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 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 2023 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 Practise or QualifyingPeak DistrictEaster Holidays
May 29th – 31st or June 1stGold practise 3 or 4 daysSussexHalf term
June 26th – 30thGold Practise or QualifyingPeak District
July 1st-5thGold PractiseLake District
August 21st – 25thGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer holidays
August 26th – 30thGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer holidays
October 23rd – 27thGold Practise or QualifyingPeak DistrictHalf term

Dates and Locations 2024 for Gold Open Expeditions

DatesExpedition LevelLocationNotes
April 3rd – 7thGold Practise or QualifyingPeak DistrictEaster Holidays
April 8th – 12thGold Practise or QualifyingPeak DistrictEaster Holidays
May 27th – 31stGold practise SussexHalf term
June 23rd – 27th Gold Practise or QualifyingPeak District
July 2nd – 6thGold Practise or QualifyingLake District
July 7th – 11thGold Practise or QualifyingLake District
August 18th – 22ndGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer holidays
August 22nd – 26thGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer holidays
August 27th – 31stGold Practise or QualifyingLake DistrictSummer holidays
October 21st – 25thGold Practise or QualifyingPeak DistrictHalf 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; all of our trips normally go ahead as we co-ordinate these to have sufficient participants.

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 until 31st October 2023 the DofE have issued temporary guidelines and we are able to offer expeditions in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex, just 30 miles from London and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Our expeditions include:

  • Expeditions meet at a location you can reach by train.
  • Arrival and preparation 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. However, this is very rare as we only organise expeditions on proven popular dates.

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; we’ll invoice you via Paypal. Payments can also be made by bank transfer – just ask us for the details.

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 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: