This outdoor activity centre tucked away near Sheffield could be the perfect post-lockdown adventure for the family

Nestled between woodland and the Peak District on the edge of Sheffield, this activity centre offering both water and land activities will take you on a once in a lifetime experience in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

By Kian Rains
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:37 am
Bushcraft is a survival activity that you can learn at the centre.
Bushcraft is a survival activity that you can learn at the centre.

Underbank Activity Centre in Stocksbridge has been open for decades, with activities operating there for the leisure market, schools, DofE and groups such as Scouts since 2013.

The centre is operated by Peak, who have been running for over 20 years, and are known for delivering family-friendly outdoor activities and tailor-made adventure packages at sites across the UK - including Underbank Activity Centre near Stocksbridge and six other activity centres.

Since Peak was established by Managing Director Paul Ball, it has expanded to provide adventures and educational visits to people across England and employs more than 230 full-time staff nationwide.

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Get out on the water and try Kayaking.

Families can experience the endless opportunities that the centre provide and can take on their biggest fears with the leap of faith, or get into the great outdoors and test their survival skills.

Underbank is open all year round and offers a wide variety of activities and adventures, including Kayaking, Archery, fire building, mountain biking and orienteering, as well as other activities that you simply will not find elsewhere, such as rocket launching.

Peak marketing manager Paul Barber said: “Getting back to nature and getting active has been proven to be extremely beneficial for mental health, body, mind, and spirit. We can offer the people of Sheffield the opportunity of some time out to enjoy the great outdoors and have some fun in a lovely location off the beaten track. With everything from paddle self-launch if you have your own kayak or paddleboard to coached watersports, climbing, bushcraft and archery sessions.

“Our motto is Education through Adventure. There are many things that make Underbank unique. These include our tucked-away location for complete peace and the ability to completely immerse yourself in nature, our ability to be able to cater to a wide range of leisure, school and corporate customers for a range of activities whether it be an hour or weeklong session.”

Rocket building is another activity on the list.

“We have a range of water activities, including Kayaking, Canoeing and Raft Building available. Raft building proves a popular activity with our groups as it enables them to work together and fine-tune a range of skills, including communication, team building and problem-solving. Our canoes and kayaks are a great way to get you out onto the water and learn a range of skills that could help you work towards qualifications such as British Canoeing.

“Our land activities feature our high ropes areas which include the leap of faith and zipline. A lot of participants who come to us are apprehensive of these activities, but with encouragement from fellow participants, they learn to conquer their fears. We also have a fixed climbing tower and archery range.

“Our other activities include bushcraft and survival skills as well as orienteering, which again are great activities for both teams and individuals.”

Not only is the centre about having fun, but children can also learn vital skills such as team building and life-saving first aid skills.

The activity centre in Stocksbridge gives people the opportunity to try watersports.

It also provides educational visits and residential trips and can cater for groups of 18 - 200 – so whether it is a small group on a rewards day or a whole year group for a transition day, they have the facilities to help you have a day of adventures.

All the activity programmes are bespoke to the school to make it an adventure to remember and Underbank even has a classroom on site.

For the residential trips, Peak will work with groups to design a programme and you can opt to include specific activities or leave the organising down to them – Food can also be included with a range of breakfast, lunch and dinner options available.

After groups have tired themselves out with their adventurous activities, Underbank offers spacious accommodation to create a comfortable camping experience.

Peak also provide a social development programme for schools, which can help mainstream and Special Educational Needs (SEN) students who may struggle to engage full time in a mainstream education setting to refocus and develop in the great outdoors.

Paul added: “We ensure all our staff pass enhanced checks. Due to our Educational provisions that we have throughout the business, they are equipped to deal with a range of educational behaviours. Over our years of operation, we have been able to fine-tune our offering and pride ourselves in being able to provide a first-class service with a range of activities and packages.

“If your children are always complaining they are bored in the school holidays, and you want to get them away from the TV, or you may be struggling for childcare? Our weeklong School Holiday Programmes could be for you. From kayaking to bushcraft, we have a wealth of activities both on water and land. With groups of 8 children, our qualified instructors will work with the children to create a fun-packed timetable with awards at the end of the week.

“Visiting the site is a great opportunity to get some family time away from the rat race. It’s recently been Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme was all about getting in touch with nature and getting active. The fun and adventures we can offer at Underbank do exactly this, helping people connect with nature through the location, water and land-based activities.”

If you own a business and need to get your staff working seamlessly together or just fancy rewarding them for all their hard work, the centre can organise a mix of team building and corporate games as well as fun to be had both on the water and the land.

Adding to their fantastic ability to cater for different occasions, Peak also offer bookings for birthday parties and Hen&Stag nights.

If you are struggling for something different and exciting for your child’s birthday, they have birthday packages available for 7-16 year olds.

Stag and hen party packages provided include a variety of challenges so that people can bond with everyone involved.

Whether you are up for trying a new sport on your own or want to get your family out onto the water, their adventures are for you – they offer a fully instructed 60-minute session for you, your family, or friends.

Mini Adventures give you the chance to learn all about the watersports or land-based activity of your choice. These sessions are suitable for all levels of experience and for anyone aged seven and over. Your instructor will work with you to enhance your skills.

If you want to get your family involved with your adventure, then Family Adventures are for you; with the same selection of activities as Mini Adventures, these sessions are for up to 5 people and cost just £100 for the session.

PEAK would like to offer Sheffield Star readers the chance to Win a Family Adventure – they are offering three lucky winners a FREE Family Adventure as part of their Summer and October Half term holiday competitions.

The lucky winner will get a 1 hour instructed session with up to 5 of their loved ones from the same household worth £100. You can choose from Kayaking, Canoeing, Archery, Climbing and Bushcraft.

Winners will be chosen on July 18 for the Summer holidays and October 17 for October Half Term – To enter, Click here.

To find out more and book an adventure, visit call on 01782 722226 or visit the centre at Underbank Activity Centre, Oaks Lane, Stocksbridge, Sheffield, S36 4GH.