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.

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

Why do your Open Expedition with TrekCo? Download a free pdf here

Practice and Qualifying Expeditions

Dates and Locations 2022 for Gold Open Expeditions

If you have a group of 4 or more, you can do practise or qualifying on any expedition.

DatesExpedition LevelLocationNotes
April 10th – 14thGold PractiseSussexEaster holidays
May 31st – June 4thGold PractisePeak DistrictHalf term
June 27th – July 1stGold PractiseLake District
July 1st – 5thGold QualifyingPeak District
August 17th-21stGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer
August 22nd – 26thGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer
August 27th – 31stGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer
October 24th – 28th
Gold Practise or QualifyingSussexHalf term

In each case, Day 1 is arrival/preparation day, and days 2-5 are expedition days.

If you have a group of 4 or more, you can:
– do practise or qualifying on any expedition whether it is listed as practise or qualifying;
– modify the dates of the expedition if we are able to accommodate them;
– have a reduced price to reflect our having less administration.

Availability – this page is regularly updated and these trips are completely rescheduleable and refundable in the event of further COVID related restrictions – see the booking conditions

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; however for 2020-22 the DofE have issued new guidelines and we are able to offer expeditions in:
– The Ashdown Forest, just 30 miles from London and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
– The South Downs National Park.

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.

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.

Go to the Bookings Page

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.

Get In Touch to Book

Fill out the form form below or call 01273 487509

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    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: