Contact us

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Contact Skern Lodge

Monday to Friday

8:30am to 5pm

During this time our phone lines are open and our team are here to help you with questions you have.

01237 475 992

Skern Lodge
EX39 1NG

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Contact Tidal & Trail

Open 7 days a week through Summer & School Holidays, Wednesday - Sunday all other times.

9.00am to 5.00pm

During this time our phone lines are open and our team are here to help you with bike hire and further enquiries.

Landline: 01237 425437
Mobile: 07823 591416

Torrington Street
EX39 4DR

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Show FAQs

Are you open to the public?

Yes, everyone is welcome! Please be aware that all activities require pre-booking.  Some activities need to be set-up or we may need specialist trainers on the premises, so we need to know in advance who is coming.

How long has Skern been operating?

We first opened in 1976 and moved to our current site in 1982.

How do you book?

The booking process varies depending on the group size, age, activities, etc. but we do try to make it as simple as possible regardless.  Give us a call and we will check availability before explaining the remainder of the process.

Does the cost depend on the choice of activity?

No.  The costs are based on the type of course rather than your activity choices. However, some optional extras are available e.g. visits to local attractions, and these are an additional cost.

How safe is it?

There is risk in all we do in life and outdoor activities are no exception.  We cannot say there is no risk but careful management reduces this to a very acceptable level.  We are regularly inspected by several bodies: Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, British Canoeing, RYA, Health & Safety Executive, many Local Education Authority inspectors, the insurance company, company health and safety departments and several others.  Furthermore we have, and regularly risk assess not only all activities but fire safety, kitchen hygiene, bunk beds, security and staircases to name but a few.  

What qualifications do the instructors have?

All instructors are fully trained in the activities they deliver.  All hold a first aid qualification, are signed off as competent and are regularly monitored to ensure the highest levels of safety and delivery standards are met.  We also follow national governing body guidelines and fully comply with Activity Licensing regulations to ensure the correct staff are delivering the activities for which they are qualified.

Do I have do all the activities?

Certainly not.  Skern is about success and positive outcomes.  The programmes are designed to have a variety of activities so that in a stay of a few days you will find, hopefully, all activities fun, some easy and some more challenging.  No one will be made to do an activity they do not want to but equally we will encourage you to have a go.  Skern is a great place to learn more about yourself and to achieve more than you thought you could.

Do you cater for people with dietary requirements and allergies?

Of course.  The food at Skern is renowned for quality and quantity.  We have vegetarian and vegan options and can cater for any dietary requirements but please let us know in advance.

Will there be other groups in at the same time?

Almost certainly.  We are always very careful with our client mix.  However, there are completely separate accommodation units that are individually secure.

How secure is Skern Lodge for young people?

  • Children will never be off-site unsupervised
  • The buildings are locked at night (but they can be easily exited if need be e.g. fire) and all windows have restricted openings
  • There are both Skern staff and group leaders resident on-site
  • The gates are locked at night and the site is well lit
  • All staff are carefully checked to ensure they are appropriate to work with children
  • All instructors have DBS (CRB) checks
  • When unaccompanied children visit, a Skern member of staff is allocated as 'house parent'

Is transport for activities provided?

Many of the activities are on-site.  For those off-site then either a local coach company is used or more normally, one of our minibuses.  These are Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) run under an operator’s licence and as such checked very regularly.  All drivers have PCV licences and of course working seat belts are provided to each seat.

Do activities continue if the weather is bad?

On the whole activities are carried out regardless of the weather.  Each morning, and just before starting an activity, an assessment is made about the weather.  Sometimes strong winds can make kayaking unsafe or winter cold may make surfing unsuitable.  In these cases great alternatives will be found.  Safety is never compromised.

How many instructors are there per group?

Our ratios vary depending on the activity; most activities have a working ratio of up to 1:10. Allowing younger groups to work in groups of 1:8 with the flexibility of teaching staff being able to join groups and activities as they wish, but we never exceed the ratio advised by the Governing Body of that sport.

Do I need to bring equipment?

All adventure equipment is provided; it is modern, checked regularly and has quality standards where available. Please bring suitable clothing for outdoor activities.

Do I need to bring my own bedding?

No for overnight stays in the Lodge beds are made up for your arrival with duvets and pillows. You will however need to bring your own towel.

Do children need to bring money with them?

Very little.  Almost everything is included and any extras will have been clearly detailed before you book.  We do have a small shop on-site that sells toiletries, sweets, drinks, postcards and t-shirts etc. There are also soft drink vending machines on-site. We are happy to accept payment by card over the phone (01237 475992) and provide a voucher to be exchanged in the shop on your child's arrival.