Self-led school visits
If you’re planning to visit one of London’s Royal Parks on your own with your school, home school group or uniform group (e.g. Scouts, Girl Guides) you’ve come to the right place.
Please read our guidelines below to help organise your visit and help us protect the parks for future generations.
As part of our Learning programmes for all ages, we offer inspiring outdoor learning sessions for school groups linked to the curriculum, from Early Years to A level. We can also visit your school for assemblies and workshops. Other types of activities are available across the parks to suit all needs and learning styles, including SEND groups and home school groups.
To find out more and to book a session, go to our Schools page.
Online learning resources
Groups can also explore our fun and practical learning resources inspired by the parks’ nature and heritage. Online learning resources will be available soon.
Visiting on your own
If you would like to visit the Royal Parks on your own with your school or uniform group, we’ve prepared a set of useful resources and guidelines to help you adhere to the Parks rules and get the most out of your trip.
Please note these guidelines are for informal and one-off visits only. All outdoor learning sessions for schools in the parks are delivered through our Learning programmes. Please go to our Schools page.
The Royal Parks is the charity responsible for managing some of the world’s most famous parks in one of the world’s greatest capital cities. The parks comprise 5,000 acres of beautiful, natural and historic royal parkland across London. It is our responsibility to consider the needs of all park users and to encourage new people to discover what the parks have to offer, balancing activity and relaxation with conserving the parks’ environment and heritage.
The eight Royal Parks, and the other remarkable green spaces we look after, have been part of the fabric of London for centuries, and some of them are among the most visited attractions in the UK. They contain listed landscapes, biodiverse environments and rare habitats. This includes 170,000 trees, 21 lakes and ponds, 15 miles of river, wildflower meadows, formal flowerbeds, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and a diverse variety of wildlife, including around 1,000 wild deer.
The Royal Parks are:
Bushy Park, Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, St James’s Park, and The Regent’s Park. We also take care of Brompton Cemetery and Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Palace of Westminster.
The Royal Parks are visited by millions of people a year so it's always a good idea to find out about What’s on, so that you are aware of the events that are happening in each park before you visit.
To help you prepare your risk assessment, please consider the following risks:
- Access and egress
- Trees (Oak Processionary Moth, allergies)
- Meadows (allergies, litter and sharp objects)
- Water bodies (e.g., drowning, Weil’s disease)
- Handling unknown plants (possible toxicity)
- Deer (roaming free in Bushy and Richmond Parks)
- Weather (severe weather conditions)
- Events (areas of the park may be closed to the public or very busy)
- Safeguarding (e.g., what to do if a child goes missing, other incidents)
- Slips / falls (in particular when walking on uneven ground)
- Stings / bites (e.g., Lyme disease)
- Cycle paths and roads
This list is not exhaustive. You will need to consider the specific areas of the park you are planning to visit as well as the activities that the group will be doing in the park.
More information about the above can be found in these guidelines.
Please bring a maximum of 2 classes when you visit or 65 students in total. If you would like to bring a larger group, you will need to seek appropriate permission by contacting the park you want to visit – please use the get in touch form.
Adult / pupil ratios
Please make sure you meet the minimum adult / pupil ratios, as set out by your school or organisation. It is the responsibility of each teacher or group leader to follow these ratios and help safeguard children and young people under your supervision.
Remember to check the weather before you visit, and to instruct your group to bring appropriate clothing - you never know when a heatwave or a downpour may occur!
In general, we recommend wearing sturdy shoes and to always bring water with you, sun cream and bite cream. For colder months, we recommend a raincoat / parka, beanie / hat, a warm sweater and gloves. For warmer months, we recommend wearing hat / cap and light clothes, and to bring water.
Check our Visitor Information pages from each park to find a park map (also downloadable as pdf) and find out about how to get to each park, transport links, access points, toilets, playgrounds, cafes and other facilities and amenities available.
Where to go
Near each park entrance you will find a notice board with a map of the park. Please follow marked paths and signs.
We advise groups to find open parkland for activities. Please avoid formal gardens / woodlands and meadows unless you’re taking part in one of our Learning programme outdoor sessions.
Please note that cycling is only permitted on selected routes, so make sure you check signs and look around when crossing internal roads and cycling lanes.
School groups can use public toilets available across the parks free of charge. For opening times, please see the Visitor Information section for each park on our website.
Please show your school / education identity card to the toilet attendant so they can let your group go through the gates. For any issues please get in touch here.
If you would like to bring packed lunches with your group and have a picnic in the park, always remember to take your litter back with you. This will help us minimise rubbish collection, vehicle movement and reduce harm to local wildlife.
Please note that it’s not permitted to cook or barbecue in any of the Royal Parks due to risk of fires.
The parks are also home to many kiosks and cafes if you fancy an ice cream or a drink.
Games and sports
Please be considerate to other park visitors when playing games in the parks, the parks are for everyone to enjoy.
We have designated areas for organised team games like football, netball or rugby in several parks, and are home to local sport leagues and clubs. To find out more, go to our get in touch page.
Equipment / tents / gazebos / flags / banners
Please do not bring large items of equipment, erect tents, marquees, gazebos, flags or other structures while visiting the parks. Please note it’s not permitted to distribute or display promotional material in the Royal Parks.
Trees and wildlife
We have 170,000 trees across all the Royal Parks. Some have been here for hundreds of years and are home to thousands of wildlife – birds, mammals, invertebrates, and fungi. If your group would like to sit under a tree in the park, please be mindful they are living habitats. Please be wary of oak trees between the months of April and June as there is a risk of oak processionary moth nests. For more information visit: the Oak Processionary Moth page.
Please note it’s not permitted to climb trees or fix anything to them.
For more information about the trees and wildlife you can find across the Royal Parks, check the Help Nature Thrive project, with dozens of tips and activities.
Please avoid playing loud music, as this will disturb wildlife and impact other visitors.
Leave no trace
Please make sure you and your group collect all litter and take it with you when leaving the park.
Safeguarding / emergencies
In case of any emergencies, please contact the Police by calling 999 immediately. In non-emergency situations, please call the Royal Parks Police: 111.
Thank you for following these guidelines. With your support, we can continue to take care of the Royal Parks for future generations.
We hope you have a lovely time in the Royal Parks with your group. Why not follow up your trip with a more in-depth visit to discover and learn about the parks led by our Learning teams? To book a session, go to: Learn - The Royal Parks
We hope you enjoy your day out in the Royal Parks.
You’ll find a wide range of activity resources on our Learn Online page, which have been designed by our specialist Learning team to introduce your students to the parks in advance of their visit or to help them explore while they’re here. For example:
- Familiarise your students with Hyde Park’s history and landscapes before they arrive using Google Earth, with our “Historic Comparisons” resource
- Get your students examining trees like our arboriculturists while practising numeracy skills, using Numeracy with Trees
- As you move around the park with your group, give them our bird spotter sheets to use – or in winter hunt for the invertebrates that are hardy enough to still be visible
The Royal Parks are home to a wide range of opportunities and facilities, from play, leisure and sports, to arts, culture and heritage. Below, a few suggestions for inspiration:
- The Hub Sports Centre and outdoor pitches in The Regent’s Park
- Will to Win Tennis Centre, in Greenwich Park, Hyde Park and The Regent’s Park
- We have dozens of playgrounds across the Royal Parks, with the most well-known being the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, in Kensington Gardens.
- Visit each park’s page to find out opening times, facilities and locations. For enquiries, please contact us here.
- Boating and pedalo hire service in The Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, The Boating Lake in The Regent’s Park and in Greenwich Park.
- For school groups: £15 per boat per hour, max 4 people per boat, with 1 adult per group of 3 boats minimum (adults / teachers would need to be mindful of two other boats). Minimum age: 8 years old +.
- Pre book only, please complete this online form.
Arts and culture:
- The Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park – virtual tour
- The Serpentine Galleries, Kensington Gardens
- Kensington Palace – Historic Royal Palaces
- Open Air Theatre, The Regent’s Park
- Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park
In the local area:
- Buckingham Palace
- Churchill War Rooms
- National Gallery
- Kensington Palace
- Serpentine Galleries
- Apsley House
- Science Museum
- Natural History Museum
- Victoria & Albert Museum
- London Zoo
- Maritime Museum
- Hampton Court Palace
- National Maritime Museum