10 family bushcraft courses: experience nature

Here’s a guide to family bushcraft courses ranging from 1 day courses to overnighters across the UK. Kids will love being out in the woods actively learning simple bushcraft and survival skills. There are fun-filled family courses for families and also ‘kids only’ days/camps listed here. The whole family will enjoy experiencing nature in such an interactive way and it’s certainly a different way to spend your time!

1. NORFOLK Canoe Man Swallows and Amazons Adventure Days 

HIGHLIGHTS: Guided canoe trail in search of Otters and Bitterns, bushcraft session, lunch in a beautiful woodland setting, and archery in the afternoon with canoe journey back. HOW TO DO IT:  7 April, 12 May, 2 June, 14 July, 21 & 24 & 28 & 31 July, 4 & 7 & 11 & 14 & 18 & 21 & 25 & 28 August, 1 & 22 Sept – costs £40 per adult and £30 per child. http://www.thecanoeman.com/swallowsandamazons.asp

2. NORFOLK Canoe Man School of Wilderness Bushcraft 1 or 2 day courses

HIGHLIGHTS:  The 1 day course is an introduction to the basic fundamentals of bushcraft and no experience is required; the 2 day course covers the fundamentals in greater depth including an overnight stay in the woods under your own shelter with dinner, breakfast and lunch. HOW TO DO IT: 1 day courses 12 May, 16 June,14  July, 1 & 7 Sept and 20 Oct – costs £45 per adult & £35 per child; 2 day courses 1 June, 3 August & 21 September – costs £95 per adult and £70 per child. Both the bushcraft and the adventure days take place in Wroxham, Norfolk at the CanoeMan’s Woodland Activity Centre (WAC). http://www.thecanoeman.com/bushcraft.asp

3. OXFORDSHIRE The Bushcraft Company Summer Camps (for the kids 7 to 15 year olds)

HIGHLIGHTS: Spend the morning tree climbing, cook your own lunch over a campfire, swim in the lake in the afternoon, and spend the evening playing games. Children stay in beautiful safari-style camps and enjoy freshly cooked meals around the campfire each day. HOW TO DO IT: Runs throughout the summer for children aged 7-15 with separate camps for 7-11 year olds and 11-15 year olds. Option of 2-day (£99), 3-day (£199) or 5-day camps (£349). Takes place at the Woodland Centre Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. http://www.thebushcraftcompany.com/summercamps/

4. DEVON Wildwise Extraordinary School for Kids (for the kids)

HIGHLIGHTS: A day of skills, challenges and adventures drawing upon bushcraft, fieldcraft and nature including shelter-building, firecraft, campfire cookery, woodcraft, making traditional weapons and more. HOW TO DO IT: 10 April, 28 May, 31 October at the Dartington Estate. Costs £30. http://www.wildwise.co.uk/events+.php?nID=18&n_start=0

5. DEVON Wildwise Bushcraft Day

HIGHLIGHTS: Spend the day playing with some of the basic bushcraft skills including firemaking, shelter building and the use of cutting tools as well as bringing awareness to the natural world all around. HOW TO DO IT: Takes place on the 1 September at the Dartington Estate, Devon and costs £45 for 1 adult plus kids, £65 2 adults plus kids. http://www.wildwise.co.uk/events+.php?nID=9&n_start=0

6. KENT Natural Pathways 2 day Bushcraft Family Camp age 5 and over

HIGHLIGHTS: Light a fire without matches, build & sleep in a natural shelter, cook on an open fire, identify plants & trees, animal movements & sign, natural awareness games and more. HOW TO DO IT: Suitable for children aged 5-16. Takes place June half term close to Canterbury, Kent and costs £95 per person or £342 for a family of four. http://www.natural-pathways.co.uk/family-bushcraft-weekend.php

7. Lake District FSC Bushcraft for Families (4 nights) age 8 and over

HIGHLIGHTS: Wilderness bushcraft activities including survival skills (shelter building, camp fire, wild teas), geocaching, producing fish hooks, wilderness walk, making string from nettles and more. HOW TO DO IT: Suitable for children aged 8 and over. The course is run at the Field Studies Council centre in Blencathra, Lake District and costs £170 per adult and £135 per child.  Includes all meals, accommodation & transport and sleeping in a family room.

8 & 9. Scotland and Sussex Wildwood Family Bushcraft Day

HIGHLIGHTS: An introduction to bushcraft for families covering firelighting, knotwork, water collection/preperation, shelter. HOW TO DO IT: Adult £70, child £40. Based at Glen Nevis (near Fort William), Scotland and Nutley, Sussex (dates for Sussex include 4 May, 16 June, 13 July).

10. EAST SUSSEX Ray Mears Family Bushcraft (2 nights) age 8 and over

HIGHLIGHTS: This 2 night course will give you the knowledge of the core skills involved in bushcraft: making a campfire, shelters, nature awareness, animal tracking, useful plant & tree recognition, campfire games & stories. HOW TO DO IT: The base is an expedition style camp in East Sussex, near Uckfield. The camp is in private woodland with lots of wildlife including deer, owls, badgers, fox and butterflies. Course run 5 April and 28 May and costs £225 per person.

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