Blog | Beyond the Scout campsite: unusual places to stay

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Scouts aren’t all about traditional camping – check out this selection of weird and wonderful overnight stays.

As the last British Second World War submarine in the world, HMS Alliance was an atmospheric location for First Park Gate Sea Scouts to stay the night. It was the first time young people have been able to stay on board a UK submarine and an ex-submariner told them about life on the high seas.

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Usually the staff in a furniture store wouldn’t take too kindly to customers having a nap on the beds, but at IKEA in Bristol they made an exception. Twenty Explorers from Sharman ESU had exclusive use of the store for a night and were allowed to snooze in all of the display beds.

Cubs from 75th North and Central Lambeth and 22nd Streatham came face-to-face with sharks when they stayed the night at London Aquarium. Learning about the dangers sharks endure in the wild, they raised money for charity Bite-back and earned their Conservation badges.


2nd Church Aston Cubs enjoyed a fantastic half term treat when they slept overnight at Odeon Telford. They watched Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in 3D, before snoozing in their sleeping bags in front of the screen. They also took part in a film quiz with lots of special film-related prizes.

Aberdeen Network experienced life in the freezer when they spent the night in an igloo at Daviot Campsite in north-east Scotland. Six Network members took seven hours to carefully build the igloo, which they fondly nicknamed the ‘Cold Beast’.


Safari park
Keen to try new things, Aberdeen Network became the first campers at Blair Drummond Safari Park. They got to feed and clean out the animals – including penguins, giraffes and elephants – in return for staying in a field next to the safari enclosure.

It was a dream come true for the sports fans at 1st Newtown Llantwit. They got to stay on the turf at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Running on to the pitch like champions, they invested five Scouts on the centre line and crammed in a few games before bedtime.


Sleep out for the homeless
1st Harpenden Scouts braved freezing February temperatures when they slept outside to raise funds for local charity Herts Young Homeless. After collecting a mountain of cardboard boxes, four leaders and 15 Scouts built shelters in the local church car park.

Nuclear bunker
32nd Chingford Cubs organised an exciting night away in a former nuclear bunker at Kelvedon Hatch. They enjoyed activities on the theme ‘witches and wizards school’, including wand making, wizard’s golf and remote-controlled spiders.

Hellfire Caves
It takes some plucky Cubs to stay overnight at the haunted Hellfire Caves in Buckinghamshire, which descend several hundred feet underground. After a spooky ghost tour, the 1st Watton at Stone Cubs slept soundly despite the chilly temperatures and a few mysterious bangs and crashes.

Can you outdo this lot? Have you and your Group stayed anywhere unusual? Let us know at  

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