School and group visits to Buckland Abbey

A group of school girls working at one of our special places

Buckland is a fantastic place to visit for both schools and adult group bookings. With tailored activities or volunteer tour guides, there is something new to be discovered every time.

School visits

Buckland is a fantastic place for an educational visit. Whether it's Tudor history, Sir Francis Drake and his seafaring adventures, geography, art or even the outdoors, your visit can be tailored to the topic you are studying.

What happens during a visit?

Most school visits last for about 4 hours and comprise a tour with one of our Learning Assistants, an activity and time for lunch. There is also the option to watch a short film about Drake and visit the shop if you would like to.

If you would prefer to only have a tour, or you want to see about a different activity to those specified below, we can arrange this - just let us know when you book.

Children are usually split into groups of 15 for the tours - it's really helpful if you can organise this before you arrive. We ask that you bring at least 1 adult for every 10 children. The maximum group size that we can accept is 60.

You'll be based in the schoolroom for your visit where you can leave your bags safely and have your lunch.


There are three activities we offer as standard - you can choose one of these for your visit:

  • Brass rubbing - suitable for any class size, you'll use brasses to create images of Tudor figures to take away with you.
  • Costume activity - dress up as a Tudor and learn about the different outfits that would have been worn, dependent on your status in the Elizabethan times. Due to the number of costumes we have, we can offer this for a maximum of 30 students.
  • Costume talk - for larger groups, we can run a costume talk with the opportunity for a couple of children to dress up to demonstrate the costumes.

If you'd like to discuss other ideas for activities for your group, just let us know. 


The most cost effective way to pay for your visit is with an education group membership. The cost for this is based on how many students are on the school roll, and it can be used as many times as you like within a year.

Activities cost £1.50 per child. If you have requested a different activity from those listed above, there may be an additional charge.

If you only want to have a tour, the cost is £15 per guide.


Bringing a group to Buckland Abbey

From university study groups to gardening clubs, groups of all sizes are welcome on visits to the Abbey.

On arrival

Parking for coaches and minibuses is available in the main car park, and there is a buggy service for any visitors who would like to be brought down to Visitor Welcome from there. Dependent on staff availability, we are sometimes able to offer an introduction on the coach, but please ensure you request this at booking stage so that we can confirm whether or not it will be possible.

We strongly advise that you do not use sat nav to get here as it will take you through narrow lanes unsuitable for large vehicles - please follow brown signage from the main A386 Plymouth - Tavistock road.

Group rates are available for parties of 15 or more people. It's really helpful if the group leader can collect the payment for the whole group and organise payment with Visitor Welcome. Payment can be made by cash or card.  Members in your group, please ask them to come and have their card scanned at Visitor Welcome.

We also provide a voucher for the coach driver to use in the restaurant, and the group leader goes free.


Group visitors can visit the cafe on an ad hoc basis. Similarly if you would like to organise a cream tea or specific catering, just let us know.

Tours and events

Guided tours can be arranged for your group, at a cost of £15 per guide (1 guide per 15 people). Advance booking for these tours is essential.

If there's something specific that you are interested in, such as costume making or the gardens, just let us know and we'll be happy to work with you to plan a tour, talk or activity tailored to your requirements.

Making a booking for both school and group bookings

If you would like to book, or discuss your visit further, you can give us a call on 01822 853607 or email We'll check your dates when you contact us to ensure that we can accommodate you on your preferred day, and take a few details from you. Then we will send you all of the information you need to make the most of your visit.