Region: South West

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: , , South West

Contact: 0370 333 0606



English Heritage aims to promote greater understanding and enjoyment of the historic environment.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Chysauster Ancient Village nr Penzance

Cleeve Abbey

Dartmouth Castle Devon

Farleigh Hungerford Castle

Hailes Abbey Gloucestershire 

Launceston Castle

Muchelney Abbey

Okehampton Castle

Old Wardour Castle

Pendennis Castle

Portland Castle

Restormel Castle

Sherborne Old Castle

St Mawes Castle


Tintagel Castle

Totnes Castle


School Trip & Group Educational Information


Introduction for school trips and educational visits

English Heritage aims to promote greater understanding and enjoyment of the historic environment. This is why we offer learning groups - 
* free entry to all 400+ properties plus free planning visits and property information
* useful online resources
* education facilities, resources and activities at selected properties

All we ask is that you book at least 14 days in advance, include planned and structured learning activities (see below) and have someone in charge of leading your group.

There are three ways to learn at sites in the care of English Heritage -
1) Lead your own visit in your own way (our free organisers’ pack, emailed to you when your booking is confirmed, contains information to help you plan your visit and find tips about evaluating, recording, communicating and interpreting features through historical enquiry).

2) Add an expert-led Discovery Visit (available at some sites for £90 per group). Your organisation will be invoiced directly for the cost of the Discovery Visit.

3) Organise your own interpreter using our list of approved education providers on . Everyone on the list has relevant insurance, CRB checks and quality checks to enable them to operate effectively and professionally at our properties. 

Please visit for full details.

Why is this venue great for School Trips and Educational Visits?

Iron Age settlements, Roman forts, medieval abbeys, Tudor castles, Victorian mansions and gardens, World War fortresses – you name it, our exceptional out of the classroom sites offer unlimited cross-curricular learning opportunities. Some have also received Sandford Awards and Learning outside the Classroom Quality Badges in recognition of the quality of the education provided - “English Heritage is to be applauded for the development of the Discovery Visits, which interpret the story of the site and give a sense of time and place to visiting schools.”  (Sandford Award judge).

What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

Self-led visits enable you to do anything you want – from studying attack and defence in a castle to developing communication and team building skills. Some sites have education facilities (like an education room) and resources (like handling collections, flip cameras and GPS units and trails) and our online site Teachers’ Kits have lots of ideas about what to do before, during and after a day-long trip. A site permit (issued once a booking has been confirmed) gives you free entry on the day and for a free planning visit.

Expert-led Discovery Visits (£90 per group at selected sites) are always stimulating and fun, enabling children to meet colourful characters from the past, to role-play, make or handle objects, dress up, solve problems or crack secret codes! They are linked to the national curriculum and different Key Stages and suit a wide range of learning styles. Discovery Visits often use primary evidence, incorporate whole group discussion and individual work, encourage active participation, introduce new vocabulary and develop skills of enquiry.
Teachers -
“Absolutely brilliant – the kids loved it”
“Fitted in with everything we are doing on the subject”
“We liked the mixture of listening and then doing. The activities provided were excellent and engaging”
“My class were enthralled and have been talking non stop about their visit. I am glad we made the effort of sitting for 2 hours in the coach – it really was worth it!”

Students -  
“Really good fun”
“The best day out I’ve ever had”
“The best bit was getting to do things not just listening and looking”

Discovery Visit leaders -
 “It’s feelings and experiences that are important. Through them the true story of a place can be brought alive”
“Re-enactment is a brilliant way to teach. It engages children who then become interested and start listening to what you say”

What size groups do they cater for?

Many English Heritage sites can take groups of over 100 but it’s advisable to split large groups into smaller ones. A maximum of 30 per group is typical for Discovery Visits and the ratio of adults to children should be 1:6 for years up to year 3 (8 years and under) and 1:15 for all other groups.

What can they provide you with to support your school trip or educational visit?

Our Organisers’ Packs contain information about property facilities and links to Teachers’ Kits with lots of ideas about what to do before, during and after a day-long trip. They also contain a permit which gives you free entry on the day and for a planning visit and a hazard information sheet to make risk assessments easy.  A range of free images and ideas for learning can be found at and in our online “Heritage Learning” magazine  -

Can you take photos, video or audio? Are there any copyright restrictions?

Children are encouraged to take photos, make films, drawings, music, drama and other creations. Share your ideas and images on Twitter  and Flickr see links below: 

How do you arrange a risk assessment?

Hazard Information Sheets (to help make risk assessments easy) are emailed along with site permits once bookings have been confirmed. They may also be downloaded from our website:

What are the contact details for their education officer?

Phone 0870 333 0606 (9am-5pm weekdays)
Online -
If the property you wish to book is not listed please phone 0870 333 0606.
Email - 

What does it cost?

Learning groups can visit all 400 sites FREE of charge. Expert-led Discovery Visits (at selected sites) cost £90 per school group of 30 (teachers and adult helpers free).

Is specific clothing required?

Visits are likely to involve a fair amount of walking on uneven ground. Stout walking shoes are recommended in all seasons. Some sites are in fairly exposed areas and may have limited cover so warm, waterproof clothing is also recommended. In hot weather sun cream, sunhats and bottles of water are useful.

Do you have first aid on site?

First aid boxes are available at all properties and most have first aiders.

What facilities do they have for school trips and educational visits?

Every site is different, some having toilets, parking and great picnic areas and others indoor dining areas and education rooms. Please visit our website for specific site information.

Children are very welcome in our shops but we ask that teachers supervise them. Students can choose from a great range of items – from 50p rubbers to more expensive items such as chain mail – all providing excellent souvenirs of the visit.

All profits go towards the upkeep of properties. Goody bags containing items up to pre-agreed values may be made up in advance at some sites.

For further information about a site’s shop (and, for instance, the cost of goods for sale in it) please talk to site staff when you make your planning-visit.

Are there disabled facilities?

Organisers’ Packs include details of access and facilities for visitors with disabilities –phone 0870 333 0606 regarding specific needs.

What are your opening days and hours?

1 April-31 October and weekends only 1 November- 31 March. Some sites open exclusively for learning groups on Mondays and Fridays in November and March. Phone 0870 333 0606 for details.

Some additional days for learning groups at selected sites - see 

Age of Children / Pupils: 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Arts & Galleries Castles Cathedrals. Abbeys. Churches Historical Heritage Museums Outdoor Education Parks and Gardens Science & Technology Team Building Wildlife and Nature

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design Business Studies Citizenship Design and Technology Drama English Environmental Studies Geography History ICT Leisure & Tourism Mathematics Music PSHE Religious Education Science

Months Open: March April May June July August September October November