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Hillsborough Castle & Gardens Schools' Travel Bursary

About the Schools' Travel Bursary

Applications for funding between June 2024 and December 2024 are now closed.

We are pleased to announce that on Monday 15 January 2024, Historic Royal Palaces launched its first Travel Bursary Scheme to assist schools with the cost of transport to Hillsborough Castle & Gardens. The scheme will enable more schools than ever to enjoy an interactive and immersive school trip, without worrying about the cost of a coach.

Schools based in the UK will be offered up to £500 to help with associated travel costs.

The scheme welcomes applications from state funded primary, secondary and SEND schools. Successful schools can apply for up to £500 towards the cost of travel, for a maximum of 3 facilitated sessions.

If you have any questions about the Travel Bursary Scheme, please check out our FAQs below or email [email protected].


To be eligible, schools must meet the following criteria:

  • A state funded primary, secondary or special school.
  • Have at least 35% of pupils receiving Free School Meals.
  • Only one application per school will be accepted.

Additionally, priority will be given to schools that have at least 15% of pupils with special educational needs*.

For all eligible schools, funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, based upon the date the Travel Bursary Scheme application was received.

*these characteristics will not be considered in relation to special schools.

All schools receiving a travel bursary will be given the opportunity to attend a free Teacher Taster event at Hillsborough Castle, where you can, join our HRP Teacher Network, and participate in a sample session.

Terms and conditions

Travel bursary FAQs

The Travel Bursary Scheme offers schools based in the UK (it will be extended to the ROI in year 2) up to £500 towards the cost of travelling to Hillsborough Castle & Gardens to take part in an onsite, facilitated school session. The scheme is open to primary, secondary and SEND schools that meet our eligibility criteria.

Applications are welcome from schools which meet the following criteria:

  • State funded primary, secondary or SEND schools.
  • Schools which have at least 35% of pupils eligible to receive Free School Meals.*
  • Additionally, priority will be given to schools that have at least 15% of pupils with special educational needs. *

*SEND schools will not have to evidence these criteria.

Applications will open on Monday 15 January 2024. The electronic application form will be available on our website. The fund is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, to eligible schools, so you are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

You can apply for a maximum travel bursary of £500.  You may bring up to 3 classes, with a a maximum of 32 pupils per class, if you are a primary school.  For SEND and secondary schools, session capacities vary, please see our sessions page for more information. You may still book up to 3 facilitated sessions.

The Travel Bursary Scheme covers travel to Hillsborough Castle & Gardens only.  For information on the Access Fund, which is applicable to Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, and Kensington Palace, please visit our website.

Unfortunately not, as the scheme is only launching in January 2024, we are only taking applications for visits which will take place between June 2024 - December 2024.

If you are successful in your application, you will be sent a booking form to arrange your visit. Visits can take place on an available day of your choosing during term time, between 1 June 2024 – 31 December 2024, subject to availability. Primary & SEND sessions run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays and secondary sessions run on Thursdays during term time.

We will notify you on the outcome of your application by the end of March 2024. We will then send out booking forms and more instructions about the Travel Bursary Scheme.

Along with your chosen facilitated sessions, for up to 96 pupils (session capacities vary), you will be awarded up to £500 towards travel costs. The required number of accompanying adults to fulfil our ratio requirements will be admitted free of charge and additional adults will be charged at the standard adult rate. You will also receive a Teacher Planning Pass to enable you to undertake a pre-visit, and a place at one of our teacher taster sessions, if desired. More information can be found about our learning sessions on our website.

We welcome applications from a group/pair of schools working together under the Shared Learning Agenda, however, please note we can only accept one application per school.

Upon a successful application, your funding amount will be confirmed via email. The amount will be based upon the quote for travel costs which you included in your application. Included in the booking form will be a space for the relevant bank details needed for us to pay your travel bursary funds directly to your school 6 weeks prior to your visit date. Further details and terms and conditions will be confirmed upon a successful application.

Please email us directly at [email protected]