Helmsley Castle

Schools

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.

Please note: Due to essential conservation management at this property, the top floor of the Manor House will be closed until further notice.  The handling collection will also be unavailable during this time.

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

  • 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.

Enquire now

PLAN YOUR VISIT

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: 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.
    • FACE MASKS: Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces, including in our exhibitions, shops, cafés and tea rooms. We won’t be able to give you a face covering, so please come prepared so you don’t miss out. U11s are exempt.
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