Rievaulx Abbey

Schools

Escape to this tranquil valley of the North York Moors and explore the impressive ruins of one of England's most powerful Cistercian monasteries.

Discover Rievaulx Abbey's fascinating past and the lives of the monks who called Rievaulx Abbey their home in our museum, displaying previously unseen artefacts which tell the story of the rise and dramatic fall of the first Cistercian abbey in the North of England.

Many schools combine their visit with a trip to nearby Helmsley Castle - find out more here.

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 in their own locality
  • KS2 History: Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS3 History: The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1745

Free self-led visits

We offer free entry to Rievaulx Abbey to qualifying learning groups. By booking a free education visit you can lead your visit in your own way. Explore the beautiful abbey ruins and learn more about the Cistercian monks who lived there, in the museum.

Download our free Teachers' Kit to help you plan your lessons and visit to Rievaulx Abbey. 

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Plan Your Trip

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
    • TOILETS: Toilets, including accessible toilets are available.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds. There is a small patio area looking onto the site with a number of picnic tables, and a grass area.
    • SHOP: The shop remains open as usual with limits on number of people at any given time. Please bring your students in supervised small groups.
    • MUSEUM: The museum features artefacts from the abbey including elaborate medieval stone carvings, chess pieces and gold coins which tell the story of the rise and dramatic fall of the first Cistercian abbey in the North of England.
  • Learning Resources

    A Teachers' Kit is a free educational tool packed with everything you need to give your group a deep insight into the place you are visiting. Featuring historical information, suggestions for activities, and high-quality images, this resource is a comprehensive toolkit for group leaders of various subjects and key stages. Kits also include key site information, facilities, plans and hazard information.

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