Give your students an immersive experience of life on the front line without having to leave the UK!
Plan your Visit
We offer authentic experiences in our replica WW1 trench system for both primary and secondary schools that will give your students a real understanding of daily trench life for the British Tommy.
Escorted by experienced guides, some in uniform, students can undertake an immersive experience of trench life, which includes a look inside a dugout, a walk through the trench itself, a demonstration of kit and equipment (including genuine artefacts) as well as an explanation of rations, how soldiers managed to cook and how they survived trench conditions. It’s a great way for students to really experience the damp and claustrophobic conditions of trench life.
We now also offer a series of WW2 interactive talks.
We can tailor your visit according to your school's needs, allowing teachers to choose 3-4 detailed 45 min presentations as described in the sections below. Extended visits are possible for larger groups or for schools wanting a more
How your school visit will be organised and additional information can also be downloaded via the link below:
One of our experts will guide you and your group through the trenches complete with historically correct props including a working periscope, gas alarms and even various tinned foods!
We will show you were soldiers slept, worked and ate and even went to the toilet! (Wheelchair users can observe from various vantage points above the trench system.)
What did the British soldier need to serve in the trenches? An interactive exploration of the uniform and equipment of the soldier in the trenches. Here, the students will see all the physical components of the British uniform and kit, and - COVID dependent - there may even be an unlucky volunteer mannequin!
This presentation can be extended to a hands-on experience as Covid restrictions allow.
Experience an officer's dugout
Discover where officers and signallers worked. Where did they sleep and eat? How did they communicate with Headquarters? Why would four officers only have two bunk beds?
The dugout is purposefully built above ground with two exits to provide a safe environment.
Wheelchair access is available.
We can facilitate you to deliver your own presentations or learning on the history of the Great War if you wish.
in the Trenches
How were countless lives saved during the Great War? An entertaining discussion led by our uniformed medical officer of the RAMC reveals the miracle of triage, scary but fascinating medical instruments, and the chain of evacuation that saw a wounded soldier back from no man's land to relative safety. Perfect for KS4 students studying "Medicine Through Time".
A demonstration of the weapons used in trench warfare during World War One, from the bayonet to machine gun and trench mortar, using inert weapons and projectiles.
We will also explore the realities of gas warfare and methods of protection against gas as the war progressed.
Rations and cooking
What did soldiers eat in the trenches and how did they cook on the front line? Just how hard was an army biscuit? Examine authentic army rations and see a working Aldershot oven and Soyer stove in action on site as would have been used in a WW1 field kitchen!
Life on the Home Front WW1
Our female munitions worker will explore what daily life on the home front may have been like for the housewife left behind. She explains how women's lives changed dramatically during the course of the war. Covering munitions workers, The Land Army, The Post Office, female spies, and VAD nursing with a range of handling objects available alongside actual historic artefacts.
An engaging and interactive session led by an expert on WW1 uniform. Groups can participate in 'dressing Tommy' learning about each item of standard issue kit along the way.
*Audience participation included covid regulations allowing.
Officers on the Front Line
Spend time in our replica officer's dugout (purposefully reconstructed above ground) to learn about the differences of the trench experience and roles across the different ranks and social classes.
The dug out could accommodate 4 officers but there are only 2 bunks...why?
Life on the Home Front
Meet our WW2 housewife who will explore some of the varied roles that women undertook to contribute to the WW2 War effort. and discuss what daily life on the home front may have been like. This talk explores the realities of evacuation, touching on the impact of the 'Phoney War'. We will also investigate the impact of the war on rationing of food and clothing.
Based around our reconstructed Anderson shelter and lead by a uniformed Air Raid Warden this session explores the experience of civilians during the Blitz. Take a look at civilian gas masks, the weapons to watch out for and have a go at using some authentic fire fighting equipment! At the end of the talk participate in an air raid drill and file into our replica Air Raid shelter.
(a Key Stage two presentation).
The Home Guard
A costumed home guardsman will introduce the real Dad's Army who were operating in Britain during WW2.
Explore the role of the Home Guard in the event of an invasion of Britain? Explore the uniform and weapons used as well as some of the tactics Britain put in place to protect her shores.
Led by Lead Historian Andy Robertshaw, this talk explores the military history of our site. Great for topics on local / Kent history this talk will discuss the heavy bombardment of Detling Airfield during WW2 by the German Luftwaffe which resulted in many casualties.
Learn the story of one such raid.
Free all day parking for multiple mini buses and coaches
Male, Female and disabled access toilets
Indoor teaching and picnic areas
Our staff are familiar with emergency procedures and first aid kits are accessible on site.
Based on a class of 30 students:
10:00 Arrival / safety briefing
10:15 Explore the trench
11:00 Comfort break
11:15 Dressing Tommy Talk
12:00 Life on Home Front Talk
12:45 Lunch (indoor available)
13:15 Medicine in the trenches
If several classes are attending they can rotate around talks.
Off to the battlefields of Europe?
We are en route and less than an hour's drive from Dover.
A part day trench visit can be combined with a visit to the Royal Engineers Museum in Chatham or for remembrance a visit to Shornecliffe Cemetery at Hythe that contains Great War and Second World War burials including the Chinese Labour Corps, Canadians and German Prisoners of War.