School Visits

The former home of Charles Darwin, and where the internationally renowned 'On the Origin of Species' was written. With many cross-curricular learning opportunities, Victorian interiors and original furniture inside the house and gardens of Special Scientific Interest to explore outside.

New for 2017, try our excellent value expert-led Discovery Visit called 'Darwin's Daring Discoveries.' Plus, schools can now use our FREE downloadable Learning Trail as part of a Free Education Visit.

School pupils at Down House
Students in the gardens at Down House

curriculum links

Support your teaching at Down House with many links to the curriculum from history to science and local history 

  • KS1: Working scientifically, animals and plants 
  • KS1-2: Science, Living Things and their Habitats
  • KS2: Working scientifically, evolution and inheritance
  • KS1-3: A Local History Study
  • KS3: Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain 1745-190
  • KS3: Science, working scientifically, biology
School pupils in the garden at Down House

free school visits

Down House is a site of outstanding international significance, and schools can take advantage of both the house and gardens on a Free Education Visit. Inside the house, schools can explore the authentic Victorian interiors, reflecting the home in which Darwin and his wife Emma raised their children.

An immersive on-site exhibition guides you through Darwin's voyage aboard the Beagle from 1831-36, his scientific discoveries and the impact of his revolutionary theories on Victorian society.

Continue your voyage outside to the extensive gardens including Darwin's 'outdoor laboratory' and famous 'thinking path'.  Can your class spot the working observation beehive and carnivorous plants?

Download our free Learning Trail below which will take your pupils on a journey around Darwin's house and garden as they become experts in observation!

Pupils taking part in the' Darwin's Daring Disoveries' expert-led Discovery Visit

expert led school visits

At just £100 per session (approximately 30 pupils) our expert-led Discovery Visits combine inspiring experiences with quality learning.

Darwin's Daring Discoveries (KS3 History & Science):
In this hands-on and fun visit, students investigate Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection both inside the house and in the gardens. Students will get to grips with scientific equipment and be taken around key rooms of the house and parts of the garden with a group leader. Learning Outcomes include:

  • Understanding the relationship between Darwin's work and his home and garden
  • Considering the social context of Darwin's ideas, including reactions to 'On the Origin of Species.'
  • Developing scientific skills: Observe, hypothesise, predict, test, record analyse and conclude

Duration: 1 hour 45 mins
Please email emily.barnes@english-heritage.org.uk to arrange a booking.

Students in the outdoor laboratory at Down House

facilities for learning groups

  • Booking: All bookings will be provisional until confirmed with site, please provide a range of available dates for your visit.
  • Education Room: Free bookable space available for schools with tables and chairs, suitable as a lunch room.
  • Parking: Space for 1 coach which must be pre-booked, please specify when booking if you require this space. Disabled bays are available in the car park. Please note that we cannot always accept coaches at the weeekend or on a Bank Holiday. If you need to travel by coach on a Saturday or Sunday, you will need to be dropped off and the coach will need to park elsewhere. Please do not park in the local village.
  • Toilets: Male, female and accessible toilets available on site.
  • Scout groups: During the weekends and school holidays, Scouts will only be able to access the house after 3pm. Please ensure that you pre-book your visit. Muddy shoes must be removed upon arrival.

    Please ensure you have your visit confirmed with our Education Bookings Team before booking your travel

Teaching and Learning Resources

downloads
Darwin Learning Trail: Activity Sheet

Darwin Learning Trail: Activity Sheet

Download

Darwin Learning Trail: Answer Sheet

Darwin Learning Trail: Answer Sheet

Download

Darwin Learning Trail: Floor Plan

Darwin Learning Trail: Floor Plan

Download

Hazard Information Sheet

Hazard Information Sheet

Download

Education Opening Times

  • April to September - 10.00 - 18.00.
  • October - 10.00 - 17.00.
  • November to March Closed for education visits

Learn With Us

Learn more about the history of Down House to enhance your school visit experience.

Down House school visits
'step into englands story