Killiecrankie teacher information

The Pass of Killiecrankie is a spectacular, deep river gorge cloaked in ancient woodland and flanked on the west by the River Garry. This narrow, mile-long stretch of water and land has some unique flora and fauna, and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI).

Woodland and river creatures include red squirrels, roe deer, wood warblers, dippers, otters and buzzards.

The Battle of Killiecrankie (part of the first Jacobite rising) took place in 1689. Nearby is the renowned Soldier’s Leap - where a Government soldier escaped by jumping 5.5 metres across the river - and also the
Trooper’s Den, where the first shot of the battle was fired. You may also see some remains of General Wade’s military road, dating from the 1720s, and the impressive railway viaduct built in 1863.

A school visit offers opportunities for cross-curricular work and engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence. Pupils can enjoy natural history walks led by a Trust ranger and follow the Jacobites school programme,  which includes a ‘battle re-enactment’. Ranger-led walks along the woodland and riverside trails can be adapted to suit the requirements of your pupils.

Possible topics

  • The Jacobites
  • Natural habitats, especially woodland and rivers
  • Conservation and wildlife

Resources for schools

  • Illustrated guidebook (for sale on site)
  • Teachers’ Notes (available on request)
  • Visitor centre display on the history and natural history of Killiecrankie

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact Killiecrankie for a booking form.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Schools may visit Killiecrankie all year round - but the visitor centre is open only in the summer season (April–October).
  • Maximum class size: for the battle re-enactment, up to 80 pupils; for natural history walks, up to 40 pupils (split into groups of up to 20 pupils). There must be a ratio of at least 1 teacher/adult helper to 10 pupils.
  • SAFETY FIRST: please be aware that, for woodland/riverside walks, pupils will be close to a deep river gorge and so should be supervised carefully.
  • Access: the visitor centre is fully accessible for wheelchair users. The battle re-enactment can be adapted for all pupils (the re-enactment area is near the visitor centre). Please contact us to discuss any additional needs – we will do our utmost to accommodate you.
  • Parking: there’s a coach park near the visitor centre.
  • Toilets: there are fully accessible toilets on site in the summer season (April–October). The toilets are closed in the winter months.
  • Refreshments: there is no café. Most schools bring picnics. Picnic tables are situated near the visitor centre. In the winter months in wet weather, access to the visitor centre building may be possible for ranger-led groups - please discuss this at the time of booking.
  • Clothing: pupils should be dressed appropriately for the outdoors.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers should prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.
  • You can download Safety First for Outdoor Visits from our Preparing for your visit page.

Charges

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

During your class visit

On arrival: please report to the admission desk in the visitor centre (summer season) or gather outside the visitor centre (winter months) where a member of Trust staff will be waiting for you.

Natural history walks and the Jacobites programme are led by Trust staff.

If you’re planning a teacher-led visit instead, please let Trust staff know; for safety reasons, we should know that your pupils are on the site.

The length of a school visit varies from 1–2.5 hours, depending on the requirements of your class. This can be agreed when booking.

A class will be split into groups – each group must be accompanied by a teacher/school helper. The number of groups depends on the class size and activities chosen. Please check when booking your visit.

Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.

Schools may take photos/films.

Shop: pupils are welcome to visit the shop (open during the summer season), in small groups and with teacher supervision.

Download

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.