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? 

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. 

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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. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and for Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place please visit 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 for group leaders once you have made a booking. Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • 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.

  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*. From November until March we open exclusively for education groups at selected sites when booking an expert-led Discovery Visit. See our education opening times below for individual site information.

    *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. Discovery Visits available Monday-Friday
    • November-February: Wednesday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • March: Monday-Sunday: 10-4pm
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