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 2016, schools can now see the newly interpreted bedroom of Charles Darwin and use our downloadable Learning Trail as part of a Free Education Visit.

Children playing in the gardens at Down House
School pupils reading on-site books 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 trying on costumes 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?


Down House Education Trail

New Darwin Learning Trail for schools

Download our free Learning Trail which will take your pupils on a journey around Darwin's house and garden as they become experts in observation! Students can discover Darwin at their own pace by chosing from 3 different question strands, supporting a variety of approaches to student enquiry. This free resource is suitable for KS2 and KS3 and can be adapted to support your pupils' age and ability, including SEND and Gifted and Talented.

Please see the download section below to print before your visit.


Children running in the gardens 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

Darwin Learning Trail: Activity Sheet

Darwin Learning Trail: Activity Sheet


Darwin Learning Trail: Answer Sheet

Darwin Learning Trail: Answer Sheet


Darwin Learning Trail: Floor Plan

Darwin Learning Trail: Floor Plan


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