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Scottish Outdoor Education Centres

SOEC is a Scottish charity working to provide high quality learning opportunities for children, young people and the community at large all at affordable prices. We provide exciting and intelligent experiential and outdoor learning for thousands of children and young people each year at our 3 Centres across Scotland. Some come as pupils with their schools for our set school programme weeks; others come for music or study with or without activities provided by the SOEC outdoor instructor team.

We have been using Dounans to provide an outdoor residential learning experience with all our S1 pupils for the last five years. We keep going back as the people make it an outstanding experience. The leaders, instructors, cleaners and catering staff go out of their way to get it right for every child. In partnership with our school staff we are able to provide an experience which positively impacts on pupils’  skills for learning , life and work.

Royal High School, Edinburgh

As well as schools we welcome youth and community groups, special interest or sports and overseas groups. In addition we also organise holiday activity clubs for individual children during the school holidays.

The Centres are ideally suited for groups wishing to use just the accommodation and do their own thing; whether skiing, walking or cycling in the vicinity of the Centres or for visiting local cities or events such as the Edinburgh Festival or Fringe.

If your group is interested in accommodation only use, please get in touch with us.If you are looking for further information or would like to make a booking enquiry relating to any of the Centres, please contact us.

Work on renewing some of the dorms at Dounans has almost finished.  See what we’ve done here.

Useful links for teachers

SOEC and attainment

Field Studies


Feedback on Dounans

SOEC Heritage Project

A new project is underway by bringing together people who stayed in the centres, recording their narratives and collecting photographs and documents between 1940-1960.  This project will bring to life the fascinating period of the SOEC history.

For more information please visit

Her Majesty the Queen visiting in 1955

Transition to Work for young people with an autism spectrum diagnoses

Please download the End of Project Report for further information on our recent collaborative programme with Lothian Autistic Society, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage. We devised a programme looking at the twin aims of determining the therapeutic value of the outdoors for these young people, and developing their employability skills.

LAS Transition to Work Final Report – PDF

Campaigning for Brilliant Residentials

brilliant-residentials_full-colourSchool trips with an overnight stay can be life changing experiences for young people.  We are campaigning for Brilliant Residentials to enable more young people to experience more high-quality residentials, which can lead to improved resilience, relationships, achievement and brighter, brilliant futures for young people.

Visit or follow @LearningAway to pledge your support and join the campaign.  Information Leaflet – PDF 3MB












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Belmont summer activity club

Summer activity club fun for children 8-14 years at Belmont and Dounans. £35.00 per day. Activities running daily from Monday to Friday.

Dounans dorms

More about the renewal work at Dounans for group leaders

SOEC and your data – GDPR Privacy Statement

Please take time to read through our updated Privacy Statement. No further action is needed. However, if you have any questions or wish to discuss anything, please get in touch with us on 01899 221115.