Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens


Explore 700 years of history at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens through the story of the Middleton family. From the medieval castle to Ancient Greek inspired architecture and stunning gardens, there are plenty of learning opportunities to support your teaching across the curriculum and bring learning to life.

Please note that, as part of the Belsay Awakes project, scaffolding has now been put up around the outside of the Hall to enable the vital conservation work to be carried out on the roof. The pillar hall has also been boxed and wrapped up to protect it from any damage during the re-roofing works.

Information about your visit

Our number one priority remains the health, safety and security of all of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe and make sure you and your group have an enjoyable visit.

You and your group don’t need to have a COVID Pass to visit, but please don’t visit if you or any of your group have symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive or if you’ve been asked to self-isolate. We’ll always follow the latest government guidance, and if anything changes we’ll update this page to let you know our plans.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • Face coverings are now legally required in all our indoor public places, including our visitor centres, shops, on all on-site transport, and in our cafes except when you are eating or drinking (unless exempt)
  • To keep everyone safe we’re continuing to limit visitor numbers at some sites and in some indoor spaces. Please book as soon as possible to secure your preferred trip date and times.
  • In order to process your enquiry as quickly as possible, please ensure you have provided the following information, or have this information ready when you speak to one of our advisers: visit arrival and departure time; age range of the group; subject(s) to be studied; learning objective; number of learners and leaders; name of trip organiser; name of trip leader; SEND requirements. Go to our bookings page to make an enquiry or update an existing booking.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit and make sure you download our COVID risk assessments; download a free copy of managing education visits during the pandemic and if you're participating in a Discovery Visit download our managing Discovery Visits during the pandemic risk assessment
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • You’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our terms and conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.

At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to keep you and your group safe at all times, but for certain sessions we’re still working on this – please check the Discovery Visit section and Facilities section on this page below for further information.

Enquire Now

Curriculum Links

Visit Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics accross the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places within the locality
  • KS1 Science: Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees, identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees. Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited, identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats
  • KS1 Geography:  Use geographical skills and fieldwork
  • KS2 History: Local history study. Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Science: Working scientifically. Identify and name a variety of living things in the local and wider environment
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: Local History study. Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1750
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Discover the medieval castle with its impressive tower, and learn how it changed over time to match the needs of the Middleton family. See the Ancient Greek inspired architecture in the hall, and visit the beautiful gardens to explore the vast range of plants and habitats. 

Enquire now

Blooming Gardens Art Exhibition for KS4-5

Take part in this year’s Blooming Gardens Art Exhibition for KS4 and KS5 students.

The exhibition is designed to complement your classroom work and provide a creative outlet for students beyond their portfolio, enabling them to showcase their work in the unique setting that inspired it.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens provides an opportunity for students to explore a wide range of organic forms and colours in the gardens and study the contrast between the built environment and natural forms.

Your students can visit for free as many times as they need to gather inspiration to create their own piece of art in any media.

Register for more information and to book a free self-led visit with your students. Our Education Visits Officer will also be in touch to discuss the event with you.

Register to take part

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. 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 for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: Free parking is available. The main car park is located next to the entrance to the site. Disabled parking is available in the main car park, which is close to the shop and admissions with ramp access to the hall and tearoom. Disabled visitors can also be set down outside the entrance to the site.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is currently unavailable.
    • TOILETS: Toilets including accessible toilets are located in the main car park.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the picnic tables which are located on the grassed area off the main car park. There is also a tearoom located in the original kitchen of the hall, serving cream teas, cakes, hot and cold sandwiches, soup and baked potatoes
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop on-site selling a range of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. We recommend you bring your class in small groups at a time.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: Wheelchair access to to the ground floor of the hall and the tea room via a ramp from the car park. Access to the ground floor of the castle via a ramp at the rear of the castle. Wheelchairs as well as a mobility scooter are available to borrow for free. RADAR key access for level access route to the hall and gardens available at the shop for a refunded hire charge. Shop has level access but a narrow doorway.
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