Enjoy panoramic views of Loch Tay and the Ben Lawers mountain range. Firbush provides the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Firbush Outdoor Centre is one of the University of Edinburgh’s hidden treasures. It is managed by Sport & Exercise and located on the spectacular shores of Loch Tay. We aim to provide a unique and memorable experience to all who visit. Guests have been seeking adventure and the chance to unwind from daily life since 1967!
Firbush encourages a sense of adventure, community spirit and promotes general wellbeing. A trip to Firbush is good for the soul and will always boost both your physical and mental health.
We offer a wide range of mountain and water-based activities all year round and cater to a variety of different groups. From within the University community, we welcome reading parties, field trips, sports clubs, societies and staff conferences. We are open to other universities, companies, families and other informal groups looking for an adventure!
We offer day adventures for those not wishing to stay overnight. In the summer we offer family weeks as well as guided loch and river paddling days. In the winter months, guided winter mountain days are available to book.
Throughout the year, there is a variety of open skill-based courses. From winter skills, RYA sailing & windsurfing to SCA paddlesports.
Firbush has something for everybody and we hope to welcome you very soon!
Spectacularly situated by the loch, the residential centre is a comfortable Norwegian Pine cabin with a capacity of 32. Residential programme guests are accommodated in 2 to 4 berth bunkrooms with communal facilities and dining. The main building has wheelchair access and accessible facilities as required. Wireless broadband and a spacious drying room are available to all guests on the Firbush site.
Catering and bar
Our dining room offers spectacular panoramic views across Loch Tay and the local mountain range. Residential guests receive a full Scottish breakfast, a three-course dinner and tasty packed lunch. Afternoon cake can be supplied on request and is a very welcome finale to the day’s activities. We can cater for specific dietary requirements but guests must give advanced notice.
The Firbush club bar is in the common room and opens in the evenings from 6pm. The bar stocks a variety of wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks, all reasonably priced.
Firbush provides all technical equipment and outer clothing to those taking part in outdoor activities. Everything from waterproofs to warm layers and walking boots to wetsuits and buoyancy aids. Guests can also borrow accessories like hats, buffs and windproof gloves. Whatever the weather or environment we will keep you as comfortable as possible!
Firbush has a comprehensive range of technical equipment. We have fleets of both hardtail mountain bikes and touring bikes to suit all cycling preferences. Three options of paddle craft with sufficient canoes, kayaks and paddleboards to keep everyone happy. Our sail and windsurf fleets contain a wide variety of boats and boards to cater for all abilities and interests.
With a fully equipped AV system and capacity of 45 comfortably seated, our seminar room plays host to a range of requirements. Frequently used for academic lectures, seminars and meetings, further break out spaces are available in the dining room and/social area.
To some of our more social and family groups, the “big screen” is less formally known as the “Firbush Cinema”. The room’s undisturbed location also makes it ideal for yoga and meditation courses. Again these groups can also break out to the dining room and bar area as required.
Built in 2018, this outdoor seating space allows visitors to enjoy the stunning views of Loch Tay and the Ben Lawers mountain range. It is the perfect place space for groups and individuals to socialise and relax during their visit.
Whether it is on the water or in the house, you will be in the safe hands of our experienced and qualified staff. Many of whom hold high-level industry qualifications.
People and community are at the heart of Firbush and we take time to select staff who share our ethos. The ability to provide an excellent customer experience outweighs any accreditation. Although our team are very accomplished in their preferred outdoor fields! Expert windsurfers, yacht masters and ski mountaineers to name a few! Not to mention our amazing talented cooks and housekeeping team!
Our instructors are passionate about the outdoors and enjoy the blend of instructing outdoors with their drive for adventure. They are keen to share their knowledge to ensure our guests get the most from their Firbush experience. Whether you are trying a sport for the first time or wanting to learn more about the local area our staff will be there to help.
Firbush is proud that the passion for the outdoors runs throughout all members of the team. Within our domestic and maintenance staff we have keen walkers, cyclists, fell runners and wild swimmers!
Whatever the weather, you can always expect a warm welcome and a relaxing, homely atmosphere at Firbush. Set in stunning surroundings, Firbush promotes physical & mental health and general wellbeing in all that it does. We also look to encourage social engagement and interaction.
These values are central to how we operate and create a positive community atmosphere. You will stay in a rustic hostel-style Norwegian log cabin with shared facilities. With a cooked breakfast and three-course dinner on offer, be assured you won’t go hungry! We operate a communal dining service and do ask for assistance in clearing the tables.
For those not on a skills course, we can offer a bespoke programme of outdoor activities. You can choose from a variety of activities, either instructed or self-guided. These include; kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, windsurfing, sailing, hill walking, mountain biking and orienteering. However, some activities can be weather dependant. Guests can dive straight into the available activities or opt to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Firbush.
You will find experienced and passionate staff throughout the centre. From our housekeeping team to the instructors, they all believe in what Firbush stands for and are proud to be a part of our visitors' experience. It is likely you’ll find yourself talking about wild swimming with the catering team!
As part of the University of Edinburgh, we are proud to be open to everybody are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming community environment for all.
- We are Open to Everybody - we are welcoming, fair and equal
- We believe Anything is Possible - we are innovative and aspirational
- We Enable Excellence - we are professional, supportive and are committed to continuous improvement
In 1959, the newly appointed Director of Physical Education, Laurie Liddell, was tasked with developing the University's opportunity for outdoor education. After searching all over Scotland, the decision was made that Firbush Point would be the perfect location. The land was purchased from the MacNab Clan estate in 1963.
For the first few years’ visitors camped on the 7 acres site. Then in October 1967 the design and build of our main Norwegian Style Log Cabin was complete. Today our students and guests still enjoy the warm friendly atmosphere of the Firbush Outdoor Centre.
Although our courses may have changed, everyone who visits still benefits from the tranquil and unique setting that Firbush now stands.
I had known one of the instructors, Les Berrow, since I had been at school - he had in fact taught me to sail. Unexpectedly, we became good friends through meeting again at Firbush and fell in love. Our lives fell into place when a vacancy arose at the GP practice in Killin and I was able to move to Killin in 1993 to work as a GP and to live at Firbush all the time!! We spent 24 very happy years with Les continuing to work at Firbush
So many brilliant memories from Firbush. My first Munro. My first eskimo roll in a kayak. The Sinderson room and the tuck shop. Paddling up to Killin or playing water rounders. I went to Kid’s week every year I was eligible and then went back as a helper. That first moment windsurfing in the footstraps and on the harness with a dedicated staff in the rescue boat...Long live Firbush and I hope many others have the same positive experiences as I’ve had
Over the years, accolades have from young people and parents poured in, describing how one week in the summer spent at Firbush changed young people's lives in so many ways,' said a nurse involved in running the project.
It transpired that a group from the Management School had decided to sing national anthems and they needed someone from Scotland.
Not being a singer (at all) I somehow managed a verse of 'Flower off Scotland’ much to their delight (and amusement). I sat with them for a long while after that.
In the end we counted fifteen different national anthems.
We had much fun and often significant adventure at Firbush for several years after the millennium on summer family holidays. Our kids Alex and Catherine were in their early teens and learnt to sail and windsurf. Significantly they become very confident on and mostly in, and underwater; Alex became a summer camp director at a wilderness summer camp on Lake Tahoe for Camp America and our younger daughter became a certified Divemaster. Professionally, Alex became an architect, in Edinburgh and Catherine a marine environmental conservation expert for AONB in North Devon. Both learnt useful life skills at Firbush which ultimately supported their confidence in later life careers.