About us

Experiential learning and adventure.

We want all our guests to have a fun and adventurous trip, to learn something new and enjoy themselves in a safe environment. It is our enthusiastic team of over 50 friendly and capable staff who make this possible.

Everyone at Skern strives to provide excellence throughout all our activities, courses and services. We are adventure experts, who know how to balance encouragement and reassurance to ensure all our guests' experience is thoroughly enjoyable.

We give guests ample opportunity to explore the outdoors through a diverse range of activities, we set challenges and instil learning every step of the way. Throughout, the safety of our guests is paramount, and for all activities we implement equipment and safety procedures which are well established, and have been fine tuned since our opening in 1976.

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The Centre

We are located in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and inside the internationally recognised UNESCO Biosphere of Braunton Burrows on the Devon Coast near Appledore.The Centre is situated on the site of the old Watertown Farm, the buildings have been developed and added to, incorporating the original 1705 stonework into the purpose built residential facilities.
Skern Lodge is a warm, clean and comfortable Centre for activity and development programmes. Separate buildings accommodate different groups and ages, each with their own meeting and social areas. There's plenty of room on site for games and play, and the views out to sea are stunning.

Accommodation and Facilities

Many of the rooms have expansive views across Northam Burrows and over the water.

There are four separate accommodation areas, all with central heating, drying rooms,  showers and comfy beds. All rooms have warm bedding and are made up ready for guests on arrival.  And of course, staff and group leaders have their own en-suite room near their party group.

The centre also has plenty of meeting rooms, classrooms and social areas available for guests to use throughout their stay, and there is plenty of outdoor space for guests to relax or run around in.

WiFi is available within most areas of the site and laptops are available for use for students undertaking fieldwork data. For adult groups staying at the centre there is a bar available and for our younger guests there is the Skern shop for all their memorabilia.

Added to all this, a heated outdoor swimming pool completes the complex.

Catering at Skern

The dining facility seating 110 is at the heart of the centre. We take great pride in providing a great variety, fresh, local options and served by an outstanding team with care and good humour.  

Any dietary requirements can be catered for and there are plenty of healthy options. Menus and meal times are tailored to the clients staying with us each week.

Our catering team endeavours to get as many good comments about the food as we do about activities.

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Meet the team

Richard Thomas

Executive Director

Ed Tomlin

Centre Manager

Aaron Lowe

Chief Instructor

Daisy Scanes

Field Studies Tutor & Outdoor Instructor

Sustainability at Skern

We have worked hard over the past 45 years to ensure that our impact on the environments and locations we use are kept to a minimum.  Litter and erosion are key factors that we take into consideration and educating others about their impact can have lasting effects beyond their stay with us.

We see over 10,000 people come through the door every year, with an average of 150 people per day that need at least one shower, toilet facilities, clean bedding, transportation, healthy feeding and watering. Therefore we try to reduce our impact in many ways.  Whether it's environmentally friendly cleaning materials, investment in solar heating and solar power or buying locally produced food where possible.

At Skern Lodge we try and recycle as much as we can and encourage our guests to do the same.  With plenty of recycling bins, our waste reduction has improved year on year.

Skern is not just a place for now, but with sustainability on site and at our activity locations, Skern is a place for the future.

Disabled Access & Activity Options

Where possible, access to our site and facilities is made as simple as possible for our guest with physical disabilities.  Ground floor bedrooms with wet rooms are available.  Please give us a call to discuss your requirements.

We would love to say that all activities are suitable for everyone but, depending on the disability some activities are not necessarily suitable or practical.  However with individually tailored courses, additional needs can be taken into consideration in advance and activities programmed accordingly.

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Looking for the next adventure?

Get in touch with our friendly team.

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