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"Explore the Island's prehistoric landscape under the Solent. "

External picture of Archaeology Discovery Centre

Handle the artefacts left behind by ancient boatbuilders at Bouldnor some 8000 years ago. Indoor learning around archaeological evidence, science and techniques of marine exploration. Outdoor learning activities to understand the hunter gatherer lifestyle include recreating prehistoric technologies in our country park by foraging for the raw materials to produce cave paintings.


This venue provides its own educational materials

Stone Age Activity Day

Handle the artefacts left behind by ancient boatbuilders at Bouldnor some 8000 years ago, and explore with archaeologists how we find out about the Stone Age from the evidence our ancestors left behind at our Stone Age settlement under the sea. Forage in our country park for the raw materials and natural resources to make cave paintings and create your own piece of Stone Age history!

Enable students to replicate primary evidence and undertake experimental archaeology challenges including building a Mesolithic house in the country park, using flint tools and making string. Fully explore the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and early man's relationship with the environment.

Half day or Full day

Saxon Activity Day

Excavate Saxon finds like an archaeologist! Examine and interpret primary sources and placename evidence for Saxon settlement, art and culture. Activities include fun hands-on learning about Saxon life with students making their own brooches or clay pots to build knowledge and understanding.

This session provides opportunities for students to express ideas artistically and enjoy an outdoor learning environment.

Half day or Full day

Victorian Activity Session

Experience daily life as a Victorian soldier! Hands-on learning exploring the history of this significant fort - the first Palmerston fort on the Island built in defence against the French in 1855.

An introduction to historical enquiry skills and sources of historical and archaeological evidence which tell us about this significant place and people including Prime Minister Palmerston, Queen Victoria and Napeolon III. We will compare aspects of life in different periods by asking and answering questions about the past and interpreting the archaeological evidence in the historic fabrics and artefacts.

Two Hour Session

World War II Activity Session

Discover our amazing WWII archaeology and handle WWII finds plus genuine aircraft wreckage to find our how artefacts, historical documents and old maps help us investigate Battle of Britain and World War 2.

Using games to reinforce historical enquiry skills and challenges set around historical and archaeological evidence, we will have fun discovering more about the secret role of Fort Victoria in WWII.

Two Hour Session

The Science of Discovery (KS2 STEM Activity)

Searchlights, cannons, submarine cables, diving under the ocean - how does it all work? Students are challenged to make observations and predictions to work scientifically before carrying out a series of tests to discover basic scientific principles in this unique setting.

Indoor and outdoor sessions cover forces, light, sound, electricity and the principles behind maritime exploration including underwater archaeology survey techniques.

Two and a Half Hour Session

KS1 Activities - "Shipwrecked!" or "Pirate Island!"

Shipwrecked: Fun hands-on learning about shipwrecks around our shores. How do archaeologists find shipwrecks? Why do ships sink? What sorts of things are found on shipwrecks and what can this tell us about life in the past?

Pirate Island: Learn about life on a pirate ship and how to share out treasure! Explore what our cannon was for and hear stories about piracy on the Isle of Wight.

Both KS1 sessions build knowledge and understanding of the ways that people learn about the past through interaction with historical sources and artefact handling, participation and investigation to compare aspects of life in different periods.

90 Minute Session


The following information is not intended to form a comprehensive access statement; it is provided to highlight particular areas of concern for disabled visitors. We do not warrant that this information is fit for purpose or accurate. Education Destination will happily assist with gathering information in respect of particular concerns, or help you arrange an inspection visit.

To help you determine whether Archaeology Discovery Centre is suitable for your particular students, we've summarised any accessibility issues for you in the section below.

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We are awaiting an assessment. If you plan to visit in the near future, please contact us for more details if accessibility is a concern for you.


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Opening Dates, Times and Restrictions

Many Island venues and attractions, especially those outdoors, have limitations on opening times during the year. Additionally, some have limits on the number of group tours on any given date for safety and capacity reasons.

This section helps you identify whether Archaeology Discovery Centre has any such restrictions during your preferred visit dates.

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A variety of instructor-led activities are available ranging from 90 minutes to a full day.

Open all year

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Helping you come prepared!

In this section we've highlighted any special clothing or equipment you'll need to bring in order to get the most out of a visit to Archaeology Discovery Centre

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There are no special requirements for a visit to Archaeology Discovery Centre.


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All of the supporting documentation you'll need

One of the most common issues faced by teachers when planning trips is ensuring that all of the relevant paperwork is in place, and that the lead teacher and their assistants are fully briefed about each venue before they arrive.

Our experienced teachers have done most of this work for you. In this section you'll find a sample Risk Assessment covering all of the typical activities undertaken at Archaeology Discovery Centre by groups of students, along with a detailed "On The Day" Procedure which sets out everything you need to know about the site before you get there.

If there are any other mandatory considerations, such as HSE advice sheets for animal attractions or outdoor activity centres, you'll also find these below.

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Generic risk assessment for Archaeology Discovery Centre

For your convenience this generic risk assessment has been prepared to cover all of the typical activities undertaken at Archaeology Discovery Centre. You may use it as the basis for your own documentation. We do not warrant that this is either complete or accurate, and would be happy to help arrange a site pre-visit if required.

Generic Risk Assessment (PDF) →


COMING SOON! - we're currently working on this document and it will be published in advance of any visits booked here.


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Archaeology Discovery Centre is located at:

Fort Victoria Country Park
Westhill Lane
PO41 0RR