Oakley Holidays
Established in 1919
Registered Charity No. 1093381
Limited Company No. 4487467
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 Activities page

For the past ninety years, young people from all parts of the country have had the opportunity to take part in a week of activities which they may remember for the rest of their lives.

groupDuring the holiday they have the chance to play all types of sports, appear "on stage" and try a wide variety of other activities.

Most importantly, they can meet other young people who have the same approach to life and who share the same ideals if not always the same ideas. All enjoy the great spirit of friendship which pervades the holiday.

Each person is valued for him / herself and makes his / her own unique contribution to the success of the week.

bilton grangeOur home for the week is Bilton Grange, a preparatory school which stands in 160 acres of superb parkland near Rugby. It has comfortable and spacious bedrooms, with a separate area of the house for girls and boys.

We have the use of the indoor swimming pool, sports hall, tennis and squash courts, two large halls as rooms for meeting and socialising, and a theatre.

The playing fields at Bilton Grange are conveniently situated near to the house and are ideal for outdoor games. The attractive and extensive grounds are excellent for cycling and treasure hunts.

dormitoryWe use dormitories for sleeping, with 4~9 people in a room. Meals are prepared for us by the school chef (three cooked meals each day) with special meals for vegetarians. The house is an ideal base for a busy but relaxing holiday, and we always receive a warm welcome.

sportPart of each day is spent playing sport. Volleyball and podex (a cross between cricket and baseball) are the main team games. We also play tennis, hockey, football and basketball, often adapting the rules to enable everyone, regardless of age or ability, to play a full part.

Members enjoy the light-hearted approach to our games which we play in teams, pairs or small informal groups.

activityEnthusiasm and participation matter as much as skill, and there is the chance to learn new games such as squash and handball.

Time is made in the day for less energetic activities. There are opportunities to learn Mahjongg (a Chinese tile game), to take part in trust games and relaxation classes, to cook, to join in a play-reading, to sing or make music, to play croquet or bowls, and be led by some of the older members in a wide variety of creative activities.

Many of the activities are repeated during the week so that it is possible to enjoy all of them. No activity requires previous knowledge, all are easily learned, and all are good fun.

charityThere is a thoughtful side to the holiday and our members enjoy the chance to think and talk about a wide range of contemporary concerns.

Ethical and ‘green’ issues, the place of religious belief, the use of time, talents and money, leadership, the challenges of school and family life and the influence of the media are frequent areas of discussion. These topics are introduced by means of a talk by one of the leaders, followed by an opportunity to debate the issues in a supportive atmosphere where everyone’s viewpoint is respected.

stageEach evening we have a home-made entertainment session, during which we put on sketches, perform musical items and take part in a sing-song.

Those who can play a musical instrument or who can sing or entertain are encouraged to do so, and everyone's contribution is valued. This event usually lasts for about an hour and a half, and is an excellent way of ending the day.

The senior members of the holiday, most of whom have attended since they were teenagers, bring much expertise and experience. Sportsmen and women, doctors, lawyers, police officers, teachers and business people all give freely of their time and friendship to make the holiday a success.

gamesFriendship is the inspiration of the holidays and has been since they were started in 1919. Sporting ability and musical talent matter less than the willingness of the person to join in and contribute to the enjoyment of the holiday in a thoughtful and unselfish way.

A spirit of good humour and support characterises each holiday, and the special atmosphere created by an appreciation of everyone's talents is a striking feature, particularly for our new members.

People may arrive knowing no-one, but will certainly leave knowing everyone. Some lifelong friendships have been forged at these holidays.

Bilton Grange is situated on the outskirts of Rugby and is easy to reach by motorway or rail from any direction. Our members provide and receive lifts in parents’ cars or travel by train to Rugby station where they are met. All the members of the holiday pool their travel costs so that everyone pays an equal amount. This helps those travelling long distances.

2017 Brochure

The holiday brochure is reviewed and updated annually, and provided to all people invited on the holiday.


The full text from the brochure has been reproduced on this page.

Application forms for the forthcoming holiday are sent to participants by post.

Additional forms can be obtained by contacting Julian Wilde

A typical Oakley day

Although every day brings something new on an Oakley Holiday, the following describes a 'typical' day:

08.00: Optional swim

09.00: Breakfast

10.00: Team games / activities

12.30: Lunch

13.15: Siesta (time to rest and practise for evening entertainment)

14.00: Choice of activities - sporty, creative, musical, lazy

16.00: Tea

16.45: Outdoor team activity

18.30: Dinner

19.30: Talking point and discussion

20.30: Entertainment

22.15: Cocoa

23.00: Lights out

Charitable collections

During the week we try to support charities, often suggested by younger members of the holiday, in a variety of practical ways and by means of a collection. These include bringing items to fill Aquaboxes for disaster victims, donating 5 pences at the tuck shop for St. Luke’s Leprosy Hospital in India and running our own Sport Relief mile in fancy dress, whilst recent donations have been made to the Air Ambulance, the World Wildlife Fund and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The charities supported at the latest holiday are detailed at the link below.

More information is available here


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