Exciting team building ideas that won

Places to Stay

Exciting team building ideas that won't make you cringe

Kate A 29 October 2021

Yes, we know that the phrase “team-building exercise” can make workers cringe and wince with memories of silly icebreaker games, awkward trust falls and groan-inducing bonding activities. However, it needn’t be this way.

Instead of relying on clichéd team building ideas that will make eyes roll, why not treat your colleagues to an exciting retreat filled with fun experiences to inspire, energise and empower? Escaping the rigidity of the office and providing creative teamwork activities to participate in is sure to make everyone feel more engaged, with the added benefit of some much-needed downtime.

If you’re looking for a great way to reward and motivate your staff, we have a few ideas which are sure to increase workplace morale and help build a more cohesive team.

Skip to:

Volunteer for a good cause

Bonny Blink Cottage

Nothing brings a team together like helping others in need. Volunteering for a charity or local organisation is not only extremely rewarding and makes a positive impact on the community, but the shared experience between co-workers will strengthen relationships, making this one of our favourite team bonding activities.

There are so many projects that your team could participate in; why not pick one that reflects your company values or makes use of your group’s unique talents? You could volunteer with the RSPB, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home or a local wildlife shelter. Perhaps you could take part in a fundraising event, a gardening project or offer help to a nursing home or hospice.

Then there are various clean-up initiatives across the country - the Marine Conservation Society has some great tips for beach cleans. Plus, some of our large houses are located within a stone’s throw of golden sands, like Bonny Blink Cottage on the Isle of Wight pictured above, so you could incorporate this last activity with a corporate retreat along the coast – an even bigger boost to team morale!

More large houses near the beach:

Hire a castle for the weekend

The Pink Castle

Imagine the looks on your colleagues’ faces when they rock up at their very own castle for the weekend. This extraordinary setting will surpass all their expectations and you can incorporate some great team building activities, games and events into the stay among the turrets, spiral staircases and sprawling grounds.

Above is The Pink Castle, a 14th-century fortress in Scotland with spectacular sea views, a luxurious hot tub and a private sauna. A tennis court is available for some competitive fun, while the lawns and woodland provide ample space for a range of corporate team building games. You could even make the most of the location and host your own version of the Highland Games with classic activities like the Scottish hammer throw and caber toss!

More large castles:

Host an outdoor activity day

Castle By The Water

Compete, communicate, problem solve and have an amazing time together on an outdoor activity day. Whether it’s a high ropes course, zorbing, clay pigeon shooting, archery or Segway riding, high-energy teamwork activities in the great outdoors can work wonders for team bonding. And when the blood gets pumping, creativity starts flowing too.

We’ve got a super selection of group accommodation with on-site activities to engage all ages, including Castle By The Water in Cornwall pictured above, which offers stand-up paddleboarding, boat trips along the river, shooting, wine tasting and 4x4 off-roading experiences. And when your group needs a little R&R, there’s also a heated outdoor swimming pool, a games room and 55 acres of gardens and woodland to explore.

More large houses with on-site activities:

Book a cocktail masterclass

The Secret Party Venue

Certainly, one of the most decadent team building activities ideas on our list, a cocktail masterclass allows for workday drinking with more of an exciting, educational focus. A team that learns and drinks together, performs better (or so they say!). Many of our big cottages for groups feature a bar area, from large traditional taverns to chic whisky and gin bars. Simply hire a mixologist and learn the basics of cocktail making before splitting into teams and competing to whip up the ultimate handcrafted drinks.

The Secret Party Venue in Nottinghamshire not only offers a sleek bar area, but it boasts its very own private nightclub as well as a games room, two bubbling hot tubs and even a concierge service who can arrange a private chef, all manner of entertainment and soothing spa treatments.

More large houses with bar areas:

Hold a murder mystery evening

Ravenslaw House

If you’re looking for unique team building ideas for work, why not consider a murder mystery evening? You and your co-workers will have to put your heads together to solve who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit a deadly crime. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide as to how to host your own murder mystery event, with ideas for themes, clues and décor.

For an atmospheric setting for your soiree, Ravenslaw House in Northumberland is a chilling choice. Amongst the antique furnishings, glittering chandeliers and crackling open fires of this grand country manor house, you’ll be spoilt for choice for places to set the scene for murder.

More large houses for a murder mystery event:

Mani and pedis for all

The Old Farmhouse – Barras Moor

If you really want to treat your team, let them indulge in a relaxing spa break. One of the best team building ideas for adults, this is a wonderful chance to bring some walls down and get to know each other within a calm and peaceful environment. Best of all, everyone will feel refreshed and rejuvenated ready for work on Monday morning – win-win.

Some of our large properties come equipped with spa facilities such as hot tubs, saunas and swimming pools. We even have a selection that offers pampering experiences like massages, manicures and luxurious beauty treatments. The Old Farmhouse – Barras Moor in Cornwall features a heated swimming pool, steam room and sauna, and is only 5 miles from a sandy beach, making it the perfect setting for a restful corporate escape.

More large houses with spa facilities:

Take a cookery class

The Weir House

Hands-on, practical learning is a great way for a team to connect, and food and drink is a language that everyone can understand. So, if you’re looking for corporate team building ideas that combine a meal and activity in one, then a cookery class might just be the answer. Roll up your sleeves, don a chef’s hat and divide into smaller teams to create a dish. Afterwards, your group can come back together to sit down and enjoy the meals they just made – why not give out a prize for the best plate?

This activity requires a spacious and well-equipped kitchen where everyone can spread out to concoct their masterpieces. The Weir House in Shropshire was once a renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, so it’s no surprise that the kitchen is a work of art. There’s the option to hire a private chef here, as well as a stylish bar for pre-dinner cocktails, and a glamorous dining area where everyone can gather for a celebratory team supper.

More large houses with exceptional kitchens:

Enjoy some water sports

Bodweni Hall

Sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, white water rafting, dragon boat racing; the choices are unlimited when it comes to team building days ideas that involve water sports. Make a splash with water-based activities that can become a journey of team discovery as well as friendly, fun competition.

We’ve got some great waterside holiday lets that offer water sports for groups either on site or nearby. Bodweni Hall is a top example in North Wales where the owners can arrange myriad water activities for up to 27 participants within its 75 acres of grounds that include a private lake and river. There’s also a hot tub, games room and 14-seater cinema room for added entertainment.

More large houses offering water sports:

Book a large house for a corporate retreat

Take a break from the demands of working life and remind your co-workers that they are valued by booking one of our large houses in the UK. From country cottages packed with on-site activities to relaxing retreats along the coast, inspire positive change and get your people performing with a one-of-a-kind big group holiday.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Where to stay for major events in the UK
Kate A 20 December 2022
Our top UK large houses of 2023
Places to Stay
Sarah P 11 November 2022
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Big Domain is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Big Domain | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.