Outdoor Education Programmes, Outdoor Activity Centre - Great Potheridge HouseOutdoor Education Programmes, Outdoor Activity Centre - Great Potheridge HouseOutdoor Education Programmes, Outdoor Activity Centre - Great Potheridge HouseOutdoor Education Programmes, Outdoor Activity Centre - Great Potheridge House
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Latest News

Crazy weather!

Posted in Lasted News on Apr 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM by Alastair

Wow, lots of sunshine so far this year but with hail stones and cold winds, we've had it all! Thankfully we have had some nice warm weather as well. We had a week of activity days at the lake with one of our local schools and they got battered with wind, rain and sunshine but they all had an amzing time.

One of our other returning schools also had an excellent week although challenged by the weather, and provided the following feedback - "None of the instructors could do enough to keep us all happy - amazing! All sessions were concise and all children got stuck in quickly. Our children with additional needs were truely catered for. Alternative arrangements were made for rainy days which were great - thank you."

Another season done!

Posted in Lasted News on Nov 15, 2016 at 12:17 PM by Alastair

We have just said goodbye to our last group for this year and what a great season we have had. Our staff have worked really hard this year and have done an excellent job helping young people face challenges and gain confidence.

We have made various on-site improvements this year with accomodation and new activities we run and are looking to launch our brand new website in the near future. We have some very exciting times ahead of us and look forward to the new year. We also really look forward to working with our regular schools and groups again to build on our success and bring fun and excitement to more young people.

Says it all really!

Posted in Lasted News on Sep 29, 2016 at 12:45 PM by Alastair

Below is an excerpt from a letter just received from the headteacher from one of the schools that comes back to us -

"Dear Al & Claire, a big old thank you from our school for a really great week at Potheridge - one of the best we've had. Coming back it's great to see how you are developing the site and facilities. The crate stack and tree abseil are brilliant, but it's fair to say that the children loved all of the activities. Many of them would choose Dartmoor as their favourite day. Al, it was great to have you back leading activities as you are so good with the kids. All of the leaders did a really great job, understood our kids and pitched it well. Claire, our evening around the campfire was legendary! Thank you both for giving us such a great week."

Where has the time gone?

Posted in Lasted News on Jul 05, 2016 at 1:49 PM by Alastair

Half way through the year already! We have welcomed some new schools this year who have had an amazing time. We have also seen our returning schools and continue to work with these schools to give their kids the best experience possible. We have a new on-site ativity which is going down a storm and are continuing to improve facilities at our lake site which is much closer than our previous lakes location.

Lots of exciting times ahead! 

Hello 2016

Posted in Lasted News on Jan 26, 2016 at 10:53 AM by Alastair

Last year now seems a bit of a blur but here we go again in 2016. The instructors are out braving the elements with the Princes Trust Groups but they all still have smiles on their faces. This year, as well as having a lot of our regular schools returning to us we will be working with some new schools and groups which we are really looking forward to.

Final school for the year

Posted in Lasted News on Nov 09, 2015 at 1:08 PM by Alastair

We have recently said goodbye to our last school for this season before carrying on work with various youth groups for the remainder of this and start of next year. As ever they were a great school to work with and we look forward to seeing them and all of our other schools again next year.

Our Year 5 and 6 pupils had a great time at their residential trip to Great Potheridge House near Torrington, North Devon. During the week the children took part in a range of activities including rock scrambling, a gorge walk up through the River Meavy, canoeing and raft-building, wall-climbing, orienteering, team building activities, archery and a night walk with torches along the Tarka Trail! 
What a fantastic week we all had!!

Goodbye Summer

Posted in Lasted News on Sep 24, 2015 at 1:43 PM by Alastair

Can't say the weather was great this summer but that didn't stop all of our groups having an amazing time.

Thank you to all of you who have stayed with us this year, it has been so busy but we can't slow down yet as still more groups to come over the coming weeks.

We have had some fantastic feedback and some very happy, albeit tired children. Our aim is provide experiences and memories that will be treasured, remembered and talked about for many years to come. Maybe next year we may just get a bit more sunshine to go with it........

School Blog

Posted in Lasted News on Jul 13, 2015 at 1:24 PM by Alastair

One of our regular schools sends a daily blog to the parents to keep them updated with all of the days events. Below is Fridays blog which sums up the week:

Our final day has rushed passed too quickly, we are all enjoying ourselves and have settled into the Potheridge routine, helping each other get breakfast, organising ourselves for the day's activities. The excited clamour in the dining room has changed to earnest conversation as children compare experiences and anticipate the next challenge. Our disco tonight was a real celebration of the group we have become, it was such a pleasure to see all the children (and some of the grown ups) sharing the fun. Our birthday girls got a special mention and made the evening all the more important. And so I must apologise, I don't think we are bringing home the same children we left with on Monday. I asked the children at the end of the day what they thought they had achieved: "....more confident...."   "....friendlier...."   "....I'm not such a fussy eater anymore, now I like baked potato!...."

Princes Trust Group

Posted in Lasted News on Jun 12, 2015 at 11:46 AM by Alastair

Hi Encompass gang!

 The team wanted me to email you and just say a massive thank you for your hard work over the 4 days we spent with you.

 I am especially impressed with the level of enthusiasm your team shows, the impact you have on the young people we bring to you. Thank you for everything!

What the children have to say!

Posted in Lasted News on Jun 02, 2015 at 1:21 PM by Alastair

Last week some children from Year 3 and 4 went on the adventure of a life-time! We enjoyed three fabulous days and two slightly sleepless nights at Great Potheridge House where we tried a variety of activities. Everyone had a fantastic time and the children were all brilliant! The staff were very proud of each individual that took part in the residential.

"The camp fire was so much fun, especially when we tasted marshmallows and sang songs. I am really glad I tried the blind line." By Dylan C

"I had a brilliant time on residential and my favourite part was kayaking but other people got to do canoeing. I also like the other things like climbing, low ropes and blind line." By Sabie S

"On the residential I loved everything. I liked canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, having dinner and breakfast, making our beds, doing archery and also the blind line. I loved low ropes." By Lara-Rose P

"On the first night we designed something to hold our eggs for the egg drop. My group's egg cracked straight away. The other groups' eggs were dropped out of the window. Some survived the drop. Milo juggled with them and one fell on the floor and smashed." By Neesha B

"On the residential we had  to make our beds and organise our stuff. It was comfy and cosy and it was lovely sharing with my friends. The food was delicious." By Amy R

"I had a lovely time on the residential. My favourite part was climbing because it needed teamwork and because it was fun racing my friends up the wall." By William B


School review

Posted in Lasted News on May 05, 2015 at 1:02 PM by Alastair

Sadly the weather has now taken a turn for the worse although this will not dampen our spirits or spoil the "Great Potheridge" experience. Schools that have been with us already were lucky enough to enjoy some lovely Devon sunshine.

Headteachers comments -

I'm pleased to say that our year 5 pupils have had a wonderful time up at Potheridge House outdoor adventure centre this week. They have been coasteering, kayaking, canoeing, raft building, night walking and abseiling. I was lucky enough to join them on Wednesday and I saw first-hand what a fabulous experience it has been for them all.

2015 - and we're off!

Posted in Lasted News on Jan 29, 2015 at 11:02 AM by Alastair

This year has started off really busy and looks to be the same throughout the whole year. We have had the first of our youth groups in and are getting into the full swing of things. This year is going to pass so quickly, for the groups and schools booked to stay with us this season, look forward to seeing you all.

Winding down?

Posted in Lasted News on Oct 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM by Alastair

It is nearly the end of the season and this week sees the last school group visiting us for their residential. We do however, look forward to working with the remaining youth groups and organisations still booked with us over the coming weeks. A school that came to us in September had this to say about us -

Golden Eagle class had a brillian week at Great Potheridge House in Devon in September and were very lucky with the weather! The children took part in a wide range of activities which really helped them increase their confidence and independence. They went on a night walk, went coasteering at Hartland Quay, climbed the climbing wall, completed the low ropes challenge, tried archery, built rafts and went kayaking. The children all really enjoyed their stay and benefited from the challenges of the week.

All of us here at Great Potheridge House have really enjoyed working with all of the schools and different groups that have come to us this year. It has been a lot of hard work but lots of fun. We hope to see all of you again next year.

Season update

Posted in Lasted News on Aug 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM by Alastair

Where is the time going?

Can't believe we are nearing the end of the summer already, hopefully the sunshine will stay with us a good while longer. Schools are on holiday so we have been very busy with the youth groups that we work with regularly. The rest of the year is still very busy and 2015 is already filling up fast!

The following is another excerpt from one of our regular schools following their residential here earlier in the year -

Tuesday - weather warm and suuny.

Groups 1 & 2 had a fantastic day on Dartmoor today. Wild ponies were spotted on the way to Hound Tor and the weather was perfect. All the children successfully completed the climbing challenge, as well as scrambling and "weaseling" (ask your children when they get back!) Groups 3 & 4 had an equally great day at the Lake, canoeing and raft building. Everyone got wet and all had great fun paddling in circles, falling in, and sometimes going in a straight line. Evening activities included orienteering, archery, team games and the low ropes course.

Lots of tired faces at the end of today, and quite a few requests for early bed time, happy to oblige!!

2014 off to a flying start!

Posted in Lasted News on Jun 03, 2014 at 12:04 PM by Alastair

We have been in full swing with the season for a little while now and things are getting busier. Schools that have come to us for the first time this year and returning schools have all had a fantastic time and we hope to see them all again in the future. This is what a school that has come to us for the first time had to say -

This year our Year 5 pupils went on their residential trip to Great Potheridge House, an outdoor activity centre near Okehampton. They thoroughly enjoyed the amazing activities which included scrambling, tyrolean zip wire, low ropes, archery, blind line, orienteering, canoeing, raft building, climbing wall, a night walk and team building tasks. All of the activities are lead by qualified staff and are closely supervised. The children had a great time at this fantastic venue.

Molly's Pups!

Posted in Lasted News on Feb 05, 2014 at 1:57 PM by Alastair

For those of you that know Molly, one of our resident dogs. She became the proud mother of pups at the end of the year. These have now been given homes to local people and are doing very well. The father is our other resident dog, Peppa so it will be interesting to see what the pups grow up to look like!

The end of 2013

Posted in Lasted News on Feb 05, 2014 at 1:53 PM by Alastair

2013 saw a really busy and enjoyable year for us here at Great Potheridge. Luckily we saw plenty of sunshine this summer which always goes down well. But whether there be rain or shine, the weather does not take away the fun and great experiences people have had here. For those of you that have been here before, we hope to see you again. If you have not visited us then please read more to see what we have to offer.

A few comments from our guests:

* Thank you for being so flexible and willing to cater to all our diverse needs, thank you for adapting to suit us. Alastair always caters well for our group. Well done and thank you for everything. We have honestly had a ball.

* Really great care taken of the children. The activities pushed the children in an exciting way. Good supervision and encouragement.

* On behalf of the teachers and students who visited you at Great Potheridge House, I would like to say thank you for a truly brilliant week end. Your patience, kindness and complete professionalism really made this a trip to remember.

* A fantastic range of activities which was suitable for all the needs in the group. Great programme for team building & confidence building. Some really great results in improving leadership skills amoungst the team.The activities engaged the group throughout the week and enabled them to develop communication skills and have experiences they may not have otherwise had. The instructors were fantastic with the young people and really encouraged them to get involved. Everyone made the effort to remember names and work accordingly to each individuals needs. The activities were appropriate for the group and engaging. The group had a very positive experience while staying at Encompass – thanks for all your help and support.

* Instructors were great. Friendly, organised. Spoke to the children appropriately. School staff felt at ease with them and knew that their top priority was the children’s safety. Instructors encouraged children to complete activities which were challenging to them although there was no pressure. Instructors were relaxed with children but commanded respect from them which was good. Pleased that children were encouraged to be independent and organise themselves for the days activities.

* Coasteering – Great as usual. Instructors fabulous with the slower members of the groups. Felt safe but children challenged to make it exciting for them. Lake Day – Well organised, good fun. Woodland Bivi – Excellent. Loved the swing and general woodland kitchen and camp area. Seating for 30 was a bit tight but plenty of other logs to sit on. Liked all the activities of making a fire, bows and arrows, skimming stones and playing in the woods.

* Instructors were excellent, very safety conscious and had great relationships with the children and staff. They knew just where to stop when joking with children and didn’t push staff beyond their limits. Good quality food. Always a choice of fruit for lunch. Catered for different diets, dairy free and no pork. Were willing to give alternatives to children who didn’t put much on their plates – bread instead of potatoes.Range of activities offered is great, the group that did the dual abseil said that it gave children confidence.

“Thanks for the great experience!  Reaching goals I thought I couldn’t.”

 “I would like to say thank you for opening my mind to a new side of life.”

 “Thank you for all your amazing effort and patience with us grumpy teenagers! Thanks for the great food and organising.”

 “Thanks for being so hospitable and feeding us all, you are lovely people.”

 “ I had fun – nuf said!”

 “Thanks for being very supportive within everything we did – FUN!”

 “Thanks for your patience, diligence and positivity.”

* I thank you for your great kindness and for teaching me new skills that I will hang on to for a long time. I had a fantastic time camping in the woods and I loved everything else.

* Abseiling was fun, but the first time that we went down it was really scary, however, when you got used to it you wanted to go again and again!

* I especially enjoyed the weaselling, even though I had no idea what it was before I went and the fact that I got stuck and everyone had to pull me out. It was my favourite activity because I love getting into small places and I got absolutely soaked, really muddy and I hope to do it again.

* Thank you for letting us come on residential, we all really enjoyed it and wish we could come back! I loved everything about that residential and it was a great experience. I am going to try and teach my Grandad , who knows a lot of wildlife and other woodland stuff, some of the amazing skills I learnt. I thought it was an amazing experience and I wish our school could come back!

* I really appreciated you helping and teaching us new skills over those 2 days, I had the best time ever!!!!! After I got back I had to practice for a gymnastic display, I had to lie down and pretend to be dead and I fell asleep!!!

* The instructors were fantastic. I would like to go back and do all the activities again because the instructors were great.