Our history

Our founder, Surgeon Commander George Murray Levick RN, was a member of Captain Scott’s final Antarctic expedition of 1910-13. The photograph shows Levick (second from right) and his five companions just after they emerged from the snowhole on Inexpressible Island in which they had spent the winter of 1912. His experience of being tested to the limits of his endurance in one of the most inhospitable regions of the world and of forming lasting and enduring relationships in such circumstances inspired him to found the educational exploration society which we now know as British Exploring Society.

Much has changed in the world since 1932. Since then British Exploring Society has made over 100 expeditions across all seven continents in which over 10,000 leaders and explorers having taken part. However the basic concept advocated by Murray Levick – young explorers in small self-contained groups experiencing adventure and learning in remote areas – remains at the core of British Exploring Society.

Our archives

Since the founding years of British Exploring Society we have taken serious considerations to document our expeditions through imagery, video footage and reports. Thanks to the hard work of our archivists we maintain an extensive archive of records that catalogue our history and continual development of British Exploring Society, something that we are hugely proud of. If you would like to search through our archives, you can access our archives portal here.

This map displays the location of every British Exploring Society expedition since the organisations foundation in 1932. With over 100 expeditions to date, British Exploring Society has lead expeditions to all seven continents exploring some the most remote locations in the world.

Can you spot Roald Dahl in the above video? As a young man, Dahl took part in our 1934 expedition to Newfoundland. Many alumni have, like Roald Dahl, gone on to have hugely successful careers following a formative experience with British Exploring Society. More recent examples include Olympic Gold Medallist, Alex Gregory, and Everest summiteer, Tori James.

We are fortunate to have video footage from many of our expeditions. Click below to watch videos about Newfoundland 1934, Lapland 1963 and Svalbard 1987.