Adventures / Adventure School

Adventure Skills Workshop in The Peak District

Master the art of adventure over an inspiring weekend with ex-Commando, outdoor photographer and expedition leader, Ian Finch

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Trip Ref #10354

Adventures / Adventure School

Adventure Skills Workshop in The Peak District

Master the art of adventure over an inspiring weekend with ex-Commando, outdoor photographer and expedition leader, Ian Finch

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

United Kingdom

ANNUAL LEAVE

0 days off work

SEASON

Year round

GROUP SIZE

Up to 7 people

MEETING POINT

Hope Valley Adventure Bunkhouse

ACCOMMODATION

Bunkhouse

DIFFICULTY

Easy

No previous experience needed, just the ability to walk for a few hours a day on uneven terrain

Learn how to navigate, read the weather and prepare, pack and plan your next journey into the wilds

Hike through the Hope Valley, stomp to the top of Mam Tor and boost your outdoor photography skills along the way

Return home rejuvenated, motivated, and more prepared for your next big adventure 

Deemed one of 'the UK’s best creative retreats' by The Guardian

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Jon, September 2022

    This is an inspiring, informative and, most importantly, fun weekend. The accommodation has an 'Upmarket Youth Hostel' vibe. The food is healthy and hearty. The course is a perfect balance of theory and practice - you learn how to plan your dream adventure and then get hands-on with expedition kit before heading out on two hikes to hone your navigation and photography skills. But what really makes this a memorable 48 hours is Ian, the guide/host. He has tonnes of hard-won experience and great adventure insights, which he shares with infectious enthusiasm. Plus, he throws in lots of truly thoughtful touches - From Brownies and wine when you first arrive through to badges when you leave. This is a great trip for ANYONE who loves the great outdoors and wants to learn more.

    Sharon, June 2022

    Great experience, learned loads and gained confidence

    Luke, December 2021

    I really enjoyed the trip, Ian was very friendly and knowledgeable, and was able to answer any questions we put to him. I particularly enjoyed the hiking and navigation exercise we did on the peaks, but all the aspects of the weekend were incredibly useful in giving a holistic view on how to get the most out of a planned trip. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the accommodation was warm and cosy. I would recommend this to anyone who has an idea of a dream trip, but wants the knowledge and skills to turn that dream into reality!

    Sothiro, November 2021

    Very knowledgeable guide. Cozy bunkhouse. Beautiful landscapes. I had a great time and learned a lot!

    Jennifer, October 2021

    Fabulous setting and learnt a lot from Ian who was a great leader too.

    Ally, September 2021

    This was a fantastic trip, whether you are a regular adventurer looking to improve skills and confidence, or completely new to getting outdoors, this is the trip for you! Ian and Jamie are great guides, their passion for adventures is clear and they have a wealth of experience between them, with some incredible stories to share! Set in the beautiful Peak District, with comfortable accommodation, it was the perfect place to spend the weekend learning new skills, getting outdoors and meeting new people.

    Samantha, September 2021

    My husband and I had a brilliant time on the Adventure Skills Weekend, facilitated by Ian and Jamie. The weekend was paced well with lots of time for discussion and questions factored in alongside getting outside in the beautiful Peak District to explore. Ian and Jamie were both very approachable and knowledgeable and clearly have a great passion for all things adventure. A very inspiring weekend which has fuelled lots of ideas for our own adventures.

    Bachittar, September 2021

    The trip was absolutely brilliant , i've done the Isle of Rum Expedition, Sea Kayaking and few others. I have a good amount of wild camping and peaks under my belt. But still decided to do this trip and learnt so much from it. Both Ian and Jamie are a fountain of information, answering all sorts of questions about camping and hiking from people of different capabilities. We did a few hikes, learnt how to read maps and pacing (both of which are super useful) I walked away armed with a lot more knowledge and understood in more detail a map. They also went through our big trips we would ideally love to do (dream big here) and they helped us break it down. These guides have a wealth of information, experience and knowledge. From hiking 1000 miles across the US, to canoeing to Scotland. They delve deep into their personal experiences to provide the knowledge needed. The cherry on the cake was the photography section of the trip. Most in the group had mobile phones and they showed us how to get great pictures using our phones and where to place the subject matter in the frame when taking pictures.

    Hardeep, September 2021

    The trip was much more then I expected it to be, it was phenomenal. I have always wanted to try mountain climbing, camping and hiking, but everyone I know kept on putting me off. This trip has opened my mind and I honestly feel liberated. I have learned some great skills and it’s given me the confidence to book trips with likeminded people. Ian and Jamie were informative, knowledgeable, helpful and fun. Can’t wait for our next trip, wild camping with the same team!

    Adam, July 2021

    Delivered on the premise - enjoyable weekend both in terms of learning and generally being with a group to exchange and stimulate ideas

    Included

    Guides

    Expert expedition guide and photographer

    Accommodation

    2 nights in a bunkhouse

    Meals

    2 breakfasts and 2 lunches

    Equipment

    All gear needed for navigation lessons

    Not Included

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    Some meals as described

    Travel to and from the start point

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Bunkhouse in the Hope Valley

    20:00 on Day 1

    Ends

    Bunkhouse in the Hope Valley

    16:00 on Day 3

    Transfers

    The bunkhouse is a 15-minute walk from Hope train station which is easily connected to the Sheffield or Manchester mainline trains (both approx. 2 hours from London).

    On Day 1 you can arrive anytime after 20:00 and Ian will meet you there. Please make sure you grab dinner before you arrive. On Day 3 you will be back at the bunkhouse for approx 16:00, please don't book a train before 17:00 just in case you're out in the hills for longer than planned.

    For those driving, there are one or two spaces only at the bunkhouse so it's advised to leave your car in Hope or Castleton where more options are available.

    Travel options

    There are regular trains to Hope from Sheffield and Manchster from across the UK.

    Day 1

    Bunkhouse · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Bunkhouse · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    The breakfast provided will be hearty and vegetarian - think oats, fruit and all the other good stuff to fuel you for the day ahead. There are tea and coffee making facilities at the bunkhouse. Packed lunches will be provided from a local cafe, you'll choose what you would like to eat the night before. You shouldn't run out of food but do pack extra snacks if you know you get extra hungry throughout the day. Dinner on Day 1 is not included so please grab something before arriving. Dinner on Day 2 will be in a local pub.

    Vegetarians, vegans and most other dietary requirements can be catered for, just let your host know upon booking.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Bunkhouse

    The group will have exclusive use of a bunkhouse just along the road from Castleton. The whole group will sleep upstairs in an open-plan, flexible, futon sleeping space. Cotton liners, duvets and pillows are provided. There is a downstairs kitchenette, dining and social hangout space, a bathroom with a shower and shared storage space. There is also a boot room with a dryer and plenty of hanging space if needed for wet gear. The outside garden has a seating area and firepit area overlooking Lose Hill.

    Upgrades

    There are no single rooms available at the bunkhouse so no upgrades are possible.

    Day 1

    Into the peaks

    Arrive in the Peak District and head to your overnight spot for the weekend, an adventure bunkhouse nestled deep in the Hope Valley. Meet Ian and your fellow crew for a natter and beer before bedding down for the night. As dinner is not included tonight, make sure you grab something in Hope or Castleton before arriving.

    Day 2

    Skills at the ready

    Hiking

    12km · 400m up · 350m down

    Kickstart the day with a quick chat over breakfast so Ian can learn a bit about what you might like to get out of the weekend - no questions or adventures are too small, the weekend is your chance to quiz away to your heart's content. You’ll then head out into the hills and start learning by doing, the bunkhouse is at the foot of The Great Ridge so perfect wilderness territory.

    Ian will have a range of kit to chat through as well as sharing advice about planning your own adventures using the right maps and apps to get you into the great outdoors - anything from a weekend walk near to home or a longer overseas multi-day trip. You’ll head back to the bunkhouse late afternoon for a photography session at sunset (if the time of year permits) before heading into Castleton to one of the local pubs for a well-earned pint and dinner.

    Day 3

    Putting it all into practice

    Hiking

    10km · 300m up · 300m down

    Another day exploring and learning - likely to include a gentle stomp to the top of Mam Tor for 360° views across to the Edale Valley and Kinder Scout. You’ll spend today putting into practice some of the skills learned previously and have a go at navigating as a group, understanding contours and how to foresee obstacles and challenges as you go - as well as the key skill of timing and pacing a hike. The weekend will draw to a close late afternoon and you can head home armed with all the skills needed to plan your own adventures in the future. It’s likely you’ll end up guiding your mates before you know it!

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What do I need to bring?

    Clothes

    Hiking boots or shoes
    20-30 litre hiking rucksack
    Waterproof jacket and trousers
    Hiking trousers/leggings/shorts
    Hiking t-shirts (non-cotton)
    Fleece or warm layer
    Spare trainers or sandals for evenings
    Sun hat
    Spare socks and underwear
    Toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel
    Small-medium towel
    Water bottle (1-litre min.)
    Personal hand sanitiser
    Tupperware to prevent squashed sandwiches and to reduce plastic

    Autumn/Winter trips

    Warm gloves
    Warm hat
    Buff or scarf
    Extra layers!

    No optional extras are available for this trip.

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 31kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    Former Royal Marine Commando Ian Finch is an adventure and outdoor photographer and expedition guide whose been travelling to remote environments for over 10 years. Ian's desire to record, capture or lead expeditions in unfamiliar corners of the globe is driven by a passion to learn about heritage and traditions from the native cultures that call it home.

    His latest expedition, a 1,300-mile journey to retrace the footsteps of the Cherokee removals was featured in Sidetracked Magazine with a 20-page written story and photo essay. Also, his 2000-mile canoe descent of the Yukon River was included in the top 10 adventures by the Guardian in 2016. Ian has also led or participated in expeditions to Alaska, Mongolia, Greenland, Indonesia, Tibet, Canada, Iceland, Nepal, China, the US and Northern Norway. His raw passion for life is driven by creative discovery and capturing authentic bookmarks in time from expeditions, landscapes and people.

    He combines his love for photography, writing and filmmaking with wild landscapes and the great outdoors. When not overseas, Ian lives in London. Have a read of our quick-fire interview with Ian and find out a bit more about what makes him tick.

    This weekend is open to all aspiring adventurers with a base level of fitness and a passion for the outdoors. The walks listed each day are approximate distances and may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the preference of the group. There will be a fair amount of stopping and starting as you learn and chat along the way, so as long as you're comfortable hiking for a few hours a day you'll be fine. You won't be tackling any of the major summits in the Peak District.

    Ian’s goal is to send you home more inspired and prepared to take on big (or small) adventures in the wild. Over the course of the weekend you and your small group of fellow adventurers will soak up Ian’s amazing stories and experiences, and chew the fat on all things adventure. Each weekend will be unique and tailored to you and your group, so any burning questions, any gaps in your knowledge, this is your opportunity to talk through them with Ian, either in the wilds or over a beer.

    Some of the things covered over the weekend include;

    • How to choose the right backpack for you, and where to get it from
    • What you need to include in your adventure first aid kit
    • How to make sure you’re choosing the right footwear
    • Picking the right jacket, waterproofs and layering up for the weather
    • Finding a suitable tent or shelter system
    • How to choose the most suitable sleeping bag for your adventure
    • How to select, plan and prepare food, and the equipment to cook it
    • Water safety and sterilisation tips
    • How to navigate, whether using a map or GPS
    • How to read and monitor the weather during your journey
    • Tips on how to photograph the outdoors and storytelling your adventure

    And of course, anything that is specific to you and your adventure journey. It will be a fun and motivating weekend, with the rare opportunity to chat 1-1 with someone who has led expeditions in remote corners all over the world.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    You will leave your main bags and kit at the bunkhouse as you head out each day with just a day pack and your waterproofs.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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