Unusual meeting places

Need some inspiration to find a meeting venue? Think outside the box with these unusual venues!


Guiding looks different in every unit, from the days they meet to where they meet. Our development workers Emily and Reann have come across so many great examples of venues that aren’t your typical school, church hall or community centre. If you are struggling to find a place to meet, perhaps because of cost, size or accessibility, check out these stories from Scottish unit leaders about the unusual places they meet and the reasons why. Find out about 2 of the more unique venues we’ve come across below for the third blog in this series.


Andrea runs 13th City of Aberdeen Guides in City of Aberdeen at the local pub.

We used to meet in the Church Hall, but then the Church of Scotland closures were announced and we knew we had to find a different venue.

We have a close knit community and the parents were obviously talking to one another about what to do as a solution. Because of this, the pub actually approached us! They have a function room that was generally unused on a Wednesday – it has a separate access door, separate toilets, there’s a dancefloor and seats around the edges so plenty of space for unit meetings, and Guides don’t really need much room to run around! There’s also a park just down the street for any outdoor activities, and the county has their own campsite not too far away.

It’s good because the venue is just across the square from where they used to meet, and the community centre where the Rainbows and Brownies meet is on one of the other sides. They know that when they get older, they’ll go across the square to meet in the pub instead. We didn’t lose any girls from the move, and there’s a close link with the feeder unit.

We put the pub venue to the county as a proposal, and a commissioner came to check the venue over. We did a risk assessment which all went ok, and we just thought why not!

Costing has been subsidised by the pub – our rent is £200 for the year. This is really good because the community centre is quite expensive and also closes at 8pm. The inner city area is fairly deprived, so for the money the parents are able to pay as subs, this works out really well.

The parents were all really supportive – they know that guiding is a great occupation for their girls, and the pub is part of the local community. Initially we did wonder about the parents’ reaction – we shared them the realistic information that either we met in the pub, or we’d have to find somewhere in the city centre which would involve having to arrange a bus for the girls as well as actually find another affordable venue. Nobody said no!

This began pre-Covid, so our unit has been meeting in the pub for 4 years, and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. The pub should also be getting refurbished soon, and it’ll be great to have a fresher looking space for the girls.



Philippa is the leader for 4th Lenzie Guides in Dunbartonshire, who meet at a local small holding.

Our unit meets on a small holding, we have the use of outside space, a stone byre and an old piggery (stable type building). The small holding belongs to one of the unit leaders and, at first, it was used in response to Covid restrictions. But the girls really wanted to stay after restrictions were lifted. Parents were also very keen to have meetings continue at the farm as the girls were happy and all really enjoy the outdoor meetings.

We found the process to have the premises agreed as a permanent meeting place quite lengthy, and we had to consult widely with people outside Girlguiding.

Philippa has also kindly shared a really in-depth document to help you plan meeting in a unique venue like 4th Lenzie Guides! Check it out here.


You can find information on risk assessments and guidance for meeting venues below:

When to do a risk assessment | Girlguiding

Meeting places and times | Girlguiding

Find new venue | Girlguiding


If you would like to know more you can send us an email at


Look out for more unusual venue inspiration coming soon and get in touch if you have a similar story to share or would like some help. We’d love to hear from you!