School and Group visits to Buckland Abbey
Buckland Abbey in Devon’s Tavy Valley is a fantastic place to visit for both school trips and adult group visits. With tailored activities and tours of the building and its treasures, there is something for all ages to discover here.
School visits to Buckland Abbey
Part museum, part house, Buckland Abbey is a great place for an educational visit. Whether it's Tudor history, geography, art or even the outdoors, your visit can be tailored to the topic you are studying. Please book in advance.
Download our school visit brochure (PDF) here.
Most school visits last for about four hours and comprise a tour with one of our Learning Assistants, an activity and time for lunch. There is also the option to 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.
You'll be based in the schoolroom for your visit where you can leave your bags safely and have your lunch.
Activities for educational trips
There are several activities we offer as standard – you can choose one of these for your visit:
- Costume activity – dress up as a Tudor and learn about the different outfits that would have been worn, depending 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.
- Artefact handling talk – for larger groups, we can run an artefact talk with the opportunity for children to handle a number of interesting items.
If you'd like to discuss other ideas for activities for your group, just let us know.
FAQs about Educational visits
Bringing an adult group to Buckland Abbey
From university study groups to gardening clubs, groups of all sizes are welcome on visits to Buckland Abbey. As with school groups, please book your visit in advance.
Download our group visit brochure (PDF) here.
Organised tours, activities and catering
Your group is welcome to conduct their visit on an ad hoc basis, or guided tours of the Abbey can be arranged when you book your visit. If there's something specific you are interested in finding out more about, such as costume making or the gardens, let us know and we'll be happy to work with you to plan your tour, talk or activity. We allow one guide for 15 people and there is a small charge.
If you would like to organise specific catering, or your group wishes to visit the cafe all together, please let us know.
Parties of 15 or more people will benefit from group rates. Payment by cash or card for the whole party should be made by the group leader on the day at Visitor Welcome. National Trust members in your group should come and have their card scanned when payment is made. Group leaders and coach drivers go free.
Free familiarisation visits for group leaders
If you're planning a group visit you can request our free Travel Trade Pass and you and a friend or colleague will gain free entry to over 300 of our places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for 12 months. There’s nothing quite like seeing or experiencing somewhere for yourself to help you plan a successful visit. To receive your pass, call 0344 800 2329 or email us at NTTravelTrade@capita.co.uk.
Who is eligible for free entry?
Registered tourist board guides (on production of a valid badge), coach drivers and tour leaders escorting groups of 15 or more. National Trust members also receive free entry, so it is at your discretion whether to refund the entrance fee to members if you have included it in your package – this is not refunded by the National Trust.
Members must bring their current membership cards with them to avoid paying the full group rate. If any of your group would like to join the National Trust please direct them to our Membership page or call 0344 800 1895.
Travelling to Buckland Abbey
We strongly advise that you do not use sat nav to get here, as it will take you down narrow lanes unsuitable for large vehicles. Instead, please follow the Buckland Abbey signs from the main A386 Plymouth to Tavistock road.
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. Depending on staff availability, we are sometimes able to offer an introduction on the coach. Please enquire about this when you book.
Explore the abbey which is part museum, part house, and filled with treasures. Step inside the medieval Great Barn: a tithe barn unchanged since it was built centuries ago.
There are no end of discoveries to be made while exploring the ancient woodland at Buckland Abbey. The grounds have more than eight centuries of history to uncover and colour-coded walks take in everything the Great North Wood has to offer.
See the painting at Buckland Abbey which, after years of debate, was revealed as a genuine self-portrait by the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt.
Discover a wealth of history at Buckland Abbey, from its time as a medieval farming monastery to the famous Tudor explorers who called it home.
Take a break at the Ox Yard Café, which serves tea, coffee, light lunches and sweet treats, before finding a special gift or souvenir in the National Trust shop, art galleries and second-hand bookshop.
If you’re planning educational group visits to National Trust places, then you could benefit from education group membership, giving you free admission for a year.
If you're travelling to the UK from overseas this year, buy a National Trust Touring Pass for entry to more than 300 places in our care. With 7-day and 14-day options available, the pass can be tailored to fit your trip. Discover where you can visit with the Touring Pass and how to buy yours.
Visiting us with a group? Then our answers to your frequently asked questions might help with any question you may have.