Workplace culture is a funny thing - your average office has all sorts of different subcultures and characters thrown into a big melting pot, and sometimes, the only way to bring all those different people together is through a bit of team bonding. What better way to do that than a good team away day?
If the words 'team away day' make you shudder, fear not - we’re here with some quality team away day ideas and tried-and-tested locations to make sure your next corporate away day is a smashing success. We’ve all suffered the slow crawl of a bad corporate away day, but don’t let that put you off these team building days as a whole - they can be incredibly valuable ways of building long-lasting bonds between colleagues and in turn, that can help workplace morale as well as productivity.
So, where do you start with the planning? Company away days come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, from active and energetic to more problem solving and team-based. Only you know what suits your team best, but fortunately, we’ve pulled in some of our favourite team away day venues below that cover all those bases and more.
Don’t sleep on the importance of picking the right venue. Think about proximity to your workplace (or wherever your staff are coming from) as well as the capacity of the venue and how long you’re expecting to be away for. Some of the venues in the list below are incredibly varied and flexible, which allows you to programme a wide variety of activities.
Best team away days near or in London
Company away days in the big smoke are surprisingly varied, ranging from laser tag in a dystopian Cold War bunker to shooting in the Middlesex countryside.
Holland & Holland, Middlesex
What: This idyllic shooting lodge is set in the midst of 60 stunning acres of countryside, and yet, it’s just a stone’s throw from the capital - perfect for London-based companies that want to get out of the city for a day. The team can cater for all sorts of different team building exercises - not just shooting but also archery, falconry and even goose herding, which we’re told is the ultimate away day experience.
Where: Ducks Hill Road, Middlesex, HA6 2ST
Book now: Holland & Holland
West London Shooting School, Northolt
What: Another rural retreat that is perfect for London-based workers, West London Shooting School lays on loads of activities - from quad biking and archery to shooting, obviously - and instructors are on hand to help you learn as well as have fun. Packages are super flexible too, from full activity days to two hour shoots.
Where: Sharvel Lane, Northolt, UB5 6RA
Book now: West London Shooting School
The Theatre at KidZania, Stratford
What: KidZania’s huge, flexible space ticks so many boxes - it’s easy to get to for London-based companies, and with over 75,000 square metres of space it can host even the largest away days. Plus, it’s kitted out with state-of-the-art AV equipment, and features a huge range of spaces designed to encourage creativity in kids and adults alike.
Where: Westfield London, Stratford, W12 7GA
Book now: The Theatre at KidZania
Bunker 51, Greenwich
What: What better way to build team bonds than to have them battling their way through a Cold War-themed nuclear bunker together? Bunker 51 offers a range of immersive gaming experiences, from paintballing to escape rooms, and you can take part in one big team or break up into competitive play.
Where: 3 Herringham Road, Greenwich, SE7 8NJ
Book now: Bunker 51
The Gunpowder Plot, Tower Hill
What: This immersive experience whisks you and your team back to 1605 and charges you with infiltrating the famous gunpowder plot, in an atmospheric vault underneath Tower Hill. It’s perfect for a team that likes an escape room-style challenge, brought to life via a combination of virtual reality and live theatre. Packages are available for groups of 16 or over.
Where: 8-12 Tower Hill, Tower Hill, EC3N 4EE
Book now: The Gunpowder Plot
Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds Immersive Experience, Aldgate
What: Looking for a company away day with a difference? You know what they say - nothing strengthens team bonds like a Martian invasion. Throw your team into the deep end with this War of the Worlds immersive experience, which has your team experience the plot of the famous book through live actors, sensory effects and virtual reality, as well as pyrotechnics, immersive temperature control and more. A unique experience.
Where: 56 Leadenhall Street, Aldgate, EC3A 2BJ
Book now: Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds Immersive Experience
CORD by Le Cordon Bleu, City of London
What: The world-famous cookery school is the perfect place to take a team if you’re looking for something fun and productive. As well as training world-class chefs on the daily, the Cordon Bleu Institute also hosts private groups for cooking masterclasses with the school’s masterchefs, followed by a slap-up meal in one of the private rooms.
Where: 85 Fleet Street, City of London, EC4Y 1AE
Book now: CORD by Le Cordon Bleu
London City Beach, South Bank
What: A stone’s throw from Waterloo and the South Bank, London City Beach often hosts large team away days, boasting capacity for up to 1200 guests. Expect all the fun of the British seaside, from fun fair stalls, bars, giant garden games like Jenga, ping pong and table football, as well as a surf board simulator and silent disco! There’s also a huge range of street food options and packages are super-versatile.
Where: Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PU
Book now: London City Beach
Swingers West End, Marylebone
What: Good food, drinks and crazy golf sounds like a recipe for a great corporate away day to us. Swingers offers all three of those, with three bespoke mini golf courses and a range of food and drink that means business, with the likes of Patty&Bun, Breddos Tacos, Pizza Pilgrims and Crosstown Doughnuts providing the munch.
Where: 15 John Prince's Street, Marylebone, W1G 0AB
Book now: Swingers West End
Best team away days UK
The UK is packed full of incredible away day opportunities, so we've picked out a handful of varied experiences worth thinking about.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire
What: If you’re learning more towards boozing than goose-chasing, get your team over to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery for a day of tasting and cocktail making. The Distillery hosts daily tours as well as informative tasting masterclasses, and you can book out an area for a little party afterwards. Plus, it’s easy to get to by train from London if you’re based in the capital.
Where: London Road, Hampshire, RG28 7NR
Book now: Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Lainston House, Hampshire
What: Picturesque Lainston House is an away day planner's dream, with 63 acres of countryside to play in and an endless list of activities on offer. If the weather allows, you can get stuck into motorised sports, tank driving, giant football and clay pigeon shooting in the grounds, and indoor activities are just as varied, from murder mystery days to chocolate making classes. Don’t forget the cookery school too, which hosts loads of private cooking classes.
Where: Woodman Lane, Sparsholt, Hampshire, SO21 2LT
Book now: Lainston House
Now Strike Archery, Essex
What: Get to grips with a true British icon - the English longbow - at Now Strike Archery. Now Strike’s instructors are genuine experts with a passion for archery so this is ideal for a team that really wants to get to grips with a new skill. Axe and spear throwing is also popular with corporate away days, and for those true medieval enthusiasts there are also classes on bow-making and forging.
Where: The Essex Barn at Rook Hall Farm, Essex, CM9 4RB
Book now: Now Strike Archery
Leeds Castle, Kent
What: Leeds Castle looks like something off a postcard, and you won’t find many away day locations quite this handsome, both inside and out. The stately castle has its own Go Ape! Course that proves extremely popular for corporate away days, but there are lots of other activities besides, including falconry and segway racing across the massive grounds.
Where: Broomfield, Kent, ME17 1PL
Book now: Leeds Castle
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire
What: If your team aren’t big Potter heads, they soon will be when you’re picking teams for company fun with the official Hogwarts sorting hat! Warner Bros. Studio was the studio used to film all the Harry Potter movies, and you can hire iconic locations from the films, from the Great Hall to Platform 9¾. There’s even a green screen area where you can recreate scenes from the films, and packages include food and drink too.
Where: Studio Tour Drive, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR
Book now: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
If the only team away day you need involves throwing a massive company summer party, look no further than our top tips for the ultimate summer party, and whilst you're there, get a load of the hottest summer party themes for 2023, as well as our pick of the London's best summer party venues.