10 school trip ideas: for the spring term

Date Posted: 14/11/2013

Feeding the lambs at Kent Life.

Pictured: Feeding the lambs at Kent Life.

Spring is just around the corner; take note of these springtime suggestions and get booking for some great school trips in March, April and May.

1. The Henry Moore Foundation

Next spring The Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green will open its most diverse exhibition to date. Body & Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art, opening on 1st May, will explore Moore’s legacy and feature names in contemporary art from Bruce Nauman and Bruce McLean to Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, and Anthony Gormley.

Your school visit to Perry Green will be guided around the gardens, studios and exhibition gallery. Bookings can be made for one class (30 pupils) and teachers on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

2. Abbotsbury Swannery and Subtropical Gardens

Abbotsbury Swannery and the nearby Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens near Weymouth offer school trips a joint or individual visit in the spring.

At the Swannery pupils can help hand-feed the 600-strong herd of birds at 12pm every day and enjoy educational microphone commentary which accompanies the feeding. You can walk amongst over 100 swan nests dotted along the pathways, with the hatching of eggs taking place in front of children at close quarters from mid-May.

Next door to the Swannery only a few minutes away by coach is the Subtropical Gardens. The 30-acre garden boasts a display of colour, provided from spring blossoms such as magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons.

3. Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum offers a giant show of spring foliage from March, with highlights including a floral display from the National Collection of Japanese flowering cherries surrounded by thousands of spring flowering bulbs.

Tours of the arboretum with its head gardener can be arranged. School group rates are available for parties of 20 or more people. 2013 prices will be frozen for 2014, costing £2.70 for children.

Haddon Hall.

Pictured: Haddon Hall.

4. Haddon Hall

Medieval manor Haddon Hall offers several events throughout spring next year, giving students the opportunity to experience what Tudor life used to be like.

The hall has been restored by successive generations of the Manners family and retains many of its original Tudor features both inside and out. Tours for school visits are adapted to suit different ages, abilities and interests. Parties are divided into groups of up to 20, and are taken on a tour of the house and chapel. This takes about an hour.

In addition to the tour of the hall, Haddon offers a costume room experience. The Tudor household is described through costumes, and the children get the chance to dress up as different members of the Vernon and Manners families.

5. Beaulieu

In the National Motor Museum, school groups visiting from Easter onwards can enjoy the new World Land Speed Record Breakers Gallery; a display of four iconic World Land Speed Record cars, comprising the famous Bluebird CN7, the Blue Bird 350hp, the Sunbeam 1000hp and Golden Arrow, plus new high definition images combined with archive film footage.

Beaulieu’s education programmes can be tailored to suit your school visit and can include activities from artefact handling, museum tours, car rides and role play and costume.

6. Chatsworth

Chatsworth opens its 2014 season on 16th March with two new art exhibitions. Michael Craig-Martin at Chatsworth is a major display of contemporary sculpture in the garden featuring specially created new works, while Jacob van der Beugel is a permanent contemporary ceramic installation in the North Sketch Gallery complemented by displays of historic ceramics from the Devonshire Collection.

7. Kent Life
Sandling, Kent

Rural heritage attraction, Kent Life, will be entering a baby boom over the spring period, with lots of new additions expected to be born on the farm. Pupils can enjoy the colourful displays of the Kentish Gardens in full bloom and be greeted by baby chicks, lambs, piglets and calves in the farmyard.

Girls shopping at York's Chocolate Story.

Pictured: Shopping at York's CHOCOLATE story.

Schools visiting the attraction can experience the working farm, stroll through the gardens, and explore the sites’ historic buildings. There is also a wide range of activities and workshops available for students to participate in.

8. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens boasts galleries of botanical art, and glasshouses reaching up to 27 degrees Celsius, making the popular World Heritage Site attraction a year-round attraction choice for school trip organisers.

Take children into the Palm House which offers Victorian elegance and a tropical rainforest interior, as well as the Davies Alpine House, a more recent addition, housing rare alpine plants.

From 8th February through to 9th March 2014, Kew’s annual display of orchids from around the world returns alongside the reopening of the Waterlily House where students can see giant lily pads over a metre across, and hybrid water lilies and lotuses in bloom.

9. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will unveil major new exhibition HMS - Hear My Story next spring, to be displayed in the newly restored Grade I listed former Royal Navy storehouse.

The completion of the restoration work marks a major milestone in the Hear My Story project, which aims to give voice to the stories of the men, women and ships which have made the Navy’s history over the past 100 years.

10. York’s CHOCOLATE Story

Pupils will be able to get hands-on and take part in interactive chocolate making sessions at York's CHOCOLATE Story, learn how to taste chocolate like an expert, and find out how chocolate products are developed.

All of the workshop sessions at York’s CHOCOLATE Story are hosted by a member of the education team and offer pupils the opportunity to have a go at making something to take home.

Workshops last between 45 minutes and 1 hour and are hosted in a partner venue just a short walk away from the attraction. Joint ticket prices for a tour and a workshop start at £9.75 per child and depend upon the number of pupils in your group.

School Travel Organiser's Guide