Region: South East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Painshill Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1JE

Contact: 01932 868 113



Painshill, Surrey, offers a broad range of outdoor learning activities for school visits.

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Exactly what does your venue offer to educational visits?

Early Years

Painshill offers a range of sensory outdoor learning activities which incorporate outdoor play and encourages making friends. Each led activity uses a different approach to help pupils to experience and enjoy the natural environment.

Fairytale Story Walk

Join in with a Fairytale Story Walk in the magical setting of Painshill.

Outdoor Arts and Crafts

The stunning landscape and range of natural materials will inspire children to create marvellous masterpieces including cave paintings.

Plant Explorers

Explore the secret walled garden for spring and summer flowers, experience autumn colour and discover Great Cedars and ancient woodland in the winter.

Sensory Explorers

Experience Painshill with your senses. Go on a Sensory Walk or explore The Crystal Cave.

Minibeast Safari

Exciting outdoor activities bring nature to life. Search logs, leaves and shake the trees on a Minibeast Safari.

Christmas Adventure

Have a Christmas adventure at Painshill. Visit Father Christmas in the crystal Grotto, enjoy a festive natural decorations workshop and explore the wonderful winter landscape.

Outdoor Learning activities for Key Stage 1

Painshill offers a range of sensory outdoor learning activities for Year 1 and Year 2 which incorporate outdoor play and encourages team work. Each led activity uses a different approach to help pupils connect with their environment, the creatures around them and their fellow classmates.

Sensory Explorers (KS1)

Experience Painshill with your senses. Go on a Sensory Walk, explore the Crystal Cave or discover the Poet Tree.

Team Challenge (KS1)

Our team challenges foster co-operation and respect. Choose from Bivouac Building, Pirate Adventure or Dragon Quest.

Discover Nature (KS1)

Discover freshwater creatures with Pond Dipping, go on a Minibeast Safari to investigate habitats or become Plant Explorers to discover tiny seeds and mighty trees.

Story Walk (KS1)

Join in with a Fairytale Story Walk in the magical setting of Painshill.

Natural Art (KS1)

Whether cave painting, mud sculpting or creating woodland collages, our outdoor art activities produce marvellous masterpieces.

Christmas Adventure (KS1)

Have a Christmas adventure at Painshill. Visit Father Christmas in the crystal Grotto, enjoy a festive natural decorations workshop and explore the wonderful winter landscape.

Key Stage 2

Painshill offers curriculum based outdoor led activities. Whether you are learning about the Romans, Victorians or World War II, the historic landscape transports you back in time. Investigate habitats, wildlife and plants or develop your map, teamwork or survival skills.

Geography Challenges

Create your own map of Painshill with Wild Navigation or use grid references, compasses and tracking skills on a World War II Search and Rescue mission.

Science And Technology (KS2)

Experiment with forces and motion. Discover renewable energy and Fix the Waterwheel

Natural Art (KS2)

Art adventures using natural materials. Choose Cave Painting or Wild Art, with landscape painting and woodland collage.

Discover History (KS2)

Learn about Roman Legions, Greek Myths and World War II through role play and games.

Investigate Nature (KS2)

Discover food chains, adaptation and life cycles. Investigate habitats and invertebrates. Learn about plant anatomy and seed dispersal.

Team Building (KS2)

Bivouac Building and Survival Skills are a great way to foster co-operation and team skills; Dragons Quest encourages friendship and problem solving.

Outdoor learning for SEN

There is so much to see, smell and touch at Painshill. It is an ideal outdoor learning space for children or adults with a range of Special Educational Needs. Explore and discover natural woodland, wild flower meadows, a variety of wildlife and colourful autumn trees.

The outdoor learning led activities at Painshill have been developed with the help of local community SEN groups and can be adapted according to specific needs.

Natural Art

Explore textures, patterns and shapes. Emphasis on movement, physical connection and sensory exploration of surroundings.


The Painshill Education Team has created a new range of multisensory short stories with light and dark, noises, sounds and movement.

Science and Nature

Explore the crystal Grotto or get up close to nature with pond dipping or bug hunting. Learn about science and nature through the senses, exploration and play.

Sensory Explorers

Sensory Explorers complete a series of team activities which have been designed to promote empathy, consideration and communication skills.

Outdoor learning for Further and Higher Education

The diverse landscape at Painshill provides a fantastic learning environment for students studying subjects such as art, history, ecology and geography.

With its theatrical follies, Serpentine Lake and awesome views, Painshill is an ideal location for photography, film, art and drama projects. Painshill staff can issue working briefs, meet students and discuss projects.

We welcome students for volunteer roles and to help with special projects. Students can also hire our fully equipped Education Centre.

Forest School

From January 2017 Painshill will offer Forest School at Painshill, a programme of weekly half or full day Forest School sessions, appropriate for Early Years to KS3 and for SEN groups.  Taster sessions available.

Why you are you a great place for educational visits?

Painshill, Surrey, offers a broad range of outdoor learning activities for school visits. Activities are suitable for Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculums. The experienced Education Team can also offer bespoke outdoor learning activities for Higher and Further Education and groups with a range of Special Educational Needs.

Our Education Team have a wealth of experience and expertise over a huge range of topics, as well as a genuine enthusiasm and passion for learning in the great outdoors.

With 158 acres of natural and historic landscape, a crystal Grotto and ancient ruins, Painshill offers you the chance to discover, explore and learn in an inspiring and safe environment. With a well-equipped Education Centre and woodland picnic area, Painshill provides outdoor learning for single classes and whole year groups all year round.

Painshill is conveniently located near the A3 and M25.

What does a typical educational visit include?

Each class would do an activity led by a Painshill Education Officers, followed by a self-led trail in the second half of the day. The maximum group size is 35.  Both activities are up 2 hours in length and schools would have a half-hour lunch break in between.

If more than one group is coming along, we would reverse the activities of the day – ie one group would do the self-led trail in the morning.  If bringing three groups, two groups would do the led activity with two Painshill leaders in the morning.

Self-led activities and trails can be booked to complement a Painshill Led activity and are designed to provide a focused, interactive, and educational journey through Painshill. You can either work together as a whole group or split up into smaller teams which can follow different routes around Painshill. 

Option 2

Each class would do an activity led by one of our Painshill Education Officers in the morning, followed by a second led activity in the afternoon. So the class can do two activities (i.e. Pond Dipping and Minibeast Safari). We can create themed days, for example ‘Living things’ for the activities just mentioned.  

What group sizes do you cater for?

We cater for groups with a maximum size of 35 and can accommodate up to 4 groups at any one day.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?

As well as a range of exciting half or full day activities led by our fantastic team, Painshill also offers a range of trails, treasure hunt and loan resources, designed to help groups make to most of their time exploring the beautiful Painshill landscapes.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?

All private photography by children, parents and teachers for their own personal use, or for use in the class is permissible. Any photography of Painshill landscape for publicity, media or commercial purposes requires a photography permit from Painshill and may incur a fee.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?

To book fill in an enquire form on our website, email or call the education team on 01932 868 113.

Does your venue have an education officer? 

Painshill has three permanent Education Officers. Adam Langendoen is the Principal Education Officer and can be contacted via email at by telephone on 01932 868 113.

What is the cost of the visit?

Please fill out an online enquiry form for prices.

Is specific clothing required for the trip?

Outdoor appropriate clothing is required with waterproofs, sun hats and warm layers as appropriate. Our session require participants to wear closed toed trainers, boots or wellies, not clogs or sandals. School PE kits, uniforms, tabards or a means of identifying the group from a distance is advisable. Long sleeves and full length trousers are advisable.

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

Our Education Team is First Aid trained and will carry portable first aid kits appropriate to the activities. First aid points are also located in the Education Centre.

Please list facilities available.

Painshill has an Education Centre and outdoor shelter providing lunch rooms for schools, as well as a large woodland picnic area providing space for up to 120 pupils and accompanying staff and adults.

What are your disabled facilities?

At Painshill we are committed to providing exciting activities to all children, making the landscape as accessible as possible. The Education Centre is equipped with disabled toilets and has a specific drop off bay for minibuses bringing pupils in wheel chairs or with access difficulties. Painshill has a paved accessible route which extends from the Education Centre in a large loop around the lake. With consultation and planning most areas of Painshill and activities can be made accessible to all.

What are your opening days and hours?

School visit sessions tend to begin at 10am and finish ready for departure at 2.30pm. If your school would like different start or finish times, evening or weekend sessions just call us to discuss.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?

“We have had a very special day today, so on behalf of all the Rising Reception year group team we would like to thank you  all for organising an amazing time for the children. We would like to make a special mention to Adam, he was brilliant with the children and kept them all enthralled with mini beast facts. You could see by  their faces how much they enjoyed learning with him.”

“I wanted to thank you and your staff for giving our Cygnet class such a lovely day yesterday.  The Leaders were fabulous, making is a really special day for the children, who came back rose cheeked and very excited!!”

“The trip was amazing in all aspects. The children were engaged and enjoyed the activities. The activities were fun and very educational. There is no doubt that the children learnt a lot from their experience. You were amazing with the children they loved your sense of humour and kind patient responses.”

We had an absolutely amazing day!  We have all been talking about how wonderfully fun and engaging Lisa and Adam were. The children had an incredible day under their care and tuition and have learnt so much whilst having a lot of fun! Please pass on my best wishes and thanks to them. We hope to come again next year!

“I thank you for the best day ever.”

“Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful day last Tuesday. Despite the rain we all thoroughly enjoyed our day following clues and looking for treasure. The children loved looking at the trees, cones, plants, grapes etc and particularly liked the grotto. Several of them spoke about meeting a 'real' pirate so that was brilliant! Thank you Adam for adapting your activities for our age group. We will hopefully return for another visit in the future.”

“Just a short note to thank you and all the staff for a lovely visit last Wednesday.

We were very lucky with the weather and the children and staff all enjoyed the activities and exploring the lovely grounds. The children particularly liked the Fairy Tale walk and of course, the Grotto!”

I would like to let you know what a wonderful day we had at Painshill Park yesterday.  All the children and staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we were delighted with Lisa and Adam.

Thank you so much for arranging today, we all had such a wonderful day and the children learnt so much. Please thank Adam again, we was great with them and kept them really engaged.


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

Type of Visit: Bushcraft Caves & Caverns Crafts Environment Centres Field Studies Historical Heritage Outdoor Education Parks and Gardens SEN Storytelling Team Building Wildlife and Nature

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design Environmental Studies Geography History Science

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

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