Big Weekend

Offered during selected weekends during the main summer holidays, Big Weekend offers a 3 day/2night adventure for children looking for a shorter residential experience. It’s also a great way to connect 2 weeks of Residential Camps, fitting a fun-filled weekend between 2 action-packed weeks.

We also offer family festivals over the Bank Holiday weekends of the summer, enabling parents the chance to join in with the fun.

What’s included in a Big Weekend?

All residential camps include the following:

  • Full multi-activity programme throughout the day and evening
  • Tented accommodation
  • healthy, balanced, home cooked meals
  • fully qualified, conscientious staff available 24 hours a day

We’ll make sure your child spends their time at Fairthorne Manor learning new skills, building friendships, improving confidence and of course, having fun!

Pick up and drop off

  • Drop your child off between 4:00 and 5:00pm on Friday and collect them between 3:00 and 4:00pm on Sunday.

Big Weekend dates for 2017

  • Summer week 1: 28-30 July
  • Summer week 2: 4-6 August
  • Summer week 3: 11-13 August
  • Summer week 4: 18-20 August

Residential Camp prices

For details on prices and booking, see our Prices & Dates page.

Through membership of the YMCA Community, you will have the chance to feel a greater sense of ownership and belonging, as well as enjoying exclusive member events, discounts and early booking discounts.  For more information visit our Membership page.


Children sleep under canvas in one of our tent villages in large 6 – 8 person frame tents with wooden floors.  Camp leaders sleep in tents adjacent to the children’s and are available throughout the night to offer assistance if required.


We pride ourselves on the fact that all of our staff are:

  • selected for their patience, understanding and conscientious approach to caring for children and young people
  • enhancing the time your child spends at Fairthorne with their enthusiasm, commitment and passion for fun
  • checked by the Criminal Records Bureau
  • reference checked to ensure their suitability for our centre and working with children and young people
  • strive to be excellent role models for all children attending camp.
  • trained in child protection and first aid
  • trained in child and youth engagement skills

For many children, one of our camps is their first holiday away from home and it is perfectly natural for both parents and children to be anxious. We hope the information contained here will help to reassure you, but if you have any concerns, please call us on 01489 785228 or attend on one of our information events.

For further information on what your child needs to bring to residential camps, please see our What to bring page.  Children must be dropped off from 3pm on the camp start date and collected between 3.30-4.00pm on the last day of the camp.

We have a number of different themes for our camps and, where appropriate, are covered by the relevant governing bodies:

  • Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) : water-sports, including bell boating, raft building, kayaking, open canoeing and sailing.  Licence details can be confirmed by calling The Licensing Service on 029 2075 5715.
  • Royal Yachting Association (RYA) – recognised as a training centre  to provide instruction for dinghy and powerboat courses.
  • British Canoe Union (BCU) qualified instructors delivering kayaking, canoeing and bell boating.

You can contact us in a number of ways:

Telephone: 01489 785228

In person: our Reception is open 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday.

During each Daycamp period, if you have any concerns regarding your child, our Welfare Officer can be contacted on 0791 4597630.

Booking one of our camps couldn’t be easier:

  • Book residential camps online
  • Call us on 01489 785228 and book over the telephone
  • Visit us in person – our reception is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am-5pm.

We offer a variety of ways to pay:

  • Credit/debit card
  • Cheque (if completing a hard copy booking form or in person)
  • Cash (in person)
  • Childcare vouchers – if booking online, we ask you to pay in full at the time of booking using a credit or debit card and will refund this payment once we have received your childcare vouchers.  Please list your child’s name when transferring vouchers. Please note that bookings are only confirmed once payment has been received. We accept vouchers from a variety of listed childcare providers. Childcare vouchers will only be refunded for eligible services that have been delivered within 6 months of receipt of a customer’s voucher.
  • Childcare vouchers – if booking by telephone, we make a provisional booking and ask you to send the vouchers to us with your child’s name listed on the payment.  Once the vouchers are received, your booking is confirmed and a confirmation sent.  Please note that bookings are only confirmed once payment has been received. Childcare vouchers will only be refunded for eligible services that have been delivered within 6 months of receipt of a customers voucher.

Our booking conditions are available as a Booking Conditions; please contact us if you would prefer a hard copy.