Discovery Visits at Beeston Castle

Sandford Award winner 2021!

Beeston was once the home of prehistoric settlers whose earthwork defences were adapted by medieval castle-builders during the construction of “The Castle of the Rock”. We offer two award-winning Discovery Visits for primary schools to explore the site's past as an Iron Age hill fort and as a medieval fortress castle.

"Pioneering initiatives, such as the Beeston Roundhouse Project, represent heritage education at its very best – a team of enthusiastic volunteers empowered through learning to share their knowledge and understanding with the younger generation." Sandford Award Assessor's Report 2021

Prehistoric settlers


Experience the prehistoric history of Beeston with an immersive learning experience based in a recreated Bronze Age roundhouse. Meet our Bronze Age experts and learn about ancient technology in an authentic setting.

  • Availability: Monday to Friday all year during term time
  • 1 1/2 Hours
  • £100 per session
Enquire now

Fortress Castle

KS1, KS2

Travel back in time to discover who built Beeston Castle and why they chose this location, looking for evidence in the remains of the castle to help explore key events in the past. Role play will help bring the history of the castle to life, as you learn about what life was like in a medieval castle and how the site has changed over time.

  • Availability: Monday to Friday all year during term time
  • 1 1/2 Hours
  • £100 per session
Enquire now

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip! 

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There is a car park with coach parking opposite the site entrance.
    • TOILETS: Unisex toilets are available and will be operated in a one bubble in, one bubble out policy.
    • EDUCATION SPACE: The education space is currently unavailable.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds. There are picnic benches and grassed areas, including the Castle Green, to sit on.
    • SHOP: The shop is currently unavailable, however we are offering a goody bag, which can be booked in advance and will be quarantined for 72 hours before your visit.
    • CAFE: A kiosk will be open for food and drink for use by teachers.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There is no designated disabled parking in the car park. Disabled visitors may be set down in the car park opposite the site entrance. Beeston Castle is built on a very steep hill, and wheelchair access to the top and the woodland walk are not recommended. Please also note that much of the site has uneven surfaces.

    Site Map

    Beeston Castle Site Map

  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments.

    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*. From November until March we open exclusively for education groups at selected sites when booking an expert-led Discovery Visit. See our education opening times below for individual site information.

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-5 November: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • 6 November- 23 December: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Wednesday-Friday
    • 26 December-1 January: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm.
    • 2 January-9 February: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Wednesday-Friday
    • 10 February-18 February: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm.
    • 19 February-31 March: Wednesday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Wednesday-Friday

Planning Your Visit

Planning your visit couldn’t be easier with the help of our resources. However if you need more details or have specific questions about your trip or our Free Self-Led or Expert Led visits, please get in touch with our Education Booking Team on 0370 333 0606

Beeston Castle and Woodland Park

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