Educational Visits in Dorset

With England's only natural World Heritage Site renowned for its geology and geomorphology, iconic landmarks, historic houses and gardens, famous literary connections and remarkable biodiversity, Dorset is brimming with resources for educational visits from school, college and university students, across a wide range of National Curriculum subjects.

Looking for the whole package?

Brenscombe Outdoor Centre and Cumulus Outdoor Adventure offer educational programmes and residential packages (including accommodation and food) aimed at a variety of age groups. Perfect for learning outside of the classroom on a field study trip or outdoor education visit.

Geography

Coastal Processes:

The Jurassic Coastline is a spectacular location to learn about coastal processes, geology and geomorphology.

See Europe’s best example of a barrier beach, learn how erosion affects the coast and embark on a journey through 185 million years of natural history as the geology of the rocks tell their very own unique story!

The Jurassic Coast website and The Big Jurassic Classroom are great resources for teachers.

Ecology:

Dorset has outstanding levels of biodiversity. The range of habitats and associated species is unusually rich - 90% of the UK's bird species, 80% of mammal species, 80% of butterfly species, 70% of dragonfly species and all 6 reptile species 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.

Rivers:

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!

Human Geography:

Dorset is the perfect place to study human geography. Pick from contrasting towns and seaside settlements to Dorset's 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 attractions and see first hand how tourism is impacting the surrounding environment?

History

Castles and Stately Homes:

Dorset has an abundance of stately homes and historic castles.

Visit Athelhampton House, a fine example of an historical manor house with splendid collections of art, furniture and porcelain on view. Or take a trip to Lulworth Castle to be whisked back to medieval times.

Wartime History:

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!

Crime and Punishment:

Come and see the Shire Hall Courthouse Museum in Dorchester where the famous Tolpuddle Martyrs were tried. The new immersive museum enables visitors of all ages to explore the history of law and order, as well as past and present efforts to achieve justice for all people.

The Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum in nearby Tolpuddle also documents the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in more detail and is a must visit for any history fan.

Ancient History

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 Dorset Museum and look at a real life example of how the Romans lived in Dorchester at the Roman Town House.

English

Jane Austen:

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:

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. You can book a tour with an experienced Blue Badge Guide.

Enid Blyton:

The famous children's author stayed in the Isle of Purbeck regularly and some of her best known works were inspired by the area. Follow the Enid Blyton Trail and visit Corfe Castle and Brownsea Island or take a trip on Swanage Railway.

Art

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!

Science

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 assured that the trained museum staff will ensure a fulfilling day for all.

Our World Heritage Jurassic Coastline 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 or Durlston Castle Visitor Centre.

Maths

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 on the superb vaults and intricate ceilings?

Key stage 1 Field trips

A trip to the farm is on every infant school’s itinerary! Farmer Palmers caters for school visits and will let the children feed, touch and play with the friendly farm animals. Or how about visiting the gentle giants at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park?