key information and faq's
Holiday checklist - essential information
We've put together the key information you need to know and most commonly asked questions in one handy list!
Our holidays provide challenge and enjoyment for everyone. Guests don’t need any previous experience to enjoy our activities and our staff are able and ready to instruct children of all standards of competence. A reasonable level of fitness is required for our Surfing, Wet and Wild and Xtreme Adventure holidays.
We aim to ensure that your child takes part in as wide a range of activities as possible. Therefore the activity programme is planned in advance by the Centre Operations Team and will be advised upon arrival. Details of the activities are on the centre pages, but if you have any questions at all, please call and speak to one of our team. As there are large numbers of different activities available at each centre, we cannot guarantee to fit every activity into each holiday – there just isn’t time! This is particularly the case with shorter breaks.
We have three main age groups in the UK:
- 7-10 year olds*
- 10-13 year olds
- 13-16 year olds
*Please note that at our English centres over October half term 2019 we are not able to take bookings for 7 year olds.
In France, we have two age groups:
- 9–13 year olds
- 13–17 year olds
The ‘overlap’ between these age ranges allows flexibility when there are a few years difference between brothers and sisters. It also means that, for example, a mature 10 year old may join a holiday for 10–13 year olds, whilst a ‘young’ 10 year old may be much happier on a holiday for the 7–10 age group. You know your own child best but please feel free to discuss the options with our Holiday Consultants. Within these separate age bands, our practice is to group children of a similar age together for accommodation and activity arrangements, however, this may not be possible on some holidays when numbers are small, but this is rarely a problem because the interest in activities provides a common bond.
Please note: we can only attempt to honour rooming requests where children are the same gender, in the same age group and on the same holiday, so if your request is to be with a child who is booked separately we advise that you check what holiday they are booked on prior to making a reservation and making the room request. Any rooming requests that cannot be honoured will not be communicated prior to arrival and we are unable to refund any holidays cancelled due to not being able to meet room requests.
We cannot allow older children to be in the younger age group or younger children to go into an older age group and unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions.
It is not possible for siblings or friends to be roomed with those that are in a different age group (either older or younger) for the following reasons:
- On many of our centres the different age groups are generally placed in separate accommodation areas as there are often different curfews and rules applicable to each age group that are appropriate for their age. If we were to room the children together this would mean that either way one of the children would be within an age group where those rules do not necessarily apply to them. This can result in an older child feeling they are being treated as if they were younger or a younger child being up later than we would recommend or spending time with older children in and around the accommodation where there are significant social differences, for example in the 10-13 age group a child could be approaching 14 and be in high school, so the social difference between a 9 and nearly 14 year old is significant.
- We have found from experience that much of the bonding that occurs between the children is at night in their ‘free time’ when in the dorms. If two children are placed in a room away from their peers this has unfortunately resulted in them feeling left out the following day when they return to be with their activity group and this can cause that them to feel isolated as the holiday progresses.
We can of course add a note to your booking to ask that staff arrange a time for the children to meet each day to ‘check in’ with each other and we also want to assure you that staff take a great care to ensure that the children are making friends within their peer group and are settling into centre life and generally even the most nervous of children make friends and gain confidence very quickly.
As always, our Holiday Consultants will be pleased to advise you on any aspect of our accommodation groupings.
When placing a reservation for an Adventure Holiday, we will require some key information for the lead booker, this is to ensure that we have a clear communication channels with you, throughout the booking process.
The personal Information that we will require is, name & surname, home address, mobile number and personal email address. This information will be used to communicate with you for the purposes of the booking, including payments and for setting up your MyPGL account, where you will access your essential pre- travel documents. If you are booking for children other than your own as well as your own children (family friends etc) then the booking will be placed under your name as the lead booker and you would take responsibility for passing on any required information to the parents of these children. We can take individual payment from parents of each of these children, however only the lead booker will be able to make any amendments to the booking.
Before any child arrives at a PGL centre we require that a Medical and Contact form is completed, these can be found in your online MyPGL account and can be shared by email to parents of children other than your own. We require at least 2 people to be named as contacts for each child whilst they are on centre and at least one of these must be a next of kin and must always be available to collect the child 24 hours a day in the event of unforeseen holiday curtailments such as illness or conduct issues.
Due to these requirements we are unable to process bookings placed by Social Services or Schools for individual children. We would gladly accept bookings for children that are being funded by such organisations, however, the booking must be placed by a person with parental or legal responsibility that resides at the home address of the child. We can accept payments from organisations and can provide invoices on request of the lead booker, however we can only accept these payments if requested at least 14 days prior to arrival. If arrival is within 14 days we would require full payment at the time of making the booking, by credit or debit card.
At PGL we are continually working to enable all guests to enjoy the many benefits of our holidays and are passionate about giving every child the best experience possible.
If your child has additional requirements, we will be pleased to discuss this with you prior to booking a holiday. We ask that you provide us with as much information as possible to ensure we can make a fair & thorough assessment of service provision and to also identify appropriate resources in relation to access, holiday programming, successful participation and the health and safety of our guests.
Please see our additional needs policy document for detailed information regarding:
• Behavioural, Social and Emotional conditions
• Dietary requirements
• Religious requirements
• Cultural requirements
Click here to view/download our policy. We hope you find this helpful, if you would like to discuss your child’s requirements with a member of our team, please call us on 0333 321 2114. We’ll be happy to help you with any queries you may have.
It’s important that you read your welcome pack which you can download from your MyPGL account online. It contains lots of useful information, including what to bring. All essential activity and safety equipment is provided but your children will need to bring personal clothing, footwear, wash kit, towels, a swim suit and extra towels (if applicable) and pocket money. You'll finding a suggested packing list in etc section below.
Please bear in mind that outdoor adventure centres whilst fun, can also be wet and muddy and with the best will in world, where groups of active boisterous children are involved, property can sometimes get lost or damaged by accident so please ensure you consider this when deciding what to bring and please do make sure you are adequately insured.
Please also take note of our guidance on mobile phones/ devices, prohibited items and medication in the sections below.
We provide all the specialist equipment that is essential for our activities, although children do need to bring personal items such as a good waterproof anorak or cagoule, footwear and casual clothes. We ensure that children are kitted out with activity equipment that conforms to British or European standards. Approved buoyancy aids or lifejackets are provided and must be worn during watersports sessions, and safety craft are always on patrol or standing by. Strict range disciplines are enforced for archery and rifle shooting. Abseilers and climbers are always protected by safety ropes, and our motorsports vehicles have all had their speeds regulated. Please note that we are continually updating our equipment to reflect current best practices, and therefore equipment used may differ from that shown in photographs in our printed material or online.
In response to requests from parents/guardians/carers we have included some detailed guidance on what to wear and what not to wear for the activities we are most often asked about along with some helpful notes that others have found useful. Please note, activities vary at each centre and final activity itineraries are planned by each centre.
|Activity||To wear||Not to wear||Notes|
|All Rope Sessions
(inc. Abseiling, Climbing, Zip Wire, High Ropes, Trapeze, Jacob's Ladder, Giant Swing, Tree Top Trail, Vertical Challenge, Crate Challenge)
Tops that cover the shoulders
Shorts that cover the thighs
Open toed shoes/ sandals
Bring some warm clothing layers in case of bad weather
Close fitting long sleeves or short sleeves
Avoid loose clothing
|Possibility of getting dirty|
|Low Level Ropes/ Challenge Course and Sensory Trail||
Long hair tied back
Possibility of getting dirty
Long hair tied back
|Water Based Activities||
Closed toe shoes
Swimwear (not essential)
Heavy slow drying clothes
Bring a bag containing dry shoes, jumper, T-shirt, towel, wash kit, trousers and underwear for after the activity session
|Mountain Biking and BMX||
Tops that cover the shoulders
Open toed shoes
Avoid loose clothing
Long hair tied up
Long socks that cover the ankles
Open toed shoes
|Any removable mouth braces must be taken out|
|Problem Solving, Orienteering, Survivor||
Walking boots/ trainers
Long sleeved tops
Long loose-fitting trousers
Long loose-fitting sleeves
Shorts may be worn but must cover the thighs
Long hair tied up
|Pony riding/ trekking||
Riding boots or similar
Long trousers, long sleeves and socks that cover the ankles
Waterproof jacket required at all times due to changeable British climate
All PGL holidays in the UK are fully inclusive and there is little need for children to bring large sums of money. However, there are sometimes excursion days, and all centres feature a shop selling sweets and small souvenirs. Some centres for older children also have a pool table or similar in the chill out room at a cost of around 50p per game, and 13–16 year olds may have the opportunity to take part in evening activities off site, such as bowling. A small charge will be made for these to cover transport and entrance fees. There is no obligation for any guest to take part in these optional extras, and a free alternative activity will always be available on centre. The amount of pocket money required obviously varies with the age of the child. On our UK holidays we recommend pocket money (on a sliding scale) from an average of £2 per day for seven year olds, £4 per day for 12 year olds and £5 per day for older teenagers for purchasing drinks, sweets and ice creams; plus between £5 and £20 to purchase gifts which will be on sale all week. We operate a secure system for holding and issuing pocket money in accordance with parents’ wishes.
The majority of our holiday centres do not automatically supply bedding. If for any reason your child is not able to bring a sleeping bag/duvet from home, it is possible to hire bedding for UK holidays at a cost of £22 per child per week. Depending upon the centre, bedding consists of pillow and pillowcase and either a duvet, duvet cover and sheet or sleeping bag and sheet inner.
We recognise that most parents value their children having a mobile phone with them on their holiday.
We are happy for children to have a phone and use them in situations where practical and safe to do so in line with our mobile phone policy, which can be viewed here:
We cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to such devices and we advise that you have adequate mobile phone insurance cover in place.
Misuse of mobile devices, viewing or sharing inappropriate material, abuse of social media and any conduct that could be deemed as bullying or any other inappropriate use of a mobile device (including theft or damage to others property) could result in your child being sent home from their holiday.
- Bedding and pillow (if not pre-booked)
- Nightwear (slippers may be useful particularly for younger guests)
- Several changes of underwear
- 2 sets of swimwear
- Toiletries bag and contents
- 2 large towels (for swimming and wet activities)
- Bath/hand towel (for use in your room)
- 3/4 old sweatshirts or fleeces
- At least 6 t-shirts for 7-Night Holidays and up to 4 t-shirts for short breaks and weekends
- At least 1 long sleeved t-shirt (required for some activities)
- 2 pairs of shorts (knee-length essential)
- At least 4 pairs of strong, loose fitting trousers/ tracksuit bottoms for 7-Night Holidays, 3 pairs for short breaks and weekends
- At least 6 pairs of socks for 7-Night Holidays and up to 4 pairs for short breaks and weekends (inc. 1 thick pair for walking)
- 2 pairs of non-designer trainers (only non-marking soles allowed in sports halls)
- 1 pair of very old trainers for wet/muddy activities
- Waterproof anorak (and waterproof trousers if possible)
- 1 complete change of clothes for the evening
- Small rucksack for packed lunch and change of clothes when off-site
- Named bin liners (not black) for bringing any damp or wet clothes/towels home (black bin liners can be mistaken for rubbish bags!)
- Plenty of appropriate factor suncream
- A sunhat
- Small torch and spare batteries (if staying in a canvas camp or lakeside cabins)
- Packed lunch if travelling by Escorted Travel Medical/Contact form (fully completed and signed) and any medication required including spare asthma inhalers
- Refillable drinking water bottle
- Final Information Invoice
- Sleeping Bag or Bedding and pillow (bedding is provided for Paris/Disneyland Holidays)
- Several changes of underwear and socks
- 2 sets of swimwear
- 2 large towels (for swimming and wet activities)
- Bath (for showering) and hand towels
- Toiletries bag and contents (including sun-screen)
- Up to 6 t-shirts
- 3 pairs of shorts
- 2 old sweatshirts/fleeces
- 2 pairs of strong, loose fitting trousers/tracksuit bottoms
- 2 pairs of trainers
- Waterproof anorak
- Complete change of clothes for the evenings
- Bin liner (not black) for bringing any wet clothing home
- Small rucksack for packed lunches and change of clothes when off site
- Insect Repellent
- Plastic water bottle
- Pocket First Aid kit
- Sun hat and sunglasses
- Medical contact form (fully completed and signed)
- Any personal medication
- EHIC and insurance details
- Valid PASSPORT!
For the Two Centre Adventure and Mediterranean Watersports holiday you will also need to bring:
- Canvas/plastic shoes or old trainers for watersports
- Torch and spare batteries
The sun is very strong in all parts of France so please bring plenty of appropriate factor sunscreen.
Each person will need to have their own individual document as we do not provide guests with a group passport. The passport and any relevant visas are the responsibility of each guest to organise. Guests who are not British citizens must ensure that they have suitable documentation, which may include visas. Please note that 1-year passports are no longer available or valid.
Based on past experience and comments from previous guests we recommend for one week’s holiday pocket money of about:
- £100 for the Paris and Disneyland® holiday
- £100 for Two Centre Adventure and Mediterranean Watersports
PGL provide full-board accommodation, but children will still need money for items such as drinks, ice-creams, postcards, stamps, souvenirs etc., and entrance fees to some places of interest (except excursions as advertised in brochure). Please give children the money in Euros as there are no exchange facilities at the centre. Pocket money can be kept in the centre safe if required.
‘Soft’ type luggage is ideal for storing belongings during the holiday, as well as for carrying and loading. Holdalls are probably the best, but suitcases and rucksacks are fine. All specialist activity equipment is supplied by PGL. Clothes should be loose, casual and easily washable.
NB: Synthetic tracksuit trousers are warmer when wet, more comfortable and easier to dry than jeans.
When you book, we need to know some important personal information about your children and we will always treat this sensitively and respect confidentiality. This includes(but is not limited to):
- Personal details - age, date of birth etc.
- Relevant medical history/issues, including disability and behavioural conditions
- Dietary requirements/ preferences
- Swimming ability
- Any other factors that might impact on the success of the holiday, or the safety of your child and others whilst on holiday.
We are able to support children requiring regular medication that can be self-administered. We do need to know details of this and you will need to complete a form of instruction that will be provided and bring this along with you on arrival. If you are bringing any medication to centre (prescribed or otherwise) you will be required to hand this in on arrival. Please note that this MUST be in the original packaging, with dosage details included.
We use specific small group staff ratios and specialist equipment, to ensure all our care standards are upheld and to be as inclusive as possible, in the settings we operate in. Our holidays also require a minimum level of self-reliance. Therefore it's important to note that we are not able to accommodate children in all circumstances. This would typically be where a child's needs require a staffing level beyond those we work to, or the use of equipment, qualifications or facilities that our settings are not reasonably able to provide.
We have staff with first aid qualifications and have pre-established links with local doctors, dentists and hospitals in case of emergency. On every centre, in case of minor accidents, each activity base is equipped with a first aid kit. Full records of treatment are kept, and parents are always alerted in a real emergency. For small accidents, such as bumps, scratches and grazes, we will not normally contact parents.
For overseas holidays, please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your child has his/her own passport and (if necessary) visa documentation. Holders of non-UK passports should check with their embassy whether a visa will be required. All UK citizens travelling abroad need to be in possession of a valid passport. Please allow plenty of time for the application process, as we are unable to allow guests to travel without a valid passport. For further information on the country to be visited, please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-andlivingabroad or visit ABTA’s website www.abta.com.
For holidays within Europe, it is essential that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card for your child. You can obtain an EHIC on line at www.ehic.org.uk, by calling 0845 605 0707 or from your local Post Office. Should medical attention be needed whilst within the European Community, an EHIC can save both time and money, avoiding the need to pay a minimum £50 excess charge for any medical treatment claimed from our insurers.
Please clearly indicate your child’s swimming ability at the time of booking. Lifejackets or buoyancy aids are always worn for water sports, except for body-boarding, surfing and snorkelling sessions – where if participants are able to swim 50 metres or more, they are not required to wear them. For all water based activities participants must be water confident in a life jacket or buoyancy aid.
Water confidence is defined as:
- Ability to duck head underwater
- Confidently swim 15 metres in a life jacket or buoyancy aid without signs of panic
Alternative activities are arranged for non-water confident participants at all centres.
Fun may be important, but so is food. We want to inspire children into a healthier lifestyle that includes a tasty, balanced diet. To support this and in addition to our fantastic new dining halls, we work closely with leading catering organisations to ensure our food is the best it can be. We aim to provide three healthy, high energy meals per day, with plenty of variety, supporting the five-a-day campaign as well as reducing added salt, sugar and fat. A vegetarian alternative can always be provided on all our holidays, and we can accommodate most special diets required on medical or religious grounds. In all these cases we do require full details at time of booking.
We wish to work with all of our guests to provide a safe and enjoyable experience. We expect parents/guardians to supply any information In relation to food allergies and intolerances prior to travel. On site, we aim to give as much information as possible so guests can make informed food choices. At each meal time allergy information will be clearly displayed for each dish (eg suitable for vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free etc). If guests are ever in doubt about a product or dish, we recommend they immediately ask a member of the catering team or their group leader who will speak with our catering manager for clarity.
We ask suppliers to provide nut free products. However some food items are made in factories that use these ingredients. We do not sell nut products in our shop.
Even the fittest children feel tired after a full day of activities followed by our evening entertainment programmes, so we try to insist on sensible bedtimes for children to ensure that everyone gets a good night’s rest. Exact times may vary from centre to centre but are typically 20.30 for 7–10 year olds, 21.30 for 10–13s and 22.30 for 13–17 year olds.
It is part of our staff’s role to get everyone to bed reasonably on time – sometimes easier said than done! Once ‘lights out’ has been called at UK centres night duty staff take over. They reassure the anxious, encourage the high spirited to settle down and continue their vigil until all is quiet. At centres where children need to leave their tent or lodge to get to the toilet facilities, security staff patrol the campsite or accommodation area throughout the night. Elsewhere there is a night duty rota and a members of staff are accommodated close by so they quickly be contacted at any time should the need arise. Bedroom doors are locked, although these can be opened from the inside in case of emergency.
Living alongside and mixing with other children is a valuable part of the holiday experience and we try to ensure that no one feels left out. Every member of the group has an equal right to enjoy themselves and we keep a close check on teasing, bullying or any other antisocial behaviour that may spoil an individual’s enjoyment. Our experience over many years means that this rarely becomes a problem but please tell your children that if they feel they are being picked on, they should inform their group leader or any other member of staff immediately.
When necessary, we will be firm with children who are jeopardising the enjoyment of others and will not tolerate any such behaviour. If problem behaviour is persistent or serious, we will contact the parent or guardian to decide on further action. Please note it may on occasion be necessary to contact parents/ guardians during unsociable hours.
We reserve the right to send any child home immediately at parent/guardians’ expense and to charge for any additional costs incurred. No refunds will be considered for any children sent home for behavioural reasons and parents/ guardians will be asked to pay for any damage caused by wilful behaviour to any PGL owned or leased property. Please ensure you have read our booking conditions, in particular the section 'your responsibility'
The below items are banned at all of our centres. It is essential to check that your child does not have any of the following items with them during their stay at PGL.
- Drugs or medicines of any kind, whether prescription or common over the counter (for example paracetamol, hay fever tablets, travel sickness tablets etc.) that you have not handed in and declared to our staff on a medical form at arrival.
- Solvents eg: glue
- Any item that could constitute a weapon- for example, a pen knife.
- The means of lighting a fire eg: matches
Consumption of alcohol by guests is banned at all PGL centres in the UK and France. In France and Austria, please note that even those guests who are 16 and over who legally speaking may consume beer and wine in Europe, are subject to this ban. This also applies to the consumption of alcohol off-site and the purchase of alcohol offsite. Please note that guests who break this rule will be excluded from the holiday and collection will be at the expense of parents/guardians.
We strongly discourage smoking but full smoking bans in the past have led to unauthorised smoking in areas likely to be a fire risk – tents dormitories etc. As safety is our number one priority we therefore operate a system using ‘official’ supervised smoking areas set away from other guests or any fire risk. Smoking is only allowed strictly for 16 or 17 year olds where parental consent has been given. Interestingly, a side effect of this approach tends to be that a number of smokers choose not to smoke at all rather than be forced to adopt the rigours of our strict safety policy. Smoking in contravention of our policy is a serious offence for which guests will be sent home.
Please note that the above rules covering smoking also extend to E-cigarettes.
All children are made aware of safety procedures and shown exits and assembly points before they go to bed on their first night at the centre. There is a weekly fire drill at all centres.
The majority of our activities take place on centre, apart from a small selection our Specialist Holidays with booked excursions or very occasionally when we take older children off site for evening 'ents'. Where settings allow, the group will remain together with an accompanying adult but where this is not possible, children will be in small groups of no less than three and our staff will remain in designated contact/ meeting points.
Our team will encourage and reinforce good hygiene practices at all times, including the regular use of soap and toothpaste. However all children are expected to be able to accept sensible, personal responsibility for showering, changing clothes, hand washing and cleaning their teeth during their holiday.
Help us to help you! PGL staff will do their best to return named lost property to owners. However, if lost clothing is not clearly marked, it is unlikely that we will be able to trace it. We strongly recommend woven type name tapes, which should be firmly stitched into an obvious place in each garment. We reserve the right to charge postage and packing for those items returned after your holiday. We retain lost property for two weeks after the end of your child’s holiday.
If your child is staying for more than one week, we recommend that they either book onto a different holiday or try a different centre for the second week. Inter-centre transfers can be arranged between most centres. We can provide one machine wash at UK centres, but there may be a small charge. On the second Saturday of their holiday, guests will participate in activities on centre that are suitable for all age ranges and abilities whilst the centre prepares for new arrivals. There is no charge for this.
Of course, for some children, being away from home may initially be disconcerting. This is natural and only to be expected – even adults can experience ‘homesickness’! Our staff are fully trained in the sensitive skills of identifying and dealing with children’s concerns and worries. In the vast majority of cases, a day or two of getting to know new friends and being involved in exciting activities will dispel all but the most persistent worries. You will, of course, be kept informed if there are any persistent problems.
You will be able to call the centre directly during your child's holiday and arrange to speak to them or we will pass on any messages. We do ask you to try not to telephone the centre too excessively to speak to your child as particularly during the day they will be out an about enjoying activities for most of the time, making it difficult to arrange contact quickly or relay messages. Centre contact details are included in your welcome pack, which can be downloaded from your MyPGL account.
Any other questions?
If you have a query that isn't listed here, or you would like more information on any of the topics mentioned, please call us on 0333 321 2114 and we'd be happy to discuss it with you.