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

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.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  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

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: The café next to the abbey, which is operated by the Youth Hostel Association is currently closed. 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. There is a reduced capacity in the shop and we request that you split your class into smaller groups. A one-way system is in place.
    • 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. A one-way system is in place.
    • 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.
  • 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.

  • Enquire now

  • School visits from September 2020

    Education bookings are now open and can make provisional bookings for visits from September 2020 to March 2021. 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, or if you’d like to book a visit you can use our online booking form. 

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