School Visits

Discovery Visits at Dover Castle

Sandford Award winner 2022!

Bring Dover Castle to life and let our experts lead your pupils on an award-winning, hands-on Discovery Visit.

"Few other historic sites provide the contextual experience of the history of England, its lifestyles, defences and changing relationships within Europe through high quality facilitation and handling objects within furnished areas of the Castle and tunnels." Sandford Award Assessor's Report 2022

Knights, Feasts & Garderobes

Drama, History, Literacy, Story telling
KS1, KS2, KS3

What was life like for the lords and ladies who lived at the Castle and for those who served them? Find out on an interactive tour of the Great Tower at Dover Castle including lessons on courtly language and behaviour, role play and object handling.

  • Availability: November and March: Thursday, April to October: Tuesdays during term time
  • Session lasts for 1 hour
  • £100 per sesson
Enquire now

Secret Codes and Ciphers

History, Maths
KS2, KS3

The castle played an important role in WWII, in the planning of ‘Operation Dynamo’, the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 and also became a top secret HQ. Find out more about the work carried out inside the Secret Wartime Tunnels at Dover Castle by breaking codes and helping to complete a secret mission.

  • Availability: March to November: Thursdays during term time
  • Session lasts 1 hour
  • £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: Free parking for cars and minibuses under 3m in height.  Coach parking if available off site at the council-run Pay and Display car park on Castle Hill.
    • TOILETS: Toilets, including accessible toilets, located at all main areas of the property.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There are also two cafés, offering a takeaway service. 
    • SECRET WARTIME TUNNELS: Our tunnels are not currently accessible for education groups. We're working on this to make sure we can offer a safe and enjoyable visit. Please sign-up using the link above in the Expert-led Discovery Visit section to receive updates about access and our Secret Codes and Ciphers workshop.
    • SHOP: The Great Tower Shop sells a range of gifts and books. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is available to pre-book and is located in the Great Tower yard.
    • ACCESSIBILITY:  Extensive grounds mainly accessible on tarmac paths, but some steep slopes. Wheelchair accessible route available on request. Land train stops at various parts of the site and can be used by students with limited mobility.  Mobility scooters also available (to visitors over 18) if requested in advance. Unfortunately the Underground Hospital is not accessible for wheelchair users.

    Site Map

    Dover 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-June: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • July-August: Monday-Sunday 10-6pm. Discovery Visits available Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • September-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • 1 November-5 November: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 6 November-11 February: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 12 February-18 February: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 19 February-31 March: Wednesday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Thursdays

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

Dover Castle

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