Pendarren House is a DofE Approved Activity Provider (AAP) and can offer training, practice and qualifying walking and canoeing expeditions to all levels of participants, and residential experiences to gold participants.   The Centre is ideally situated on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, has a number of Accredited Assessors and is well resourced to equip walking and canoeing expeditions and has a small campsite.

We offer stand alone courses or we can offer a package the covers both training and assessment:
Bronze Training and Assessment Packages
Silver Training and Assessment Packages
Gold Training and Assessment Packages
Residential (Gold Only) Packages
Contact Pendarren to discuss your requirements.


To complete the residential section of your Gold Award you must attend a five day residential, learn new skills, share experiences with people you have not met before, based at a place unfamiliar to you. This activity course requires no previous skills and you will be introduced at the level you are comfortable with.

  • This five-day, four-night programme offers you a range of opportunities including outdoor activities such as gorge walking, caving, climbing, canoeing/kayaking, hill walking, coasteering, orienteering and many more.
  • You will get involved in the domestic routine of the centre and you can enjoy meeting like-minded young people.  Between you and our qualified, experienced and enthusiastic team of staff it will be a week to remember.
  • Includes the John Muir Discovery Award
  • Situated on the side of Sugarloaf Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park yet only 6 miles from the nearest bus and train station.
  • The cost includes accommodation, food, instruction, specialist equipment and transport once you are at the Centre.
  • Pick-up/drop-off at Abergavenny train station is available.

Please read the following documents before completing the application form:

DofE – Code of Conduct
DofE – Terms and conditions
DofE – Safety and Insurance

Application form DofE Open Consent Application v18   Return to Pendarren House with deposit or payment in full.

Frequently Asked Questions about Residentials

Gold residential DofE FAQ


Our expeditions can be by foot or canoe and are conducted in the South Wales area, other forms of expedition and other areas can be arranged but may incur additional charges, please contact us to discuss the options.

If you have a group looking for an expedition then we often have availability during the school holidays.

Pendarren is able to equip you students with all group equipment such as tents, mats, stoves, maps, first aid kits and is also able to provide some personal items if students don’t have them such as rucksacks and sleeping bags.

A Gold DofE programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You just need to be aged between 16 and 24 and realise there’s more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by.

To complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award walking expedition you first need to undertake training, followed by enough consolidation on practice expeditions to allow you to successfully complete a 4 day qualifying expedition. The criteria set out by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme can be found here.


During the course you will journey through the mountains of South Wales.  We use different locations for practice and qualifying expeditions, so you can complete the whole expedition section of the award with us.

Included in the course fee:

Further information will be sent once you have booked
Pre-expedition information including kit list
Pick up/drop off at Abergavenny train and bus stations
Accommodation and camp fees
Food (whilst at Pendarren House, excludes expedition food)
Minibus transport whilst on the course
Training and supervision by qualified, experienced instructors
Campsite booking and fees
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme accredited assessors (for assessments)

Use of group kit

Group kit supplied by us
Stoves, pans and fuel
Group emergency kit (shelter and first aid)

We can also supply the following individual kit free of charge although you will find it more comfortable to have your own:
Sleeping bag and cotton liner
Camping mat
Walking boots
Day and expedition Rucksacks

Not included in course fee

Transport between home and Abergavenny or Pendarren
Additional campsite costs e.g. showers
Expedition food and personal equipment (clothes, toiletries etc)

Frequently Asked Questions about Expeditions

DofE FAQ – Kit
DofE FAQ – Food and Water
DofE FAQ – Camping
DofE FAQ – Medical and Illness
DofE FAQ – Staying in touch
DofE FAQ – The course and expedition
DofE – Expedition Preparation Guide

The expedition preparation guide contains all of the information you will need for your practice expedition, including a kit list and advice on what food you need to bring. Please use the check list to make sure that you come with everything you need, but note that we do supply some group kit.

HOW TO APPLY for Courses

Open Gold – Expeditions and Residentials:  DofE Open Consent Application v18

This should be sent to us at the address below; with a deposit or payment in full.

Pendarren House OEC