Who we are

British Exploring Society is a world class youth development charity with a unique heritage, founded on the belief that challenging experiences can change lives, empowering and equipping young people with the courage, skills, resilience and determination to make the most of their future.

We prepare and take young people on expeditions to remote locations where they face challenges, acquire outdoor skills and learn about themselves - as well as undertaking projects with content relevant to their lives and to the fragile environments that they explore.

The results are transformative – not just in terms of practical skills and resilience, but in a new-found confidence and self-belief which they carry forward to their future life.

More than this, through their adventure together, our young people forge friendships for life and become part of a unique supportive and continuing community of explorers with shared experiences, values and perspectives on the world.

We work in partnership with schools, youth organisations and funders to ensure that the opportunity to explore is open to those with the greatest need. Everyone makes a personal commitment to their experience – whether through fundraising/volunteering or other activities to support their expedition. 

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 Society. This sentiment is true of our passionate office team, our exceptionally talented board of trustees and our truly impressive patrons.

Our history

British Exploring Society 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 Society 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 Jess on 020 7591 3141, or email jess@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 Society, 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.