Planning your visit - information for parents and children

Learn about our fantastic accommodation, food, activities and staff and find out what you need to bring

You will really enjoy your visit to Minstead.

Your child's teacher will give you a medical form to alert us to your child's needs.

We do not recommend phoning your child unless it is an emergency or a very special occasion. For emergencies only phone 023 8081 3437.


Sleep in our eco-dormitory, a beautiful timber framed building with solar heating and rainwater capture. There are 2 dormitories, one for girls and one for boys. All the bedding is provided and there is under floor heating and modern washrooms. Teacher bedrooms are closely linked to both dormitories.

Every drop of water you use and every watt of electricity will be monitored. How do you keep clean, and use resources sensibly?

The bean bag room is the place for relaxation in the evening. A unique interactive energy display shows how the building functions by displaying the children’s daily energy and water use.

Minstead eco-dorm

We feed our visitors extremely well.

The day begins with a hot breakfast. You can make your own sandwiches or wraps for lunch and also have fruit and cake. There is a substantial evening meal and a pre-bed supper of milk and homemade biscuits. We provide everything needed so please don't pack extra food.

If there are any specific dietary requirements, let us know in advance as our cook is usually able to cater for most types of special diet. It is especially important that you let us know about any serious food allergies.

New Forest District Council has adopted the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) and have awarded us the highest possible rating.

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - level 5


The wild woods

Dressed for the forest, with water and supplies to last, you will set off from the Blue circle in search of wild animals, amazing bouncing bogs, a silent walk, listening to the sounds of the woods.

The sky on a winter’s night

A walk in the grounds follows an introduction to the sky on the interactive whiteboard. You will visit an ancient stone circle, predict where the sun will rise and set, and use an armillary to show the sun's transit across the sky. Evenings will never be the same again!

Stories in the round house

Learn an ancient story and match it with one of the story panels we have on the dormitory.

Further information about activities

A typical day
Time Activity
8.15am Breakfast
10am Morning sessions
11.30am Break and snack
1pm Lunch
2pm Afternoon activity
5pm Dinner
6.15pm Evening activity
8pm Hot chocolate and off to bed
What to bring

Much of the time will be spent outdoors. Suitable clothing and footwear are essential.

Mark all articles with a name. A kit list helps to make sure all belongings are collected at the end of the week.

Kit list

Why not order a Minstead t-shirt? Teachers can organise the purchase of these t-shirts ready for the visit.
  • Wellington boots are essential, clearly named - preferably on the outside
  • Waterproof clothing, such as a kagoul and trousers (there are some waterproofs at the Centre that may be borrowed)
  • Warm coat or jacket
  • Gloves, hat, scarf, extra sweaters in the cold months
  • Sun hats and sun cream in the summer
  • Night clothes and slippers
  • Enough socks and underclothing to last
  • Toilet things in a bag - toothbrush and paste, soap, brush etc
  • Towel, shower caps for children with long hair
  • Large bag for dirty clothing
  • Insect repellent
  • A cuddly toy
  • Long sleeved tops and long trousers - these are worn throughout the year

Binoculars, cameras, watches and compasses are worth bringing, but children will be expected to care for their own property.

We prefer that children do not bring torches, mobile phones, electronic games, food and drink or any money on the trip