Old Wardour Castle

School Visits

Built in the 14th century as a lightly-fortified residence, Old Wardour Castle is a brilliant example of mixing defensive structures with a home built for entertaining. Pupils can explore the grotto, castle rooms, and climb to the top for amazing views over the Wiltshire countryside.

“Fitted in with everything we are doing on the subject”

Teacher, KS2

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Old Wardour 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 within the locality
  • 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 Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1745
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free Self-Led Visit

Enjoy a free self-led visit to Old Wardour Castle and explore over 600 years of history. Climb the castle staircases to the many upper floor rooms and chambers, and take in the view of the surrounding landscape from the top of the castle. Exlpore the local wildife in the woodland paths and open spaces surrounding the castle, and challenge your pupils to find the romantic grotto. A costume collection for KS1 pupils is available for loan whist on site, to bring your visit to life, available upon request when booking.

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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: Car and coach park adjacent to the entrance.
    • TOILETS: There are separate male, female and disabled toilets, including baby changing facilities. These are located below the Pavilion, at the far end of the site.
    • LUNCH: There is no indoor lunch space available. Picnics are welcome on site.
    • SHOP: There is a small shop selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. Guidebook available in the shop –Education groups receive a 20% discount on guidebooks. We ask the class visit the shop groups of 6 and supervised by a leader.
    • EDUCATION ROOM or BAG STORAGE: There is no education room but bags may be stored in the wine cellar by arrangement with the site team.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are two disabled parking bays in the car park and disabled visitors may be set down at the site entrance 2 metres from the visitor centre. There is an accessible toilet in the visitor centre. The site is mainly rough mown grass with some paved paths. The castle ruins are mainly accessible via stone steps.
    • WET WEATHER: Wet weather shelter may be available in the indoor spaces of the castle. Site staff will do their best to accommodate. Groups should come dressed in suitable clothing and footwear.
  • 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-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • November-March: Saturday-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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.