School Visits

Hopetoun delivers award-winning, curriculum linked workshops for schools, involving drama, role play and costume.  All of our workshops offer hands on, active learning and meet the Curriculum for Excellence for first and second levels, in particular the curriculum areas Social Studies (People, past events and societies), (People, place and environment) and Expressive Arts (Drama).

Indoor Education for Schools

We offer 4 full day indoor workshops that relate to the Curriculum for Excellence. These are:

  • Homes and Houses
  • Victorian Workshop
  • Victorians at Hopetoun
  • NEW: Hopetoun at War

Hopetoun also offers a number of Outdoor Workshops for Schools.

School Visit

Victorian Workshop

  • (up to 33 pupils)
  • Particularly suitable for second level

Following a brief introduction on the history of Hopetoun House, pupils are provided with costumes and take on the role of servants, to discover life “below stairs”. A butler is selected from the group, who then works with the Housekeeper to lead the “servants” through the magnificent rooms, using role-play and drama to bring the tour to life. In the afternoon they return to the Butler’s Pantry to carry out hands-on chores such as polishing, ironing and butter churning. This is followed by a session of quill penning.

Victorians at Hopetoun

  • between 33 and 60 pupils
  • Most suitable for second level

The morning is similar to the Victorian Workshop, while the afternoon involves an exploration of the exterior of the House, including the grounds, ballroom, stables and a visit to the roof. There is also the chance to play Victorian street games and a short session of quill penning.

Homes and Houses

  • up to 60 pupils
  • Suitable for first and second level

The children are dressed as servants and led by the Housekeeper through Hopetoun House to discover how people lived in the past. Time is spent in the Butler’s Pantry working on chores such as cleaning, polishing and ironing. The afternoon is spent with the Ranger outside in the magnificent grounds, developing the idea of animal homes and habitats.

School Visits

Hopetoun at War

  • up to 60 pupils
  • Suitable for first and second level

Studying the First World War?  Why not bring your class to Hopetoun House?  Discover how life in a stately home and on a country estate was affected by the outbreak of war. How did the servants cope when the men left for the front? How was the House adapted to help the war effort? What impact did the war have on the people who lived and worked here? Dressed as servants, pupils will experience a morning of life in service, working above and below stairs.  This is followed by a visit to the Ballroom, which served as a military hospital from 1915, and other areas of the grounds put to military use. There will also be an opportunity to write a letter to a family member serving at the front.

To book indoor workshops or for more information contact our education team on 0131 319 3959 or email

You can download a printable copy of our School Visits leaflet here..

Outdoor Workshops

The following environmental education workshops for school visits are led by our Rangers and link to the Curriculum for Excellence areas Science (Planet Earth, Biological Systems, and Topical Science) and Social Studies (People, Place and Environment).

Full day visits are available for groups of up to 33 children and can be tailored to suit; Early, First and Second levels.

A full day visit can be composed of two of the following workshops.

Minibeast Safari

Hunting minibeasts and playing interactive games to explore the vertebrate world and their important food chain links.

Underwater Expedition

Search below the water surface and investigate the fascinating world freshwater invertebrates and amphibians.

Nature Detectives

Piecing together the historical and ecological importance of Hopetoun’s Parkland, this workshop looks at Hopetoun’s designed landscape and includes a visit to the Red Deer Park.

Please discuss any specific aims and objectives with the ranger service to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible. Sessions can be tailored to suit individual school projects.

Further information

For secondary or further education sessions, please contact the ranger service to discuss specific aims on 0131 319 3959.

To book indoor workshops or for more information on available educational visits, contact our education team on 0131 319 3959.