Whitby Abbey

Schools

A school visit to Whitby Abbey is a unique experience. Having endured coastal erosion and stormy weather, destruction during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under the rule of King Henry VIII and shellfire from German naval ships during the First World War, Whitby Abbey remains an iconic landmark along the North Yorkshire coastline. But what was life like at the founding monastery during the 7th century? 

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

A visit to Whitby Abbey offers cross curriculum links across the key stages:

  • KS1 History: significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
  • KS2 History: Anglo-Saxon art and culture; Christian conversion
  • KS2-3 History: A local history study
  • KS2-3 Religious Studies: Religion in daily life, why was an abbey built on the site and who lived there?
  • KS3 History: a study of an aspect or site in local history dating from a period before 1066; the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509

Free Self-led Visits

We offer free entry to qualifying learning groups. Book a free education visit and lead your visit to Whitby Abbey in your own way. Download our Teachers' Kit for site information and activity suggestions for before, during and after your visit. 

Enquire now

Expert-Led Discovery Visits

Bring Whitby Abbey to life and let us lead a Discovery Visit for you. Our session is interactive and immersive, and has been specifically designed to meet the needs of your students. This session has been developed for KS2 learners and can be adapted for KS1 and KS3. It explores life in Anglo-Saxon monasteries and the lives of medieval Benedictine monks.

Our Discovery Visit has been adapted to follow health and safety guidelines and will still offer your students a quality and fun learning experience.

Find out more

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
    • PARKING: The main car park is located 10 metres from the site entrance and 250 metres from the abbey ruins. Parking is chargeable and is owned and managed by Scarborough Borough Council. Disabled parking spaces are available in the main car park and there is a ramped entrance to the site. 
    • LUNCH: There is a café next door to the abbey, operated by the Youth Hostel Association. The large open grassed areas in the abbey grounds have superb views and are ideal for picnics.
    • TOILETS: Toilets are located in the car park are owned and managed by Scarborough Borough Council and incur a small charge.
    • SHOP: The shop is well-stocked with a wide range of memorabilia. Please bring your class in small groups at a time.
    • VISITOR CENTRE: The interactive museum in the Visitor Centre brings to life the history of the abbey and the site's many archaeological finds. Your group can book to use this facility.
  • 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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