Planning your visit

Butser Ancient Farm is located a little south of Petersfield, off the A3(M). We have excellent access and parking for coaches and private vehicles. Accommodating over 30,000 school visitors each year, we have tailored our facilities to meet the needs of teachers and students. Our education team will guide you through a great day of fun, curriculum-centred discussions and activites.

For Bookings and Visit Enquiries: 023 9259 8838 or email us:  schools@butserancientfarm.co.uk

Please Note: All school trips are supervised by Butser staff and need to be booked as an education visit in advance. We recommend that all teachers come to the farm for a planning visit, particularly if they have not visited us before. There is no charge for this – please just let us know when you would like to visit. Schools need to prepare their own, individual risk assessments. To help you with the process we do have prepared risk assessments for each activity. To download these, please click here: Risk Assessments 

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Planning your visit

  • Book early – we get extremely busy.
  • Phone 02392 598838 to book your trip – we will need to know the number of children you wish to bring, your school phone number and an email address to send the booking forms to.
  • Once you have booked a date we will send you an email invitation with all the booking information attached.
  • Please follow the instructions in the email, complete the booking form and return it to us by post or email within 7 days to confirm your booking.
  • Due to high demand, we can only hold provisional bookings for one week. If we do not receive your booking form back by then, your provisional booking will be cancelled.
  • To download Risk Assessments for our activities, click here: Risk Assesments

Cost for Sept 2016 – July 2017:

Full day visit with 4 activities and a talk: £8.95 + VAT at 20%

Half day visit with 2 activities and a talk: : £7.00 + VAT at 20%

The minimum charge is £179 + VAT (£214.80 incl VAT)
This is the equivalent to the cost of 20 children.

Cost for Sept 2017 – July 2018:
Full day visit with 4 activities and a talk: £9.25 + VAT at 20%
Half day visit with 2 activities and a talk: : £7.20 + VAT at 20%
The minimum charge is £185 + VAT (£222.00 incl VAT)
This is the equivalent to the cost of 20 children.

Notes for Roman Villa for 2017:

Major work on the villa starts at the beginning of June and will last for three months. During this time we cannot guarantee full access to the villa. A range of fantastic Roman activities will continue to take place for schools. To learn more about our exciting renovation project, please visit our information page here. During this time the rest of the site will be OPEN and fully accessible. 

Group sizes

  • We can accommodate groups up to 200 children and have a minimum charge equivalent to 20 pupils.  We need to know how many children are in your group in order to employ enough staff for your visit, as we like work with around 30 per group.
  • There is ample room for coaches to park and manoeuvre in the car park.

Preparations for your visit

  • You will need to bring appropriate lunches and snacks. For ideas on packed lunches and historically themed lunches, click here: meal-suggestions
  • There are no rubbish facilities at Butser Ancient Farm so please come with bin bags and be prepared to transport rubbish from snacks and lunches back with you for later disposal.
  • All visitors need to come well prepared for the worst of the British weather: old clothes, old shoes (or wellies) and warm waterproof clothing for cold days. A bag for mucky wellies and a change of shoes are essential.  In summer there is very little shade so please make sure you have sunhats and suncream for all.

  • There are toilet facilities on site including disabled access.

  • We have an ecofriendly sewage system. The waste from the toilets is processed by bacteria living in a special tank after which the liquid runs into a reed bed. Antibacterial gel kills these bacteria, so please do not use this at the farm.  Please also ensure than no wet wipes or sanitary items are put down the toilets.

  • If the weather is bad, we will provide alternative activities indoors.

How the day is run

Our education team organises the whole day so you do not need to worry about the timings of your activities.  We like you to bring as many adults with you as you feel your group needs.  All we ask is that they all join in and help the children to listen, follow instructions and get as much as they can out of their visit. Our staff are experienced in working with a variety of groups.  On arrival, please discuss the focus of your visit with the team working with you for the day.

  • Please arrive as close to 10am as you can.  There is a large car park sufficient for coaches to park.
  • You will be met in the car park by members of our education team, who are allotted to your group for the day.
  • After a short health and safety talk you will be taken to one of the houses where there is a wood fire alight in the middle of the room.
  • Sitting on animal skins and benches around the fire, you will have a short talk focused around your topic.
  • You will then, typically, do two of your chosen activities in the morning.
  • Lunch is normally around 12 – 12.30.
  • If the weather is warm you can eat your lunch outside – we can provide a tarpaulin for you to sit on.
  • If it is cold or wet, we will bank up the fire in the house and you can eat your lunch around the fire.
  • After lunch you will do your other two activities, and will finish in time to leave at your requested time.
  • All your pupils will get to do every activity that you have requested on your booking form.
  • If the weather is really bad, we will provide alternative activities indoors.
  • The order of activities will be decided on the day, and depends on the weather and other visiting schools.  Occasionally,  circumstances arise that means the day has to run slightly differently – if this is the case, you will be kept informed.

What to wear

All visitors need to come well prepared for both the worst and the best of British weather.  We recommend:

  • Old clothes rather than uniform.
  • Lots of layers which can be added or taken off.
  • Woolly hats, thick gloves and scarves.
  • Strong, old shoes or trainers are warmer than wellington boots on cold days.
  • Wellington boots are good if it is very wet as it can get very muddy here. Extra socks are needed on cold days.
  • Warm waterproof clothing for wet and cold days. The wind can whip through the site, meaning that a thick jumper is not enough.
  • Sunhats and suncream are necessary on sunny days and in summer as there is very little shade onsite.

What to bring

  • Packed lunches. To see how to make these more exciting and extend your pupils’ learning at the same time, Here are a few ideas on packed lunches and historically themed lunches, click here: meal-suggestions
  • Special Winter Offer: Hot blackcurrant drinks are available at 50p a cup.  A great warmer in the middle of a cold day!  Please place your order on the morning of your visit or before and we will have the drinks ready for your pupils at lunchtime.
  • A named bag, for each child, for muddy wellington boots and a change of shoes are essential to keep the coach drivers happy.
  • Named boxes for each group if you are visiting the shop and/or doing pottery or chalk carving.
  • We recommend that each child brings their own bag and takes home their own rubbish from their lunch.
  • A named water bottle for each child, which can be filled from our outside tap.
  • Spare clothing for children who may not have come suitably dressed
  • First aid kit.

Facilities at the farm

  • Toilet facilities – a block of girls’ toilets and a block of boys’ toilets are attached to the Janus Visitor Centre with a disabled toilet inside the centre.
  • Please do not use antibacterial gel as our eco-sewage system relies on bacteria to process the waste.  Any antibacterial agents will destroy these bacteria.
  • We have no facilities for rubbish – we are a green site and would like to thank all our visitors for helping us maintain this by taking their rubbish home with them.
  • Hot and cold drinks are available to purchase from our shop.
  • If any children need special arrangements (eg for diabetics) please notify us on arrival.

A visit to the shop

Shopping with real money is now a rare experience for many children.  A visit to our shop is a useful maths activity and all the children love it.  We have designed a process that not only gives children the responsibility and freedom to buy what they want, but also dramatically reduces any chance of loss of purchases.

After speaking to teachers who chose to visit our shop during their visit, and speaking to those who did not, we have taken on board their valid comments that they did not realise how child-friendly and reasonably priced our shop is. We thought it might be advantageous to new schools to know the prices of a selection of items we stock here.

For example, we have Stone Age, Iron Age and Roman A3 colouring sheets available for 50p.

For just £2.00 a child can purchase all of the following:

1 x replica Roman coin

1 x Butser pencil

1 x colouring sheet

1 x postcard

We stock the following items at £1.00 each:

Obsidian arrowheads

Bead bracelets

Roman numeral rubbers

Feather quill

Hair braids

We also stock a number of information books from £3.00 about the Stone Age, Iron Age, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, which make great teaching resources for the classroom.

Goodie bags can be made up for your visit for any price – they just have to all be the same. Just ask!

A visit to the shop is NOT classed as one of your activities, and will not take the place of an activity, but we run it as an extra activity:

  • Your pupils will be told that they are in control of their own money.
  • They need to add up the items they want to buy.
  • Ensure they have enough money to pay.
  • Take their items to the till, where our staff will price up their items, put them in a bag with the child’s name on and into a box ready to go on the coach. Please bring labelled boxes for your visit to the shop – one per group.
  • This method ensures a smooth running shopping experience, acts as a useful maths activity and prevents the loss of any shopping, and subsequent upset.
  • If you would prefer your pupils to take their shopping with them at time of purchase, please let us know.
  • If you do not wish to visit the shop, we can provide goodie bags for your group.  Please phone 02392 598838 to discuss.