Okehampton Castle

School Visits

The largest castle in Devon, Okehampton was begun soon after the Norman Conquest as a motte and bailey castle with a stone keep. In the 14th century it was converted into a luxury residence for the Earl of Devon, before eventually falling into ruin. Today, the castle offers a range of learning opportunities from understanding life in a medieval castle to exploring the surrounding woodland and riverside areas.

Curriculum Links

Visit Okehampton Castle to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics across the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places within the locality
  • KS1 Science: Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited, identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats
  • KS1 Geography:  Use geographical skills and fieldwork
  • KS2 History: Local history study. Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Science: Working scientifically. Identify and name a variety of living things in the local and wider environment
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: Local history study. 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 and organise your trip to fulfil your curriculum objectives. Explore the castle ruins, imagine what life would have been like in Okehampton Castle and walk around the motte to look for the remains of the ditch that once protected the castle from attack. The castle is also surrounded by woodland and countryside areas, with a range of plants, wildlife and habitats to discover. 

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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: The free car park is located roughly 100 yards from the castle, along a country lane with no pavement. Coach and minibus parking is available in the town centre, as access to the site car park is narrow and spaces are limited.
    • TOILETS: An accessible unisex toilet is available.
    • LUNCH: Picnic areas are available outdoors, with grassed areas and picnic benches.
    • SHOP: There is a kiosk selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. We recommend you bring your class in small groups at a time.
    • GARDENS: Okehampton Castle is set within extensive grounds including fields and a woodland. There is a woodland walk with interesting wildlife to spot, including birds of prey, hedgehogs, butterflies, lizards, grass snakes, foxes and deer. A self-guided leaflet is available for the woodland walk.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are three disabled parking spaces located directly opposite the castle (20 feet from entrance) and disabled visitors can be set down next to the site entrance. The majority of the site is wheelchair accessible except for the keep, which can only be accessed by a set of large, steep earth steps running up the side of the motte.

     

  • 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-August: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • September-October: No bookings can be taken at the current time
    • November-March: No bookings can be taken at the current time

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