Helmsley Castle

School Visits

From a mighty medieval Norman fortress to a luxurious Tudor mansion, a Civil War stronghold and eventually a romantic Victorian ruin. Discover how life in a castle has changed over time at this impressive North Yorkshire Castle, which has seen over 900 years of English history. 

Many schools combine their visit with a trip to nearby Rievaulx Abbey: find out more here.

 

Curriculum Links

  • KS1-3 History: A local history study
  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places; study of castles
  • KS2 History: A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends the pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1750
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free Self-led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to discover 900 years of history at Helmsley Castle. By booking a free education visit you can lead your day in your own way. Explore the castle ruins and learn more about the site in the hands-on interactive exhibition in the mansion house. We also have plenty of online resources to help you plan your day at Helmsley Castle, and support learning before, during and after your visit.

Learn more about the history of the surrounding area by combining your trip with a visit to the Helmsley Archaeology Store, full of artefacts and archives from sites around the North of England. To arrange a visit to the Helmsley Archaeology Store, please contact the Education Visits Officer, Angela Peirson at Angela.Peirson@english-heritage.org.uk.

Enquire now

PLAN YOUR VISIT

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: Large pay and display car park (not managed by English Heritage) 20 metres from entrance. Meters accept coins and cards.
    • TOILETS: Male, female and accessible toilets are available.
    • SHOP: Visitor Centre sells an extensive range of English Heritage gifts and themed souvenirs, including castle themed gifts, maps, books and Yorkshire clothing.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds. There are picnic tables and benches around the site.
    • EXHIBITION: Imaginative hands-on exhibition in the ground floor of the Tudor mansion range. Displaying a fascinating array of finds from Civil War cannon balls to early tableware, this exhibition explores the social and domestic, as well as the military, aspects of the fortress.
  • 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 10-4pm
    • November-March: Friday-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 Castles

    ​Discover how castles developed over time with this short introduction.

  • How to Take a Medieval Castle

    Watch our short animation to learn more about how to take a medieval castle. 

'step into englands story