Ushaw is a unique estate located on the outskirts of Durham. The beautiful grounds are steeped in history and culture.

Discover Ushaw's rich history and explore the vast estate facilitates, including its picturesque gardens, woodland and traditional games field.

Schools visiting Ushaw can expect an unforgettable day out, whether this is becoming a detective hunting for historical clues, playing traditional and modern local games or discovering the magical creatures who live in this unique place.

In addition to the varied outdoor grounds, Ushaw also boasts stunning Georgian and Gothic architecture, which hosts amenities including two tea rooms and toilet facilities.

You can choose the curriculum content of your visit by selecting from our extensive range of sessions below or have a visit tailor-made to your own curriculum focus and requirements.


Story Writing – available as a full day or two half days

Inspire creative writing through an exciting morning at Ushaw, where pupils will meet the mysterious creatures that live here and explore its unique history. Learn why the mythical serpent and fox were turned to wood, discover what is hiding behind the secret fairy door and use your senses to see if you can hear the stories of the trees in the woodland. Create your own story narrative using the characters you meet and the places you explore, to plan a piece of writing like no other!

Combine the above session with an exciting afternoon to inspire non-fiction writing, imaging what the diary of an Ushaw pupil or servant might have looked like. Learn about life as a pupil, practice your Latin, see if you can communicate without breaking your strict vow of silence, and discover the hidden stories of the children who worked as servants at Ushaw.

Traditional and Modern Games – available as a full day or two half days 

Use your Sports Premium monies to discover the unusual games that the students at Ushaw used to play and compare and contrast these with traditional, local games and their modern day equivalents. Try your hand at: Cat, Keeping Up and Handball in the specialized area at Ushaw. Follow this with traditional local games like 'KingO', French Skippy, and Penny Toss. Finally, can you develop your own modern game for another group to play using the facilities at Ushaw?

Local History Study – full day 

Discover the remarkable history of Ushaw and learn why it has been such a significant place in the local area since 1808.

Start the day by being a detective and hunting for historical clues in the grounds. Can you use these clues to determine Ushaw’s historical past? In the afternoon find out if you were correct when you learn about the history of Ushaw, exploring the different buildings and discovering why it was such an important place in County Durham. How does the truth compare to what you imagined during the morning session?

Maths Challenges – half day

Can you step up to the challenge and apply your mathematical knowledge and skills to solve problems around the grounds? Work with dates from Ushaw’s graveyard, discover a vast variety of shapes in nature, measure the size of a mythical serpent’s scales and complete other exciting mathematical challenges.

Year 6 Celebration Day (June/July Only) – full day

Celebrate completing SATs and look back on your primary school journey, reflecting on all the great times you’ve had. Make a class portrait out of natural materials and create a collection of memories to take away by completing a specially devised memory trail.

Spooky Writing (October Only) – half day

Inspire your own piece of creative writing with a spooky twist! During the month of Halloween, visit the mysterious areas of Ushaw (including its graveyard and the eerie Junior House building) and discover the strange clay faces hidden in the trees.

Den Building

Can you select suitable natural materials and use your knowledge of forces, such as gravity and friction, to design and build a stable and waterproof shelter for you and your friends?

Environmental Arts and Crafts

Be inspired by the art created by local artists and installed in the Ushaw Moor grounds. Can you use a range of natural materials to create sculptures and pictures, thinking about colour, texture, pattern, line and shape?

Fairies in the Grounds

Visitors to Ushaw have reported catching glimpses of some tiny creatures. Can you explore the grounds of Ushaw to find evidence of fairies?

Homes and Habitats

What wildlife lives in Ushaw’s grounds and how does it provide for their basic needs? Are these animals and plants adapted to survive in other environments?

Mini Beasts and Wildlife

Take a closer look at the life of a minibeast; can you find any of them in Ushaw’s grounds?


Develop your geographical skills by learning how to find features on a map and using it to navigate. Put your knowledge to the test by following an exciting orienteering course around Ushaw’s grounds.

Seasonal Sessions

How does Ushaw change throughout the year? Observe and talk about seasonal changes through Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer themed activities at the appropriate time of year.

Rainforest Survival Day

Learn about the plant layers of the rainforest and the animals that live there. Explore a local woodland at Ushaw; how does it compare or contrast to a rainforest? Finally put your survival skills to the test; can you make a shelter suitable for a rainforest? Can you decide which rainforest plants would be useful and which plants would be poisonous?

Sensory Exploration

Use your senses to explore Ushaw’s grounds. Compare textures on a texture trail, search for colour and patterns in nature and listen to the sounds to discover what wildlife lives here.

Survival Skills

What do we need to survive? Learn about the challenges you face in the outdoors, such as bad weather and lack of water, and see if you can work together to come up with practical solutions to overcome these.

Tree and Plant Identification

Learn about common plants and trees found in County Durham. Use your senses to discover different plants and trees in Ushaw’s grounds; can you identify them?

Outdoor Myths and Legends

Explore different areas of Ushaw and look at associated local myths and legends, such as the lake braag and the sockburn worm.

Contact OASES to book your trip today

Contact OASES


Outdoor and Sustainability Education Service
The EWE Centre,
Esh Winning Primary School
The Wynds, Esh Winning,
Durham, DH7 9BE