Clifford's Tower, York

Schools

Follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror who ordered the building of this mighty fortress mound in 1068. Clifford's Tower was a symbol of his power and today is a lasting remnant of the medieval castle. Let your students experience what life was like in medieval York.

Please note, between 16 September - 6 December, there will be essential conservation assessment and maintenance works happening at Clifford’s Tower. The site will be open as normal, however there will be some areas with limited access and scaffolding in place. During this period the site may have to close at short notice for essential works to take place. These works will be dictated by the conservation assessment and weather conditions so unfortunately we are unable to plan the closures and they will occur at extremely short notice.

Information about your visit

A visit to one of our sites will inspire your students and bring your teaching to life. We'd like to reassure you that we're following Government guidance to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’ve introduced limits on visitor numbers and school groups, so please bear this in mind when booking your trip.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit, which also includes our Covid 19 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.
  • As usual, you’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our Terms and Conditions for full details.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  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 follow government guidelines, but for certain sessions this hasn’t been possible – please check our schools webpages for further information.

There may be areas of our sites which are closed, so please check what’s available for your school group on our property webpages and with our booking team.  They can put you in touch with our Education Visits Officers who can offer help and guidance, so you can make the most of your school trip.

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Clifford's Tower  will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1-3 History: Local History Study
  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places
  • KS2 History: Extending chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: The development of church, state and society in medieval Britain 1066-1509

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit and lead your day in your own way. Let your students climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the panoramic views over the city of York from the wall walk. View the model of the motte and bailey castle, demonstrating what the area around the keep would have looked like after it was rebuilt in stone between the 13th and 16th centuries. We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. 

Enquire now

Plan your visit

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
    • TOWER: The tower remains open as usual for you to enjoy. The little chapel is currently closed. Please note there is a one way system in place at this site.
    • PARKING: A large car park is located at the bottom of the steps up to the castle. This is operated by the local council and is usually very busy. Charges apply. There are many car parks dotted around the town, and a Park and Ride scheme.
    • TOILETS: There are no toilet facilities on-site. The nearest toilet is a five minute walk to Coppergate Shopping Centre with a small charge. These facilities are not managed by English Heritage.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: The tower has 55 entrance steps and then spiral stairs to the wall walk with uneven surfaces and hazardous walkways. Wheelchair access is very limited. 
    • LUNCH: There is no designated lunch space within the site but there are several small parks nearby suitable for picnics. There is no café on-site, however, you will find a vending machine selling hot drinks, sweets and chocolate.
    • SHOP: The shop is open as usual, with a limited number of people allowed at any given time. 
    • FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings must be worn in Clifford's Tower's indoor shop and all other indoor spaces. We won't be able to give you a face covering so please come prepared so you don't miss out.
  • Enquire now

  • School visits academic year 2020-21

    We have changed the opening arrangements of our sites to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. In line with government guidelines we’re currently unable to accept education visits at our sites. We’re currently taking education bookings from 13 February – 1 July 2021. 

    Due to the current situation we can’t answer calls as quickly as we’d like to. If you’d like more information about a site, email us and we’ll put you in touch with an Education Visits Officer, or if you’d like to book a visit you can use our online booking form. 

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