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The Russell-Cotes is the ideal environment to stimulate and inspire children’s imaginations and creativity.

For further information or to book a free teacher’s pre-visit, to see how a trip to the Russell-Cotes could enrich your curriculum studies, email the Learning & Community Team via russellcotes.learning@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Self-Led School Visits

The Russell-Cotes is a great place for an educational visit, with lots of links to various topics including History, Geography, RE, ​Theatre and Art.

With over 1000 objects and works of art on display the Russell-Cotes also makes and excellent drawing resource. Sketching is permitted within the historic house, but we do not allow wet materials or charcoal.

We welcome school group visits all year round, for enquiries or to make a group booking please contact us on 01202 128000 (during opening hours) or email russellcotes.learning@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Supported Visits and Workshops

Beside the Seaside: From parasols to penny licks, discover how the seaside developed during the Victorian period and how it has changed since then.  Investigate the changes through the study of paintings, sculpture and object handling.

Heroes, Gods and Monsters: Perseus, Pegasus and Aphrodite are just some of the characters from Ancient Greece whose myths are told in painting, sculpture, ceramic and decorative features around the historic house. Discover how these stories have inspired artists through the ages.

A Victorian Christmas: Discover the charms and delights of a Victorian Christmas. What would Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes have eaten for their Christmas dinner? Who invented the Christmas card and cracker? These are just some of the things you will discover during the session in addition to playing traditional Victorian games, singing songs and making a Christmas craft.

Portrait Detectives: Explore the Russell-Cotes’ wonderful portrait collection. Study the pose, composition, audience and purpose. This interactive session includes observational sketching and culminates in the pupils creating a unique self-portrait.

Museum tour and object handling session: In this session pupils will explore the house and collection to investigate Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes. Who were they? What did they do? Why did they leave their home to the people of Bournemouth? After the tour pupils will participate in an object handling session and use key thinking skills to investigate the objects.

Art Workshops: Practical hands-on workshops are a fabulous way to develop key skills and try new techniques to create either individual or collaborative pieces of art work.

How to book a School Learning Session

Call the Learning Team at the museum on 01202 128000 or email russellcotes.learning@bcpcouncil.gov.uk with the following information;

  • Name of session
  • Preferred date and time of visit
  • School contact details
  • Number and ages of students
  • Number of adults
  • Any SEN or access needs

If there is a particular theme or topic you would like us to support, please contact the Learning Team.


Learning Team Session: £4.50 per pupil*, accompanying teachers free of charge.

* For art workshops there may be an additional charge for materials.

Self-Led Visits: £4.50 per pupil, accompanying teachers free of charge.

Please Note

Teachers are to accompany students at all times. To protect the fragile historic house and our world-class collections, bags and rucksacks are not permitted. Please ensure that students do not bring these items into the house.

Coaches can drop off passengers on Westover Road, close to the museum. This location is convenient for other coach drop-off points in Bournemouth. More Coach Parking details here.

Arts Award

We can support your delivery of Arts Award – many of our workshops include a practical art, craft or role play activity, in addition to viewing the art collection and exhibitions.

Bournemouth and Poole Cultural Hub

The Russell-Cotes is a member of the Cultural Hub, a unique consortium of arts/cultural organisations and schools in Bournemouth and Poole which promotes a direct and meaningful relationship between the education and cultural sectors.  Its role is to bring together colleagues from schools and cultural organisations to create, develop and deliver inspirational learning opportunities for children and young people.

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Additional Information

For enquiries or to make a school booking please contact us on 01202 12800 (during opening hours) or email russellcotes.learning@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

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