Drum Castle, Garden & Estate teacher information

Drum Castle is one of Royal Deeside’s most beautiful castles and the oldest intact castle in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Its architecture combines a medieval keep, Jacobean mansion house and Victorian extension.

Work began on Drum Castle in the late 1200s and in 1323 King Robert I (Robert the Bruce) granted a charter of the Royal Forest of Drum to William de Irwyn. His family, the Irvines of Drum, lived at the castle for the next 650 years. There is family memorabilia in the Irvine Room and the house also contains a fine collection of portraits and furniture collected by the family over the past 400 years.

Outside the castle, the 166-hectare estate includes historical gardens with a human sundial. The Old Wood of Drum, an ancient oak woodland, is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The school programme at Drum offers activities in the castle, garden and estate, providing opportunities to engage with the Curriculum for Excellence. In the castle, pupils engage with our guides on a tour and can use quills and natural dyes to create their own coat-of-arms in our education room. The ranger service can assist schools with environmental learning projects at Drum – please telephone to discuss opportunities.

Possible topics

  • Castles
  • Medieval Scotland
  • The Jacobites
  • Victorians
  • Wildlife and conservation

Resources for schools

  • An illustrated guidebook can be bought at Drum.
  • Teacher-led nature trails and quizzes are available for the gardens and estate.

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact Drum Castle to arrange your visit.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Maximum class size: 33, with a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils
  • Opening hours are limited for the castle but the estate is open all year round.
  • Access: please telephone us to discuss any special requirements. There is also some accessibility information on the Drum Castle webpage.
  • Parking: parking is available for school coaches in the car park.
  • Toilets: accessible toilets are available.
  • Refreshments: please bring snacks and packed lunches.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.


  • There is no admission charge for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-members are welcome but there is an admission charge of £2 per pupil. 
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • Class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: for a castle tour, please report to the main desk; for a ranger activity, meet at the place agreed when booking your programme.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • We regret that photos cannot be taken inside the castle – but you are welcome to take as many as you like in the grounds.
  • Shop: there is a shop that pupils can visit under teacher supervision (in small groups please).

If you prefer to print this information you can use this download. Please note that some of the information may now be out of date.