Dover Castle

School Visits

Bring the curriculum to life and inspire your students. Stand at the spot where Operation Dynamo was planned, or experience what life was like for a medieval king or servant.

Coming soon! This summer we’ll be opening a new visitor experience at Dover Castle. The northern defences will be open to visitors, including its medieval tunnels and Georgian casemates, which will feature new, hands-on experiences, exciting displays, and a new interactive play area. Our new interpretation will reveal the dramatic untold story of the most testing times in the castle’s history and of England itself. Keep an eye out for new teaching resources and exclusive Teacher Twilight events, being unveiled very soon.

"We've spent a lot of time doing pre-work about castles in the classroom, but it makes such a difference for them to see for themselves what they've been learning about."

Jo Cross, KS1 Teacher

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Dover Castle will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS2 History: A local history study. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066. The changing power of monarchs using case studies
  • KS2 Maths: Enriching mathematical understanding - breaking codes in WW2
  • KS3 History: 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
  • KS3 Maths: Enriching mathematical understanding - breaking codes in WW2
  • KS4 History: OCR History A: Study of the Historic Environment, OCR History B: History Around Us; AQA Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment, Norman and Medieval England
  • KS5 History: OCR Unit Y103/Y133: England 1199 - 1272, OCR Unit Y113/Y143: Churchill 1930 - 1951; Edexcel Paper 2, Option 2A.2: England and the Angevin Empire in the reign of Henry II, 1154 - 1189

Free Self-Led Visits

Enjoy a free self-led visit to Dover Castle and experience 2000 years of history. Start at the Roman lighthouse, then explore The Great Tower to learn more about Henry II. Descend into the Medieval tunnels on the way to the atmospheric Secret Wartime Tunnels. Find out more about WWI and the role of the WWI Fire Command Post by using our handling box, full of artefacts and activities and book the education room to dress up and imagine what life would have been like as a medieval lady or knight. 

Enquire now

Expert-Led Discovery Visits

Sandford Award winner 2022!

Let us lead an award-winning Discovery Visit for you! Experience what life was like for the lords and ladies who lived at Dover Castle during our interactive Knights, Feasts and Garderobes session, or step inside the Secret Wartime Tunnels and find out more about the work carried out there during WWII. Our hands-on sessions have been specifically designed to meet the needs of different groups across the key stages.

 

Find out more

School Visit Itineraries

Take the stress out of planning your visit to Dover Castle and use our downloadable recommended itineraries that include our award-winning Discovery Visits. Choose to focus on learning about medieval life, or wartime Dover, with a planned day of interactive activities, tours, and self-led exploration of Dover Castle. 

Download our itineraries

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: Free parking for cars and minibuses under 3m in height.  Coach parking if available off site at the council-run Pay and Display car park on Castle Hill.
    • TOILETS: Toilets, including accessible toilets, located at all main areas of the property.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There are also two cafés, offering a takeaway service. 
    • SECRET WARTIME TUNNELS: Our tunnels are not currently accessible for education groups. We're working on this to make sure we can offer a safe and enjoyable visit. Please sign-up using the link above in the Expert-led Discovery Visit section to receive updates about access and our Secret Codes and Ciphers workshop.
    • SHOP: The Great Tower Shop sells a range of gifts and books. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is available to pre-book and is located in the Great Tower yard.
    • ACCESSIBILITY:  Extensive grounds mainly accessible on tarmac paths, but some steep slopes. Wheelchair accessible route available on request. Land train stops at various parts of the site and can be used by students with limited mobility.  Mobility scooters also available (to visitors over 18) if requested in advance. Unfortunately the Underground Hospital is not accessible for wheelchair users.

    Site Map

    Dover Castle Site Map

  • 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*. 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-June: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • July-August: Monday-Sunday 10-6pm. Discovery Visits available Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • September-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm. Discovery Visits available Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • 1 November-5 November: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 6 November-11 February: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 12 February-18 February: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 19 February-31 March: Wednesday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Thursdays

Learning Resources

  • Dover Teachers' Kit (KS1-KS4+)

    Our Teachers’ Kits feature historical information and activity suggestions for group leaders of various subjects and key stages.

  • Dover Castle Teachers' Kit (French)

    A French translation of our Dover Castle Teachers' Kit.

  • Dover Castle Teachers' Kit (German)

    A German translation of our Dover Castle Teachers' Kit. 

  • First World War Handling Box

    Book our First World War handling collection for your visit to Dover Castle and explore what life was like at the site during the conflict. 

  • Dover Castle Team Training Assignment (KS3-KS4)

    Immerse students in the world of wartime codes and symbols with this resource focused on the First World War at Dover Castle.

  • Learn Along With Us: Operation Dynamo

    Use our online resources to find out more about Dover Castle's role in the Evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) in 1940. 

  • Dover Castle OCR Spec B: History Around Us (GCSE)

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

  • 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.

  • How to Take a Medieval Castle

    Watch our short animation to learn more about how to take a medieval castle. 

  • Homes Through History: Medieval Dover Castle

    Meet King Henry II's Lord Steward at Dover Castle to find out more about what living in a medieval royal household was like. 

  • Teaching the 20th Century

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of 20th century history.

  • 1940s World War II Make Up Tutorial

    Find out more about the importance of makeup to members of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) stationed at Dover during the Second World War with Makeup Artist Rebecca Butterworth and Fashion Historian Amber Butchart.

  • Meet Admiral Ramsay

    Join Admiral Ramsay at Dover Castle as he prepares for Operation Dynamo during the Second World War. 

  • Dover Castle: Rescue from Dunkirk

    Learn more about Dover Castle's role in Operation Dynamo with this short introductory video. 

  • Postcard from Dover Castle

    Take to the skies above Dover Castle to discover the site and its surroundings.

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