How to book a learning visit to Saddlescombe Farm

Someone touching a large tree whilst out on a sensory nature walk

The South Downs near Brighton is the perfect place to explore many themes and topics including history, science, geography, literature and art. Whether you are a small group looking for a focused personal experience or a whole school year looking to experience and explore these topics outdoors amongst friends we are flexible enough to meet your requirements.

Children bug hunting in summer
Several children laying on grass examining some bugs in pots

What we need from you

Finding out about our offer is easy and starts with a simple email or phone call to our dedicated Learning Team; all you need to send are the basics shown below:

  • Name of your school or group
  • Your name and contact details
  • Selection of dates for your intended visit
  • The number of students attending
  • General theme for your visit (Iron Age, habitats, etc)
  • Any topics or specific activities you want or don’t want to include
  • The type of event required (see below)

Types of visit

Full day visit: 15-90 students
Include up to 4 different topics chosen by you
Usually run on a Friday, but can be other days if facilities are available
Arrival any time after 9:30am and departure before 3pm

Part day visit: 6-30 students
Include up to 2 different topics chosen by you
Available to book any week day, during term time or holidays
Sessions can take place during the day or into the evening (summer only
Sessions usually around 2 hours long with arrival after 10am

Free short talk: 1-100 students (donations appreciated)
Talk to be of your chosen topic or theme including short Q&A session
Available any day at Devil’s Dyke at the start or end of your self-led visit.
If you have an enquiry about another format for your visit (including consecutive days, multiple sites, larger numbers and overnight stays) please contact our team to discuss your specific requirements.

We have many locations and settings for your visit across our Estate including farmland, grassland, heathland, woodland, hillforts, valleys, historic hamlet and farm buildings as well as a modern Learning Barn – all available for your visits.

Costumed volunteers and children outdoors on a school visit
Small group of children outdoors in Victorian costumes for school visit

What we can offer

Indoor facilities
Saddlescombe Farm Learning Space is the perfect setting for your education group experience. Offering a clean and spacious hub for your start and finish points as well as talks, meetings and exhibition space – all set on a secluded hamlet hidden in and surrounded by the very landscape that you wish to explore. Fully accessible kitchen and toilet facilities.

This can be a workspace for up to 30 people or a base for up to 100 people. There is no parking at the Farm itself but there is a free coach drop off point.

Historic buildings
The farm itself is filled with buildings from throughout farming history including a manor house with Tudor kitchen, Victorian walled gardens, farmers cottages, three threshing barns, old dairy and outbuildings, pig sties, old carpenter’s workshop, forge, saw pit, gaol and even a rare donkey wheel – all waiting to be discovered.

The farm is not open to the general public, but is a working farm.
The farm itself is available as part of an all-day event or for short tours of up to three hours.

View through the Devils Dyke valley towards Saddlescombe Farm
View through the Devils Dyke valley towards Saddlescombe Farm

The Devil’s Dyke
This popular and easily accessible car park is a great starting point for your visit and has some of the best views in Sussex. Actually an Iron Age Hill Fort, this popular location was also a Victorian funfair with a cable car and a steep-grade railway, a military training ground in both world wars and a zoo.
Devil’s Dyke has basic toilets and a large carpark (with free parking during your visit). You can walk to Saddlescombe Farm in less than 30 minutes from here

Endless countryside
We care for over 2000 hectares of wildlife-rich grassland on the South Downs which we can share with you, showing you the landscape features of the past and present right under your feet. From the geology of the chalk downland, through prehistory and change in farming and then on to the conservation work of today, we are helping to keep this rich landscape intact, alive and accessible to everyone.  Exploring the countryside begins as soon as you step off the coach.  Some areas of our countryside are steep and can be slippery.  Wet weather contingencies are available for most countryside activities