ABOUT MENDIP OUTDOOR PURSUITS
Established in 1987, Mendip Outdoor Pursuits, has grown into the biggest and most reputable outdoor activity provider in the South West. Our unrivaled success is largely due to the reputation and experience of our instructors – who we believe are the best in the business.
Mendip has been delivering adventurous outdoor activities to groups for almost forty decades and in 2012 we were excited to move to Churchill where we founded Mendip Activity Centre. This is a unique 250-acre site nestled in the heart of the Mendip Hills AONB.
We now boast an indoor residential centre, a cafe-bar, two canvas villages and an alpine styled cafe/bar, the Alpine Lounge. The snowsports slope is 150 metres long, beautifully nestled into the hill and follows the natural lay of the land. We are home to one of the largest disc golf courses in the UK, purpose-built target sport ranges, forest school sites and a tobogganing slope. Onsite is our limestone quarry, Sandford Quarry, an adventure playground. First quarried for over one hundred years ago, it was used by the Home Guard during WWII along with Sandford Levy, our onsite cave. A short drive away is our own private watersports site, Hewish.
Wander across our land and you’ll find a thick, ancient woodland full of diverse habitats and rare grasslands, host to beautiful flowers, butterflies, and insects. Throughout the year we’re host to youth and adult groups exploring, adventuring and learning. In 2020, we opened up much of this space to the public for the very first time- Mendip Basecamp, a family adventure campsite, was born.
THE MENDIP HILLS
“A WILD LAND READY FOR ADVENTURE”
We’re situated in the heart of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We have easy access to everything the Mendip Hills has to offer! Set in the beautiful North Somerset village of Churchill, also home to cider producers Thatchers, we are lucky with our location just out of Bristol and a short drive from the M5.
The Mendip Hills are renowned for being a stunning landscape of steep slopes and undulating plateau punctuated by spectacular gorges, rocky outcrops and ancient monuments. From Cheddar Gorge to Chew Valley, the Mendip Hills are a fantastic place to visit and explore for locals and travellers.
Find out more about the Mendip Hills here
1987 Having had a life-long passion for Outdoor Pursuits, Jim founded Mendip Outdoor Pursuits and operated from the spare bedroom in a small, terraced house in Yatton. The first client was Redland High School in Bristol.
1988 Jim moved to a larger cottage in Congresbury and Mendip Outdoor Pursuits moved too – this time being promoted to the garage and having use of an old barn nearby to store the kayak trailer in, in return for cutting the elderly owners lawn from time to time.
1990 Having outgrown the cottage and the garage, the next move was to a large farmhouse, near Banwell, where stables and out-buildings provided much-needed space for the growing business, as well as accommodation for the instructors.
1995 Tim joined Mendip as our first training instructor. He hasn’t left!
2001 Foot and Mouth disease meant that the countryside was practically closed. Our activity sites were inaccessible and we had to think very creatively in order for the business to keep going. Instead of climbing on the rocks, we erected a climbing tower in the farmhouse garden.
2006 After 15 years of sharing the farmhouse with Jim and his family, we moved to our very own location- the Barn in Congresbury. After 20 years of running the company, Jim stepped down and Dave took over.
2012 A new opportunity arrived and we moved to our current site at the Ski Centre in Churchill. A rebrand and a decade of building took place
2017 The first Mendip baby was born, Ezra.
2018 Our next big challenge was presented when we took over the old Lyncombe Lodge Hotel. It’s now Mendip Lodge, our residential bunkhouse.
2020 Faced with uncertainty during the coronavirus outbreak, we founded Mendip Basecamp, a family adventure campsite, and we haven’t looked back!
2021 After nearly forty years of training instructors, we launched an Accelerated Outdoor Instructor Course, designed to equip instructors with a range of Rock, Water, Target and Snow sport qualifications.