Cumbria Outdoors - Learning - Living History and curriculum specific

John Muir Award (PDF 1.4MB)

This residential environmental award scheme is available for a limited time and is offered during the autumn and spring terms at subsidised rates due to funding from Nurture Lakeland, and access to the John Muir Award.

The John Muir Award supports experiential learning, and acknowledges and celebrates the achievement of young people beyond formal qualifications. The Award aims to encourage people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places.

The John Muir Award is about participants choosing and developing an understanding of, and responsibility for a wild place or places. 

Although this is an individual award, Cumbria Outdoors will support participants to achieve these principles as a group. We will come to your School/Setting* and help participants to choose a wild place or places either within the school grounds or local environment; one that they can compare and contrast to the environment at Cumbria Outdoors. We will then support participants throughout their award to identify why this place is special, what they can do to care for it, and to share these experiences with others. We will do this through a range of outdoor and conservation activities both at your School and at Cumbria Outdoors. Opportunities also exist to link with current curriculum themes.  

The participants get a diary to record, reflect and share their award experiences. This is an important tool for documenting their journey throughout the award; for the participants, teachers and deliverers of the award.

* Please note that the visit by Cumbria Outdoors Staff can only be offered to Schools which are located in Cumbria

Choose your local woodland and its native flora and fauna. Spend some time connecting with, enjoying and caring for this wild place and its ecology. Visit Cumbria Outdoors and engage in various activities that enhance this, and compare and contrast to your wild place, such as canoe journeys along the woodland shore, rock climbing, bushcraft and night walks. Spend some time taking responsibility by doing some Rhododendron bashing to minimise the impact of this non native species on the native flora and fauna. Throughout your award share your experiences with your friends, other pupils, and family; help them to understand what you have been doing. There are many wild places you can choose, such as your local park, your local pond, lake or river, or mini beast environment. Cumbria Outdoors will deliver appropriate outdoor and conservation activities to develop the participants' connection, enjoyment and care for their wild place.

Below is a sample two night John Muir Award programme detailing the level of engagement required to achieve the award. We also offer a five day residential programme too and can tailor the course to suit your wild place or places and specific needs.

Pre-visitVisit to your School from Cumbria Outdoors - Introducing the John Muir Award and choosing your wild place or places. Spend some time in your wild place; connecting with it, enjoying it and caring for it.
First morningArrive / Centre induction / kit issue / packed lunch
First afternoonYour chosen activity - for example rock climbing.
First eveningYour chosen activity - for example night walk. Diary writing, and reflecting and sharing the days activity with each other.
Second dayA journey. For example canoe along the woodland lakeshore and do some conservation along the way!
Second eveningDiary writing, reflecting and sharing the days activity with each other. Free time!
Final morningYour chosen activity - for example bushcraft.
Final afternoonClean/return kit/depart
Post-visitContinue your award back at school - re-visit your wild place, do some conservation, share your experiences with your school.

Sail on the Titanic (PDF 3.3MB)

Following in the wake of our very successful Living History courses Cumbria Outdoors is delighted to present:

A two night, 3 day residential experience for Key Stage 2 Pupils

To tie in with the ongoing commemorations of the sinking of this great steam ship, and the local connections with the White Star Line, Hawse End Centre becomes RMS Titanic.

Recreate and experience life aboard the Titanic in 1912, from embarking to abandoning ship, through a variety of themed activities, which include:

  • Exploring Titanic facts through outdoor activities - water temperature, timeline of sinking, coal consumption, engineering statistics, plus climbing the height of the funnel.
  • Exploring the characters of real life passengers, differences in class, through to order of evacuation - "Women and Children first?"
  • Experiencing 1st class dining etiquette, and the contrast with meals in 3rd class.
  • Everything culminates in a thrilling Abandon Ship simulation activity, getting into "life boats" and making it to the rescue ship, the Carpathia.

For a costing and availability please contact Cumbria Outdoors:

Telephone: 01768 812280  or email


Victorian Christmas experience (PDF 1.4MB)

Imagine the luxury of the comfortable Drawing Room

with its stunning architecture and the sparkling Christmas tree - plus being waited on hand and foot by servants!

Then imagine the daily grind of a servant's lot, waiting at tables on the gentry, up to the elbows in washing-up at the sink, eating plain fare in the Servants Hall!

Experience all of this and much more at a unique three day residential course.

Sample Programme - Hawse End Centre

Day One

Morning: Arrival and induction to the centre.

Afternoon: A brisk walk along Catbells terrace and Brandlehow woods, looking at local history. Including search and identification of minerals.

Early evening: Formal Christmas dinner for the gentry. After dressing for dinner, the gentry enjoy parlour games whilst the servants help prepare for the candle-lit meal in the formal dining room. Children will have fun whilst learning about Victorian etiquette, the art of polite conversation and serving and waiting on tables.

Evening: Decoration making - Christmas tree dressing

Before bed: Diaries.

Day Two

Morning: Victorian Crafts, including a hands-on felt making activity session.

Afternoon: "Meet the Miner" - An exciting candlelit journey into Goldscope Mine.

Early evening: Formal Christmas dinner for the gentry. (Servants and gentry roles are reversed from the previous evening.)

Evening: Carol singing around the Christmas tree for everyone.

Before bed: Diaries.

Day Three

Morning: Keswick Trail - a visit to the town of Keswick looking at a range of Victorian Industrial heritage. Hot Lunch before departure.

For a costing and availability please contact Cumbria Outdoors

tel: 01768 812280 or email:

World War II (PDF 1.1MB)

Live the life of an urban World War II evacuee by experiencing living in an Edwardian county home, on the shores of Derwentwater, near Keswick

Step back in time - Experience the feelings, sights, sounds, tastes, activities and pastimes of former inhabitants of Hawse End Centre during World War II.

Each year during the Autumn and Spring Term, Hawse End Centre turns back the clocks to a more trouble-some time, when the centre really did play host to Liverpool's evacuees. Life during WW II will become reality.

Stepping back in time is easy when your surroundings and everyday activities reflect the era.

  • Responding to blackouts and air raids.
  • Solving problems as you undertake a mountain rescue following a plane crash.
  • Cracking secret codes and communicating by signals.
  • Making your own air raid shelter.
  • Experiencing rationing and wartime recipes.
  • Handling World War II memorabilia.
  • Making and wearing your own gas mask.
  • Experiencing life in the Land Army or Home Guard.
  • Experiencing evenings without TV but playing games familiar to the older generation.
  • Wearing the clothes of the day.

For a costing and availability please contact Cumbria Outdoors:

Telephone: 01768 812280 or email: