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Learn, Create & Play

Enjoy activities inspired by Scotland’s heritage! #LearningWithHES

Image of a man and children doing various learning activities along with a person dressed as a knight

1 Welcome

We’ve brought together some of our favourite resources to share with you online. 

Across our Learn, Create & Play pages you’ll find games to play, colouring sheets to doodle on, crafts to make, recipes to try, and videos to watch. You can also choose to dive into our ‘Investigate’ section to explore historic sites and topics in more depth.

Don’t forget to check out our medieval fun for families: train as a stonemason, kit yourself out as a jousting knight, party like a king or queen of the past, prepare for a medieval battle, create some royal works of art, and immerse yourself in medieval abbey life.

Educators can access information to support their planning in our dedicated Educators' Area.

We hope you have fun playing, creating, exploring and investigating and that these resources will inspire you to visit some of our historic places in the future.

2 Gaelic

Halò agus Fàilte!

An seo gheibhear blas an asgaidh air cuid de na geamaichean is goireasan as fheàrr leinn, air an toirt seachad le, agus airson, beagan spòrs.

Hello and welcome!

Here you’ll find a taste of the games, creative activities and resources we have to offer.

Cluich / Play

Thoir a-mach na peansailean airson dath a chuir air uilebheistean! An seo gheibhear blas air cuid de na geamaichean againn.

Get your pencils at the ready to colour in a monster! Here you’ll find a taste of the games we have to offer.

An taigh-dubh Àrnol / The Arnol Blackhouse

Caisteal Shruighlea / Stirling Castle

Muillean Stanley / Stanley Mills

Cuir dath air eachdraidh / Colouring in history

Each Uisge / Water-Horse

Cruthaich / Create

Thoir a-mach na siosaran agus cruthaich an sgiath agad fhèin! An seo gheibhear cuid de na goireasan cruthachail againn.

Get the scissors out and create your own shield! Here you’ll find some of the creative resources we have to offer.

Cruthaich an sgiath agad fhèin / Make your own shield 

Cruthaich na pupaidean agaibh fhèin / Make your own puppets

Cuir ri chèile taigh-dubh / Build our own Blackhouse

Rannsaich / Investigate

Rannsaich is faigh barrachd a-mach mu dheidhinn cuspairean is topaigean co-cheangailte ri dualchas agus eachdraidh na h-Alba an seo.

Research and dive into some topical resources connected with Scotland’s amazing history and heritage.

An Tac an Teine film 

Gaelic for Outlanders 

Antonine Wall information in Gaelic

Gairm Obar Bhrothaig - leabhran obrach / Declaration of Arbroath - Activity Book

Rùrachadh / Explore

Tha stòras prìseil againn ann an Alba de chultar, dualchas agus eachdraidh. Cleachd na goireasan an seo airson leum a-steach air.

We have a precious resource of culture, heritage and history in Scotland. Why not use these resources to explore them?

Tobar an Dualchais

Gaelic thesaurus

Goireasan airson luchd-teagasg / Resources for Educators

Seo goireasan topaigeach airson taic a thoirt do luchd-teagasg leis na leasanan aca.

Here are some resources for education professionals to help them deliver the best sessions.

Early Carved Stones

Heritage on your Doorstep

The Jacobite Risings

Mary Queen of Scots

Medieval Castle Life Handling Box

Tha sinn an dòchas gum bi deagh spòrs agaibh leis na goireasan seo.
Ma bhios ceistean, no molaidhean idir agaibh an cuir sibh brath thugainn aig

We hope that you have fun with these resources. If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact us at

3 Play

Play your way through Scotland’s history with games inspired by the past.


Word searches

We’d love to hear about your learn at home activities – do share your #LearningWithHES online!

If you’d like to give us feedback on these resources please get in touch by emailing

4 Make & Create

Whether it’s planning for a medieval feast or designing your own shield, here’s where to get creative!

Inspired by castles

View our Craft Knight Playlist on Youtube

Inspired by knights

Inspired by medieval times

Inspired by traditional building materials

Inspired by UNESCO World Heritage sites

Inspired by Scottish Buildings

Inspired to make your own Scottish town or city? Download our papercraft templates for Scottish buildings from tower blocks to tenements.

We’d love to hear about your learn at home activities – do share your #LearningWithHES online!

If you’d like to give us feedback on these resources please get in touch by emailing

5 Draw & Colour

Do you like to doodle and dream – or focus and shade? Get those pens and pencils ready!

Inspired by unicorns!

Coloured-in drawing of unicorn

Inspired by medieval times

Inspired by Scottish historic sites

Get creative with the kids or bring some mindfulness to your day as you colour in some of your favourite Historic Environment Scotland sites like Stirling Castle, Melrose Abbey, or the Blackhouse in Arnol. Learn about the materials these places were built with, and the people who made them.

Download the colouring sheets now

Inspired by UNESCO World Heritage sites 

We’d love to hear about your learn at home activities – do share your #LearningWithHES online!

If you’d like to give us feedback on these resources please get in touch by emailing

6 Explore

View films about the Children of Edinburgh Castle

These short films (under 1 minute) have been scripted and performed by young people. 

These historic fictions give us glimpses into the stories of children living in and around Edinburgh Castle in very different times and in very different circumstances - some that historical records can tell us about, and others that we have had to imagine.

View augmented reality (AR) models:

Watch our video guides and bring some of our remarkable historic places and their stories into your home.

Visit Doune Castle and Orkney with the Junior Tour Guides

Explore historic sites through our apps:

  • Maeshowe: download for iOS or Android and virtually explore the chambered tomb in the heart of Neolithic Orkney. Give our Maeshowe Challenge [PDF, 220KB] a go too
  • Antonine Wall: download from Apple Store and Google Play to explore and learn about the Antonine Wall
  • Digital Documentation Companion: download for iOS and Android to explore 3D models of sites and objects through Augmented Reality (AR)

Research different parts of Scotland’s heritage:

We’d love to hear about your learn at home activities – do share your #LearningWithHES online!

If you’d like to give us feedback on these resources please get in touch by emailing

7 Investigate

Looking for information about Scotland’s past and ideas for investigating people, events and places? Start your investigations here!

Learn more about Historic Scotland sites

Delve into Scotland's historic environment

Visit partner websites to explore castle life

Take a look at our information sheets

Guiding you through food, work and play in medieval Scotland:

We’d love to hear about your learning activities – do share your #LearningWithHES online!

If you’d like to give us feedback on these resources please get in touch by emailing

8 Educators' Area

These resources are designed to support learning practitioners explore topics with their learners. We’ve also included links to some of the excellent materials developed by other heritage organisations.

If you’d like to join our Learning Resources Advisory Group email list, please email We get in touch every few months to flag up new resources, ask for ideas to shape resources in development, and offer access a range of free trialing opportunities.

*NEW* World War One trail at Edinburgh Castle for upper primary

Learners can step into the shoes of a First World War recruit arriving at Edinburgh Castle for the first time with a brand new learning resource!

Designed for primary 5-7, the WWI Trail is full of activities to help young learners explore how soldiers might have felt and thought about their new role. There are tips and teachers notes including objects to find, questions to answer, and creative writing and drawing challenges.

This resource has been created in partnership with National Museums Scotland, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum, the Royal Scots Museum and the Museum of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Scottish National War Memorial.

The trail is designed to be used during a visit to Edinburgh Castle.

*NEW* Upper primary Maths Challenge booklet - can be used at any castle!

This printable A5 pupil booklet and accompanying teachers' notes can be used to inspire learners with outdoor maths challenges whilst they visit a historic castle. Explore symmetry, angles, money, shapes and different units of measurement.

*NEW* Twinkl resources about Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle for primary learners

Our friends at Twinkl have created 11 fantastic new resources about two of our best-known historic sites. Visit the Twinkl website to download free-to-access resources, including:

  • PowerPoint introductions to Edinburgh Castle & Stirling Castle
  • A research scavenger hunt activity about Edinburgh Castle
  • Differentiated reading comprehension resources for both castles
  • A podcast about Stirling Castle's past offering creative writing inspiration
  • A hotspot picture giving information about Edinburgh Castle's prisons of war
  • A QR timeline activity about Edinburgh Castle
  • A cooperative learning activity based on children's jobs at Stirling Castle
  • A Stirling Castle timeline matching activity
  • Blether station cards about Edinburgh Castle's artefacts

Some of these resources are also available in Gaelic and the full set of translations will be available soon.

Investigating the Sealants of the Declaration of Arbroath

This resource, produced jointly with National Records of Scotland, allows P7/S1 pupils studying the Scottish Wars of Independence to investigate the individuals who attached their seals to the Declaration of Arbroath. The resource pack consists of teachers’ notes, a Declaration of Arbroath information sheet, a set of sealant information sheets, and a student task sheet.

Drama activities for primary schools

Take a peek at seven drama activities that can support topics such as Castles and Wars of Independence. They were created by drama specialist and author Barbara Henderson to celebrate her new novel for upper primary pupils – The Siege of Caerlaverock. You’ll find a reflective reading classroom pack, featuring a range of Historic Environment Scotland learning resources, on the Cranachan Publishing website

Declaration of Arbroath resources

Illustrated activity booklet about the Declaration of Arbroath and accompanying teachers' notes.

Heritage at your fingertips

Ideas for learning practitioners looking to explore heritage digitally with learners.

Edinburgh Castle Maths Quest

Aimed at P5-7 pupils, your learners can enjoy this Edinburgh Castle themed maths quest in the classroom, at home or outdoors. 

Virtual visits to Edinburgh & Stirling Castles

If you’re looking for a virtual class trip, delve into our Edinburgh and Stirling Castle online resources with your learners. We can’t wait to hear how educators use these resources to develop learning activities. Do let us know how you craft your #LearningWithHES!

Take a look at some sample virtual visit ideas for using the resources:

Themed Resources for Educators

Primary Sources

Scran - digital heritage and cultural resources 
Access half a million images, videos and audio files on material culture and human history.

National Record of the Historic Environment
Explore archaeological, industrial and maritime sites and buildings across Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties in Care Collections
Delve into the history of Scotland by exploring our historic object collections.

Locate Scotland’s archaeological and historic sites on this interactive online map (includes a short video tutorial)

Antonine Wall finds
Search the database for a large number of finds along the Antonine Wall

Historic Environment Scotland’s Sketchfab account

Explore over 300 3D models of historic sites such as Edinburgh and Caerlaverock Castles and varied collection items.

Learning Links

Antonine Wall learning resources

Edinburgh World Heritage learning resources

Go Forth - Forth Bridge learning resources

BBC Teach short films about castles in the UK (first level)

BBC Bitesize short films about castles in Scotland (second level)

BBC Teach longer films about castles in the UK (third level)

Archaeology Scotland’s Heritage Resources Portal (resources from multiple organisations)

People of medieval Scotland resources by University of Glasgow and Education Scotland (castle themes for early, second and fourth level)

Forestry and Land Scotland's Into the Wildwoods resource about Mesolithic hunter-gatherers

Forestry and Land Scotland's The First Foresters resource about the Neolithic pioneers

Careers with HES

Do you know someone who may want to play a part in Scotland’s history? You can find out about some of the different roles we do and help young people explore A Career with Historic Environment Scotland

Watch our videos to hear remarkable stories from our people who will tell you all about their time working for us: 

We’d love to hear about your learn at home activities – do share your #LearningWithHES online!

If you’d like to give us feedback on these resources please get in touch by emailing