School kids at Hurst Castle


Inspire your students and step back in time with a free school visit to Hurst Castle.

Start the trip with a short, scenic ferry ride along the Keyhaven River to this dramatic, historical military fortress built by Henry VIII in 1544.

Situated on the seaward end of a spit only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight, you’ll be able to uncover centuries of military history, which has seen the castle grow from its original Tudor heart to one of the largest military fortresses in the world.

Hurst Castle has so much for students to discover from its Tudor beginnings, the imprisonment of Charles I and Father Paul Atkinson, its Victorian wing batteries and gun emplacements, to WW1 and WW2 garrison life, including the only remaining ENSA garrison theatre in the UK.  In addition, the castle’s location offers the opportunity to study lighthouses, geography, wildlife and its sheer engineering feat.

Teacher packs are available to support you in your self-led visit, with key areas of the castle highlighted to support your curriculum needs.

To book your free school visit, call 01590 642500 or follow the links below.  Please note ferry charges apply.

Curriculum links include:


Key Stage 1   

  • Significant historical events, people and places in their locality.

Key Stage 2  

  • A local history study.
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

Key points of interest:

  • Why was the castle built here?
  • How has the use and design of the castle changed and why?
  • Has the site been used for any other purpose?


Key Stage 2

  • Identify key topographical features.

Key points of interest:

  • How the spit protects the coast?
  • How the shingle spit was created and how it remains intact?

Hurst Castle
Hampshire, SO41 0TP
Tel: 01590 642500

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