TrekCo run a programme of Open Expeditions at Gold level for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Those participants who can’t, for a variety of reasons, either find a group locally or participate at the same time as their local group may sign up independently for an Open Expedition.
How does this work with my DofE? – We are an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) for Expeditions. This means that we are approved of, and licensed by, the DofE to run expeditions. You will need to inform your Operating Authority, often your school, college or local council group, that you are completing your Expedition with us.

Dates and Locations 2020 for Gold Open Expeditions

These expeditions are all subject to minimum numbers; however we run a small number of trips to ensure better takeup and they almost always run.

Practice Expeditions

5th-9th April Gold  (Peak District)
29th June – 3rd July (Lake District)

Qualifying Expeditions

29th June – 3rd July (Lake District)
24th – 28th August (Lake District)

Availability These expeditions will definitely run with adequate numbers – these are the most popular times (during Easter and then assessment after exams/before summer) – which is why we have concentrated our expeditions into two short periods. We have groups booked in already so the trips are confirmed.

Click here for the DofE website information page on how AAPs work

Our Open Expeditions are co-ordinated with our programme for schools and are usually held in the Peak District (‘Dark Peak’ area) or Lake District.

Our expeditions include:

  • Expeditions meet at a location you can reach by train.
  • A full day of training on the day before the expedition (both practice and qualifying). This allows you to organise the final details of your kit, liaise with others in your group, organise food and discuss your previous experience with us. We will guide you through this preparatory day every step of the way – don’t worry!
  • An Expedition Information Pack with all you need to know about your expedition, including detailed information on how to get to the meeting point, and a complete kit list.Your camping fees during the expeditions are all included.
  • All group equipment is free. We provide tents, stoves, fuel, group shelter and everything else you’ll need for your expedition.
  • We will discuss your previous experience, go over the DofE requirements, brush up on your mapwork and help you plan your route.
  • Supervision throughout the expedition.
  • We provide Assessors for the qualifying expedition – they will discuss your progress and provide feedback and encouragement throughout your qualifying expedition.

Group numbers

There is a minimum group of four participants for expeditions; if this number of participants is not reached then the expedition will not run and you will be offered a transfer or a full refund.


  • Full package  Training trip; Qualifying trip (2 separate trips)  £450   Two x 5 day trips
  • Practise Expedition only  Preparation day + 4 day expedition£240     Arrival the night before Day 1
  • Qualifying Expedition only  Preparation day + 4 day expedition£240   Arrival the night before Day 1
  • Full qualifying week  Arrival Day, Two training days + 4 day expedition£285 For those preferring a little more ‘revision’ – possibly following a longer period since practice.

What do I need to provide?

  • You need to get yourself to the meeting point, usually a railway station, at the start of the expedition; and arrange to leave from that point at the end.
  • You should provide your own personal gear – this is in the kit list but is essentially kit such as waterproofs, boots, sleeping bag, mat and so on – we do have a free loan service, but you must tell us in advance on the form provided.
  • Food – it’s part of the DofE that you supply your own food. we recognise that until you meet up with the group this is difficult, so we build into the Training Day planning and shopping for food. Bring money!

How do I join?

Call our office on 01273 487509 for an initial talk, or just complete the form and send it in with a cheque. Payments can also be made by card on the telephone.

What preconditions do I have to meet?

  • You must be aged 16 to 24
  • If you’re only coming for the Qualifying Expedition, we’ll need to see your evidence of having completed training and a Practice Expedition for Gold.
  • You must be enrolled on a Gold DofE programme, have completed your initial training and have your Record Book signed by your DofE Organiser.
  • You must be in a suitable condition physically to complete a 4 day expedition in upland countryside safely in the opinion of our instructors.

Other Questions

What about safeguarding on Open expeditions?You’ll be mixing with other people you don’t know, but who have the same aims as yourself – we recommend you check out the DofE advice on safeguarding here

If you are interested, please contact our office on 01273 487509 or email: