Dartmouth Castle

Schools

Begun in 1388 to protect the town and harbour from attack, Dartmouth Castle has been added to and updated over time, as it continued to protect the coastline for over 600 years. It has survived the Hundred Years War, the Spanish Armada, the Civil War and served in both World Wars, and this long history is now told through new multimedia interpretation. 

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.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Our staff are continuing to wear a face covering in our busy areas and indoor spaces, and we encourage you and your group to do the same where possible.

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.

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Dartmouth Castle will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and Key Stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS2 History:  A local history study. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: A local history study. The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 and in Britain 1509-1745. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

Free self-led visits

Explore the Gun Tower, one of the first purpose-built coastal artillery forts in Britain. See the displays of weaponry and armour, try on helmets and handle cannon balls and shots. You can also see where the original medieval harbour chain was and how it worked, blocking enemy ships from entering the Dart estuary. Look out for interpretation around the castle to discover the story of Dartmouth during the World Wars and don’t miss the open-air platforms for heavy guns and the Victorian gun battery, brought to life with a dramatic sound and light installation.

Enquire now

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
    • GUN TOWER: Indoor areas are open; we ask that small groups of 15 access the Gun Tower at one time. Narrow stairways require careful negotiation to maintain social distancing.
    • PARKING: There is limited parking at the 'Pay and Display' car park located 12 metres from the entrance. This is not managed by English Heritage. Parking on the access road is free. Coaches are not able to access the narrow approach road to the site.
    • FERRY ACCESS: A local ferry service is available from the Ferry Dock in Dartmouth to the Ferry steps of the Castle. The service is bookable with the provider and payable directly to them.
    • TOILETS: The public toilets are open.
    • FOOD AND DRINK: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There are benches located around the site, and a small lawn area available for picnicking.
    • SHOP: The shop sells a range of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. Please bring your students in supervised small groups of up to five.
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