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Educational visit frequently asked questions

Educational school visit
If we haven't answered your questions below, please contact us directly.






Does Historic Scotland provide a risk assessment?

Do all your sites enjoy full access for those in wheelchairs?

Do you have preparatory resource material?

We will bring our lunch, is there anywhere we can eat it?

Is there anything we have to bring or wear for the activity?

We would like to park nearby, is this possible?

When should we arrive for our visit?

What happens if we are late in arriving?

Will we be able to look around the castle in addition to the activity?

How do we pay?

Can we purchase alcohol at the site?



Does Historic Scotland provide a risk assessment?
It is the responsibility of teachers and group leaders to complete a risk assessment prior to any visit being made. This is a requirement of most local authorities. We recommend that, wherever possible, group leaders make a preparatory visit to the property free of charge to familiarise themselves with the site and identify any potential dangers as well as to help plan the visit.  Please contact 0131 652 8155 / 8156 to book your preparatory visit.  If this is impractical for reasons of time or distance, we recommend you download a Hazard Information Sheet for the property.

Do all your sites enjoy full access for those in wheelchairs?
Due to their historical nature, access to and within a number of our properties can be difficult.  Unfortunately, some properties can be inaccessible to those with any form of mobility challenge i.e. wheelchairs or crutches.  However, without compromising the preservation and authenticity of our properties and in keeping with their original features and layout, Historic Scotland does strive to ensure as many people as possible are able to enjoy our heritage.  To this end, please ensure you have advised Historic Scotland of any special needs to allow us to try and make suitable arrangements as best we can.

Do you have preparatory resource materials?
Free educational visits are generally teacher/group leader led.  Historic Scotland has produced a variety of resource materials which can help you with your planning and ensure that your group gets the most out of the visit.

We will bring our lunch, is there anywhere we can eat it?
The availability of lunch rooms varies from property to property.  A lunch room cannot be booked in advance of the visit, but may be booked at some properties by asking the steward on arrival.  Please note that lunch room slots are limited and cannot be guaranteed.   Teachers/group leaders should ensure the rooms are cleared after use and left in good condition for the next group. If the group needs a snack, please ensure you arrive early enough to allow time for this as the activity cannot be delayed or stopped to accomodate for this.

Is there anything we have to bring or wear for the activity?
At least some of the activity is likely to be outdoors so it is worth checking the weather to ensure you are appropriately dressed.  Adequate footwear should be worn as ground surfaces can be uneven and rendered slippery when wet.

We would like to park nearby, is this possible?
At Stirling Castle there is parking available for educational groups on the Esplanade, during the duration of their visit.

At Edinburgh Castle drop offs on the esplanade will be allowed up until 16 April 2012.  Please be patient if more than one coach arrives at the same time.   From 17 April to the end of October we will once again have a Temporary Traffic Restriction Order in place due to the Tattoo stands.  

Blue badge parking will still be available but all vehicles must clearly display the badge.  

Also, from 23rd January 2012 for 15 -16 weeks Scottish Gas Networks will be laying pipes in Johnstone Terrace and Lawnmarket.  There will be no parking at the upper end of Johnstone Terrace and from mid to late February the Lawnmarket will be closed at George IV Bridge.   

Free parking is generally available at other properties

When should we arrive for our visit?
If you have booked an activity, please arrive 10 minutes before the activity is due to begin and ensure you hand your voucher to the steward on arrival.

What happens if we are late in arriving?
The Learning Officer will try to accommodate you if you are late for a booked activity however on a busy day this may cause your activity to be shortened.

Will we be able to look around the castle in addition to the activity?
Yes. Your class can look around the castle under your own supervision.

How do we pay?
General (teacher led) visits are free but if you have a booked an activity from our schools programme, you will be invoiced immediately after the event.

Can we purchase alcohol at the site?
UK law states that a person must be aged 18 and over to purchase alcohol. Historic Scotland’s policy is that alcohol will not be sold to anyone visiting as part of a school group, regardless of age.

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Contact us

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