Carlisle Castle

Schools

Carlisle Castle is a unique place to help you bring history to life. Discover the most beseiged castle in England and let your class explore as part of a free self-led visit, or interact with stories and artefacts as part of an immersive expert-led workshop.

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.

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Curriculum Links

A visit to Carlisle Castle offers curriculum learning across the key stages:

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS1-3 History: Local History Study
  • KS2 History: The Roman withdrawal from Britain in c. AD 410 and the fall of the western Roman Empire; a study of an aspect or theme in British History that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: The development of church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1745; ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain 1745-1901
  • KS4 History: OCR History B: History around us

Free Self-Led Visits

Book a free education visit and organise your day to suit your curriculum needs. Explore Carlisle Castle at your own pace, including the Warden's Apartments, once the bedroom of King Richard III, the Captain's Tower, one of the best preserved gatehouses in the country, and the turret in which Mary, Queen of Scots was held captive. Discover the stories of the castle’s most famous inhabitants in the exhibition, from Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, to notorious Border Reiver Kinmont Willie Armstrong.

Download our free Teachers' Kit (see our resources section below) to help you plan your visit to Carlisle Castle, including site details, historical information and activity suggestions for before, during and after your visit. 

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Expert-led Discovery Visit

Let our experts bring history to life during an immersive Discovery Visit. For just £100 per session, students will travel back in time to become detectives and discover what life was really like for those who lived and worked here.

Our Discovery Visit has been adapted to follow health and safety guidelines and will still offer your students a quality and fun learning experience.

Find out more

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 are on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: Only disabled parking is currently available onsite. Coaches are asked to please drop off at the entrance and use signposted city centre pay and display car parks nearby.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is available for use, please enquire when booking your visit.
    • SHOP: There is a shop on-site selling souvenirs and resources, which can support further learning back in the classroom. We ask that group leaders liaise with site staff on arrival so we can help arrange access for your group.
    • LUNCH: There are outdoor picnic tables available.
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