Plan and book a school visit

Booking information, admission rates, what's included, term dates and useful resources

Booking information, admission rates, what's included, term dates and useful resources

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

We’re excited to welcome primary schools back to Hillsborough Castle & Gardens this term.

We hope to be able to reinstate the full schools programme from September 2021.

School visits and sessions

Our curriculum-based sessions are led by expert presenters who bring the history of the palace to life through lively, interactive learning opportunities.

We offer a wide selection of curriculum-based sessions linked to a range of subjects for Key Stages 1 to 5, including Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

Primary sessions cater for up to 32 students, while secondary and SEND capacities vary so please check the session information.

Sessions information and prices

What's included?

  • A facilitated, curriculum-linked session led by an expert presenter.
  • Access to Hillsborough Castle’s gardens to explore at your leisure.
  • A booked lunch space (30 mins).
  • Pre-visit email including two preliminary visit vouchers and essential information.
  • Space to store coats & bags throughout your visit.


Primary Sessions (60 minutes)

Secondary Sessions (90 minutes)

SEND sessions (60 minutes)

Teachers and adults
Up to agreed ratios: Free
Adults for 1:1 assistance: Free
Additional adults: £11.40

All school group visits must be booked in advance. Dates sell out quickly so we advise booking at least two months in advance. Payment is due six weeks prior to visiting. 

Adult to student ratios

The following ratios apply to all school groups visiting the castle and gardens. 

Key Stage 1 (age 4-7) = 1:5 
Key Stages 2, 3 & 4 (age 7-15) = 1:10
Key Stage 5 and up (age 16+) = 1:15

SEND groups can determine their own ratios.

Groups with an inadequate number of accompanying adults may not be admitted.


Term dates

2020-21 academic year

School visits are only available during the summer term.

2021-2022 academic year

From September, sessions available Tuesday – Thursday during term time.

Autumn term
1 September - 28 October
31 October - 21 December

Winter term
2 January - 17 February
20 February - 31 March

Spring term
10 April - 30 June


Visiting safely

Please read our current safety procedures for keeping you safe on your visit.

In order to best support you and your group we will also provide:

  • Updated group leader information packs four weeks prior to your visit, including the most up to date health and safety information.
  • Timed entry slot for your school to help you stay in your school 'bubble'.
  • Flexible booking terms, allowing you to move your visit within the academic year if needed.
  • Teacher planning passes included in your booking confirmation, to allow two teachers to visit and plan your day.

Make a booking

Email your booking request form to the schools team at: Further enquiries? Please ring 020 3166 6646 for more information.

Booking request form

Email your booking request form to the schools team at: Further enquiries? Please ring 020 3166 6646 for more information.

School booking request form School booking form guidelines

Useful resources

Key information and guides to support your school visit.

Essential visit information Short history guide Possible risks and hazards Security information On the day information

SEND visit resources

A visual story guide to support a visit to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Visual story (PDF) Visual story (doc)


After receiving your booking request we will email you with a booking confirmation and invoice which must be paid in advance of your visit and according to our payment terms six weeks prior to visiting.


BACS payment details can be found on your invoice. When making payment please ensure you quote the invoice number and if possible your school/company name.

For queries - email our finance team

Important payment terms

  • Your invoice will be attached to your confirmation email. 
  • Payment is due six weeks prior to visiting. We cannot amend booking numbers after this deadline. Extra tickets must be purchased on the day at standard group rates.
  • Bookings with less than six weeks' notice require immediate payment. The cancellation & amendment deadline is 5pm on the day after the booking is confirmed. 
  • We regret that no refunds can be given for cancellations or amendments made less than six weeks in advance of your visit. This includes non-arrivals on the day.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): We are able to reschedule visits to allow for local lockdowns and other challenges arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see our full terms and conditions for more information.