About Us

We deliver exceptional learning through exploration with life-defining impact to an increasing number and diversity of young people.

Find your fire

Who are we?

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

Most young people return with increased self-belief, a dynamic peer group and the determination and ability to make the most of their future, regardless of where they started out.

Visit our Impact page to see just how successful we are at unlocking young people’s potential.

Our Impact

Our vision

Is for all young people to be able to contribute confidently in the world. We want equal access to challenging learning and adventure in the wilderness as an unbeatable preparation for adult life.

Our mission

Is to grow and celebrate a diverse, inclusive community of young people with the skills, resilience and determination to make lasting positive decisions in their own lives, and to deliver community benefit and positive environmental change.

What do we do?

A model developed over nearly 100 years
We provide young people with access to challenging learning in wild and remote locations using an approach refined through nearly a century of experience, to deliver a mix of adventure, knowledge, and personal development.

Training and preparation for the needs of each young person
We establish what skills and support a young person will need to feel prepared to take part in an expedition, be it their first time camping in the wilderness or their first travel away from home. This includes joining a UK-based induction and training event and working towards a fundraising challenge, supported by British Exploring Society HQ Staff and our professional volunteer Leaders. It may also involve a UK expedition.

Developing knowledge and living with difference
While on expedition, Young Explorers are split into groups called “Fires” which enable them to mix with other young people from diverse backgrounds. We want to help young people to appreciate their own strengths and skills within a group setting and be able to support those of the other Young Explorers around them.

With us, they acquire empowering real-life knowledge, ideas and understanding about the world, and are introduced to different perspectives.

What do we do?

A unique opportunity to make decisions and learn new skills
None of our expeditions have an itinerary. We aim to provide Young Explorers with skills which enable them to have the confidence and agency to shape their own expeditions, focusing on positive risk-taking, increased responsibility and overcoming challenges.

The support of unpaid professional Leaders throughout
Our highly skilled Leaders work in a variety of different fields, including archaeology, biological sciences, geography, law, education, social work, media and medicine, providing Young Explorers with individual support, rich learning opportunities and illuminating perspectives on potential paths through adult life.  They volunteer hundreds of hours to support our training and expedition delivery.

Thinking about next steps and transferrable skills
Young Explorers can reunite with their Fire at our Next Steps celebration event at the end of the expedition season.  At this event, we support them to consider what they have learned, and how they are going to make the most of their learning as they take their next steps in life.

A community for life
Our emphasis on community continues to be fostered after expedition. All who participate on an expedition with a sufficient degree of engagement and commitment are awarded Membership to our global network which spans generations.

Our strategy

2021 Impact Report
Our Impact Report emphasises why we do what we do and how we go about it in order to make a real and tangible difference in young people’s lives.

A Wild Future
A Wild Future is the narrative of the strategy for British Exploring Society from 2021-2031. We have set ourselves the ambitious challenge of engineering a model for purposeful, inclusive exploration for young people which we can sustain into our second century of operation. We will use this to guide our operational plans, decision making and review of progress each year.

Read our latest Impact ReportRead A Wild Future


Wow! What an expedition. This has undoubtedly been the best 5 weeks of my life… summiting peaks, listening to the Dali Lama and going on glaciers. I have found all the Science really interesting and have learnt so much about the world and myself. I would recommend this to all young people as it really has been amazing.

Katherine - Himalaya Explorer

The expedition has been a life changing adventure that I definitely didn't expect, with some incredible memories and some amazing people that won’t ever be forgotten.

Harriet - Himalaya Explorer

I loved every minute of what was a life changing experience with some amazing people. I feel I learnt valuable skills and am now in a position to go on to do an awful lot more than I would otherwise have been able to.

Isaac - Himalaya Explorer

‘Five weeks in the Zara Valley has been an experience of a lifetime. Trekking to the highest peaks, battling altitude, the crisp ice as we scaled the glaciers… What an incredible adventure. I am not only taking away memories, I am taking home a wider appreciation for the environment.’ Jennie, Himalaya 2017

Jennie - Himalaya Explorer

It’s been life changing. This has been the first programme I've gone on that's worked for me and has really impacted me. I’d describe myself before expedition as a shy and nervous kind of person who worries a lot, but after finishing the expedition I've really changed and I now feel confident in myself and my ability to push my limits.

Young Explorer

As we left the jungle, I realised what an experience I had just had. The bus journey was the first time in 3 weeks where I had been able to completely stop and reflect on my experience. I am certainly more willing to try new things and feel more confident in myself as a person.

William - Amazon Explorer