Culzean Castle & Country Park teacher information

Culzean Castle & Country Park is a major heritage site, situated on the Ayrshire coast 50 miles south of Glasgow. The rich blend of natural and historical resources at Culzean provides excellent learning opportunities for pupils.

We offer unique experiences that cannot be replicated in class – from outdoor learning in the gardens, woodlands, seashore and beside the ponds, to the immersive discovery of artworks and artefacts, Robert Adam’s architecture, and life in the castle itself. 

Our comprehensive range of curriculum-linked workshops have been created to support and complement classroom work, to best meet the needs of learners. We use engaging resources designed to stimulate pupils’ curiosity and facilitate connections between the natural world, history and their lives today.

Sciences outcomes are offered in the gardens and woodlands, at the ponds and on the seashore. Social Studies outcomes are offered in the castle, where tours on Georgian and Victorian life are available. The aim of the visit is to give pupils relevant practical experience in a subject to complement classroom work.

Pre-school: visits can be arranged for nursery groups. A tour of the castle introduces 3–5 year olds to a big house using songs and games. The castle visit can be complemented by a short walk in the woods as an introduction to the natural world.

Primary: core programmes have been developed to link with Curriculum for Excellence, covering Sciences and Social Studies outcomes.

Secondary: topics linked to both Standard Grade and Higher courses in Biology, Geography, Science and History are available. 

Possible topics

  • Castles
  • Victorians
  • Georgians
  • Wildlife and conservation
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies

Resources for schools

  • Worksheets are available for some programmes – please discuss this with staff when booking your visit.

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact Culzean by emailing culzean@nts.org.uk or calling 01655 884455.
  • All school visits must be booked in advance, including self-led visits to the country park.
  • Bookings must be made a minimum of 14 days in advance. Please allow 2 working days for us to process your booking and provide you with confirmation. If you do not receive confirmation, please contact us to ensure we’ve received your booking.
  • If you wish to visit sooner, please call us on 01655 884455 to see if we can accommodate your booking.
  • If you need to cancel a booking, please contact us by 12 noon the day before.
  • School programmes run during term time between school hours. Please contact us if you’d like to book outside these times.
  • We’ll do our best to accommodate your booking requests but we cannot guarantee your chosen dates/times will be available. Advance booking is recommended to secure your preferred dates.
  • Maximum class size: depending on the number of pupils in your group, it may be necessary to split groups accroding to the capacity for each activity. Groups entering the castle at any one time should not be more than 25. Each ranger can take 16 pupils per group. It’s possible to stagger group start times to accommodate larger groups – please discuss this when booking.
  • A ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils, and 1 teacher/adult to 5 children for under fives is required.
  • Castle visits are only possible if an activity is pre-booked; groups who have not pre-booked may be refused entry.
  • Castle activities are available between March–October; ranger activities are available all year round.
  • Access: all our activities can be adapted to fit the needs of any class and ability. They can also be adapted for groups with a mixed age range. For further information please see the Accessibility guide for Culzean.
  • Parking: your bus/coach will be directed to your allocated bus park on arrival. Please note there’s no access to the Swan Pond for buses/coaches.
  • Toilets: accessible toilets are located at Home Farm, Swan Pond and the castle.
  • Refreshments: we have several catering outlets at Culzean for pupils to purchase refreshments during their visit. Pupils may also bring packed lunches. There are several picnic areas throughout the estate but these are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be booked in advance.
  • We appreciate there may be occasions when the weather may mean pre-booked outdoor activities are unsuitable. We can offer suitable alternatives in sheltered areas of the park in the event of wet weather. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.

Charges

  • Trust educational membership gives schools free, unlimited entry to most Trust places during term time for a whole year.
  • Please download our brochure (below) for our full pricing structure. 
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free of charge in the following ratios: 1 adult: 5 children for nursery to Primary 1; 1 adult: 10 pupils for Primary 2–7; 1 adult: 15 pupils for Secondary pupils. Additional adults will be charged at the standard rate of admission.
  • For any enquiries, please email Culzean@nts.org.uk or call us on 01655 884455.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: please report to the place agreed when you booked.
  • Punctuality is essential. Schools arriving late may not be able to undertake their booked programme.
  • Trust staff will lead the school programme.
  • Teacher-led visits can be arranged in the Country Park – please contact us to discuss your requirements.
  • Your class may be split into smaller groups depending on the programme you have chosen – this will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • Secondary schools that have booked a visit must provide their own equipment for field studies.
  • Pupils may take photos outside but not inside the castle.
  • Shop: pupils are welcome to visit the shops at Culzean. For the health and safety of all visitors, pupils may visit in groups no larger than 10 at any one time, and must always be accompanied by an adult. Please allow time for shop visits when planning your day as shops can be busy.


‘It was one of the best school trips I have been on and I would love to come again.’

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