We are incredibly lucky to have such incredible links to our past, so easily accessible, and in all areas of the country. For children learning about our country's history, castles are a must, especially when you are covering the Medieval Realms module of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. Their location in the landscape, the associated towns to which they gave protection, the way they influence the development of surrounding roads and settlements, and their role at the national level. These are all things that are described in text books, but become strikingly obvious on the ground. And as we all know, actually being there and seeing with their own eyes is invaluable if you want your pupils to get the most from your lessons.
On this page we have included our recommendations for castles, cathedrals and abbeys to visit with your class. Also take a look at our Medieval History page. We have chosen these particular locations based on the educational value they offer to school groups, through notice board information around the site, worksheets and lesson plans, on-site guides who can tell you specialist information about the site, and the assistance that the venue can provide to party leaders while organising the trip. There may be a superb example of a long-forgotten motte and bailey castle within striking distance of your school, but if it is just tucked away in the corner of a farmer's field, it probably isn't going to offer the same level of learning experience as one of the venues listed below.
Standing in open countryside above the River Wye, Goodrich Castle is one of the finest and best preserved of all English medieval castles, boasting a fascinating history and spectacular views from the battlements.
Bring the curriculum to life at Portchester Castle. With 1700 years of history, it covers everything from the Romans, medieval kings right up to the Napoleonic Wars. Follow in their footsteps and explore its exciting and varied history.
Castles in Workshop - daily life in a mediaeval castle (1144)
Step back in time to Medieval Britain. The pupils will learn about medieval life in a castle through a combination of practical making activities, drama and role-play all without leaving your school hall.
A school visit to Warkworth Castle is a unique experience. Once home to the powerful Percy family who now reside in Alnwick Castle, Warkworth was, and remains, one of the largest and most impressive fortresses in North East England.
Leeds Castle in Kent offers an exciting range of themed workshops, self-guided visits and fun-packed itineraries ensure your school group will learn that there is so much more to Leeds Castle than history.
A KS1 specific workshop for our younger learners, with a mini museum of artefacts, lots to try on and have a go at. Meet Lady Ingleby and Boris Morris the coin maker to explore life living in a castle.
Why were castles built the way they were
Built soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066 by William Peveril, Peveril Castle is a dramatic Norman castle overlooking Hope Valley and Cave Dale in Derbyshire. Book a free school visit to explore with your class.
A day out at Newcastle Castle will inspire your class and ignite their imagination. Join us for a range of exciting workshops and full of hands on activities, which will give them a day out they will never forget.
With easy access to both the coastline of Morecambe Bay, the glaciated uplands of the southern Lake District and the lakes of Windermere and Coniston, FSC Castle Head is ideally situated for a wide range of field studies and adventurous activities.
Discover one of England’s most complete and unusual keeps, at this fascinating visitor attraction in Suffolk. The unique polygonal tower keep of Orford Castle stands beside the pretty town and former port, which Henry II also developed here.
Not everything can be taught in a classroom. We believe that some of the most important life skills are best learned outside. Get back to basics with our real outdoor experiences and give your students the chance to grow.
Our exciting range of land and water based outdoor adventure activities take place at some of Dorset’s most iconic coastal locations and offer the unique opportunity to explore the stunning Jurassic Coastline whilst trying something new.
A magnificent example of late 12th-century castle. Schools have the freedom to explore the inside of the castle walls through the main gatehouse, the 'wall walk' along the top of the castle, as well as learn about the history from the illustrated dis
Dan Tastic Education brings history to life with incredible Knights & Castles Wow Days!
Your pupils will be engaged by our historical items, props, videos & student interaction with one of our fun & entertaining Dan Tastic Workshop Facilitators!
Beeston Castle with its impressive location and natural defences has been home to prehistoric settlers, great barons, it's acted as a defence against aristocratic rivals and it's even been an important English Civil War stronghold.
There are plenty of outdoor and indoor facilities for school groups to see at Bolsover castle, including the 17th century castle built by Charles Cavendish, Riding House Range which now contains an exhibition, Terrace Range and Wall Walk.
Bring the curriculum to life at Dover Castle. Stand at the spot where Operation Dynamo was planned, and imagine what life was like for a medieval king or servant by stepping inside the Great Tower or exploring our Medieval Tunnels.
Book a free school trip to Farleigh Hungerford Castle, and explore the ruins, the chapel and the burial vault to learn about the history of the site and the people who lived there. Enhance your learning with a hands-on workshop led by site experts.
Carisbrooke Castle has experienced sieges, imprisoned a king, seen off the Spanish Armada and its history spans over 1000 years. What better way to bring the curriculum to life than to stand at the spot where history happened?
One of the best preserved of Henry VIII's coastal fortresses, St Mawes was part of a chain of forts built in response to the threat of invasion. With all of this history represented at the site, there are plenty of learning opportunities to explore.
Pendennis Castle in Falmouth is one of the finest Tudor fortresses built by Henry VIII. It has seen action in many conflicts and was one of the last royalist strongholds to fall during the English Civil War.
Kenilworth Castle has been a major medieval military stronghold, a royal palace, and an inspiration to writers and artists. It's the perfect destination to bring learning outside of the classroom and cover a range of curriculum subjects.
Bring the curriculum to life and inspire your students with a visit to Scarborough Castle. Dominating Scarborough's headland, the history of this site spans some 3000 years from the Stone Age all the way through to medieval Britain.
Explore the incredible fortified manor house with a great hall that's remained unchanged for 700 years and discover the fascinating story of the Shropshire wool merchant who became one of the richest men in England.
Over 900 years old, Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England. Visitors can explore every corner of this impressive history-rich castle, which withstood a three-