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
Dining room at Minstead Study Centre

The day starts with a continental breakfast of toast and cereals, with local fruit juice and homemade jam. Croissants are served on one of the mornings of your visit too.

Lunch is wraps or sandwiches which the children make themselves, served with a homemade cake, fruit and crudités.

Evening meals are hot, homemade and delicious, and schools make their menu choices in the months leading up to a visit.

In addition, either a selection of fruit, homemade biscuits or homemade savoury items are served as snacks mid morning and mid afternoon.

With all our food, we try to include Minstead harvested, or local produce wherever possible.

For any specific dietary requirements, schools must let us know beforehand, and we are 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

A typical day
Time Activity
8.00am Set breakfast tables
8.15am Breakfast
9.30am to 12.30pm Session (with break)
12.30pm to 1.30pm Picnic lunch
1.30pm to 4.30pm Session 
4.40pm to 5pm Dorm time/set dinner tables
5pm to 6pm Dinner
6pm to 8pm Session (led by MSC first eve, school second)
8pm onwards Hot choc and bedtime
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

This list may be helpful for packing:

  • Wellingtons (with a separate bag to put them in, and either thick socks or lots of socks!)
  • An additional pair of outdoor shoes (trainers etc)
  • Slippers, or alternative indoor shoes
  • Long trousers for activities
  • Tops
  • Waterproofs - coat (essential) and trousers (if possible)
  • Fleece or jacket
  • Gloves, hat, scarf, extra sweaters (in colder months)
  • Insect repellent, sun screen and sun hats (in warmer months)
  • Nightwear
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Toiletries (in a washbag)
  • Towel
  • Large plastic bag / bin liner for dirty clothing and spare plastic bags for shoes
  • Small game for free time (e.g. Top trumps)
  • Water bottle
  • Book
  • Small day sack – suitable for carrying on a walk in the woods

Please name all belongings clearly.

Please don’t bring:

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Bedding
  • Mobile phones, electronic games etc
  • Food and drink

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