1 Where can we visit?
2 Is our group eligible?
- we are currently unable to accept bookings from overseas groups.
- the free learning visits scheme does not cover commercial or leisure activity including residential language schools
- Early Years - Nursery and P1/2 (or aged 7 and under) 1:6
- Primary P3-7 and Secondary S1-S4 (or aged 8-15) 1:10
- Senior Phase (or aged 16-18 but still in school) 1:15
- Groups with participants aged 16+ (excluding school groups) must be accompanied by a named representative from the visiting organisation
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to check whether your group is eligible.
3 How can we book?
To book your free learning group visit:
- For Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, please email email@example.com.
- For all other sites a provisional booking should be made by calling the site directly.
- We’ll then email you a booking confirmation with a voucher to bring along on the day (please note a booking is not guaranteed until receipt of confirmation email and voucher).
- After your booking is confirmed, group leaders can arrange a free planning visit to help with preparation of a risk assessment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- A member of the visiting educational organisation must make the booking.
- All our sites operate with daily visitor capacities. Early booking and some flexibility on date and time of the visit is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.
- At least 10 days’ notice of the visit date is required.
- We can take bookings up to 6 months in advance of your intended visit date.
Historic Environment Scotland
4 School Visits Travel Subsidy
Scottish schools can apply for help towards the travel costs of visiting heritage sites of national importance. The Scottish Government Heritage Travel Subsidy for Schools can cover up to 75% of transport costs (up to £250) to visit the chosen site.
You can apply for a School Visits Travel Subsidy if visiting:
- any of our sites
- certain National Trust for Scotland sites – Bannockburn, Culloden and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
- The David Livingstone Birthplace museum
- the New Lanark World Heritage Site
Eligibility for the Travel Subsidy
Any Scottish school can apply. Funding is limited and priority will be given to schools in areas with high indicators of multiple deprivation (see Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation).
- the visit must be booked in advance and for a genuine educational purpose
- subsidy applications should be made before the visit
- all claims must be made by submitting invoices for travel costs within one month of the visit date
The subsidy is available all year round for the sites listed above. Travel costs will be reimbursed within 30 days of receipt of a valid claim.
How to apply
1. Make a provisional booking by contacting the site you wish to visit.
2. Get a quote for the travel costs (e.g. from a coach company).
3. Complete the travel subsidy application form and return it to us by email.
How will I hear back about my application?
The Historic Environment Scotland Learning & Inclusion team will reply to you by email to let you know whether your application was successful.
How will I receive the subsidy?
After your visit, please send a copy of the paid bus company invoice to email@example.com.
75% of the total cost of travel (up to a maximum of £250) will be reimbursed to the school within 30 days of receipt of the invoice.