Who we are

British Exploring Society was founded as a charity in 1932 in a period of severe austerity. 80 plus years later we continue to create bespoke expeditions to wild and remote overseas locations in order to challenge and positively transform the expectations and future lives of young people.

Our explorers return from expeditions with an enduring love of the outdoors, the mental toughness to succeed in life and the appetite to take control of their lives. 

The profile of our explorers includes young people from communities with around double the national average for joblessness and other key indicators of economic deprivation who face multiple personal, emotional and social challenges as well as those with high expectations of personal and professional success.

Our aim is for our work to be transformational for everyone who participates. We believe, and the evidence we collect confirms, that our intensive investment in young people benefits both the individual and society over many years.

Megan, Amazon 2016

"The best experience I've ever had and I've made friends for life. I really challenged myself and had the constant support of leaders and other fire members. I have so many memories that I will never forget."

Our expeditions

We run a number of different kinds of expeditions. Our current Open expeditions to the Canadian Yukon, Peruvian Amazon and Indian Himalayas are available to all young people aged 16-25. Our Invited expeditions delivered in partnership with a range of other organisations are currently going to Iceland and the Badlands of Gorafe.

Our approach

Our unique approach enables young people from all backgrounds to recognise, unlock and act on their individual potential through exploration - supported by teams of exceptional leaders acting as role models - and is transformational for all participants - leaders as well as explorers - and for the wider communities around participants. 

Our people

"Our team is dedicated to giving young people a life-transforming opportunity to discover how capable they are by developing uniquely ambitious expeditions for them all over the World." - Honor Wilson-Fletcher, CEO British Exploring. This sentiment is true of our passionate office team, our exceptionally talented board of trustees and our truly impressive patrons.

Our history

British Exploring was founded in 1932 by Surgeon Commander George Murray Levick RN, a survivor of Captain Scott’s final expedition. Much has changed in the world since 1932, but more than 80 years on, with over 100 expeditions across all seven continents completed and over 10,000 leaders and explorers having taken part in our expeditions, the aims which were at the heart of the Society in 1932 still remain.  

Our Strategy

We want to be able to provide more opportunities each year for young people to benefit from our expeditions and we will be engaging with considerably more through partnership work in the UK. 

Our plan retains our total commitment to our founding idea; to provide exciting, challenging, life-changing expeditions in wild and remote overseas locations for young people. We also remain committed to the idea that our work should benefit young people from every area of society.

We believe that society needs adventurous, resilient, independent thinkers and adaptable team players more than ever. The British Exploring experience provides an almost unique opportunity for young people to discover their capabilities at key points in their transition to adulthood. Click here to download a summary of our strategy for the next 5 years. 

Our partners

We work in partnership with a number of other organisations who share our enthusiasm and commitment to the outdoors, and who believe like us that giving young people the chance to experience challenge and adventure will change their lives forever. Part of the purpose of working in partnership is to increase the public appetite for expeditionary experiences, and to communicate more effectively the transformational impact that they can have.

Support us

​We can’t do what we do without the generous help from our supporters and volunteers. Whether you would like to support a specific expedition, one of our Explorers or the organisation as a whole, you can do so through making a donation or participating in one of our annual fundraising events. Your support enables us to reach more and more young people across the UK. Contact Jackie on 020 7591 3141, or email jackie@britishexploring.org for enquiries. 

Patron-in-Chief HRH The Duke of York, KG

We are fortunate to receive the support of our Patron-in-Chief HRH The Duke of York, KG. The Duke of York is a full-time working member of the Royal Family, and is sixth in line to the throne. HRH carries out official engagements in support of Her Majesty The Queen, and works to promote economic growth and skilled job creation in the United Kingdom, focusing on education and skills, entrepreneurship, science, technology and engineering.

As well as British Exploring, The Duke of York supports a significant range of not-for-profit and charitable organisations in both the United Kingdom and overseas. HRH also advocates our partnership work with other youth development and adventure organisations like Outward Bound and Jubilee Sailing Trust of which he is Chairman and Patron respectively.