Old Sarum

School Visits

This mighty Iron Age hill fort is a unique location where Iron Age people, the Romans, Saxons and Normans have all left their mark on an impressive landscape. Once home to Salisbury's first cathedral and William the Conqueror’s castle, Old Sarum was a major centre of royal and religious power for 150 years. Today, it offers an opportunity to cover multiple topics across the curriculum.  

"We had a great day, thanks very much. Staff were very friendly and well organised!"

KS2 Teacher
Churchfield Church School

Curriculum Links

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality. Similarities and differences in ways of life in different time periods 
  • KS2 History: A local history study. Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to Iron Age. The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Human geography: types of settlement and land use, identify the manmade defensive features of the site
  • KS3 History: A local history study. The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066
  • KS3 Geography: Understand the key processes in human geography; understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes
  • KS4 History: OCR Specification B: Introduction to history around us

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit to Old Sarum and organise your day to suit your curriculum needs. See the impressive ramparts of the original Iron Age hill fort, and cross the wooden bridge to explore the ruins of William the Conqueror's royal castle built in the centre of the site. You can also stand inside the footprint of Salisbury’s original cathedral in the outer bailey, and see the layout of the buildings. Download our free resources below, with site information and activity suggestions to help you make the most of your visit to Old Sarum.

Enquire now

Plan Your Trip

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: Due to the narrow single-track approach to the castle entrance we would request that coaches are parked at the layby just south of the Old Sarum Castle entrance on the A345, opposite the Harvester Old Sarum pub (SP1 3SF). There is space here to disembark from the coach safely. To access the castle site walk to the top of the layby and follow the chalk footpath to the castle drive, turn left and walk up the drive and over the wooden bridge to the castle. The ticket office is on your right.  If any of your education groups have extra access needs please call the site team on 01722 335398 to arrange access to the visitor car park.
    • TOILETS: Toilets, including an accessible toilet are situated next to the car park.
    • LUNCH: Picnic areas are available outdoors. Unfortunately there is no undercover space for lunch or bag storage.
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop selling souvenirs, we recommend you bring your class in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: Education tents are currently unavailable.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There is one disabled parking bay which cannot be reserved. Visitors with disabilities can be set down at the bottom of the bridge. If the driver is disabled, they are welcome to leave the car there, but this must be arranged with the site in advance. There is a ramp into the shop. The ground level is accessible in the ruins and there is a slope leading to the upper levels (assistance may be required).
    • 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.
  • 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 10-5pm
    • November-March: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm

Learning Resources

  • Teaching Anglo-Saxons and Normans

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of the Anglo-Saxons and Normans.

  • Old Sarum OCR Spec B: History Around Us (GCSE)

    We’ve created a site proposal form to help with your planning on conjunction with OCR.

  • A Brief History of the Normans

    Learn more about the origins of the Normans, the dispute between Harold Godwinson and William the Conqueror and how the Normans took control of England in this short animation.

  • 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.

  • Postcard from Old Sarum

    Take to the skies above Old Sarum to discover the site and its surroundings.