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

Updated 2 July. Following guidance from the government, outdoor spaces at Hillsborough Castle are now open Thursday-Sunday. The castle will re-open 30 July. Please read our visit information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures

In light of the government announcement that UK schools will close, and Historic Royal Palaces decision to close Hillsborough Castle until further notice, we have taken the decision to cancel all school visits for this academic year. We are in the process of contacting all those groups affected. Should you have any questions please do feel free to contact us: [email protected].

Please be aware that we are currently experiencing a very high volume of enquiries via phone and email and it may take longer than normal for us to respond to your query.

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


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.


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.

Term dates

Autumn 2019

Monday 09 September – Friday 13 December 2019

Spring 2020

Monday 13 January – Wednesday 8 April 2020

Summer 2020

Monday 20 April – Tuesday 30 June 2020

Make a booking

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

Booking request form

Download and complete the form and email it to the schools team.

School booking request form Booking request 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)

Payment options

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.


Our preferred method of payment is by 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

Credit card

Contact us on +44 (0) 20 3166 6646 to make a payment. Please have ready your event and invoice reference number, name of cardholder as it appears on the card, card number, security code and expiry date. 

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.
Read full terms and conditions