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Educational visits to Gibside

Discovering mini beasts
Discovering mini beasts | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Whether you’re looking to spark creativity, build confidence, encourage problem-solving skills or fill your lungs with fresh air, Gibside has everything you need for a group visit immersed in nature.

Activities we offer

The team at Gibside has developed a programme where groups of children and young people can explore freely, reconnect with nature, learn new skills and revive their love of learning. You can choose from a variety of self-led and volunteer-led activities or request to use the woodlands for your own activities.

Take a look at our activity offer and price guide.

We welcome all formal groups of young people to Gibside, including schools, universities, Brownies and Scouts. Our activities complement children's learning through different key stages, and for college and university students we offer outdoor space for team building and a place to expand their studies.

School Christmas trail

Bring your teaching outdoors and celebrate the festive season with your class on a Christmas trail around Gibside.

Father Christmas's elves have lost the reindeer's magical food. With the help of elf-on-the-shelf, follow the trail until all the food bags have been found. Along the journey learn what each Reindeer loves about winter; songs, historical stories, languages and animals, and at the end of the trail get crafty using natural materials to create a winter themed decoration.

From Monday 20 November to Friday 22 December. Find out more.

Seasonal information

  • Autumn/winter terms Book to visit between September to March, for every student to receive a free, one-off family pass to Gibside.
  • Spring/summer terms As the weather gets warmer group spaces become limited, it's recommended you book your trip by March to secure a place between April to July.

How to book


Booking is essential for all group visits as we have limited coach parking, lunch room facilities and equipment for groups.

School children learning about nature
School children learning about nature | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Improving nature connectedness with Starling Bank

Starling Bank is working with National Trust to fund nature workshops for school children who otherwise struggle to access outdoor spaces. These workshops will provide opportunities for the children to experience nature first-hand and learn about how we can protect the environment and wildlife for future generations.

We’re passionate about giving children the opportunity to explore nature, by investing in a programme to bring nature to children from inner city schools who otherwise struggle to access it.

A quote by Rachel Kerrone Brand Director at Starling Bank

Education Group Memberships

Why not make your school visit more affordable and take advantage of the National Trust Education Group Membership? This covers all children in your school for one year across all properties in the National Trust. Find out more information on the Education Group Membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can we visit?

School visits take place during term-time Monday to Friday during opening hours. We provide half day and full day offers.

Do you provide lunch?

No, we recommend everyone brings a packed lunch for a full day visit.

How many students can we bring?

If your class has over 30 children we recommend splitting into two groups and joining a different activity in the morning, then swapping in the afternoon.

Do teachers need to take part in the activity sessions?

All activities are led by our staff and volunteers who can’t wait to work with your group. Please note, however, that the behaviour of the students remains your responsibility at all times.

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