Wilderness Expertise are a DofE approved expedition provider for Open DofE Gold Expeditions (AAP).

Based in the South of England, we run the expeditions in wild country around the UK, supporting young people to discover the most beautiful spots our country has to offer.

For the Practice Expedition, expect to explore the dramatic ridges, peaks, and pristine lakes of the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park.

During the Assessed Expedition, you’ll be setting off to those Windemere peaks of the Lake District in Cumbria.  Expect to be enchanted by glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fells, and discover the area’s rich literary associations.


We also offer DofE Expeditions for school groups across the UK

Open Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions

What is included:

Pre-expedition information pack and a dedicated contact at Wilderness Expertise to answer any questions you may have

Full supervision and training from our qualified and experienced Trainers

Accredited Assessors for Qualifying Expeditions

Group kit (tents, stoves, fuel, emergency shelters, maps)

Campsite booking and fees

Logistics and pre-departure support – uploading Assessor reports

Open Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions


Personal kit and equipment (such as clothing, sleeping bag, rucksack) – don’t worry, we’ll support you with what you need to buy/pack.

Transport to and from the expedition location – this must be arranged by you

Food – in line with DofE requirements, all food must be planned and provided by participants

PRACTICE EXPEDITION – Brecon Beacons 2nd-5th April 2024

Set in the beautiful and historic Brecon Beacons national park, this is a stunning venue for your Gold expedition. You will be planning and trekking four separate routes, with the option to summit South Wales’ highest peak – Pen y Fan.

Day 1

Arrival at campsite. Set up camp and onsite training covering safety, camp craft including tents, safe use of stoves and responsible camping, first aid, introduction to maps and planning a route, kit and packing rucksacks.

Training continues from Day 1, covering all aspects of the Gold Award Training framework, including: first aid, introduction to maps and planning a route, kit and packing rucksacks.

Day 2

Building on the training from yesterday with an emphasis on navigation strategies (bearings, contour interpretation, aiming off, hand railing, pacing). Emergency procedures with practical exercises. Post dinner night navigation exercise to simulate poor weather navigation.

Day 3-4

Mini expedition. Teams will pack their rucksacks with all the kit needed for their Expedition including tents and stoves. You will complete a pre-planned route of 8 hours that will be remotely supervised by their Trainers finishing at the campsite. Carry on the expedition from the previous day, finishing back at the campsite. Once back at the site there will be a review of the course and further advice on how to prepare for the qualifying expedition.

Finish time approx. 4pm.

ASSESSED EXPEDITION – The Lake District 22nd-25th July 2024

Starting from our basecamp, head up into the Borrowdale Fells, you’ll plan and follow your own routes, taking in the stunning hills surrounding the valley.

Day 0

Arrival at the campsite early afternoon for acclimatisation. Welcome and introductions, and safety brief for the programme. Set up camp and opportunity for refresher training. Route planning session.

Day 1 – Day 4

4 day Qualifying Expedition. This is your opportunity to put into action all the skills you’ve learnt during the practice, and make memories that will last a lifetime

On the final day there will be a presentation by the team of their aim to the Assessor. This will then be followed by a debrief by the Assessor, with an aim to finish at 4pm.


Open Gold DofE Expeditions for private groups

As well as Open DofE Gold expeditions, we can run bespoke Expeditions for pre-formed groups on dates to suit you.

For example, you may be part of a group who have been unable to complete your DofE expedition within your school. If you can create a team, we can help run a private Expedition just for your group. Whether you need a stand-alone Practice or Qualifying Expedition, or would like to run these back-to-back over 7 days to get everything completed at once, we will work with you to create something tailored to your requirements and location.

Get in touch to book or discuss more details on how we can help by emailing


Costs and how to book your Open Gold

Practice expedition (4 days) cost £290 per person
Qualifying expedition (4.5 days) cost £310 per person

This includes use of group kit, supervision and assessment by our friendly, qualified Trainers, pre-exped support, campsites fees and bookings, and all the logistics and DofE admin taken care of for you. Download an information pack with more information

Book a Gold open expedition with us in just a few easy steps:

To book your place on one of our Gold Open Practice or Qualifying Expeditions, the first step is to complete a short online booking and medical form, here:

BOOK NOW (Full details of our T&Cs are outlined on the booking form. Please make sure to read these carefully.)

Once you have completed your booking form and selected the date or dates that you would like to book, you will need to make the deposit payment of £50 per event.
Once we have received your booking and payment we will be in touch to confirm your place and provide more details about your expedition.

What preconditions do I have to meet?

You must be aged 16 to 24 to take part in the DofE Gold programme.

If you’re only completing the Qualifying Expedition with us, you will need to provide evidence of having completed your Practice Expedition elsewhere before you take part. If you completed your practice elsewhere, it must be in a different location to your Qualifier.

You must be physically fit enough to complete a 4-day expedition with 8 hours of planned activity each day

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