Okehampton Castle

Schools

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.

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

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. 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: 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.

     

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