Medieval Camp 2019

Bodiam Castle

This expedition, open to those in Yr5-Yr8, is an outdoor medieval adventure set in the beautiful Sussex High Weald, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  The area is home to dense woodland, rolling hills and the wonderful river Rother. This means we can enjoy hiking, playing games in the woods and then end our day with a refreshing swim on those hot summer evenings.

Camp 1 – Monday 8th July  – Friday 12th July

Camp 1 Now Fully Booked

Camp 2 – Monday 15th July  – Friday 19th July

Sign Up For Week 2 Here!

Living Arrangments

We will be camping in woods, next to the River Rother, just a couple of miles from the famous Bodiam castle. We have exclusive use of the site where we will learn to put up our own bell tents then be tucked up in our sleeping bags next to our friends at night.

The site has a beautiful woodland where we can learn and hone our bushcraft skills, but also play our ever popular nighttime games, explore, and learn about the flora and fauna that lives there. After a day in the woods we can use the on-site washrooms to have a shower before we dig in to dinner.

We will learn how to start fires and end our evenings, with a group of friends, around our campfire cooking our own homemade food. Breakfast will have hot and cold options, and everyone will make a packed lunch each morning. We cater for all dietary requirements and take our food safety and hygiene extremely seriously.


This year we have a whole host of medieval themed activities planned,  for one of our most action packed camps yet!

Camp Activities include:

  • Falconry
  • Clay Pot Making
  • Sword Fighting
  • Canoe Trip
  • Day at Bodiam Castle
  • Horse Riding
  • Basket weaving
  • Hiking
  • Foraging

As well as leading the children in structured activities there will also be lots of opportunity for unstructured play time to allow everyone to have their own adventures. The wood is private and has very clear boundaries so there is no danger of them wandering off or coming across anyone not in our group.


The bedrock of any fun expeditions is safety. When running our trips we do everything we can to ensure the children have an exciting experience but are well looked after throughout. A certain level of risk is inherent to all of these activities but we believe the enormous benefits far outweigh them. All of the activities will be run by a high ratio of appropriately qualified and experienced outdoor instructors, and we will have conducted full risk assessments for every aspect of the trip. All of the ESOC leaders are first aid trained and DBS checked and a vehicle will always be available in case we need to take anybody for medical attention.

Meet our Leader Team


This camp will cost £495 pp. This price includes:

  • Travel from either Cambridge or London
  • All meals from Monday evening to Friday lunch
  • Activity programme including;
    • Horse Riding
    • Canoeing
    • Falconry
    • Sword Fighting
    • Visit to Bodiam Castle
    • Adventure Games and more…
  • Glamping Accommodation
  • Leadership (approx 1:7 ratio)

Upon booking, the full payment of £495 is due. We offer a sibling discount of 5% available upon booking.

Kit List


  • Kitbag / Holdall / Suitcase
  • Sleeping Bag (rated for comfort from 0-5 degrees)
  • Small back pack for day hikes
  • Shoes to wear for wide games and evenings (trainers)
  • Shoes for walking in (e.g. walking boots with a definite heel to make them safe for horse riding as well)
  • Socks (including thick socks for walking) & underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Light hard wearing trousers/ warm leggings (not jeans)
  • Warm fleece/Jumper
  • T-shirts/shirts
  • Sunglasses & sun hat
  • Sunscreen (UVA & UVB, SPF 30+)
  • Full Waterproofs (Trousers AND jacket) – to get 15% off and free delivery on all orders at our partner Muddy Puddles, use the code EXSOC1117
  • General toiletries and Towel
  • Antihistamines (if needed to help with hay fever/grass allergies)
  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • Pocket money (no more than £5)
  • 1l water bottle (Sigg/Nalgene type recommended; refilled mineral water bottles are NOT suitable)
  • Lunch for day 1


  • Reading book / Games

Personal mobile phones and other personal electronic devices are not permitted on this expedition and any found will be confiscated. All leaders will be carrying phones if needed.

Recommended waterproofs


How will we know what’s going on at the camp?

We will do our best to post an update to our blog every day so you can see what we’ve been up to. Should any issues arise involving your children, we will contact you directly. Occasionally, poor signal or similar problems prevent us from putting a blog post up so if you don’t hear from us, please don’t assume the worst.

Why don’t you allow personal mobile phones or iPods/MP3 players on the trip?

There are a few reasons for this rule: a) these items are often expensive, and very easily lost or damaged; b) in the rare case that there are any problems to deal with on the trip, the Leader team are in the best position to sort things out, as they’re aware of all the factors surrounding the situation; calls to home can often make things worse! And c) our trips are a brilliant chance to get away from screens, televisions, Facebook, Instagram filters, and instead spend time outdoors interacting with friends in a non-virtual way!

In the case of an emergency, you will be able to contact your child via the Instructors’ phones, and vice versa. If someone is really homesick and we think a quick call will help them settle, then of course we’ll let them do that.

We’ll post updates and (where signal allows) pictures on our blog. We aim to do this on at least the first night but please try and assume that no news is good news! Sometimes we are so busy running the expedition and looking after the group that we don’t have time to organise blog posts too. Once we get back we’ll post a full de-brief with lots of photographs.

This is my child’s first trip away from home, will they be alright?

Of course everyone reacts differently, but in the vast majority of cases there will be absolutely no problems – they’ll be too busy having fun! The Leaders on the trip all have lots of experience of being with children when they’re away from home. In fact, we often find that the parents are the ones who find it hardest, and the children have a brilliant time and don’t give it a second’s thought.

My child is a fussy eater, will they go hungry?

No one has ever starved on an ESOC Expedition. The children are involved in planning and cooking the meals every day, and this engagement really helps eliminate food fussiness. They’ll be encouraged to Try New Things, as stated in our Ethos, but won’t be force fed anything they find disgusting! They’ll pick up loads of new skills, and may even cook a banquet for you once they’re home. We’ve taken note of any dietary requirements you filled out on the registration form.

Are your Leaders DBS and First Aid trained?

Our Leaders are DBS checked and have First Aid training. Many of our Leaders also have more advanced medical wilderness training. In a medical emergency we will be able to use our vehicle to get to the nearest hospital A&E department. We pride ourselves on employing enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and engaging staff, who go above and beyond to make our trips memorable.

Does my child really need a waterproof jacket AND over trousers?

Yes, they really do. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on them, but they need a waterproof top layer to put on over their clothes: sogginess is a fast route to unhappiness.

Where can I go if I need to buy any clothing or equipment?

You can get a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor, either online or in the shops by using the code AF-EXSOCM-4U. Let us know if you need any advice.

Do I really have to label everything with my child’s name?

Yes please! Unsurprisingly, more than one person buys a head torch from Cotswold Outdoor, or a black waterproof, or a pair of wellies, and these things are often left lying about… The kit pile we’re left with at the end of the trip is much easier to sort out if you’ve named everything.


Sign up to our monthly newsletter and stay up to date on all our adventures and expeditions


"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." 


Sir Ranulph Fiennes