Dover Castle

Schools

Bring the curriculum to life and inspire your students. Stand at the spot where Operation Dynamo was planned, or experience what life was like for a medieval king or servant.

"We've spent a lot of time doing pre-work about castles in the classroom, but it makes such a difference for them to see for themselves what they've been learning about."

Jo Cross, KS1 Teacher

PLEASE NOTE: The Secret Wartime Tunnels are currently closed for educational visits. Please check our facilities section below for further details on what is available, and sign-up in the Expert-led Discovery Visit section below for updates on access to the tunnels and our Secret Codes and Ciphers Discovery Visit 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.

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 Dover 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. The changing power of monarchs using case studies
  • KS2 Maths: Enriching mathematical understanding - breaking codes in WW2
  • KS3 History: The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
  • KS3 Maths: Enriching mathematical understanding - breaking codes in WW2
  • KS4 History: OCR History A: Study of the Historic Environment, OCR History B: History Around Us; AQA Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment, Norman and Medieval England
  • KS5 History: OCR Unit Y103/Y133: England 1199 - 1272, OCR Unit Y113/Y143: Churchill 1930 - 1951; Edexcel Paper 2, Option 2A.2: England and the Angevin Empire in the reign of Henry II, 1154 - 1189

Free Self-Led Visits

Enjoy a free self-led visit to Dover Castle and experience 2000 years of history. Start at the Roman lighthouse, then explore The Great Tower to learn more about Henry II. Descend into the Medieval tunnels on the way to the atmospheric Secret Wartime Tunnels. Find out more about WWI and the role of the WWI Fire Command Post by using our handling box, full of artefacts and activities and book the education room to dress up and imagine what life would have been like as a medieval lady or knight. 

Enquire now

Expert-Led Discovery Visits

Let us lead a Discovery Visit for you and experience what life was like for the lords and ladies who lived at Dover Castle, during our interactive Knights, Feasts and Garderobes session, which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of different groups across the key stages. Our Discovery Visit has been adapted to follow health and safety guidelines and will still offer your students a quality and fun learning experience.

We can’t run our Secret Codes and Ciphers Discovery Visit at the moment as we’re unable to adapt the session in a way that would still provide a quality, immersive education experience. We can get in touch with you once it’s running again – just sign up to get notified when bookings are back open.

Find out more about Knights, Feasts and Garderobes

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 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.

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