learning objective

Castles, Cathedrals, Abbeys

school trips

History Curriculum
Monuments of stone

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.

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Leeds Castle



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.

Leeds Castle is proud to have been awarded the Sandford Award for Heritage Education. The head judge stated as follows: "This is a service which goes from strength to strength. The programme is varied and interesting with strong links to the National Curriculum and with clear aims and objectives. It is firmly grounded in the Castle’s long and varied history and the workshops are delivered by knowledgeable and well-trained staff. There is a strong sense of cohesion in the Education Department with an atmosphere of cooperation and support."...

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Leeds Castle










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. ...

Leeds Castle



At the City of Leicester Cathedral we provide opportunities for school groups to gain an insight into the life, key beliefs and experiences of Christian people in worship ...

City of Leicester Cathedral



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....

Goodrich Castle



Unique among Royal Residences, Osborne offers a real insight into the private lives of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children. Their home can teach many aspects of the curriculum across numerous subjects and inspire your students. ...

Osborne





Immerse yourself in history, myths and stunning scenery at Tintagel Castle, set high on Cornwall's rugged north coast between Padstow and Bude....

Tintagel Castle



Discover the most besieged castle in England, on a free education visit to this unique site, or enhance learning with a hands-on learning workshop with our site experts. ...

Carlisle Castle



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....

Pendennis Castle



York Minster, a building at the centre of the north of England's history hotspot, York, has a lot to offer in terms of education....

York Minster



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. ...

Scarborough Castle



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? ...

Carisbrooke Castle



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. ...

Dover Castle



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. ...

Portchester Castle

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
★★★★★



Cardiff Castle has over 2000 years of hisory which makes it perfect for a historical school trip covering areas the both the English and Welsh National Curriculum. ...

Cardiff Castle
★★★★★



Rievaulx is one of the most complete, and atmospheric, of England's abbey ruins. It's no wonder it's one of the most popular visitor attractions in the North. ...

Rievaulx Abbey



Welcome to Glastonbury Abbesy, once the grandest and richest Abbey in England. A great Glastonbury experience awaits you here! ...

Glastonbury Abbey



Step back in time to the Norman Conquest and bring the curriculum to life at 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield. Learn about the most famous date in English history while walking in the footsteps of King Harold and William the Conqueror. ...

1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield



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....

Peveril Castle



School trips to Belvoir allow pupils to learn about the castle during Regency and Victorian times, including the opportunity to experience a themed lesson in our Regency Schoolroom!...

Belvoir Castle



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...

Framlingham Castles



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. ...

Orford Castle



Inspire your students with a visit to Conisbrough Castle, a symbol of power and wealth built by the Warenne family after the Norman Conquest, with 850 years of history to discover. ...

Conisbrough Castle



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. ...

Warkworth Castle



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- ...

Skipton Castle



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. ...

Beeston Castle and Woodland Park



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. ...

Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden



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. ...

Bolsover Castle

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