Arts engagement

Art workshops last two hours unless otherwise stated and include an interactive talk and practical art-making activities; sessions are designed to enhance visual literacy and develop technical and creative skills. 

Ben Long scaffold sculpture at Chatsworth

Visit must include the garden; available until 6 October 2019

Pupils will explore the ideas and techniques involved in creating Scaffolding Dog, a Ben Long sculpture installed on the south lawn, and discuss the sculpture itself. Afterwards, they will create a series of guided drawings on site. In the learning centre, learners will sculpt a three-dimensional object, translating the approaches learnt from Ben Long, while also exploring form, scale and three dimension.

Curriculum links: English, maths, PSHE, art & design

Art in nature

Visit must include the garden

Using the diverse collection of plants in the Chatsworth Garden, this session connects with nature and explores shape and texture in natural and organic form. Pupils will be introduced to a range of looking and drawing techniques through creative exploration and development of 2D image-making skills.

The life cycle of the plant will also be introduced and learners will explore shape, texture, colour and detail, recording these observations through a range of mark making exercises.

Curriculum links: science, English, PSHE, art & design


Visit can include the house, garden and/or farmyard

Pupils will discover new ways of observing and drawing artworks, focusing on line, shape and space to make compositional drawings.  Individual drawings will then be used to experiment with printmaking, using monoprint techniques in the learning centre.

Curriculum links: English, PSHE, art & design

Outdoor learning

Outdoor learning sessions take place in the farmyard, Stickyard, garden and Stand Wood. They include a range of multisensory and hands-on activities to develop environmental literacy. Farmyard sessions last between 30 minutes and one hour. All other outdoor learning sessions last 1.5 hours.

Tree detectives

Visit can include the house, garden and/or farmyard

Learners will investigate and draw inspiration from the trees growing in Chatsworth’s rich woodland and also explore the parts of a tree, identify key similarities and differences while following the life of trees from seed to ancient oak.

Curriculum links: science, maths

Plant hunters

Visit can include the house, garden and/or farmyard

Follow in the footsteps of Joseph Paxton, Chatsworth's head gardener during the 6th Duke's time, to search for a very special plant. Pupils will use compasses and learn plant identification skills to journey through Stand wood and find out the story behind the plant. The session finishes with a surprise discovery and a chance to enjoy a special treat cooked on a campfire.

Curriculum links: science, history, geography

Woodland maths

Visit can include the house, garden and/or farmyard

Get outdoors and explore the role of maths in managing the woodlands on the Chatsworth Estate. This session involves a mixture of practical activities, giving the learners a chance to apply their maths skills to real-life problems.

Curriculum links: science, maths

Growing food

Visit must include the garden

Explore what fruit and vegetables are growing in the Kitchen garden and find out more about plants, how they grow, what they need, and what we can eat. Identify different parts of a plant, look at seasonal produce and plant a seed to take away with you.

Curriculum links: science, design & technology

Dens and shelters

Visit can include the house, garden and/or farmyard

Using teamwork, problem solving skills and creativity, this session promotes an understanding of the habitats in the woods and how all living things need shelter. Hunt for minibeasts and build dens and shelters with natural materials that are available in the woodland.

Curriculum links: science, PSHE

Seasonal changes: Springing to life

Visit must include the farmyard; 1 hour tour

An interactive session looking at farm animals and their requirements for health nutrition and growth. Learners will meet guinea pigs, hens, chicks, sheep and lambs (or goats and goat kids) and incubating eggs. We look at the differing needs of the animals and how they change as they grow. Comparisons among the larger farm animals can be made when looking around the farmyard.

Bottle feeding a lamb or goat kid included

Curriculum link: science, English, PSHE

Seasonal changes: Preparing for winter

Visit must include the farmyard; 1 hour tour

Students will take a tour of the farmyard and find out how we prepare it and our animals for winter. They will discover more about the life cycles of cows, chickens and sheep, plus how the farmyard team adapt the animals' habitats and nutritional requirements to cope with the changing seasons.

Curriculum link: science, English, PSHE

Tractor trailer tour 

Visit can include the house, garden and/or farmyard; 30 minute tour

An immersive tour through the Chatsworth Park with seasonal variations. In spring and summer pupils will look at sheep with their lambs and possibly other animals such as cows and deer and learn about new life on the estate and how we care for the animals, their young and the habitat in which they live. In autumn learners will see a variety of natural and manmade features in the park and learn more about livestock, farming and seasonal changes.

The trailer has lap belts, a ramp and wheelchair clamping facility.

Curriculum links: science, design & technology

Tailored tours

House tour

Visit must include the house

Our expert guides will take your learners on a journey full of stories about the people and the objects that have shaped Chatsworth's 500-year history. Pupils will learn about key elements of the house, from ancient artefacts to modern art, and compare and contrast what they see to their own modern lives. Tours are 1.5 hours and can be tailored to incorporate your chosen topic – just let us know on your booking form.

Curriculum links: English, history, art & design

Garden tour

Visit must include the garden

Pupils will explore the landscape with an intrepid garden guide and uncover some of its hidden stories and secrets. Specialist tours, focusing on areas such as the glasshouses, garden history and water features can also be arranged on request.

Curriculum links: science, English, history

Plan your visit


For more information about our learning sessions and to discuss curriculum links, email us at or call us on 01246 565341. 

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