With a World Heritage Jurassic Coastline, historic houses and gardens, famous literary connections and remarkable biodiversity, Dorset is brimming with educational visits for pupils and teachers in a wide range of National Curriculum subjects.
The Dorset Jurassic Coastline is a spectacular location to learn about coastal processes. See Europe’s best example of a barrier beach, learn how erosion affects the coast and embark on a journey through time as the geology of the rocks tell their very own unique story!
Dorset has outstanding levels of biodiversity. 90% of all of the UK's bird species, 85% of mammals, 80% of butterflies, 70% of dragonflies and all of its reptiles and amphibians are found in the county. A trip to Dorset will thrill any budding ecologist or conservationist and makes for an excellent and stimulating geography field trip.
Dorset has an intertwining network of major rivers, each with different dynamics, making river case studies the subject of an exciting and enjoyable field trip. Or why not use Dorset’s diverse landscapes to study ecosystems? Wooded valleys, coastal habitats and even sub tropical gardens – come and discover a world of thrilling biodiversity!
Dorset is the perfect place to study human geography. Pick from contrasting Dorset towns from seaside settlement to county town and compare land use models; take a look at how agriculture has shaped the Dorset landscape or see how population is distributed here and why. With so much to discover, Dorset is a geographer’s dream.
Travel & Tourism
Dorset is one of the UK’s top holiday destinations and geographers studying economics and tourism as part of their syllabus have a wide choice of case studies to choose from. Why not visit one of our successful visitor attractions and see first hand how tourism is impacting the surrounding environment?
Castles and Stately Homes
Dorset has an abundance of stately homes and historic castles. Visit Forde Abbey or Athelhampton House, both fine examples of historical manor houses with splendid collections of art, furniture and porcelain on view. Or take a trip to Lulworth Castle to be whisked back to medieval times.
Take a journey though the past on the Dorset Military Trail. Visit the Tank Museum, the world’s best collection of tanks, The Keep Military Museum or the Fleet Air Arm Experience to bring England’s war-time past alive!
Tolpuddle Martyrs and the Trade Union Movement
Come and see the Old Crown Court & Cells in Dorchester and re-live the trial of the famous Tolpuddle Martyrs. The 6 men were transported to Australia in 1834 for their involvement in setting up a union. Their sentence caused national outrage and led to the birth of the trade union movement. The Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum in nearby Tolpuddle also documents their story and is a must visit for any historian. To book a tour of the court with an experienced Blue Badge Guide, telephone 01305 252241 or visit our Trips & Tours page.
The county town of Dorchester is steeped in Ancient History. See where people first settled in Dorchester at Maiden Castle – the finest and largest Iron Age hill fort in Britain. Discover when and how the Romans invaded in AD43 by visiting the Dorset County Museum and look at a real life example of how the Romans lived in Dorchester at the Roman Town House.
If your class is studying a Jane Austen novel, Lyme Regis makes for the perfect excursion as it is world famous for its intimate connection with the author. As well as featuring the town heavily in her posthumous novel, ‘Persuasion’, Austen frequently visited Lyme and was enthralled by the town’s elegance and charm. Guided tours of Jane Austen’s Lyme Regis are available.
Thomas Hardy, internationally renowned poet and novelist, spent most of his life in Dorset. Follow the Hardy Trail, visit his birthplace and grave or take a tour to some of the memorable towns and villages that inspired him so greatly in his work. To book a tour with an experienced Blue Badge Guide, visit our Trips & Tours page.
The famous children's author stayed in Purbeck regularly and some of her best known works were inspired by the area. Visit the Ginger Pop Shop in Corfe village, the shop dedicated to her work or follow the Enid Blyton Trail.
With acres upon acres of Outstanding Natural Beauty, artists are spoilt for choice in Dorset. Come and visit some of England’s most beautiful countryside locations and have fun with your paintbrush!
Haynes International Motor Museum specialises in great educational trips. Based on history, science, technology, design and sociology and using the museum exhibits as the major resource, lesson plans can be tailored to suit the required needs of the curriculum. You can be re-assured that the trained museum staff will ensure a fulfilling day for all.
Visit the Museum of Electricity in Christchurch. Set in a genuine Edwardian power station the museum is dedicated to the history of electricity. The museum provides special support for the schools science curriculum, and visits by schools are free.
Our World Heritage Jurassic Coastline here in West Dorset is fantastic for bringing science alive, whether you are of primary, secondary or university age. Study geology, natural hazards, paleoclimatology and much more on a journey of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Find out more at the Charmouth Heritage and Coast Centre.
It’s not often that you get to study Maths outside of the classroom however there are so many opportunities to involve Maths in a field trip in Dorset. Why not visit the Swannery at Abbotsbury and discover how the many swans are counted and monitored, or visit the magnificent Sherborne Abbey and test your estimation and tessellation skills? For a real adrenaline surge – book a Zorbing trip and see if you can work out your centripetal force!
Key stage 1 Field trips
A trip to the farm is on every infant school’s itinerary! Farmer Palmers, Kingston Maurward Animal Park and the Abbotsbury Children’s Farm all cater for school visits and will let the children feed, touch and play with the friendly farm animals.