There are regular hill walking trips to a wide variety of areas in the UK, including the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Scottish highlands, in both summer and winter. These are a great introduction to outdoor pursuits in the UK and many Old Paulines continue to enjoy these activities for years after they leave the School.
Rock climbing is a games option enthusiastically practised by around two dozen Paulines. Currently they travel to the Westway climbing wall and a climbing club meets there regularly to climb after school. There have been opportunities to progress to real rock, notably at Harrison’s Rocks in Kent.
There is a regular sailing trip, which has crossed the channel to visit the Channel Islands and northern France, as well as a variety of ports along the south coast of the UK and the Solent. Recent trips have taken two 43’ Jeanneau Sun Odysseys, allowing some friendly rivalry between the crews!
Longer expeditions have taken place to China and Tibet (including a trek to Everest base camp), Bhutan and Nepal, and wilderness camping in South Africa. Paulines and staff also braved the cold and altitude to climb the 4015m Dome des Ecrins in the French Alps, one of only 43 4000-metre mountains in the European Alps. There are plans in place for trips to Peru and Australia.
There is a large Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participation, with well over 100 Fifth formers taking part annually in the two-day Bronze Award expeditions to the South Downs, and 50 or more Lower Eighth undertaking the four-day Gold Award expedition. Full training is provided, and allows the groups to develop a sense of independence as they learn to navigate, camp and cook their way across the Brecon Beacons and the Yorkshire Dales.
Paulines are very much encouraged to come up with ideas and destinations for trips.