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Snowdonia Outdoors – Gold DofE Sustainable Off-Grid Living Residential with Outdoor Activities – June, July, August 2023

Snowdonia Outdoors is proud to offer you an opportunity to complete your Gold DofE Residential. Spend a week with us in Gwynedd (North Wales), near the holiday resort of Porthmadog. Our residential provides participants, who must be aged over 18 by the first day of the residential, with an experience of off-grid woodland living combined with outdoor activities to explore the local rivers, estuaries, hills, mountains and towns of Porthmadog and Criccieth. Make new friends, enjoy campfire cooking, and have the freedom to explore our own private 5.5 acre woodland. All activities are supported by qualified and experienced staff: Tim Stott and Clive Palmer. Activities include for example: bushcraft; open canoeing; kayaking; walking (in hills, forest & beach); fishing; cooking; swimming; fishing boat trip, and local history & archaeology – a chance to learn about the culture of this once thriving maritime industrial centre. Activities are weather dependent, and the programme can alter to suit the weather and meet the needs of the group. All food is included and you will be encouraged to take your turn at helping with shopping and cooking for the group (of max 7). We can make use of local amenities and public transport as needed for example, a visit to the local leisure centre in Porthmadog, take a local train as part of a coastal walk, try fishing or have a swim in our local estuary.

Example Programme

Day 1: Bushcraft

Meet 10AM. Ice breaking activities to get to know each other. Discussion on aims, expectations on the programme. Orientation around accommodation (safety, off-grid living, recycling, waste, conserving resources, minimal impact living) and Coed Obry (woodland trees, birds, wildlife, nest boxes, compost loo, bird hide, ponds, woodland management).

11-4PM: Bushcraft to include: shelter building/hammocks; fire lighting; campfire cooking; knife/saw safety; wood carving; water purification; foraging. Evening: cooking evening meal using the campfire. Fish and/or swim in our local estuary.

Day 2: Open Canoe Journey

Meet 9AM. Open canoeing briefing. Safety equipment. Issue Buoyancy aids/equipment. Load canoes/paddles onto trailer

10-4PM: Open canoe journey on the Afon Dwyryd. BBQ lunch on the river bank. Introduction to using a Kelly Kettle. Bird Identification. Tidal predictions and effect on journey planning. Evening: cooking evening meal using the campfire, BBQ & Kelly Kettle.

Day 3: Hill or Forest Walk

Meet 9AM. Hill walk briefing. Safety equipment. Check personal and group equipment. Weather forecasts.

10-4PM: Walk up Cnicht’s west ridge from Croesor Village. From summit descend east 1km then south to visit Cwmorthin Slate mine remains. Packed lunch on the hill. Introduction to mountain skills and navigation. History of the Welsh Slate mining industry.

Evening: cooking evening meal using the campfire, BBQ & Kelly Kettle

Possible activity variants: Coast walk via local train, such as Penrhyndeudraeth to Criccieth (on the Llyn Peninsula) by train and walk back to Coed Obry via Porthmadog with visit to Porthmadog Leisure Centre.

Day 4: Kayak Journey

Meet 9AM. Kayaking briefing. Safety equipment. Issue Buoyancy aids/equipment. Load kayaks/paddles onto trailer.

10-4PM: Kayak journey on a local estuary. BBQ lunch on the river bank. Evening: meal on journey home (eg fish and chips). Walk on beach

Day 5: Beach walks & Fishing Boat Trip

Meet 9AM. Boat safety briefing. Safety equipment. Issue Buoyancy aids/equipment. Coastal habitats, tides, coastal deposition and erosion, bird identification.

10-2PM: Tow fishing boat to Porthmadog harbour. Visit Porthmadog Maritime Museum. Launch boat at harbour slipway with 3 participants (who do fishing), while 3 others walk along coast from Porthmadog to Morfa Bychan via Borth y Gest. Then groups swap and walkers come back by boat.

2.30-3.30PM Return to Coed Obry. Course ends at 4PM. NB: Depending on participants’ travel needs, finish times can be negotiated for pick-ups / meeting public transport

Residential Dates

Dates offered for 2023

26-30 June

24-28 July

31 July – 4 August


The cost per person is £350 which includes (1) 5 nights accommodation in woodland bunkhouse or caravan (although the residential is 5 days/4 nights from Mon-Fri, you are welcome to arrive from 5pm on Sunday evening if you are travelling from some distance). (2) All food – this we/you buy from the local supermarket(s) and you (in a pair with one other participant) will take turns cooking for the group, (3) all transport and equipment during the residential. The £350 fee does NOT include: transport to/from Coed Obry (see below); entry to leisure centre (£5-6), Maritime Museum £2.50); train fair to Criccieth £4-5; spending money for luxuries such as ice creams, souvenirs etc – we recommend you bring ~£50-60 to cover these extras.

Getting Here

You will be sent detailed travel direction at the time of booking. The postcode of the farm next to the wood, Coed Obry, is LL48 6DT so you can enter this into Google Maps to get your approx journey time by car. There is a mainline station at Penrhyndeudraeth which is on the Cambrian Coast Line from Shewsbury. Check www.trainline.com for journey times and ticket prices.

For further details and an application/booking form contact:

Tim Stott, Director of Snowdonia Outdoors at [email protected] or text/WhatsApp 07791 166843.

Course date:
Course location:
Porthmadog, Gwynedd
Course fee:

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