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

A visit to one of our sites will inspire your students and bring your teaching to life. We'd like to reassure you that we're following Government guidance to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’ve introduced limits on visitor numbers and school groups, so please bear this in mind when booking your trip.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit, which also includes our Covid 19 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.
  • As usual, you’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our Terms and Conditions for full details.
  • English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over. The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested. For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  Most of our English Heritage sites are now open, including indoor spaces and cafes.  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 follow government guidelines, but for certain sessions this hasn’t been possible – please check our schools webpages for further information.

There may be areas of our sites which are closed, so please check what’s available for your school group on our property webpages and with our booking team.  They can put you in touch with our Education Visits Officers who can offer help and guidance, so you can make the most of your school trip.

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. 

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: 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, woodland and a river. There is a woodland walk with a self-guided walk leaflet available, and interesting wildlife to spot (including birds of prey, hedgehogs, butterflies, lizards, grass snakes, foxes and deer).
    • 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.
    • 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.

     

  • Enquire now

  • School visits academic year 2020-21

    In line with government guidance, we’re pleased to confirm we’re now taking bookings online.

    Our COVID-secure measures will remain in place until all restrictions are lifted.  Visitor numbers are limited, and all bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance.

    English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over.  The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested.  For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.

    Due to the current situation we can’t answer calls as quickly as we’d like to. If you’d like more information about a site, email us and we’ll put you in touch with an Education Visits Officer.

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