Team-building is a great way to have fun while building trust and rapport within your team. In fact, there have been numerous studies proving the benefits of it once you get back to the office. And, thanks to this growing acceptance of the importance of team-building, what used to be a pretty dry industry has blossomed into a huge array of genuinely fun activities, venues and suppliers. In our experience, outdoor activities can be even more fun, probably because good weather is so rare in the UK. That's why we've come up with a list of the best summer team-building activities, from expert cocktail masterclasses to extremely silly bubble football.
The great thing about team-building is it doesn't really matter what the activity is. As long as it's fun, engaging and challenging, you'll see real bonding within your team, no matter what you're doing. That being said, it's a good idea to start with some icebreaker activities to get everyone comfortable and chatting. If the whole "tell us a fun fact about yourself" thing feels a little stale, why not try two truths and a lie? Each team member says three facts about themselves then everyone has to guess which one is the lie. Once the ice is broken, it's time to get stuck into the day's activity.
There are some brilliant venues for summer team-building activities all over the UK, each offering its own selection of things to do. So whether you’re a small team looking for a fun evening or a whole company looking for full residential away days, this list will have something we’re sure you’ll love. Find out more about each one by clicking ‘book now’, which will take you to the listing page with more information and how to get in contact with the venue.
Get behind the wheel at Tewkesbury Park
If you’re a city-based company, the likelihood of your employees doing any rough rural driving on a regular basis is pretty slim. Some might not even own a car. This is why a driving experience in the rolling (and dare we say muddy?) hills of the English countryside can be a lot of fun – and it is ideal for an outdoor team-building activity in the summer, come rain or shine. It’s also a great way to blow off some steam. Tewkesbury Park in the Cotswolds offers a ‘Meet & Drive Experience’ that allows you to combine a boardroom meeting with some hardcore fun after. The impressive hotel has teamed up with Land Rover Experience Eastnor for it, and the package includes lunch, dinner and accommodation.
Where: Lincoln Green Lane, Gloucestershire, GL20 7DN
Book now: Tewkesbury Park
Jump the gun with clay pigeon shooting at West London Shooting School
Set amid hills and parkland, the West London Shooting School in the northwest of London offers a wide variety of shooting courses tailored for corporate groups and away days. With more than a hundred traps and stands on superbly laid out grounds, the school teaches every possible variation of game shooting to all standards of shots, from beginners to experts. From clay pigeon shooting to target-shooting with rifles, the packages are taught by knowledgeable and engaging staff. There’s also a restaurant on-site, so packages combining breakfast, elevenses, lunch and dinner are possible.
Where: Sharvel Lane, West End Road, Northolt, UB5 6RA
Book now: West London Shooting School
Put your thinking caps on with AIM Escape
AIM Escape offers something pretty unique: an outdoor, augmented reality escape room across London. This is a great option for teams seeking a city-based activity that takes place outside. You are allowed up to 100 players, so this one works really well for larger offices too. The gripping scenarios and challenging puzzle element (not to mention the looming time pressure) all contribute to a great team exercise, as you solve clues and race against the clock. This is also a great one if your team doesn't know the city super well yet.
Where: Goodmans Fields, 8 Canter Way, London, E1 8PS
Book now: AIM Escape
Get outdoorsy at Roehampton Venues
On the edge of the lovely Richmond Park, Roehampton Venues has a great selection of spaces where you and your colleagues can have a bit of fun. Parkstead and Grove Houses both have great outdoor space for team-building activities and barbecues. The venue has a range of packages or ground hire for both houses and the dedicated events team will be on hand to ensure your day is as fun as can be. Activities include a treasure hunt, giant chess, croquet, quoits, air hockey, table football, Crystal Maze, It's a knockout, Olympics and many more.
Where: Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5PH
Book now: Roehampton Venues
Go to the races with Jockey Club
The Jockey Club group (which owns numerous racecourses all over the country, including Cheltenham) has a lot to offer when it comes to teambuilding. Cheltenham, for example, is ideal for summer team-building, offering tons of great activities including treasure hunts, networking games and workshops. The track is easily accessible with a train station less than 10 minutes' drive away, access to the M5, Gloucestershire Airport for private flights and even a helipad on the course itself, so everyone can get there easily.
Where: Prestbury Park Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH
Book now: Cheltenham Racecourse
Get away from it all at Ascot
Ascot prides itself on being a top spot for corporate away days. The venue has a huge range of suppliers offering everything from zorbing to duck herding, so you can be sure you'll find something you and your team will love. There are tons of different spaces to choose from, so all sizes of team can be easily catered to. Picnic, barbecue, canape, nibble and buffet menus are also available to ensure you and your team are well fed through the day.
Where: Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, SL5 7JX
Book now: Ascot Racecourse
Mix it up with a masterclass at Artesian
Outdoor activities are great in summer, but so is a cold drink. Why not learn to make some incredible cocktails with your team at one of the world's best bars? After a welcome drink, you'll be introduced to making or testing, depending on which course you choose. Then, you'll be shown the Artesian Laboratory, given a selection of snacks and a recipe pack from the day. If you want dinner after the masterclass, why not book a table at The Langham's quintessential British tavern, The Wigmore?
Where: 1C Portland Place, London, W1B 1JA
Book now: Artesian at The Langham
Become a gin genius at Bombay Sapphire Distillery
While a gin and tonic is certainly a great drink for the summer, it's sometimes fun to branch out a little. At Bombay Sapphire Distillery, you and your colleagues can learn how to get the most out of your gin. Taste a range of different gins before learning how to make some exciting cocktails, including a twist on the classic Tom Collins: the clover club. You and your group will be supplied with everything you need, including cocktail shakers, mixers and, of course, a bottle of Bombay. Virtual classes are also available for remote teams.
Where: London Road, Hampshire, RG28 7NR
Book now: Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Putt your skills to the test at Junkyard Golf
Take your team down to Junkyard Golf and you won't be disappointed. Choose from the four courses, each with its own style, decor and music, then get putting! Each course is different; Gary is filled with disco balls and scrap metal, Bozo has more of a haunted house vibe, Dirk goes retro with furry walls and 90s bangers and Pablo takes no prisoners with pirates speedboats and even UFC bears. There are plenty of different packages to choose from, so it's easy to find one that suits what you and your team are looking for. Exclusive hire is also available for big summer blowouts.
Where: 88 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2BE
Book now: Junkyard Golf
Eat, drink and bat at Sixes Social Cricket
While it might not be everyone's favourite sport, there's no denying cricket is a great summer team-building activity. At Sixes, you can hop into the nets and choose from five different challenge levels - just don't get bowled out! To accompany the cricket, you and your group and enjoy a selection of finger food such as wings or burgers and a great selection of cocktails, wines and beers. For those who like their drinks short and to-the-point, you can order a cricket bat laden with six or 12 shots.
Where: 170 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5QB
Book now: Sixes Social Cricket
Need team-building ideas for the rest of the year too? We've got you covered. Check out our list of team-building activities that work best for corporates (and why).