Visit and booking information
To enquire about a visit or to make a booking please contact Jo Besant - 01206 282937
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All school, nursery and group visits, including self-led visits, must be booked in advance.
Entry to all musuems is free, except Colchester Castle. Admission for adults with the group is free. There are trail sheets and gallery trails for some of our museums that you can download and use as part of self-led visit. Click here and search gallery sheets in 'download type' menu.
We encourage local schools to use their local museums and therefore we offer a 50p discount per child for schools within the borough.
Cost per child for museum- led sessions (minimum charge may apply, prices are valid until December 2014):
Castles as homes (KS1, whole day visit) £4.30 - includes costumed story tour, gallery time + object handling acitvity
Romans in Colchester (KS2, whole day visit)
Package B £3.80 - includes story tour and gallery time
Package C £4.30 - includes story tour + hands on archaeology activity + gallery time
Hollytrees Museum, Colchester
Toys and Homes (KS1, whole day session): £4.30
Victorian Lives (KS2, whole day session): £4.30
High Street Museum, Ipswich
Ipswich at War (KS2, half day session): £3.80
Journeys in Ancient Egypt (KS2, whole day session): £4.30
Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich
Toys and Victorian Home (half day sessions): £3.80
Tudor Trades and Upstairs, Downstairs sessions (whole day sessions): £4.30
Paying for your visit
You can either pay on the day with a cheque made payable to 'Colchester Borough Council' or we can invoice you after your visit, but invoicing will incur a £10 + vat, additional fee. You will only be charged for the number of children who actually visit and all adults with the group are FREE.
Frequently Asked Questions
What facilities do you have?
All our sites have a bookable indoor lunch space, shop, accessible toilets and coach drop-off point. All sites except Christchurch Mansion have lift to access all galleries. Click on individual sites for more detailed information, or ring and talk to a member of the learning team.
Can I make a pre-visit and do you have a risk assessment?
Yes! We highly recommend you to make a preliminary visit to help you get the most of your day, especially if you are on a self-led visit. If you would like to talk to a member of our education staff on a pre-visit, please ask when booking. Entry to the Castle is free for teachers on a pre-visit; please show your booking form at the reception desk as you come in. Copies of risk assessments for all sites which you can use as a guideline for your own visit risk assessment can be downloaded. Click here and search downloads.
Can you offer sessions for groups wtih special needs?
Yes! We are very experienced working with special needs groups. Our sessions are very practical and include lots of object handling and dressing up activities and can be adapted to meet your students specific needs. A member of our learning team would be happy to discuss this with you when you ring to book.
Is there an indoor space for lunch?
All our sites have a bookable indoor lunch space, except on a self-led visit to Colchester Castle. There may be a small charge for the lunch room if you are not on a museum led session.
Is there an opportunity for children to shop?
Yes! All sites have a shop with a range of pocket money priced souvenirs. Shop space is limited so we recommend you visit in small groups.
Are your sites fully accessible for wheelchair users?
There is a lift in all sites except Christchurch Mansion.
Due to the nature of the building, in Colchester Castle the Roman Vaults and Great stairs are inaccessible by lift. In sessions that use these spaces we have alternative provision for groups with mobility difficulties to ensure all pupils are able to fully participate in the activities. Please talk to a member of our learning team when you book. Please see individual sites for more detailed infomation about access.
Are the museums suitable for Nursery and Early Years groups?
Museums provide an exciting place for young children to explore, encouraging conversation and learning. At Colchester Natural History Museum at Ipswich Museum we have 'Activity carts' on the gallery with resources which support nursery and early years groups to actively explore the museum. For a small charge we are able to provide additional object handling boxes and I spy trail cards to provide a focus to your visit. Please ask about these resources when booking a visit. At Ipswich Museum we also have a special loans box with handling objects and a museum story book which is a great way to introduce the museum to children before they visit. For more information about 'Wolly's Treasure Chest' click here.
Do you have handling objects we can borrow to use in school?
We have schools loans boxes covering many different subjects. The boxes contain a mixture of objects, documents, costume and photographs which you can borrow to enhance topic work in the classroom or as part of your pre- or post visit work. For details of all our loans boxes click here.