days outdoors with some time to chill around the campfire at the end of the day.

Catapult at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre
Team & Catapult Challenges
Kickstarting the week with team tasks and catapult challenges is an excellent opportunity to connect with new people.
DofE at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre
Rock Climbing & Abseiling
Immerse yourself in an authentic adventure!
DofE at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre
Archery & Air Rifle
An evening activity which always hits the mark!
DofE at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre
High & Low Ropes
A serene stroll through fields and quiet country lanes guides you to our large high and low ropes course.
Mountain Biking
Watersports & Mountain Biking
A day long adventure, mountain biking to our watersports venue at Cleavel Point, then taking to the water.
Campfire & Evening Social
As the sun sets, gather around the crackling flames of the campfire, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Brenscombe Woods

You’re not on expedition anymore!

After a long day of adventures all over the Purbecks, you will rest easy in our indoor accommodation. We are fortunate to have both the luxury of indoor accommodation and the rural outside space often associated with camping. In the evenings you can see the stars and hear the Nightjars on the Purbeck Heath National Nature Reserve while still enjoying hot showers and comfy beds.

Our dorm-style bedrooms will be shared with your new DofE friends. They range from 4 or 6 beds per room with additional social spaces to hang out in your free time. The rooms are gender split and the ages of participants are considered while creating the bedding plan. Bedding is provided so don’t worry about packing your sleeping bag!

Creating the community

Once you have settled in and met both your instructors and the group, one of the first tasks is to choose your meals for the week. In small groups you will create a shopping list of goodies with the support of your instructor, ‘yes more fruit and veg’ and ‘don’t forget the marshmallows!’. Our instructors will also arrange top-up shops through your stay, to ensure you have everything you need for a feast.

The meals will be cooked as a group each evening under the helpful eye of our instructors. This is a great part of creating a community amongst your team, whether you favour cooking or clearing up, there is a role for everyone. The first night is usually a social BBQ and depending on the weather, pizzas are often created and cooked on the fire during your Bushcraft session. You will arrange your own breakfast and packed lunch each day allowing you to choose your favourites.

Any dietary needs will be discussed with and catered for by your group and instructor. The food costs are included in the overall cost so no extra cash is needed.

Keeping you safe

  • All of our accommodation blocks have individual coded locks.
  • Our site is private with no through road or general public access. Offering a safe and quiet place to stay.
  • During your stay your instructors will be available to support you each day and a Duty Instructor will be available to you on call overnight. Senior members of our team will be in the office between 9am and 5pm.
  • All specialist and personal protective equipment (PPE) for activities is provided.

Had an amazing time. The instructors were so engaging and enthusiastic, the activities were well planned and had the right amount of down time.

Grace Gadsby

I went to Brenscombe outdoor centre for my gold DofE residential, and it was great, I had lots of fun and took part in lots of new activities, it was a really good experience and I would recommend it to anyone doing their gold DofE or anyone who just looking for a new and fun experience.

Amy Will

Brilliant place to meet new people and gain new skills.

Alex Dodson

A great experience to push you out of your comfort zone in activities and meet great new people.

Amy Dendy
Burnbake Woods
Our high and low ropes are located in the beautiful Burnbake Woods which is just a short walk from the centre.
Cleavel Point
Big canoeing, kayaking, and raft building take place in Poole Harbour via our private beach and pontoon at Cleavel Point. From here we have uninterrupted views of Green, Furzy and Brownsea Islands.
Our rock climbing and abseiling are split over two of Swanage's best climbing venues. The midday change of venue allows for a change of scenery and challenge.
Brenscombe Outdoor Centre
The rural setting of Brenscombe means we have ample space for onsite activities in our fields overlooking the Heathland and Poole Harbour.
Brenscombe Woods
The bushcraft session takes place in Brenscombe Woods.
Purbeck Heath National Nature Reserve
To reach Cleavel Point we jump on mountain bikes and head through the Purbeck Heath National Nature Reserve.

Frequently asked questions

  • A kit list will be provided before arrival. Mainly, lots of clothes you don’t mind getting wet and muddy, an activity pair of trainers or walking boots and some securely fitting closed toe water shoes (old trainers are perfect!). Don’t forget a rucksack and water bottle to head out with each day.

  • We advise that each participant arrange transport directly to and from Brenscombe. If you would like to drive yourself then we have a suitable sized car park to leave your car for the week. The closest train station is Wareham and taxis can be booked from there to the centre.

  • Arrival is from 12pm on Monday and the programme of activities will be finished by 2pm on Friday.

  • Yes. We are fully insured to run all of our activities and have £10 million public liability cover.

  • The activities will still go ahead however we will pick the safest and most appropriate activity for the conditions each day.

  • All activity staff are experienced and trained to deliver our activities, where applicable they also hold National Governing Body award qualifications. All staff are First Aid trained and DBS Checked. The centre holds an Adventure Activities Licencing Authority (AALA) licence approved by HSE.

  • The DofE residentials are completely alcohol-free. We will not tolerate any alcohol consumption during the week and you will be asked to leave if you are found drinking.

  • Following rules set by the DofE award scheme you are able to come to the residential with one other person you know.

  • Your assessor report will be completed within a week of completing your programme. It will be submitted to DofE online via the eDofE portal. Your DofE supervisor should also be able to see your report, please contact them first if there are any issues with you accessing the report.

Reserve your place with a 50% deposit

Questions? Feel free to email or give us a call on 01929 481222.

Our Sister Centres

Looking for slightly different scenery?

We have the pleasure of running two other outdoor centres offering DofE Gold Residentials. Both have the same ethos of immersive activities, allowing you as a participant time to grow confidence and skills. All three of our centres have unique activities and landscapes to enjoy.

New Forest Outdoor Centre
New Forest Outdoor Centre

Is set in the beautiful New Forest and its activity programme makes the most of the forest with fantastic Bushcraft, Carving and Campfire Cooking. Alongside the wilderness skills, the programme includes High and Low Ropes, Mountain Biking, Raft Building and much more.

Portland Outdoor Centre
Portland Outdoor Centre

Our Portland site is based on the northern edge of the island and looks straight over the harbour, made famous by its use in the 2012 Olympics as the sailing venue. The quick access to the Jurassic Coast path and subsequently the cliffs allow for fantastic Rock Climbing, Abseiling and Coasteering not to mention all of the Watersports on the doorstep.

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