UK Schools visits
We welcome visits from UK school groups of all sizes, nationalities and key stages as well as home schooling groups and out-of-school groups such as Beavers, Cubs etc.
We offer UK schools custodian-led, curriculum based sessions but schools are also welcome to use the Hall for self guided sessions.
Other schools are welcome to pre-book a guided tour (available in English only) or use the Hall for their own lessons. Group booking form.
What can you expect?
The Great Hall is a vast stone medieval building with lots of space for activities and with the backdrop of The Round Table on the wall.
It was the royal court for Henry III and Edward I, who held some of the first English Parliaments here. In later years it became the Crown Court building.
There is level access to Queen Eleanor’s Garden from the hall. The garden has a vine, arbour, fountain, pond, raised lawn seating and scented herbs and medicinal plants that would have been found in medieval Winchester.
There are stairs (disabled access via a lift can be arranged) to the first floor where we have our shop which sells gifts and history resources. An exhibition gallery with a pictorial exhibition about the Castle site is sited behind the shop. Toilet and hand washing facilities are also available on the first floor.
We have plenty of space in the Castle Yard for picnics and we offer indoor facilities for eating lunches during poor weather. This is especially helpful for schools in the winter months booking led sessions for class groups in Winchester all day. Please advise us on booking if you may want to stay for lunch.
Indoor lunchtime provision is also available at the Cathedral and Discovery Centre. Again, pre-booking is essential.
A Hazard Awareness sheet is available on booking to help you with your risk assessment.
If you would like your class to visit the shop, please allow time to do so. Alternatively, you may pre-order items for payment and collection on the day.
We occasionally have to close the Hall for civic and other events – please check dates below before making a special journey.
1 June: Closed all day
3 June: Closed from 4pm
7 June: Closed all day
Please note Queen Eleanor's Garden is temporarily closed......................................................................