Furness Abbey

School Visits

Furness Abbey was once the largest and wealthiest abbey in the north-west of England. Explore the impressive ruins and learn more about the lives of the monks who lived here between the 12th and early 16th centuries.

“The trip gave the pupils a fantastic opportunity to embrace their local history."

Teacher, KS2

Curriculum Links

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

  • KS1-3 History: A local history study
  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people, places in their own locality
  • KS2 History: Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066 – 1509 and 1509 - 1745

Free Self-Led Visit

Book a free self-led visit to Furness Abbey and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Explore the extensive abbey remains, including the ornately decorated chapter house and the octagonal kitchen and spot the features that explore monastic life. The museum houses an extensive collection of stone carvings and effigies along with the beautiful medieval ‘Furness Crozier’, a silver-gilt staff found in one of the abbey graves.               

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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 for Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place please visit 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: There is a car park with coach parking outside the entrance.
    • TOILETS: There are male and female toilets and an accessible toilet.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds.
    • SHOP:  There is a gift shop selling English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM or BAG STORAGE: Available for school groups. Please book the room in advance. Monks habits costumes, tiles and mosaic pieces, as well as games, are available to use in the education room.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are no specific spaces marked out for disabled parking, but all parking is very close to the Visitor Centre. A ramp to the rear of the building of the Visitor Centre enables wheelchair access to the site. Visitors with electric wheelchairs have run into difficulties in the past due to the soft ground.
    • WET WEATHER: The education room can be used for shelter from inclement weather if booked in advance. The site team will do their best to accommodate if you are not able to use the education room.
  • 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*

    *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-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • November-March: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm

Learning Resources

  • Teaching Medieval History

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of medieval history.

  • A Mini Guide to Medieval Monks

    Find out more about different medieval monastic orders with our short animation.