Dunstanburgh Castle

School Visits

This magnificent castle stands on top of a remote headland in Northumberland. Built at a time when relations between King Edward II and Earl Thomas of Lancaster were openly hostile, this castle was a symbol of power as well as a military fortress. It was later strengthened against Scottish attacks and saw fierce battles during the Wars of the Roses, but was not used afterwards and fell into ruin.

Curriculum Links

Visit Dunstanburgh Castle to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics across the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places within the locality
  • KS1 Geography:  Use geographical skills and fieldwork
  • KS2 History: Local history study. Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: Local History study. Development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free Self-led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to Dunstanburgh Castle and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Explore the castle ruins and twin-towered gatehouse, imagine what life would have been like in the medieval period and discover the story of the man who built Dunstanburgh: the powerful rebel baron Earl Thomas of Lancaster.

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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: There is no parking available at the site. There is a council-run car park in Craster with 60 spaces 1.3 miles from the site and limited car parking at Embleton Golf Club, which is not managed by English Heritage. There is no refund of car park charges on admission.
    • TOILETS: There are no public toilets on site. The nearest public toilets are in Craster, 1.3 miles away and Embleton, 1.5 miles away.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds, with benches and tables available, or on the seashore immediately adjacent to the site.
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop located in the Site Administration Building near the entrance, with ramped access. The shop sells a wide range refreshments and confectionery, together with medieval toys and gifts. 
    • GARDENS: There are extensive areas of short grass available for games and re-enactment of famous battles within a historic setting. There are paths which give opportunities to see large varieties of birds, flowers and mammals including nesting seabirds and birds of prey.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are two disabled parking spaces at Craster, 1.3 miles from the Castle, which are not managed by English Heritage. Dunstanburgh Castle is approx 1 mile from the car park by foot across uneven ground. There is ramp access to the shop.
  • 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*

    *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-5 November: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • 6 November-16 February: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 17 February-25 February: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 26 February-28 March: Wednesday-Sunday 10-4pm

Learning Resources

  • 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.