What do I need to bring?

Bring plenty of clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty on activities. Lots of socks, thick ones if possible, so that you will be comfortable in the wellies or walking boots that we give you. It can be cold at any time of year so bring at least one warm fleecy top that you can wear on activities and bring a warm hat and gloves. A swimsuit might be useful to wear under one of our wetsuits if we use them for your activity. You will need a towel and all of your wash kit, toothbrush etc.

The recomended Clothing List is a downloadable word document. 

What do group leaders / teachers need to know?

For those planning a school or group visit you may find some more useful information in the Pre Visit Presentation (downloadable power point presentation). 

Group leaders/teachers should also ensure that all participants (under 18) complete and bring the U18 Consent form. 

Group leaders/teachers and adult participants should all complete and bring the Over 18 Declaration form. 

What are the visiting group leaders' responsibilities?

Group leaders are responsible throughout the visit for the pastoral care of their group members at all times, including the overnight supervision of their group.

For groups resident overnight in the Centre, the group leader/organiser is responsible for liaising with the Duty Instructor, in relation to the design and operation of the Centres residential programme and any operational Health and Safety issues affecting their group and the comfort and safety of other Centre residents.

If I am a fussy eater, will I like the food?

At Blairvadach we cook wholesome, child friendly food at meal times and there will be a choice of options to suit most tastes. We encourage people to try new things, however if you have specific dietary requirements please be sure to tell your group leader in advance of your visit so that we can do our best to accommodate you. We do not use nuts in our kitchen.

If I am scared of heights or water, will I be made to do activities that I do not want to do?

The instructors at Blairvadach are experts at what they do. They will encourage you to try all of the activities and keep you safe. People are often surprised to find that with the right support they can achieve more than they expected, but if you really don’t want to do something your instructor will never force you.

Do I need to be able to swim to take part in water activities?

No, although it will help if you are confident in and around water. All participants will wear a floatation device called a buoyancy aid for water activities.

What are the rooms like?

The student bedrooms have bunkbeds with a maximum of four people sharing the same room. Being on a trip away from home and sharing a room with your friends is one of the great things about being at Blairvadach!

Teachers usually have their own room but occasionally share twin accommodation with a colleague.

Is smoking or alcohol allowed?

In line with Glasgow City Council Policies, Blairvadach is a no smoking establishment and alcohol is not permitted on the premises.

How do I make a booking?

Contact Blairvadach's office on 01436 820491 to discuss your requirements and enquire about the availability of courses and dates. Please note that booking conditions will apply.

What are the office hours?

Office hours are 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday.

Where is the centre?

Blairvadach Outdoor Education Centre is located on the the east shore of the Gare Loch just one kilometre north of Rhu village, near Helensburgh. Click here to view a map.

What does the Centre offer?

Blairvadach is a sector leading facility that offers a range of first class outdoor education experiences with residential accommodation for organised groups as well as occasional courses open to the general public.

Throughout school term time, the Centre provides opportunities for Glasgow City Council schools to participate in a structured programme of outdoor learning and adventure that can be tailored to meet specific educational aims and objectives.

The Centre has modern meeting rooms and conference facilities, making it an ideal venue for small business group seminars and meetings.

We can offer a variety of service levels from day visits and self-programmed use to residential courses offering full catering and instruction.

We welcome all enquiries, to view our facilities please click here.

What is AALA / AALS?

The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (Service) is the body that inspects providers of adventure activities and issues providers with their licence to operate.

What about Insurance ?

The Centre is owned and operated by Glasgow City Council and operates under the City Council’s Public Liability Insurance Policy.

Course participants are recommended to arrange their own personal accident and personal effects insurance if this is of concern to them.

Visiting Group Leaders' responsibilities

Group leaders are responsible throughout the visit for the pastoral care of their group members at all times, including the overnight supervision of their group.

Where groups are resident overnight in the Centre, the group leader / organiser is responsible for the liaison between the Duty member of Centre staff, in relation to the management of the Centres residential programme and operational Health and Safety issues affecting their group and the comfort and safety of other Centre residents.

Child Welfare and Safety

Blairvadach adopts an ‘everyone is responsible’ approach to Child Welfare and Safety. As we are part of Glasgow City Council Education Services we follow the guidelines and policies set out in the department’s Child Welfare and Safety documents:

Experience Feedback

We speak with all our customers throughout the course to ensure we are meeting your expectations. Please feel free to feedback at any point to an appropriate member of staff. In addition we gather feedback about all our courses through online surveys following the experience. A link to these surveys can be found below.

Health and Safety

Our long-standing reputation for safety is one of the most often-stated reasons for using Blairvadach Outdoor Education Centre. We pride ourselves on this and take our responsibilities seriously.

Parents, young people, head teachers, businesses and specialist advisors all demand the highest standards of safety and we recognise the importance of this.

Below you will find information on specific aspects of how we manage our health and safety and downloadable documents relevant to our courses.

Blairvadach Safety Management System (SMS)