Photos of Alton Castle
What will students see and do?
Perched at the top of the Churnet Valley, Alton Castle is a Grade II listed neo-gothic building designed by A.W. Pugin and built in 1847. It was constructed within the ruins of the previous medieval castle, which is a Grade I listed scheduled ancient monument, making it a truly fascinating site.
These days, Alton Castle is a Catholic youth retreat centre that encourages visitors to grow closer to God and each other through a unique blend of outdoor activities and inspiring retreat experiences.
Youths are encouraged to trust in each other, work together and conquer challenges. Activities include abseiling, archery, team building games, mountain biking, rock climbing, trekking, survival skills and crate stacking.
As well as regular residentials, the site offers a day retreat programme for schools that are preparing young people for their First Holy Communion, combining team building activities with times of prayer and reflection to help young people think more deeply about receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Alternatively, Confirmation Day retreats use challenging activities to support pupils as they prepare to be confirmed into their faith.
How does the trip link to the curriculum?
Residential retreats provide young people with many opportunities to pray and reflect, including a small group night gathering, where young people are invited to pray openly, and the celebration of mass on the second evening.
Staff at Alton Castle put together a selection of activities suited to the age range of young people on the retreat. These activities, combined with the times of prayer, meditation and reflection, help to promote personal, social and spiritual development.
The castle’s beautiful setting provides an opportunity for young people to go out and appreciate the surrounding countryside.
Teaching resources provided
Several resources have been created by Alton Castle’s team to support young people after their retreat.
These include videos on praying, educating students on the stations of the cross, the ‘our Father’ and the ‘hail Mary’; sample prayers for each day of the week; and educational resources on Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Advent.
Minimum and maximum group size
Alton Castle works on a ratio of 1:10 and asks that you check with your local authority or academy policy on supervision ratios whilst on educational visits.
The castle’s accommodation comfortably sleeps 75 young people and their accompanying staff/adults.
Details of risk assessment
A general risk assessment is available to download from the website; ones for specific tasks and activities are available on request.
Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment
Inside the castle, there are dormitory style bedrooms over four floors, a large dining room, two meeting rooms, two games rooms, a tuck shop and a chapel in the crypt on the lower ground floor.
Monday to Saturday: 9am-5pm
Contact Alton Castle directly for pricing information.
Alton Castle is situated in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands and picturesque Churnet Valley, less than one mile from the centre of Alton.
There is free parking and the nearest train station is Uttoxeter.
Visitors can also enjoy plenty of nearby attractions, including Alton Towers Theme Park and Extraordinary Golf.
Kenelm Youth Trust
Castle Hill Road
Book your school trip to Alton Castle
For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.