About Us

Operated by Burnley FC in the Community, Whitehough Outdoor Centre is a 22-acre outdoor education facility nestled in the enchanting Pendle countryside.

Where It All Started

Our Activities Grew

More Trees!

Going on an adventure

Burnley FC In The Community

Whitehough Outdoor Centre first opened its doors in 1938 and was originally built as a Camp School. During the war years, it was used as an open-air school for children who were prone to the widespread rise of tuberculosis during that time. After Word War Two, Whitehough returned to its original use.

Campcraft and physical activity were offered to groups, along with field studies, local studies, games, dance and crafts. Later, more adventurous courses were added, with treks along the Pennine Way and expeditions to the Scottish Isles, the Dolomites, the Alps and Iceland taking place throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

From the 1970s, the site was developed to offer opportunities for nature study; ponds were dug and trees and shrubs were planted for field studies.

Adventurous outdoor activities such as caving, climbing, high ropes and mountain biking were gradually added to programmes for schools, forming the basis of visits through the 1980s.

Unfortunately, the Centre was closed in 2015 for two years, before Burnley FC in the Community assumed operations in 2017, developing and reopening the site to the community and saving Whitehough Outdoor Centre in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should my child/children wear/bring?

    The most important thing is that participants wear clothes that are fine to get wet and dirty, but will also be warm, dry and comfortable.

    Before the visit you will be issued with a suggested kit list but don’t worry if your child doesn’t have the exact clothing listed. We have a small selection of boots, wellies and waterproofs which can be borrowed if necessary!

    We recommend that any valuable items/electronics/phones are left at home for safekeeping.

  • What food is served?

    It is really important that everyone eats at every mealtime, as the activities that the groups will take part in are physically demanding.

    Breakfast is usually continental style and will include cereal, fruit and toast/croissants, but hot options can be requested by the school/group at the time of booking (if the Pendle Hill Walk is part of the booked programme children will be given a hot option on that day).

    As most of the activities take place on-site, lunch is served in the dining hall and will vary from day to day. Across a typical week lunch includes sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes with a choice of fillings or soup and a roll. There will be a snack, cake and/or fruit to follow. Our evening meal is cooked in our kitchens.

    Participants will be asked to play a part in choosing the menu for the week in advance of their stay.

    We can cater for all dietary needs/allergies and if you would like to discuss any specific needs your child has, please feel free to contact us on 01282 615688.

  • What are the sleeping arrangements? 

    Most visiting groups sleep in dormitories. The dorms are split into male and female buildings and also have staff accommodation incorporated.

    Depending on the size of the group/class your child/children will be in rooms of two/three. Rooms will be allocated by the lead/teacher before the visit so that the children know who they are sharing with (if there are any issues with room-mates please address this with your child’s teacher). It may be too late to resolve on arrival.

    In each room there will be a bunk bed and a single bed. There will also be a sink, a large wardrobe and drawers. A duvet, pillow and bed linen are all provided but the dorms can sometimes feel cooler than a modern centrally heated house, so pyjamas, slippers, dressing gowns, ‘onesies’ or extra blankets may be useful at cooler times of the year.

    Toilets and showers are situated at the end of the dormitory block. All the showers and toilets are in separate cubicles.

  • What is the timetable?

    Groups will know what their timetable of activities is going to look like before you arrive. This is because they will have helped pick them! Every day at Whitehough is different, but some typical timings would look like this:

    1. 7am – Wake up and shower.
    2. 8:15am – Breakfast and then prepare for the day’s activities.
    3. 9:25am – Meet your instructor at the rendezvous point.
    4. 9:30am – 4:30pm – Activities.
    5. 4:30pm – End of activities, wash and change before free time.
    6. 5:00pm/6:00pm – Evening meal and free time.
    7. 6:00pm – 8:00pm – Evening activity (this will vary depending on what the school/group have chosen to do and the time of year but could include indoor or outdoor games, orienteering, a night walk or an instructor-led activity).
    8. 8:00pm – 9:00pm – Free time and supper followed by bedtime/lights out to be decided by school staff/group lead – appropriate to age of the group.
  • What if I’m/my child is worried about taking part in an activity? 

    Firstly, participants should not worry about taking part in an activity. All of our instructors are highly experienced and hold the necessary qualifications. All of our equipment is checked regularly to ensure that it is safe. However, participants only get out of the programme what they put into it.

    If participants are worried about an activity because they have never done it before, and it may look a bit scary, then we would encourage them to give it a go. The feeling of pride and sense of achievement from trying something new is like nothing else!
    If participants have a go at something and don’t manage to complete it, then who cares! They have tried something new and given it their best shot. A lot of our activities are about trying new things and participants pushing themselves as far as they can go – it’s about doing the best you can.

    However, if a participant looks at an activity and decides that it’s really not for them – don’t worry. Teachers and instructors will try and give some encouragement, but if a participant still says no, they will respect that.

  • Is there phone reception or internet access? 

    Whitehough is in a rural area. The phone signal has improved over recent years but still isn’t great in certain areas of the site. The mobile data signal is very intermittent. We do have Wi-Fi on-site, but due to the weak signal (again due to the rural location), this is for staff use only.

    Participants should not have their mobile phone with them while taking part in activities. Please leave it in your room or with a member of your staff. If you need to contact the Centre at any point please call us on 01282 615688.

Testimonials

Take a look at what people have to say about Whitehough Outdoor Centre. If you have something kind to say about your time with us at Whitehough then please send your testimonials over to whitehough@burnleyfc.com.

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Teamwork Skills

During their stay, the group achieved independence and teamwork skills. We will remember our visit because of the very knowledgeable and fantastic instructors. Kate and Andy were also superb – thank you! We were made to feel very welcome and look forward to returning.

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Beautiful Location

Beautiful location. Nice house. Plenty of space for kids to play. Host is excellent. It was a very good experience to stay in this place.

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Improved Significantly

Lots of individuals improved significantly in terms of confidence and self-belief. The instructors were great, they were very knowledgeable and built up relationships with the children who all had a great time.

Overall, we had a fantastic time! The site is well run by the staff at Whitehough, who supported our idea of letting the children have the same instructor for the whole visit.

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The Grounds

Whichever activities you choose, you’ll be in a beautiful setting surrounded by nature. Our site sprawls over 22 acres of natural woodland, fields and water features that give a real sense of escape and adventure. Use the map of our site for a more detailed look at the features on offer.

whitehough map