School Visits

School Visits

Bring history to life for your pupils with a visit to Gainsborough Old Hall. As one of the best preserved Tudor manor houses in the country, pupils can step into the shoes of the people who lived and worked there. By taking part in our hands-on Discovery Visit they will prepare a feast fit for Henry VIII and experience life in a Tudor household.

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Gainsborough Old Hall will help you bring learning to life as well as cover multiple topics and key stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
  • KS2 History: A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality
  • KS3 History: The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745
  • KS3 History: A study over time, testing how far sites in their locality reflect aspects of national history


Free Self-Led Visits

Enjoy a free self-led visit to Gainsborough Old Hall and experience over 500 years of history. Explore the vast kitchen, where grand feasts would have been prepared and then admire the great hall with its ornate wooden ceiling, where they would have been enjoyed. Explore the rest of the Old Hall and discover how this incredible building has changed over time and been used in many different ways, ranging from a beer hall to a cinema!

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Expert-Led Discovery Visits

Immerse your students in the history of Gainsborough Old Hall during an expert-led Discovery Visit. At just £100 per group per session, it's a great way to delve deeper into Tudor life and experience Henry VIII's court. Pupils will take part in hands-on activities, try on costumes and learn more about the people who lived and worked here.

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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 car or coach parking on site, please use the local car parks- charges apply. Coach drop off is on Gladstone Street, on the north perimeter of the Hall (10 minute stay with no return within an hour).
    • TOILETS: Toilets are open as usual and an accessibility lift is in place. Please bring your pupils in small groups at a time.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: Available for Discovery Visit groups.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds. There are some picnic benches and grassed areas to sit on. In the case of wet weather we will try to provide an indoor space, but this cannot be guaranteed.
    • SHOP: There is a small shop selling English Heritage gifts and souvenirs open for group leaders. You are able to order goody bags, which can be booked in advance paid for on the day.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: The toilet facilities are situated on the lower ground floor, these are accessed by a platform stair-lift; staff will be available to operate this for you. Much of the site has uneven surfaces. There are upper floors only accessed via steps and stairs.
    • SEND PROVISION: Gainsborough Library, located across the road from Gainsborough Old Hall, is currently offering quiet spaces for SEND students should this be required during your trip. For more information, please contact Gainsborough.Library@GLL.ORG
  • 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-October: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Monday, Wednesday and Friday
    • November-March: Monday and Sunday 10-4pm. Discovery Visits available Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Learning Resources

  • Gainsborough Old Hall Top Things to See (KS2)

    Use our Top Things to See trail to discover the key features and stories at Gainsborough Old Hall. 

  • Teaching Tudors and Stuarts

    This guide to teaching Tudors and Stuarts includes advice from our educational experts and historians as well as suggested activities to try with your students in the classroom or on a school trip. 

  • Meet a Tudor Cook

    Join cook Thomas Griffin as he prepares for a great feast and find out more about what the Tudors ate.