What Makes Cumulus Outdoors Different?

With a number of adventure activity providers based within the Dorset area, we’re often asked what makes Cumulus Outdoors different? Quite simply, our team are committed to providing the ultimate residential experience for school and youth groups, something we’re able to achieve thanks to our stunning locations, unbeatable adventure experiences and dedicated instructors.

From our base in Swanage we’re able to create exciting school trips that students will remember for years to come. Here are a few examples of how we do this and what makes Cumulus Outdoors so special.


1. Unique locations: Tented Village or Residential Centre

Cumulus Outdoors Tented Villages occupy unbeatable locations within easy reach of the Jurassic Coastline. The locations are completely exclusive, so at no time will you share your tented village area or facilities with another group. With a surrounding fence line and lockable gate, teachers and trip leaders can rest assured that their students are in a safe and secure environment.

Aerial view of the campsite on the shores of Poole Harbour

Our Residential Centre is located in a wonderfully quiet location backing onto the Townsend Nature Reserve in Swanage . It boasts wonderful views over the bay and it’s just a 10 minute walk to Swanage town centre, the beach, pier and other local amenities.

Residential school trips, for the most part, run from Monday to Friday and no two residentials will run back to back. This gives us time to thoroughly clean the accommodation in between groups, in line with prevailing guidelines and recommendations.


2. 24/7 Pastoral care

Both our Residential Centre and Tented Villages provide 24/7 pastoral care for the duration of your residential from the experienced and dedicated Cumulus team. This enabes teachers and leaders to engage with the programme as much or as little as they choose! A Team Leader is assigned to your school for the duration of your trip.

students playing at the campsite


3. Bespoke adventure activity programmes

We create bespoke outdoor activity programmes to match your groups requirements with all the necessary equipment provided. Our school trips are designed with your input and tailored to meet the needs and objectives of your group. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver excellent programmes from our unbeatable locations on the Dorset coast. Every part of your stay is carefully planned and we can manage every aspect for you, from arrival through to your departure.

students and staff laughing on raft

4. Spacious walk-in tents

The Tented Village has a homely feel and is a great place to return after the days adventures. Spacious walk-in tents are set around a huge central Nordic Tipi which contains a central campfire. Here the group can spend time together in the evenings, playing campfire games and recalling the days adventures.


5. Ensuite hard top accommodation: Residential Centre

  • Accommodation for up to 93 students and up to 10 staff across three dormitories, set in 6 acres of ground
  • Self-catering bungalow can sleep 14 students plus 2 staff or 12 students and 4 staff, providing a total capacity for over 100 students
  • All staff rooms come with bunk beds and so, where necessary, the centre has a total capacity of 133 beds
  • Two dormitories offer small 2-4 bedded student rooms with ensuite bathroom facilities whilst the third offers more traditional larger bed dormitory sleeping accommodation
  • Designated 1-2 bed ensuite staff bedrooms across the three dormitories and a staff lounge area for teachers to relax after a busy day

6. In-House catering

The catering team cook a varied and seasonal menu of delicious evening meals on site. They’ll cater for all dietary and religious requirements and supply you with delicious goodies to enjoy when participating in activities away from the site.


7. Experienced staff

We have the highest staffing ratios for your activities, often well exceeding the minimum requirements. All of our instructors hold the relevant national governing body qualifications as well as a vast amount of professional experience. Our staff are extremely passionate about their jobs and do their utmost to deliver activities in an engaging way.

Cumulus leader instructing on beach safety


8. Adventurous and educational activities

Thanks to our enviable coastal location, we can deliver exciting outdoor activities and water sports set against the backdrop of the stunning Jurassic Coast. Under the expert guidance of our highly qualified instructors, students can participate in a host of outdoor activities including, coasteering, kayaking, climbing, bushcraft, Dorset waterpark and mackerel fishing. With all sessions tailored to the needs and abilities of each school group, our team members work hard to engage students in fun and innovative ways.

School group fishing on the San Gina in Swanage Bay spending time in nature

Most activities take place off site in locations such as Swanage town and beach, Dancing Ledge, Dorset Adventure Park and Studland beach, while excursions to locations such as Corfe Castle and Durlston Country Park can also be included. We provide a high level of experience with appropriate differentiation to ensure all participants have equal opportunities to reach their potential, both off and on session. With our LOtC accreditation, we always strive to meet the agreed learning outcomes whilst ensuring that fun is at the forefront of everything we do.


9. Option to add educational elements

In addition to our popular outdoor adventure school residential trips, Cumulus Outdoors offer field studies trips for Key Stage 2 and 3. From our residential centre in Swanage, we can help you achieve a range of educational learning outcomes, through a combination of expert tuition and trips to nearby sites of geological and historical importance.


10. Award-winning

Cumulus Outdoors are an award-winning outdoor activity provider. Last year we won the coveted Active and Sporting Experience Gold Award at the Dorset Tourism Awards. The award ‘Recognises providers of truly memorable and immersive active and sporting activities for visitors to participate in’.

dorset tourism award gold award