Activities at Kingsbury Water Park

All activities are led by a qualified and/or experienced Instructor.

It is advisable to wear old clothes/shoes for land based activities and dress for the weather. For water sports activities, we can issue all participants with wetsuits and/or spray jackets, depending on conditions, to wear instead of their own clothes. Participants will still need swimwear/spare underwear to wear under a wetsuit and old trainers to wear in the water. Shower facilities are available to use after undertaking any on site activity. Don’t forget your towel! For a more complete list of what to bring with you or wear during our activities please click on the Kit List in the Downloads and documents section of this webpage.

On site activities

Either in the centre grounds or at our water sports lake a short 200m walk from the centre. Each activity usually takes two and a half hours including kitting up and briefing time.

Abseiling

Abseiling involves descending from the top platform of our climbing tower to the ground, 10m below. It can be done on the easier angled ‘slab’ face or on a vertical face of the tower. While there is not as much teamwork or skill involved as there is in climbing, this is a great activity for improving confidence and challenging fear. Abseiling differs from descent after climbing (‘lowering off’) in that the individual is in control of their own rope during the descent. The abseiler also starts off from a standing position and it is the leaning back into the abseil position that challenges people the most. If the would be abseiler can overcome this initial fear, they invariably find that that it wasn’t nearly as scary or difficult as they thought. Throughout the descent the abseiler is of course backed up by the Instructor, so if they were to slip and let go of the rope the Instructor has them safely secured on a separate safety rope.

Abseiling can be combined with Climbing as part of a standard two and a half hour session.

Archery

Safety is the first aspect of Archery that we teach, along with respect for what is potentially a weapon. Archery is one of the quieter activities we offer at the centre. It allows for individual learning and really rewards patience. We have a number of different sized bows to suit all ages from approximately 7 up and plenty of protective armguards for those who need them. Our sessions typically involve a number of rounds of training shots before we introduce games and competitions. It doesn’t take long to get even the most uncoordinated beginner hitting the target most of the time.

Bushcraft

Our on-site activity includes fire lighting using traditional methods, cooking and shelter building.

Camping

Camping is available on site for groups. All camping equipment is provided and the building, toilets/showers etc are available throughout your groups stay. Full or part catering can be arranged through one of our local suppliers. Stays at the centre can be from 2-4 nights. Please contact us for further details.

Open Canoeing

In Canoeing, teamwork is the key to success, as our open topped canoes are paddled by teams of between two and four people. Only by communication, coordination and cooperation will the paddling team get the boat to go where they want it to go. As with Kayaking, once you’ve learned the basics we can increase the fun and your confidence with a range of games.

Canoes are generally more stable than kayaks, so they can be better for people who are nervous about water. We can also ‘raft’ two canoes together, making an extremely safe and stable platform to enable groups with mobility difficulties to enjoy water sports.

As with all our water sports activities, we can issue all participants with wetsuits and/or spray jackets, dependant on conditions, to wear instead of their own clothes. Participants will still need swimwear/spare underwear to wear under a wetsuit and old trainers or water shoes (no flip flops please!) to wear in the water.

Climbing

Our on site 10m climbing wall is packed with routes to suit different abilities. It has 3 vertical sides and one ‘slab’ side of an easier angle. Three sides of the tower each have 3 climbing routes of varied difficulty, the fourth side is mostly left clear for abseiling although it does contain one hard climbing route. In total then the tower has 10 different routes available. Climbing is a great activity for individual learning, achievement and overcoming fear. However, we can also stress the importance and responsibility of teamwork by getting the whole group involved in making each climber safe via ‘belaying’ which means controlling the climber’s safety rope. We also have a 12m traversing wall used to practice climbing moves and set challenges at ground level.

Climb of the Titans

Use an electron ladder to scale 10 meters up the side of our climbing tower. Participants are encouraged to take responsibility for each others safety under the watchful eye of one of our Instructors.

Climbing can be combined with Abseiling as part of a standard two and a half hour session.

Outdoor Education Young Climbers

Improvised Rafting

Can you make a raft out of the equipment we provide that will keep you and your team afloat on the lake? Will it stay together as we put your team through a number of speed and balance challenges on the water? Improvised Rafting is a great activity to test a team’s communication, cooperation and planning skills. Larger groups can split in half and compete against each other to build the best raft. The Instructor will be on hand to help you with your raft design, teach you useful knots and assist your team back to shore if your building skills weren’t quite up to scratch!

As with all our water sports activities, we can issue all participants with wetsuits and/or spray jackets, dependant on conditions, to wear instead of their own clothes. Participants will still need swimwear/spare underwear to wear under a wetsuit and old trainers or water shoes (no flip flops please!) to wear in the water.

Outdoor Education Watersport

Initiative/Team Building Exercises

While some teamwork is involved in all of the activities we run at the centre, Initiative Exercises are good for working on specific aspects of teamwork, such as Communication, Planning, Trust and Leadership. We have a wide variety of games and problem solving tasks of a physical, practical, skillful or mental nature that our Instructors can use to suit the needs of the group. Alternatively many of these exercises can be used as part of a competition between teams.

Kayaking

Our kayaks are closed topped and paddled by one person, so they are great for independence and individual learning. At first the kayak may seem to have a mind of its own, but perseverance and a willingness to learn will reward the paddler with more control over their direction. Once you have the basics of boat control we’ll be able to increase the fun with a series of games that will also improve your skill at the same time. Other exercises are designed to improve your confidence and balance in the boat including the dreaded capsize! As with all our water sports activities, we can issue all participants with wetsuits and/or spray jackets, dependant on conditions, to wear instead of their own clothes. Participants will still need swimwear/spare underwear to wear under a wetsuit and old trainers or water shoes (no flip flops please!) to wear in the water.

Off Road Cycling

Our introduction to off road cycling begins with a familiarisation of the mountain bike where we check that everyone can ride properly and brake safely. Our Instructors will then lead the group on a ride along the numerous woodland trails of the beautiful country park in which we are situated. We will also incorporate manoeuvring skills into the session, testing control, balance and accuracy, all of which are important for any budding mountain bike enthusiast. Mountain bikes, gloves, helmets and optional waterproofs are provided. It is advisable to wear old clothes and shoes as we usually get very wet and muddy!

Outdoor Education Cycling

Orienteering

Orienteering is a great activity for learning independence and map reading skills. The centre has a number of different Orienteering courses either in the grounds or in the wider area of the park itself. Depending on the needs of your group the activity can be done by individuals, pairs or teams, either competitively or just for individual achievement. Orienteering can also be undertaken on Mountain Bikes, where more experienced groups can cover greater distances.

Sailing

Harness the power of the wind to make our Topper sail boats go back and forth across the lake. Beginners usually sail in pairs with one controlling the rudder and one controlling the sail. Good teamwork is needed to control the boat’s direction, make turns and avoid the other boats on the lake. The more experienced or more confident can sail ‘single handed’, managing direction and speed on their own. This is a much more difficult task, but the independence can be very rewarding.

As with all our water sports activities, we can issue all participants with wetsuits and/or spray jackets, dependant on conditions, to wear instead of their own clothes. Participants will still need swimwear/spare underwear to wear under a wetsuit and old trainers or water shoes (no flip flops please!) to wear in the water.

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a great activity for independent learning as you control your own sail and board around our lake. You don’t need the balance of a gymnast to stay up on our high volume boards. Our Instructors will teach you how to make life easier for yourself by stepping in the right places on the board and holding the sail rig correctly. With a bit of perseverance and willingness to learn you’ll soon be gliding back and forth across the lake under wind power!

As with all our water sports activities, we can issue all participants with wetsuits and/or spray jackets, dependant on conditions, to wear instead of their own clothes. Participants will still need swimwear/spare underwear to wear under a wetsuit and old trainers or water shoes (no flip flops please!) to wear in the water.

Outdoor Education Windsurf

Off-Site Activities

For these activities we travel to the Peak District, North Wales or other suitable locations so they require a minimum of a full day to run and will incur additional costs such as Minibus transportation

Caving

Caves and their passages take tens of thousands of years to form. Caving is an amazing activity exploring these natural wonders. Many people have a fear of confined spaces or even of the dark that will be fully challenged on caving sessions. Individual achievement and team work are tested in equal measure as your Instructor leads you on a journey underground! The session can be tailored to suit the challenge level required. Some of the routes we use could have you squeezing through tight passages on your belly or wading through knee deep water! Each person will be outfitted with a helmet, headlamp, Wellington boots, a full fleece body suit and a caving over-suit to wear. However it is advisable to wear old socks and old underclothing as we usually get very wet and muddy! Spare underwear/socks and a towel to change with afterwards is also a good idea. For Caving we travel to the Peak District or further afield.

Outdoor Education Caving

Gorge Walking

With Gorge Walking the objective is to ascend or descend a section of a white water river. This would only be attempted with the river at a suitable water level. We have a number of different approaches to the session. We can make it a ‘dry’ session which would involve traversing walls and scrambling up boulders right next to the river itself, with wet feet awaiting those who slip! The session can involve a some rope work if you wish either in climbing a tricky section of rock or in making a crossing of the river just above the water level. For the ‘dry’ session, each person would be equipped with a helmet, buoyancy aid (just in case!) and if necessary a harness. We would advise bringing a spare change of clothes and a towel however in case you do get wet.

Alternatively we can make it a wet session where the group spend most of the time in the water helping each other scramble over rocks, up small waterfalls and down chutes, or into plunge pools led by their Instructor. For the wet session, each person would be equipped with helmet, buoyancy aid and wetsuit to provide protection from the cold water and rock. You will however need old underwear or swimwear to wear under the wetsuit and old trainers or water shoes with good strong soles (no flip flops or sandals!) for your feet. Obviously a towel and warm clothes to change into afterwards would be needed as well.

Both types of session involve a lot of team work as the group will need to communicate and physically help each other progress up the river. It may also be possible to combine aspects of both types of session provided that we are prepared beforehand. For example we could dress for the wet session but start off by scrambling next to the river, or make a rope crossing and then move into the river itself to enjoy some of the water based action. For Gorge Walking we travel to North Wales.

Hill Walking

Hill Walking is a rewarding activity for those willing to put in the effort. It’s one of our quieter activities with the simpler pleasures of enjoying the scenery and achieving your hard won objective of ‘getting to the top’ of whatever hill or mountain you’re walking up. For those wanting to learn more, or perhaps open the door to their own adventures we can also teach elements of map reading and navigation techniques throughout the day. For Hill Walking we travel to the Peak District, North Wales or further afield.

Outdoor Education Walking

Mountain Biking

For those looking for a bit more of a challenge to our Off Road Cycling sessions, we can travel approximately 1 hour to Cannock Chase or further afield. Cannock Chase has a huge number of excellent cycling routes set amongst beautiful hills and woodland. For the more skilled there are also a large number of exhilarating downhill speed courses, called ‘single track’, that really test your nerve and ability, although they can be easily bypassed by the more nervous members of the group. Mountain bikes, helmets, gloves and optional water proofs are provided. It is advisable to wear old clothes and shoes as we usually get very wet and muddy!

Mountaineering

Mountaineering combines all the pleasures of hill walking with sections of easy climbing or ‘scrambling’, to get your arms working as well as your legs. The amount and difficulty of the scrambling we can do is dependent on the ability of the group. Often the scrambling sections can be bypassed by nervous members of a group but this would ideally be planned in advance so that the Instructor can pick their route accordingly. The day would usually culminate, conditions permitting, with a well deserved summit of a mountain where the group can catch their breath and even enjoy the view if you’re lucky enough to have a clear weather day. Mountaineering would only be done in North Wales or further afield.

Rock Climbing

Climbing on real rock is a much more natural experience than climbing on an artificial wall. It involves different challenges for the climber, such as ‘reading’ the rock to work out where the route goes, what hand or foot holds there are and how best to use them. There are also all the usual benefits of individual learning, personal achievement and team work that you would get at a climbing wall or tower. We can travel to the Peak District, North Wales or further afield to sample some of the best rock climbing in the country and enjoy stunning scenery at the same time.

Health and Safety/Risk Assessment Procedures

Kingsbury Water Park Outdoor Education Centre holds an AALA licence (Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority). All activities follow comprehensive policy and operating procedures, codes of good practice from National Governing Bodies (where appropriate) and are fully risk assessed; all of which can be viewed at the centre in person. We employ experienced, highly qualified staff who hold a wide range of National Governing Body Awards in Outdoor Education. All centre staff are steered through an intensive induction and training programme, fully CRB checked and approved.
To see more details about our Licenses and Risk Assessments click on the Safety Management Summary document in the Downloads and documents section.

Activities at Kingsbury Water Park was last updated on July 25, 2017.


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