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How to book

Children in costumes at Stanley Mills
When booking a free educational visit, it is very important that you have all the information we require to complete your booking. If you have asked someone to book on your behalf please make sure they have the full details of your booking.

Booking Your Visit

Visits must be pre-booked with at least 10 days notice in order to qualify for the Free Educational Visits Scheme.

Visits to both Edinburgh and Stirling Castle are booked by telephone on 0131 652 8155 / 8156 or by emailing All other free educational visits are booked direct with the relevant property. Property details can be found on the website by searching the Places to Visit page.  This information is also available in the Education Visits Guide.

Please note: There is a charge for visits to Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle from May to August inclusive.  School group visits to Stirling Castle in May and June are exclusive to our Schools Programme and early booking is recommended. There is also a charge at Kinnaird Head Lighthouse.

When you telephone, please provide the following information:

  • The name of the property you wish to visit
  • The preferred dates and times for your visit
  • The name, address and contact details of your school or organisation
  • The name and contact details of the group leader
  • The number and age range of the group
  • The number of supervisory adults who will be in attendance
  • The reason for your visit/topic of study
  • Details of any printed support materials you require
  • Details of any additional support needs your group or any member of your group might have and the help they might need on the day
  • If you would like to book a free planning visit
  • If you are applying for a Scottish schools travel subsidy

Adult to child ratio

We require that groups which include children under the age of 16 have adequate adult supervision at all times on site.  This is to ensure compliance with health and safety guidelines and the enjoyment of all visitors to our properties.  Our ratios of children to teachers or group leaders differ depending on the age of the children and are as follows:

  • 1 supervisory adult per 10 pupils/students over the age of 8 but under 16
  • 1 supervisory adult per 6 children over the age of 5 but under 7
  • 1 supervisory adult per 2 children under the age of 5
  • for special needs visitors it is suggested there is at least 1 supervisory adult per 4 visitors

Free Planning Visit

Teachers on free visit to Historic Scotland property

Visiting the property prior to your group visit can greatly enhance the day itself and its free. To book a free planning visit simply phone, 0131 652 8155/8156 or email, for Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, or phone all other properties direct.

A planning visit can help you devise the precise experience you want your pupils to have, gather essential information about the facilities and prepare your risk assessments.  To further assist with risk assessment preparation, hazard planning sheets are available to download

We also offer a wide range of support materials and on-site resources to help you plan successful site visits.  To find out more about these, visit the Free Teachers' Resources page.

Tell us what you think!

The Learning Services team is always looking to find ways to improve and develop our service.  We would be very grateful if you could please complete and return an appraisal form after you have been on a general or activity visit to any of our sites.

PDF icon Learning Services - Evaluation Form (General Visits) [pdf, 52 kb]
PDF icon Learning Services - Evaluation Form (Activity Visits) [pdf, 52 kb]

Educational Visits Guide

An Education Visits Guide is available on request by telephone or by emailng the Education Team.

Tel: +44 (0) 131 652 8155/8156

Contact us

Learning Services
Historic Scotland
Holyrood Park
Education Centre
1 Queen’s Drive
Edinburgh EH8 8HG
Tel: +44 (0)131 652 8155/8156