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Wilderness at WHIS_1
Our Outdoor Learning Haven

The Wilderness Centre is a classic country house nestled within 30 acres of private grounds in the Forest of Dean, with forest, fields and its own stone circle. We enjoy spectacular views over the River Severn to the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills over 20 miles away.

Nestled on the side of Plump Hill, near Mitcheldean, it is a site all about growth and learning, offering pupils at Wotton House a venue for a wide range of educational experiences.


It is an important strand in what we think is important in learning. Alongside the classroom and modern ways of learning, The Wilderness Centre gives our pupils the perfect place to lose themselves - to disconnect from routine and technology and connect with nature.

On-site activities


A great introduction to an ancient Olympic sport. Archery requires discipline, concentration and determination. Our patient instructors will ensure that all participants are taught the correct technique in a safe and fun manner and encouraged to achieve their goals.


A variety of challenges designed to encourage team work, cooperation and planning skills. Each problem is tailored specifically to achieve your outcomes and group goals, whether that be to improve communication skills, encourage empathy or simply to have fun. 


Unleash the inner survival expert! At the Wilderness centre we have a great location for learning traditional bushcraft skills. Fire lighting, shelter building, campfire cooking and animal tracking are taught by our experienced instructors in ancient woodland around our site.

Does this sound like a good fit for your child? If the answer is yes, then we would love to hear from you. To find out more just contact us

Crate stack

How high can your stack go? A great team high ropes activity. Your task is to build a tower out of crates, as high as possible! The catch is that you and your team mates will be standing on the tower whilst building it. The rest of your group will have the task of holding your safety ropes and helping you achieve your goals.


We have a variety of orienteering courses laid out around our 29 acre site and in the adjacent woodland. Our professional instructors will teach the required map skills and then set small teams off around the appropriate course. A great activity for developing self-reliance, decision making and risk management. 

Climbing wall

A great activity for an evening. Climbing takes place inside our small indoor wall, belaying techniques, climbing techniques and bouldering will be taught during the session, with an emphasis on balance and movement skills.

Tunnel trail

Our extensive artificial tunnel system is the perfect place for groups to experience total darkness and practice their communication skills. Groups are encouraged to map the tunnel system working together to ensure they are not lost in the catacombs!



A chance for groups to challenge themselves by abseiling off the roof of the mansion house. After being fitted with the safety equipment and being instructed in the correct technique it’s time to stand on the edge and go for it!

Climbing activity at the wilderness

Challenge course

A great team event, a number of obstacles are set up that require teams to work together to successfully complete the course. Our instructors can set the appropriate challenges to meet the ability levels and outcomes that the group require.

Hill walking

A chance to get away from it all on half or full day hikes around the local Forest of Dean or even try the challenging Malvern Hills Ridgewalk. Groups pack a back-pack with everything they will need for the hike and learn some navigation skills along the way. 

Environmental studies

The Wilderness Centre is renowned as a venue for excellent field studies and environmental education. Our woodland and organic meadows provide inspiring and diverse landscapes for groups to explore and we have a good selection of equipment, work books and text books to assist teachers and leaders in delivering their courses. 

Saxon day

Real life Horrible Histories! Groups will be transported back in time to the 9th Century, They will discover what life was like in our replica Saxon house, try simple Saxon clothes and weapons. The Saxon Day should help anchor the classroom learning.

Outdoor Leadership

The framework of a course we are developing can be found here.

Off-site Activities

Open Canoeing

Using the majestic River Wye, groups can take part in ½ and whole day river trips, experiencing the SSSI Wye Valley whilst learning about the river and its ecology as well as having an unforgettable adventure.


Using the River Wye, groups can take part in ½ and whole day river trips, experiencing the SSSI Wye Valley whilst learning about the river and its ecology as well as having an unforgettable adventure.

Raft Building

Groups are tasked with building improvised rafts out of a range of materials, once built groups take to the water to see if their designs work in practice!

Rock Climbing

Experience the natural beauty of Symonds Yat gorge by climbing on the limestone crags high above the River Wye. With the wide variety of climbs on offer there is something for all abilities.

Mountain Biking

Explore the Forest of Dean on two wheels - specialist instruction means that you can get the best out of your day from a picturesque ride on the family trail to an adrenaline filled experience on the single track trails.


Explore the majestic Clearwell Caves away from the tourists. You will be kitted out in an overall, boots, helmet and head lamp and descend into the cave with your professional guide to ensure you have a great time.

Students gathered outside the Wilderness Centre
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