Region: South West

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Accommodation & Residential Trips

Address: Winsham, Maudlin,, Chard, Dorset TA20 4PA

Contact: 01460 30144



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

Magdalen is an Environmental Education Centre based on an organic farm and located in countryside alongside the banks of the River Axe where Dorset, Somerset and Devon meet. We offer day trips and residential stays for all ages and can accommodate up to 70 pupils and staff in our converted farmhouse and residential centre or camping.

Breathe in the air and experience the centre - Magdalen Farm has the very best in accessible surroundings and facilities. Our highly individual day trips and residential visits will stay with your pupils long after they have left.  Visiting Magdalen Farm is an opportunity to learn through real adventures - while enjoying home cooked organic food and a very high standard of on-site accommodation.

Our working farm with its diverse landscape, hand-reared animals and purpose-built residential centre provides the perfect environment to connect with nature and learn from sustainable living.

Children experience learning in the great outdoors when they visit us and we feel our farm environment and close proximity to the Jurassic Coast provides a unique learning experience.

We believe in creating bespoke educational experiences based around the needs of your pupils and the curriculum you study.

The farm provides a safe and secure environment to learn about organic farming, sustainability and nature.

What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

For primary schools:
We can cater for pre-school groups as well as those in Key Stage 1 and 2 at primary school and all our activities are run by experienced, fun staff, in safe and stimulating surroundings.
Click here for attached itinerary

For secondary schools:
We are very popular as an “Activities Week” venue we can offer a variety of activities that will challenge groups to develop their skills in teamwork, leadership and effective communications.
Magdalen is also an ideal base for field work trips for GCSE, AS or A level Geography, Environmental Studies or Biology.

Courses offered include:

• Coasts
• Rivers/ Hydrological processes
• Rural Settlements
• Energy Issue
• Ecosystems
• AS and A2 Level Investigation

Sample Itinerary for Primary Schools – 2 nights, 3 days.

Day 1
1.00 Arrive – Lunch, Introduction & Safety talk
(All staff and students need to bring a packed lunch)
1.45 Unpack and settle into bedrooms
2.30 The Magdalen Farm Adventure
A great way to familiarise yourself on our 132 acre farm. Small teams will embark on an exciting journey to discover different aspects of sustainability around the centre, gathering information and natural materials to make a sculpture that will be shared with the rest of the group.—suitable for all ages
5.15 Free time supervised by visiting school staff

6:00 Supper
Supper will be a wholesome, tasty two-course (main and dessert) meal. Some food will have come from the farm, and we try to use as much local, free-range and organic food as possible.
7-8pm Magdalen Orienteering Challenge

This challenge can be tailored to the needs of your group as we offer a range of levels of orienteering using maps, compasses and grid references.
All ages -. Learn about wildlife by answering questions as you race against the other teams to find clues. This activity can be done in the day or at night!
Age 12 & upwards - An added twist with fun and novelty tasks - expect hilarity and have your cameras at the ready.

Day 2
8:00 Breakfast
Breakfast consists of a variety of cereals, toast and a cooked course e.g. sausages and beans. Children are encouraged to eat a hearty breakfast.
9:00 Morning duties
Morning duties are carried out every morning in and around the farm in two groups. One group will feed the chickens, collect and grade their eggs, while the other group makes sandwiches. The groups will swap jobs the next morning.
10.0 Hands On Farming:

Experience life as a real farmer by carrying out valuable and fun day to day jobs on the farm. We will visit the farm animals learning about animal welfare and understanding the whys and wherefores of organic farming. In the kitchen garden activities are tailored to the seasons and may include sowing seeds in the spring, taste tours in the summer or harvesting vegetables in the autumn. Suitable for all ages

1.00 Lunch
Lunch will be made during morning activities, consisting of sandwiches, a sausage roll, fruit, a flapjack and a drink.
2.00 Survival in the Wild
Would your group like to apply tribal face paints and go to the wild woods to experience how the early Britons would have survived? Survival in the Wild enables tribes to work together to build their own shelters, light fires without using matches and enjoy a delicious snack around the camp fire. Suitable for all ages
5.00 Free time supervised by visiting school staff
6:00 Supper
7-8pm Campfire

Around the campfire, we'll sing songs and tell stories in a magical setting. If you come in winter when it is dark at 7pm, we’ll wrap up warm and take our torches out in the dark with us, which is very exciting! This is a great opportunity to perform and share your talents. Suitable for all ages.

Day 3
All beds need to be stripped down and if possible children should start packing before breakfast to allow for more activity time after breakfast.
8:00 Cold Breakfast
8.45 Extra packing time
9:45 Morning Duties: Sandwich making and chicken feeding.
10.45 Habitat Hunters 

A chance to become wildlife detectives! We will track down evidence of wildlife around the farm from mini-beasts to nocturnal animals, exploring habitats and playing games to help us understand topics such as food webs, predator-prey relationships, lifecycles and hibernation, as well as human impact on wildlife. 

12:00 Lunch and pack coach
1:00 Return to school

Are you on twitter or facebook? If so what are the links for our users to follow? 

What size groups do they cater for?

From 12 to 70

Please provide information room sizes and room facilities?

We offer flexible accommodation and provide disabled facilities for those less able.

The main centre can accommodate up to 36 people in 8 bedrooms. All rooms have adult sized bunk beds with a wash basin and share toilet and shower facilities.

The Farmhouse has 6 bedrooms with 1 double bed on the ground floor and a variety single and bunk beds upstairs with a capacity of 17.

The camping option offers space for 25 people to camp in pop up tents with a dedicated shower and toilet block close to the tents.

We offer organic home-cooked food with our residential packages with all meals taken in the main centre in a communal dining room.

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

What is the cost of the accommodation?

Rates start from £63 per student per night and depend on group size and activity package.

Staff are free of charge within the ratio of 1 adult per 10 students or part thereof. 1:1 staff are also free.

All rates include your accommodation, meals and pre-arrange activities.

Discounts on offer for out of season visits.

What is your process for booking pre-arranged risk assessments?

All activities are risk assessed and will be sent to you on agreement of your itinerary. When you arrive we will review the fire drill and all health and safety issues with the group.

What are the contact details for Your Accommodation?

Please contact Lisa Herbert on 01460 30144 or email

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

We offer organic home-cooked food with our residential packages with all meals taken in the main centre in a communal dining room.

Students can enjoy the freedom of the outside courtyard with outdoor tables and chairs or the campfield provides an ideal location for further games such as football or rounders.

Formal teaching rooms are available with whiteboards, flipcharts and overhead projectors.

Should it be required we also have a small tuck-shop offering small gifts and organic treats.

Wi-Fi is available for adults only.

Do you have first aid on site?

Magdalen staff involved in any of your activities are qualified first aiders however we do require that every group brings their own qualified first aider.

Are there disabled facilities?

Both the centre and the farmhouse have been converted for wheelchair access with at least 1 bedroom per property providing adapted accommodation.

The main centre has a “Gold Standard” Changing place and the farmhouse has an accessible showerroom.

On-site we have 2 all-terrain wheelchairs along with over 1 km of wheelchair friendly footpaths.

Further details available upon request.

What are your opening days and hours?

Our office is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Please see our location information via link below: 

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

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

Accommodation Type: Bunkhouses Farmhouses Hostels Outdoor Residential Centres