Adventure Okehampton is the marketing name for Dartmoor Active Leisure ltd, a company established in 1996 to develop a Youth Hostel in Okehampton. Since 1997 it has been providing activity residentials for schools and groups as well as providing accommodation to YHA members, families and individuals during the holidays. It is the only YHA Activity Centre in the SW England operating under a franchise arrangement and one of 3 YHA Activity Centre in England and Wales.

Our main ethos is to provide people with chance to experience Dartmoor and to undertake some challenging activities, as “where you stay changes who you become”. Alongside this, the company run their operations in a sustainable way. Since the beginning, the company has employed local staff, used local suppliers and during building projects we use local sub-contractors working under our supervision to our work specification. Visitors in 2023 will be able to use our new building, our Granite Way Cycle Hub, with heating provided by a Air-Source Heat Pump and a grey water system using rainwater run-off.

We meet YHA standards for accommodation provision, as well as catering. Visit England inspectors gave our accommodation a 3 Star Activity Accommodation rating.

Our aims:

  • Using our activity expertise, residential facilities and staff to give people a great Dartmoor welcome
  • Ensure a safe environment for your adventure
  • Making an educational experience that lasts a life-time
  • Providing a challenging experience, that’s still fun and not impossible to achieve!
  • Giving a stimulating not suffocating experience for our participants

The Adventure Activity Team has a range of instructors with skills in different adventure activities. Many of the senior instructors have been with the team for several years, and we have an active Modern Apprentice scheme run in conjunction with Duchy College, Cornwall, allowing our young instructors to obtain qualifications on the job and progress to senior instructor positions. All of our adventure activities are reviewed on a regular basis by our own advisors as well as AALA inspectors.

Our adventure activity programme has Quality Badge from Council of Learning Outside the Classroom meeting their standards as a recognized provider in Outdoor Learning experiences.

Staff you may come in contact with whilst arranging your stay

Centre Director: John started the centre 23 years ago, noticing that there was little accommodation on Dartmoor. Formerly the Leader of North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, he is very familiar with the area of North Dartmoor. John is still a keen walker and has been trekking in Alps, New Zealand, Nepal and this years focus is the SW Coastal Path and the Sentier Cathar in France.

Centre Manager: Paul is the centre manager at Adventure Okehampton. In the past he served as operations manager as well as an activity instructor and has a SPA in climbing. As a Ten Tor’s veteran, he also knows Dartmoor well, and but today he is more generally found managing the 3 hostel buildings on a day to day basis, running our building projects, troubleshooting IT issues or helping out with catering.

Operations Assistant: Nicola Ivor-Jones can usually be found near the Cycle Hub, where she oversees the operations, as well as working with Paul and Anna to create a welcoming environment for our visitors.

Accommodation Manager: Anna is your main point of contact for bookings at YHA Okehampton and YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor (both House and Lodge).

Chief Instructor: Ian is the main point of contact for Activity programmes, as well as any people interested in volunteering for work experience. Sharon and a great team of instructors work with Ian to provide a exciting range of activities.

In the Cycle Hire building Amy and Iain are both Cytech – qualified technicians, so you can be certain that your bike is set-up well for your ride down the Granite Way.

Accounts Department: Libby manages the administration of our accounts department.

Adventure Okehampton runs an adventure activity centre which is approved by:

  • Adventure Activity Licensing Authority: AALA number L9842
  • Council for Learning Outside the Classroom: Quality Badge
  • Youth Hostel Association (England and Wales)

We are registered providers for many county and city councils including:

  • Devon County Council
  • Plymouth City Council

As one of three YHA Adventure Activity centres, we are based at YHA Okehampton and also manage YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor, a short distance away. Adventure Okehampton employ a team of expert instructors and we manage most of our own facilities. We provide over 15 different adventure activities, as standard and can develop other activities on demand. In many cases, you do not need to leave the hostel grounds to start your adventures! We encourage the group leaders and participants to join in activities within a fun and safe environment. Groups will be guided through the basic skills required for the session, enabling participants to experience the adrenaline rush as they push their personal boundaries and their confidence grows. Combining skill, strength and with a little courage they will come away with a really satisfying experience and great sense of adventure.

Why choose Adventure Okehampton?

As the southern-most YHA Adventure Activity centre, we have been awarded 3 Stars by Visit England inspectors. We have been delivering Adventure Activity programmes for young people in Okehampton since 1997. As an Enterprise Hostel each year we listen to your feedback and work on improving our facilities over the winter.



How we help you plan your stay

  • Bespoke school adventure holiday planning, designed to fit your requirements.
  • YHA centre offering access to YHA’s Breaks for Kids fund to support your stay
  • Each group booking is handled initially by the bookings manager.
  • Activity planning is done by Activities manager in consultation with the group leader
  • During your stay your group will be given an instructor that is your single point of contact, ensuring continuity and consistancy of messaging to the entire hostel, catering and activity team.
  • we use your feedback to ensure that we can improve your future stay.

Our Aims

  • Ensure a safe environment for your adventure
  • Making an educational experience that lasts a life-time
  • Giving a stimulating, not suffocating experience for our participants
  • Providing a challenging experience, that’s still fun and not impossible to achieve!

Safety is important to us

  • Risk assessments available in advance of your stay.
  • Qualified, experienced instructors provided leadership for the activities
  • All Activity Staff are checked by the Disclosure & Barring Service and have undertaken Safeguarding and Protecting Children training (UK CC)

Quality of delivery is also important

  • Each year our activity staff follow a pre-season induction session to ensure that our standards are maintained and all lesson plans are reviewed and refreshed.
  • Our external technical advisor and senior staff ensure we are up to date with legislative changes in technical aspects for delivery of outdoor activities
  • Quality mark from Council of Learning in The Outdoor Classroom (LoTC)
  • Each year our staff and our activity sessions are reviewed by inspectors to retain our approved centre status from AALA, Adventuremark and British Canoeing.
  • Our activities are approved as part of the Childrens University passport scheme

Facilities at Adventure Okehampton

YHA Okehampton
Venue for Archery, Low Ropes, Bushcraft, Climbing Wall, Team Games, Cycle Trail (Start).

YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor
Venue for Archery, High Ropes, Bushcraft, Navigation, Orienteering, Climbing Wall, Team Games, Mountain Boarding.

Adventure Okehampton’s Lakes:
About 9 miles from Okehampton, we have sole use of 2 large lakes, set in the rolling countryside of Devon, providing the ideal venue for Canoeing, Kayaking and Raft Building. We offer a full day of watersports in most programmes. There is a shelter for eating the picnic lunch, as well a changing rooms and toilets.

Adventure Okehampton’s Quarry:
About 3 miles from Okehampton, we have sole use for groups of a large quarry with Rock Climbing faces, as well as a river for gorge scrambling. We offer a full day of adventure activities in most of the packaged programmes. There is a shelter for eating picnic lunches, as well as changing rooms and toilets.

Other options
Locally there are great opportunities to experience if moving further afield, for example there is good surfing at Widemouth Bay on the north coast of Cornwall, or visits can be booked to RHS Rosemoor, with programmes of environmental studies.


Our Awards

In 2019 Adventure Okehampton won silver award for “Best Activity and Sporting Experience” , consolidating on our 2018 bronze awards for both “Best Activity and Sporting Experience” and and ‘Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism” at the Visit Devon tourism awards Each year we review our progress towards a sustainable and ethical adventure centre delivering fun but safe sessions to our users.

In addition, YHA and Adventure Okehampton have been working in partnership since 1997. We deliver “#Brilliant Residentials” together. As part of YHA, Adventure Okehampton meet YHA standards for delivery of accommodation, catering and activities. In 2018 YHA were gold award winners for “Best School Residential Experience” from School Travel magazine.

Acknowledging support and sponsors

Devon Elevation Fund

In 2022, Dartmoor Active Leisure got a grant from the Devon County Council –  Devon Elevation Fund  that supported the feasibility study for further developments at the YHA Bracken Tor site. This study has helped us in our goal to increase the sustainability of the business and extend the seasonal employment of staff taking into account new priorities from DNPA and informing the business case for future development works.

We would therefore like to gratefully acknowledge the following without whose support, the commissioning of this project would not have been possible.


Cycle Hub Building and Bracken Tor Function Room

Part funding provided for a new Cycle Hub Building (2022) and Bracken Tor Function Room (2017).


Community Recovery Grant

Funding provided to enhance the cycle facilities at the Granite Way Cycle Hub, including a variety of e-trikes, trikes and trailer trikes as well as Secure Cycle Lockers.

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