Welcome to Harlow

Activities and Facilities at Essex Outdoors Harlow

The perfect escape.

Harlow is our oasis of urban adventure, a small and friendly site offering an amazing amount of activities and excitement.

A specialist climbing and paddle-sport centre, our Harlow site is also home to ‘The Lock’ – one of the largest indoor climbing walls in the South East. You can access miles of tranquil waterways, the ideal environment to learn to canoe, kayak, stand up paddleboard or even try your hand at ‘bumble’ – our unique urban version of coasteering!

Facilities at Harlow

All the equipment and facilities you need to make your day enjoyable – and fly by like a dream.

Our Harlow centre is fully equipped with accessible toilets, showers and changing rooms plus ‘The Lock’ cafe providing delicious snacks, teas, coffees and soft drinks. A climbing shop stocks essential items for climbers. We can also provide access to lockers or storage for bags etc while visitors are on site.

Harlow’s conference facilities open new doors to you by providing an inspirational environment to meet, eat and motivate. Fully equipped multimedia meeting / teaching rooms seat 20 to 30 and provide a perfect environment to teach, discuss or evolve new ideas for the future.

At a glance


Urban / River

Travel times

London 40 mins – Norwich 1.5 hours
Nearest station – Harlow Town
Nearest airport – Stansted

Size and capacity

120 activity


Day centre only


Wheelchair accessible, climbing wall, conferencing and classroom


Over 10 separate activities, see full list below.

What Harlow offers for…



From inspirational day trips to developmental courses throughout a term supporting specific subjects, we have outstanding value trips to suit every school – and every appetite for adventure.

Day trips for primary schools
Day trips for secondary schools
Day trips for colleges and FE

group of people on a large paddle board


Watch them thrive – with our day trips and DofE programmes for youth groups from across the country.

Youth groups

group of adults congratulating each other


Want your team to work better together? Our activities show them a new way to identify and amplify their strengths.

Team building
Corporate activities
Conference facilities

Why choose Essex Outdoors Harlow?

Find out why 85% of visitors keep coming back – and why 90% happily recommend us.

Find out more

“The pupils enjoy themselves here not only because of the fantastic activities offered but the exceptionally high standard of teaching from the Instructors”

C Drury – Bishops Stortford College

Activities at Harlow

You’re spoiled for choice – from Bumble, to kayaking, to scramble nets to climbing (tons of climbing!) + much more


Abseiling Test your nerve by lowering yourself over the edge and descending one of our exciting abseils, controlling your own descent as you go. Very popular with groups abseiling is often incorporated into other sessions, such as climbing or high ropes as a great way to help improve participant’s confidence as well as offering a …
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All-terrain boarding

All-terrain boarding A thrilling combination of snowboarding and off-road skateboarding, ATB’s are great for balance and coordination skills. Start off with the basics of posture, balance and steering and how to protect yourself if you fall, and you’ll be zooming down the grassy slopes with style in no time! Clients are kept safe by knee, …
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Archery Aim for gold on our outdoor and indoor archery ranges. With its unique mix of fun and competition, archery is a popular activity with all ages and abilities, helping to build confidence and improve coordination skills. Sessions are tailored to meet the experience of the group and can offer the opportunity for further progression …
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Bouldering If you like keeping fit and problem solving, bouldering is the sport for you. Bouldering is an exhilarating and sociable sport where climbers attempt low-level routes without ropes or harnesses. Instead protection from falls is provided by pads and crash mats. Bouldering "problems" are usually much shorter than rock climbs and often include a …
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Bumble Our exciting urban version of coasteering. This unique activity is a great way of building confidence in and around water. Participants slide down weirs, play team games in the river or jump in from the banks.  Available during summer months only. Learning Outcomes Click below to find out which learning outcomes this activity promotes. …
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Bushcraft Marshmallows at the ready! Depending on the centre we offer either coastal or woodland-based versions. These exciting and informative sessions are very flexible and can incorporate; fire lighting using fire steels and natural materials shelter building and knot work camp craft including basic knife and axe work. You can also combine a longer session …
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Canoeing Test out our fleet of traditional Canadian canoes. Our instructors will guide you through all the basic strokes allowing plenty of time to practice your skills. You'll then be able to explore the local waterways and get up close and personal with some fascinating wildlife! Essex provides the ideal environment to take your first …
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Climbing Reach new heights on one of our impressive outdoor towers or indoors at our fourteen metre high professional climbing wall – “The Lock”. Our climbing walls provide a huge variety of routes to challenge novices and advanced climbers alike. During our instructed sessions, you’ll learn to use climbing equipment safely, belay your team mates …
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First aid

First aid Our highly interactive introductory First aid lessons for young people are based on British Heart Foundation guidelines. Sessions include plenty to keep the mind and body active and the group will learn everything they need to know to be confident in a basic first aid situation. Areas covered include incident management how to …
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High ropes

High ropes Each of our centres’ high ropes courses offer a variety of challenging and exciting elements designed to push your comfort zone to see what you can really achieve. Walk the catwalk, take on the Leap of Faith or work alongside your friends to get to the top of the Jacobs Ladder or All …
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Kayaking Test out our fleet of sit-on-top and traditional kayaks . Our instructors will guide you through all the basic strokes allowing plenty of time to practice your skills through fun games and challenges. You’ll then be able to explore the local waterways and get up close and personal with some fascinating wildlife! Essex provides …
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Low ropes

Low ropes The floor is lava! Our low ropes courses have a series of low-level challenges with interconnected ropes, planks, wires and tyres. The aim is to support your teammates to move around the platforms of the course without touching the ground Designed to test and hone the group's cooperation and communication skills whilst having …
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Off road biking

Off road biking Enjoy the ride. Our centres are perfectly situated to cater for all levels of off-road biking. Each site presents plenty of challenges, from obstacle courses to build your skills through to gentle woodland trails and more technical routes. And our proximity to some of the best single-track in the country allows us …
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Orienteering and map skills

Orienteering and map skills This activity teaches the important life skill of map-reading. Our instructors will guide groups through a series of mini-exercises to introduce; points of the compass and orientating a map interpreting symbols features using scale and pacing Participants then head off to complete courses and challenges of increasing difficulty around our beautiful …
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Raft building

Raft building Build your own river going vessel from a selection of tested items such as barrels, ropes wooden planks. You'll learn some useful knot work and traditional techniques to construct your craft. An ideal session for enhancing team building skills, communication, planning and resource management. Available during summer months only. Learning outcomes Click below …
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Scramble net

Scramble net Test your mettle by scrambling over the river with nothing but a cargo net to protect you (and some handily placed safety ropes). A number of different elements from tramlines to tight rope all protected by safety ropes, harnesses and helmets. Great for balance, coordination, agility and confidence. Learning outcomes Click below to …
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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) The latest addition to our paddle sports line-up - the exciting sport of stand up paddle boarding - or SUP - is an excellent way to develop water confidence, build core strength and balance. You’ll be on your feet and exploring the beautiful rivers, creeks and sheltered waterways of Essex …
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Team challenge and problem solving

Team challenge and problem solving From mental puzzles through to team challenges, we'll test your ability to work together, communicate and think fast. Spider's web, mazes, blindfold trails and sheep pens are just some of the tools used to test your problem solving skills. The activities not only offer the opportunity for groups to go …
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Harlow image gallery

Some photos to give a flavour of what it’s like at Essex Outdoors Harlow

How to find us

Essex Outdoors Harlow, Burnt Mill Lane, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2QS

Tel: 01279 620270