Rookin House Activity Centre – Team Building Activities

Teambuilding out of the work environment is often far more effective than classroom training or exercises in the workplace. Add to that the fabulous Lake District scenery and the variety of locations that are on hand for team building activities and you have a winning combination.

Rookin House have wide experience of running constructive and fun team building programmes based around a number of scenarios. We run events to encourage team bonding and team building.  The latter usually needs at least a two day event or longer to gain effective learning but team bonding can be achieved in a couple of hours.

An example of a longer team building programme is the Search for the Holy Grail. This well planned 2 day residential programme designed round such a scenario helps to explore team dynamics and communication in many ways:

  • Develop effective teamworking and collaboration
  • Demonstrate the effect of ineffective teamwork and competitive behaviours
  • Explore the impact and consequences of individuals actions
  • Explain effective leadership
  • Improve communication

Search for the Holy Grail

Outline of the Search for the Holy Grail

The Search for the Holy Grail is a teamwork development project that can also provide elements of individual personal development. It can be structured either around the Arthurian legend or a more modern setting. It is based on a journey around Ullswater, the Lake District and Eden Valley, the route follows some majestic scenery.

Programme Detail

Arriving the evening before, the teams would be provided with their first clue along with crucial research materials in the form of books, maps etc. These will be used throughout the project.

The following morning, with the first clue solved, the teams will set off on the trail of the Holy Grail.

The journey will take them from clue to clue and they will use different methods of transport. Some of the route will be on foot, some by cycle some will be on water and some may be on horseback. As the teams journey on their way they will encounter a number of challenges and also some individuals who may help – or hinder – their passage.

Possible Outcomes

Regular reviews will help teams extract the maximum learning from the event. The exercise will typically develop awareness of competitive and collaborative behaviours, clear and effective communication, control, leadership and delegation – and an out of the workplace environment usually means that a lot can be achieved in a relatively short period of time!


The project ideally lasts for 2 days, giving time for reviews and developing learning. A scaled down version of the project can be run over 1.5 days but with different outcomes.

Who will Benefit?

The programme will be of help to established teams – providing them with a “health check” of how well they are performing. It can also be used to speed up the formation of new teams, or to integrate newer team members into established teams more effectively. It can also give multi-disciplinary teams from the same company more respect and understanding for the role that each plays within a company.​

Whilst enjoying the fabulous Lakes and most of all, it will be fun!

The Rik Bandler Affair

The Rik Bandler Affair


This is a task which can be scaled to fit either a 1 day or 2 day teamwork development programme. As a 1 day event you will spend time in and around the Rookin House site. As a 2 day event you will get a mixture of time at the centre and also time ‘off site’ experiencing some of the beauty of the Lake District National Park.

The Task:

The body of the recently deceased Rik Bandler has been found. You are in a team of investigative journalists and you need to identify ‘who dun it’ as well as what killed him and why he was murdered. As you progress around the various challenges you will be helped (or, sometimes, hindered!) by the tutors working with you. On successful completion of a task you will earn money which you will need to use later on in order to bribe an informant.

Towards the end of the challenge everyone will assemble in order to hear the solution to who murdered Rik.

Technical detail:

The day has considerable flexibility and we really need to discuss the detail of what you require. However, the day can be challenging, fun, frustrating, satisfying and enjoyable – and probably a number of other emotions too! As tasks it can include things like abseiling, problem solving challenges, quad bike trekking, rock climbing, raft building etc.​

The day (or longer if required) can be used to begin the process of addressing a variety of teamwork issues. These may be around communication, delegation, leadership or followership or indeed, many others! In our experience it’s how individuals choose to be which makes the difference between the team working well, or working less well.

We can put together a variety of great activities some motorised examples being:

Reverse Steer

Reverse Steer

The Reverse Steer is an unusual and challenging activity vehicle specially engineered to drive in opposites, turning left when you turn right and vice-versa! This might sound simple, but can you do it when the pressure is on with your whole team counting on you as you navigate your way through the myriad of obstacles, tight bends, chicanes and reversing sections, all against the clock it becomes far trickier! For those with a little more confidence the activity can be modified again by using the vehicle with an ‘egg and spoon’ set up, by which a large dish holding a ball is attached to the vehicle, keeping the ball in the dish adds another test of time, skill and element of agility  to the activity. Other testing and confusing variations can include blindfolding participants, adding tricky, taxing reversing sections and additional obstacles; the only real limitation is your imagination! This is an excellent team working and communication focused activity, testing coordination and preconditioning to the limit.

There are no prerequisites to be involved in this activity; the participants do not have to have a driving licence or even any driving experience. The vehicle used is a purpose built, 4×4 automatic. An instructor is in the vehicle with the participants at all times. Other team members can be carried as passengers during the event to allow them to participate as much as possible. Courses can be tailored to individual clients needs, skill levels and learning objectives.

Power Turn


This is a toy on a proper scale! A power turn is a twin seater cart driven by two independent engines, with race seats, harnesses and a full roll cage that can be driven by one or two drivers.  The Powerturn looks impressive and with the exhilarating wheelies and fast spins and turns, it’s guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face!

Each engine powers one set of wheels, the cart has a unique driving style and is controlled by the driver by pushing both levers forward to accelerate and both back to stop. The cart is steered by pushing the levers independently (thus providing power only one side and turning the cart).

This activity is normally run with an initial practice session to get a feel for the vehicle, then a timed race or skills challenge around a course which will be created to suit required time scales and competency level of the clients. When two people set to the challenge they each control a set of the wheels so it is essential participants MUST work together. This is a brilliant team building activity option, working on communication, team work and once mastered, the Powerturn is fast paced and immense fun!

On a practical note, the sessions are supervised at all times by an instructor who will brief each team on the driving of the cart and the rules.  The course will require a reasonable amount of space and participants will need to wear helmets (provided).

Blind Drive

Blind Drive

‘Blind Drive’ involves a team member driving a vehicle around a course aided by the rest of their team. This would ordinarily be an easy task, however, when the driver is blindfolded and completely unable to see where they are going it adds a little more of a twist! Success is totally dependent on the communication skills and instruction of the participants to enable them to successfully navigate and complete the course.  The team must maximise the driver’s ability to interpret, understand and respond to their commands. The aim of this activity is to highlight and enhance effective team working, trust and communication skills through an enjoyable and unique environment.

The participants do not have to have a driving licence or even any driving experience. An instructor is in the vehicle with the participants at all times. Other team members can be carried as passengers during the event to allow them to participate as much as possible. Courses can be tailored to individual clients needs, skill levels and learning objectives.