Royal Victoria Country Park

School visits

Ranger and children

Royal Victoria Country Park is the perfect place to bring learning to life. This unique site right on the coast overlooking Southampton Water offers something for everyone with wonderful wildlife, rich heritage and a great range of park facilities.

There are extensive areas of shingle shoreline, parkland and mature woodland as well as wildflower areas and a community orchard which together provide a valuable outdoor learning resource for schools and other groups. In addition, we have Acorns Education Facility that can be hired out to groups for indoor learning.

The site also has plenty of historical interest with the remains of a huge Victorian hospital on site which was home to Britain’s first purpose built military hospital of the day, opened in 1863 and demolished in 1966. The iconic chapel building houses the site’s reception, shop and exhibition area.

Educational activities

We offer a range of exciting environmental activities for Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils during term time and activities for community groups which are led by the rangers of Royal Victoria Country Park or self led. Group leaders and helpers are encouraged to become involved in all the activities. Please ensure you adhere to your governing bodies guidelines with regards to offsite activities and have informed the relevant people that you will be visiting the park.

Heritage and Community Engagement Officer led activities

A variety of activities are available upon request and subject to age and ability. Sessions last for either 2 hours (10am – 12 noon) or all day (10am – 2pm). The sessions are all hands on activities.

These activities can be adapted to suit your school or group’s needs and relate to the new National Curriculum. Help with planning your visit is also available from our staff who will create a programme of activities.

In line with the new curriculum our offer has changed to:

  • Meet the Nightingale Nurse (KS1)
    Includes the role of nurses at Royal Victoria Military Hospital through role play, photos and artefacts.

  • Call to War (KS2/3/4)
    A local history study either a 2 hour or full day session in the Chapel and in the park. Sessions include role play, using primary and secondary sources such as artefacts and photos. The hospital covers the period 1856 to the present day and includes famous people such as Wilfred Owen, Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria.

  • Seasonal Change with Percy the Park Keeper (KS1)
    Looking at seasonal changes throughout the year includes two visits to the park one in autumn and one in spring (price £6 to cover two visits.)

  • Pond, Shore and Woodland Safari (KS1/2/3/4)
    Includes a 2 hour  session looking at different habitats and classifying the creatures who live there.

  • Conflicts Through Poetry (KS2/3/4)
    Various aspects of literacy covering most key stages including ‘War Song,’ ‘Private Peaceful’ – World War 1 activities and role play, Wilfred Owen (War poet) and ‘Dearest Maude’ for older students.

  • Outdoor Adventures (KS2/3/4)
    Orienteering - Includes a basic introduction to orienteering, maps and compasses with two levels of orienteering trails.
    Bushcraft – Developing survival techniques with shelter building and firelighting.

  • Our Changing Locality (KS2/3)
    Looking at present and past land use along Southampton Water, the growth of Netley village and a study of Southampton Water.

  • Outdoor Art (KS1/2/3/4)
    Use a variety of different materials including willow and charcoal.

The Heritage and Community Engagement Officer will meet with you when you arrive upon site to provide a basic health and safety talk before you begin your activities. Help with planning your visit is also available from our staff.

Suitability of activities

All schools and children’s clubs are welcome to take part in our education activities. All activities can be adapted to suit your curriculum focus, key stage and ability of the group. Please contact the park if you would like to discuss the suitability of any of the activities for children with different needs.

Pre visits

A pre visit for all group leaders is essential in order to secure your booking. During the pre visit, our staff will help you with the planning of your visit.


£4.50 per child for 2 hours and £6.50 for the day.

Coach parking is £10.

The school will be invoiced for their session and parking.


  • Michele Meek, Heritage and Community Engagement Officer
    Royal Victoria Country Park, Park Centre, Netley Abbey, Southampton SO31 5GA
    Telephone 023 8045 5157