10 Historic school trips for primary and secondary school students
Leave the textbooks in the classroom and take your students on historic trips they won’t easily forget. Compliment your syllabus by taking a step back in time for a real-world look back at what life was like in the past.
From coal mines to murky moats and prehistoric settlements to majestic manors, the UK is full of historical sites just waiting to be explored. Learn all about the challenges and changes our ancestors faced. Gaining greater insight into the history of Britain and the world.
We’ve rounded up ten history-focused school trips your secondary students will love!
Lift off for a day of fun, discovery and excitement at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Experience 150 years of aviation history in an authentic wartime surrounding with 15 exhibits and a collection of 60 aircraft and military vehicles on display. Based on the original wartime RAF Elvington station, students can recreate wartime life by visiting the Officer’s Mess, the original Control Tower and the Airmen’s Billet. Each school visit is planned individually and tailored to the curriculum studied in class, with guided activities available.
On a visit to Beaulieu, you get a range of curriculum-linked and made-to-measure programmes to suit the needs of your group. The National Motor Museum takes you through the history of motoring, from classic cars to breaking land speed records. Walk in the footsteps of Monks at Beaulieu’s Cistercian Abbey and learn about monastic life in the Medieval and Tudor days. At Palace House, discover the remarkable story of two women in the Montagu family, Pearl Pleydell-Bouverie and Elizabeth Montagu, whose lives give a unique perspective on many significant events of the 20th century. Or go covert ops in the Secret Army Exhibition and learn about Beaulieu’s top secret role in World War Two.
Located in Harewood, near Leeds, Harewood House provides a rich context for a high-level study of British history. The stately home was built in the 18th century by West Indian plantation and slave owner Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood. A visit to Harewood means students can explore ideas and opinions on the legacy of the British Empire and the Slave Trade. They offer an extensive range of tours for secondary learners to all areas of the site, including the House, Grounds and Gardens. All sessions are led by expert and friendly staff, who can develop bespoke collaborative projects with teachers to provide a unique experience for students.
Telling the global history of the Holocaust through local stories from the North of England, the Holocaust Centre North is an impactful addition to curriculum learning. The museum focuses on the experiences of 16 children and young people who survived Nazi persecution across Europe in the 1930s and 1940s and made new lives in the UK. The venue has a Secondary Plus programme designed for students from KS3 through to A-Level. Sessions deepen factual historical understanding of the Holocaust by drawing on the musuem’s collection and experiences of survivors. Each session also stimulates students to use their learning to consider current events and their role as global citizens with the ability to positively impact local communities. All sessions have been created to complement the National Curriculum and history exam boards on the Holocaust.
A designated World Heritage Site, the incredibly preserved Roman Baths, located in Bath, is one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe. Pupils can explore the Roman Baths, walk on the original Roman pavements and see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva. Located next to the bathing complex, students can visit the museum collection containing many Roman artefacts, including a gilt bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva. A wide range of study opportunities are available. The Roman Baths Clore Learning Centre contains a hands-on archaeological investigation zone for school children and learning groups.
Unwrap the fascinating story of Bristol at M Shed, located on the historic harbourside. The vibrant museum is the perfect learning destination for your history curriculum including Ships & Sailors, the Saxons, Bristol at War and Bristol Chocolate! Discover the stories and secrets of Bristol from those who have lived, worked and shaped the city as you see it today. The museum offers a range of interactive local history sessions where students can unwrap Bristol’s past, including its maritime heritage and connection to the transatlantic traffic of enslaved Africans.
Take a trip back to 1645 at Llancaiach Fawr Manor, a superbly restored Grade 1 listed manor house and now a Living History Museum. Crossing the threshold, you’ll instantly be immersed in the time of the Civil Wars. The 17th century servants are always thrilled to show off their fine house and have a good gossip. History is brought to life as ordinary people who lived in extraordinary times explain and talk about the folklore and superstitions which ruled their lives.
If you’re looking for a venue to expand pupils understanding of Prehistoric Britain, look no further than Celtic Harmony Camp. The award-winning destination offers a unique hands-on experience at the UK’s largest reconstructed Iron Age settlement. Choose from a variety of themed Prehistory day programmes from Stone Age to Iron Age and take in the sights and sounds of ancient Britain. Dedicated costumed educators will help pupils to develop their knowledge and lead them in traditional activities like archery, weaving, shelter building and warrior training.
Once a buzzing hive of shipbuilding activity, the historic village of Buckler’s Hard, with its maritime museum and historic cottage interiors, is the perfect location for learning about Britain’s impressive shipbuilding history and 18th century domestic life. Buckler’s Hard offers a variety of programmes that complement curriculum needs. All programmes are hosted by friendly, knowledgeable and experienced teaching staff. Which can be adapted to suit your needs and interests.
Experience the realities of poverty, crime and punishment in Victorian Yorkshire at the former workhouse, prison and police station and courthouse in Ripon. Set in the three atmospheric buildings, the award-winning schools programme at Ripon Museums, uses role-plays, costumed interpreters and hands-on activities for a fantastic day of active learning. Do chores for Matron in the workhouse, take part in an 18th century trial at the courthouse and tour the cells of the prison and police station.
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, a Zoo and conservation charity based in North Somerset, is getting in the festive swing as hundreds of wonky Christmas trees arrive on site for sale in its farm shop. Noah’s Ark is proud to be one of the first to be stocking wonky Christmas trees…
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Escape the cold for tropical conditions at Stratford Butterfly Farm this Christmas. With temperatures of 25°C, the popular family attraction is the perfect place to take family and friends for a fabulous day out and the chance to see two new residents – the Christmas Butterfly and Hercules Beetle! The…