Bring the curriculum to life and inspire your students at the former home of Charles Darwin and the site where the internationally renowned 'On the Origin of Species' was written. From Victorian interiors and original furniture inside the house, to gardens of Special Scientific Interest, there is plenty for school groups to see at Down House.
Please note: all school booking slots are now filled and we’re reopening in Spring 2021. In the meantime, if you’d like to discuss how you can engage with the site, please contact our education booking team using the details below.
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.
- English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over. The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested. For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.
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.
Support your teaching at Down House with many links to the curriculum from history to science and local history
- KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality; lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements
- KS1-2 Science: Working scientifically, animals and plants, living things and their habitats
- KS1-3 History: A local history study
- KS2 History: Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
- KS2 Science: Evolution and inheritance
- KS3 History: Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain 1745-190
- KS3 Science: Working scientifically, biology: genetics and evolution
Free self-led visits
Explore and discover the authentic Victorian interiors, reflecting the home in which Darwin and his wife Emma raised their children. An immersive on-site exhibition guides you through Darwin's voyage aboard the Beagle from 1831-36, his scientific discoveries and the impact of his revolutionary theories on Victorian society. Continue your voyage outside to the extensive gardens and explore key parts of the site where Darwin undertook some of his experiments!Enquire now
Expert-led Discovery Visits
We aren’t running our Darwin's Daring Discoveries Discovery Visit at the moment – we’re unable to adapt the session in a way that would still provide a quality, immersive education experience. We can get in touch with you once it’s running again – just sign up below to be notified when bookings are open.Register your interest
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.
School visits academic year 2020-21
In line with government guidance, we’re pleased to confirm that over 60 of our English Heritage sites are open for education visits from 12 April, and we’re now taking bookings online up to 16 May.
Our COVID-secure measures will remain in place until all restrictions are lifted. Visitor numbers are limited, and all bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance.
English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over. The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested. For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.
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.