At ALC we are keen to enhance students education with outdoor learning, and The Towers Active Learning Centre – located in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park – is perfectly suited to offer the best outdoor learning experiences. From mountain walking to canoeing to gorge scrambling, The Towers is a place full of adventure.
At our centre, we take young people into the natural world to approach new and exciting challenges each day. Our experienced and enthusiastic instructors meet with the group leaders and young people each morning to plan the activities for the day ahead, staying with the same group for a whole week where possible. Take a look at what activities await…
Rock climbing is about both physical and mental challenge. Students can set their own goals and will be encouraged by our instructors to achieve them. We find suitable climbs for all abilities, from beginners upwards. We teach in a progressive way to build confidence, building from basic movement skills, on easy terrain, to more challenging climbs. Individuals climb with their fellow group members who, under supervision, take responsibility for keeping the climber safe. Learning how to “belay” and tie knots is all part of the fun.
Requiring communication, co-ordination and goal setting, canoeing helps build team skills. Teams learn how to take care of their own safety by wearing appropriate equipment and assessing the water environment, direct their canoe and go on lake and river journeys. Teaching the basic skills in a fun and informal way, including playing games, setting challenges, racing and having water fights, helps maintain an environment where young people will challenge themselves and each other.
We use play to coach kayak skills on local lakes in Snowdonia. Most participants get the hang of how to paddle forward quickly which means we can move together in teams to explore the lake and surroundings. There is plenty to see, learn and play including games of polo, ball, balancing and racing. In the warmer months there is a definite chance of getting wet.
Gorge scrambling is a team activity, requiring all members to play a part in getting to a set point in the gorge. There will be various individual and team challenges which include wading through pools, jumping from rock to rock, wiggling through small gaps and sometimes jumps and swims in deep pools. Participants will learn the value of risk management, clear communication and what can be achieved when our comfort zones are stretched. Above all, the gorge is a fun, wet and wonderful place to spend some time.
The beautiful mountains of Snowdonia bring their own challenges and rewards, and mountain walking combines the inspiring views with physical challenge. Being in the mountains can help to develop resilience, determination, team spirit, an appreciation for the natural environment, awe and wonder and the chance to escape from our everyday world. Each day is a unique experience – including scrambling, weather watching and nature spotting – resulting in memories that last a lifetime.
Bushcraft is an opportunity to get back to basics and learn the key skills of survival – how to build a shelter, start a fire from scratch and cook something on our fire. Learning how to use tools safely and understanding of how to use natural environment responsibly, the students will adopt a “leave no trace” approach to wilderness exploration.
Sea Level Traversing
Climbing along the sea cliffs whilst securely clipped into a rope is a challenging team activity. Climbing over wide zawns and above crashing waves creates a feeling of excitement which is unique to sea level traversing. Under supervision teams will learn how to clip in securely, move across varying terrain and look after each other helping build confidence, stretch comfort zones and developing an appreciation of the beauty – and hazards – of marine environments.
Exploring the rocky coastline, coasteering involves scrambling, climbing, swimming and jumping into the water. It is a fun and challenging activity requiring a high level of teamwork. Those taking part will learn how to move on rock, how to look after each other when challenged – and get wet!
Taking a trip underground, mining is an adventurous journey through a slate mine into a dark lost world. With a history of slate mining in North Wales, there are a number of mines we explore which offer an intriguing view into the past. Teams will journey through tunnels, up and down inclines, into huge chambers and around deep pools, as well as exploring the artefacts left behind bringing to life the bygone age of an industrial life.
Developing map skills and exploration, orienteering can be a walk in the woods discovering where a map leads or a competitive event which involves running to collect control points. At The Towers we are fortunate to have grounds well suited for orienteering. Our courses are designed to be progressive starting with star courses, leading up to score courses on varying terrain.
North Wales is blessed with dozens of beautiful beaches ranging from small coves to expansive sands. At The Towers we are ideally placed to take advantage of this. We are in easy range of all of the North Wales coast beaches giving us access to stunning scenery, sand dunes and coastal rock formations. All our groups enjoy a stroll on the beach, making a sandcastle or sculpture, enjoying the freedom that our coastline has to offer, whatever the weather.