In 2002 The Kirk family moved from the East Midlands down to Cornwall, having purchased an 18th Century Manor House in the small village of St Issey, just outside of Padstow. The plan was to turn the House into an outdoor centre offering adventure activity for both young people and adults. After some time developing the property and recruiting a team of professional instructors, purchasing several vehicles and appropriate equipment including climbing gear, sea kayaks, surf boards, hundreds of wetsuits and more, the centre went live in September of 2002.
During the following 18 years, The Manor House Activity & Development centre became recognised as a centre of excellence offering tailored top quality residentials for some of the top schools in the country. In 2009 The centre also added an intensive Instructor training program which ran each winter helping many young, and the more mature, acquire the skills, training, and qualifications to work in the outdoor industry. The course, like the centre, became recognised as one of the best courses running in the UK and attracted many students from all over the globe, from New Zealand, Australia, USA, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and many more. Students were trained to become qualified Climbing, Kayaking, Surf and SUP instructors, as well as Beach Lifeguard and First Aid skills.
Lesley and Steve Kirk were the driving forces behind the Centre and worked hard to deliver exceptional products to their clients.
Time of Change
Then came the year of change, 2020, the pandemic effectively brought the Outdoor industry to a standstill and the business was unable to offer or deliver any courses to its clients. The Kirks decided very early in this crisis that it was time for a change of direction, they couldn’t see a short-term resolution to the problems being faced so decided to act quickly and decisively.
In December 2020 the new business began trading very gently at first, after a month of refurbishment of the Industrial unit, the retail operation was born.