Battisborough House logo

Battisborough House, a beautiful South Devon country house for rent with panoramic sea views

Available to rent for residential trips for schools, as a large holiday home or as a venue for functions, meetings, classes & retreats

Residential Trips for Schools

Battisborough House offers the opportunity for children from Year 4 upwards to learn and engage outside the classroom in the breathtaking Devon coastal countryside with panoramic views of the sea.

Available all year round, a stay at Battisborough House will give your students the opportunity to overcome challenges and build their confidence whilst gaining a sense of achievement and self-esteem.

There’s no need to travel, the house is surrounded by a plethora of natural learning resources – the beach, the coast, woodland and extensive grounds. We provide a stunning venue for an unforgettable active, educational and fun residential trip for both your pupils and teachers. You just have to decide how long you wish to stay!

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Reviews from Teachers and Pupils

Couldn’t imagine going anywhere else!

We always look forward to our visits to Battisborough House, drawn in by its exclusive use, stunning grounds, and convenient proximity to the local beach and further exploration. The accommodation is spacious, clean and our children love the large dormitories so that they can spend down time with their friends. Becky, our host, radiates warmth… Read more “Couldn’t imagine going anywhere else!”

Leanne M. School Teacher

Something I will never forget

One day when we were down in Battisborough we went to the beach and went paddle boarding, this is something I will never… Read more “Something I will never forget”

A pupil's review

Beautiful spot

I was a student here from 1974 to 76, so it’s particularly special to me, but you will not easily find a more beautiful spot and fascinating place to… Read more “Beautiful spot”


Battisborough is special to me

Battisborough is special to me because of all of the memories of the beach and creating new friendships. We always have a great time together and we are really lucky to have an opportunity like… Read more “Battisborough is special to me”

School pupil visited in the summer

Spending time with your friends

The best thing about Battisborough trips is spending time with your friends. It is a place where you can spend lots of time down at the beach with many different beautiful views seen on the… Read more “Spending time with your friends”

Pupil who stayed in the summer

Breathtaking views

With breathtaking views in every direction, Battisborough presents a panorama of possibilities …from stunning hikes along the coastline to beach walks. For children, it is a chance to live like an Enid Blyton book – wholesome food, endless outdoor play, bunk beds in dorms and running free by the seaside. Battisborough and its idyllic setting… Read more “Breathtaking views”

Elizabeth L. School Teacher


If I had to describe Battisborough, I would describe it as adventurous, beautiful, picturesque, and fun. The dorms are so fun to sleep and play games in. The perfect dining hall that looks directly down the valley out to the sea is a feeling from a… Read more “Fun”

A former pupil's memory

Special to me

Battisborough is special to me as I had so many great memories of my visits there, like when we played volleyball and cricket on the the… Read more “Special to me”

A returning pupil

Children around a campfire at night
Children walking down the drive of Battisborough House
Sea views from the window of Battisborough House
Boy on the grass with a clip board overlooking the sea

What Makes us the perfect choice for your school?

Whilst staying at Battisborough House, children have the opportunity to engage with the natural environment, develop holistically and not fragment or segment their learning into neatly defined areas of the curriculum. They have an ever-changing landscape where they can revisit, repeat and rehearse their complex learning applying their newly acquired skills and knowledge to different situations. A bespoke chef prepares all meals and snacks which include picnics for offsite adventures and hot chocolate around the camp fire.

How is it run?

There is time and space for unplanned, unexpected and ultimately, unlimited learning. Activities are either run by the onsite forest and beach school leader, or by your staff or instructors who will come to the house or meet you on location. Children have the chance to learn core skills, bond as a team and develop confidence and leadership all in an atmosphere of adventure.

Children walking to the beach from Battisborough House

What do we provide?

Sleeping, Eating and Relaxing

  • All meals are included, breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a light lunch, a mid-afternoon snack and a hot dinner
  • Bed linen
  • Space for up to 30 children to sleep in small dormitory rooms, spread across the first and second floors, with an additional 6 on camp beds to sleep a total of 36
  • Possibility to expand to larger groups of 80 with the use of large bell tents
  • Separate rooms for boys and girls as well as separate shower facilities
  • Ample capacity for up to  8 -10 visiting staff in 6 rooms, 4 of which are ensuite rooms with sea views
  • 2 living rooms, a large dining room, and a big farmhouse kitchen and laundry room, all connected by a huge hallway
  • Dedicated drying room for wetsuits and damp coats
  • Boot room
  • Dogs are also welcome
  • Boardgames and television
  • Wifi

Use of all facilities

  • Access to the store room which is fully stocked with sports equipment including footballs, rackets, tennis balls, croquet set and basketballs
  • Camping and campfire area
  • Tennis/basketball court
  • Private access to the South West Coast Path

    The Battisborough House approach to learning

    Battisborough House fits well with the philosophy of Kurt Hahn who was born June 5th,1886 and died December 14th, 1974. “There is more in you than you think” is an inscription found on the wall of a family home in Belgium before World War II. It became the motto for the school Kurt Hahn founded in Britain, Gordonstoun, and the leitmotiv of his philosophy: that each of us has more courage, more strength and more compassion than we would ever have fathomed. Kurt Hahn’s calling in life was to help people around the world realize this truth about themselves.

    “I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion.” – Kurt Hahn.

    The House is owned by Hall Grove School, Bagshot in Surrey. The Kurt Hahn approach to learning prevails with children spending as much time as possible outside often following their own channels of learning or simply having time to ‘be’ and play with friends. Children attending Hall Grove stay at Battisborough every year from Year 4 until they leave the school at Year 8. When reflecting with the children at the end of their Hall Grove experience many of them say that the weeks spent at BH over the years are the best memories of their education so far.

    Children walking up the Battisborough House
    Children bodyboarding down at the beach
    Children rock pooling on the beach
    Children running into the waves

    What activities are on Offer?

    The two main areas for activity when based at the house are the extensive grounds around the house or down on Mothecombe Beach and the River Erme.

    At the House

    There are endless opportunities at Battisborough House, here are a few examples:-

    • Bush Craft: fire making, cooking, den building, orienteering
    • Leadership and team building: steeple chase, cobweb, blindfold walks with your friend, stick towers, carrying sticks together
    • Sport: archery, pistol/rifle shooting football pitch, tennis/netball/volleyball court
    • Science/Geography: quadrant sampling species, sieving, food chains, tides, weather, sundials, Flower pressing, Kite making, making a rain gauge, making a log walkway
    • Natural Science: bird watching, building bug houses, building a bird hide, building a pitfall trap
    • Creative design: water painting, making a nature walk bracelet, constructing a water wall, bark rubbing, mud painting, story stick, clay tree faces, weaving a bird’s nest, outdoor memory game, matchbox challenge, weaving, montage, fairy dens
    • Drama and Story: stage an open-air play/concert, go on a bear hunt…story maps
    • Indoor activity: lotto/bingo, murder mystery, talent evenings, movie nights, diary writing, quiz nights
    • Visiting a working farm (seasonal) and tasting the locally made Surfing Cow ice cream

    On the beach

    Down on the beach, children can explore life cycles, food chains, tidal zones, erosion, flora, and fauna or simply let their imaginations run wild

    • How many different things can you find within the hula hoop?
    • Rock pooling at low tide
    • Beachcombing and games with bottles/ driftwood etc
    • Sieving for Flotsam and jetsam
    • Scavenger hunting or creating sand art
    • Damming and diverting the stream, making a boat to race
    • Playing games such as Rounders, Cricket or Tag or inventing Target games
    • Exploring tidal zones of the beach
    • Making a tide clock
    • Paddleboarding with Salcombe Water Sports who have permission to run sessions on the beach (weather permitting).

    Where an activity requires licenced instructors we use Reach Outdoors which is registered with the Adventure Activity Licencing Authority (AALA) providing qualified instructors for adventure activities and outdoor education. They cater for a wide variety of clients and groups including corporate events, schools, colleges, weddings, stag & hen, cubs, scouts, birthday parties, family days, and everything in between.

    Activity planning

    Staying at Battisborough House is a process. Children learn how to organise themselves, become more independent, make decisions, and cope with being away from home as well as the obvious curricular links. For example, Year 4 Curricular Links might be:

    • Habitats ~ ocean, seashore, sand, mud and rock pools
    • Geography ~ marine conservation
    • Team building and outdoor interactive education
    • PSHE ~ social interaction and development in and out of school situations

    You are free to plan your itinerary. It may be more general or have a focus. It will involve your staff and simply making the most of the surroundings or incorporating external instructors. Here are some ideas of organisations to contact for activities at the house or off-site with external instructors.

    External activities

    OrganisationsContact numberWebsite
    Kents Cavern Babbacombe01803 215 136Website
    Discovery Surf, Bigbury01803 215 136Website
    Singing Paddles, Kingsbridge07754426633
    Forest and Beach, Beesands01548 580744Website
    Salcombe sea n shore01548 842276
    Ali Jones
    National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth0844 893 7938Website
    Devon Adventure01392 240740
    Reach Outdoors01803 524 950
    Saltram House, Plymouth01752 333500Website
    Morwellham Quay, Tavistock01822 832766Website
    Eden Project01726 811972Website
    Dartmoor Prison Museum01822 322130Website
    Dynamic Adventures01803 862725
    Salcombe Watersports01548 844142

    Wet weather planning!

    The weather does not usually stop play at Battisborough. We ask that children come fully equipped with full wet weather gear. Obviously, high wind and driving rain will curtail some outdoor activity. Persistent storms can delay itineraries so contingency plans need to be in place. The dining room, hallway, and sitting room can be used for indoor group activities which will need to be led and resourced by your staff. There is a drying room where clothes can be dried overnight.

    Sports and beach equipment

    Basic football, cricket, volleyball and tennis equipment is available. A backpack with buckets and spades is taken to the beach for rock pooling or building. More specific equipment will need to be brought with you.

    Risk Assessments

    Risk assessments for the house and activities are in place and updated annually.

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    Bunkbed dormitories for children
    Main stairs leading up the bedrooms
    Double bedroom with views over the sea
    Large sitting room with views to the sea

    What about the accommodation?

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    Ground floor facilities

    Children enter the house via a spacious boot room where outdoor boots and shoes can be stored. Wet clothing can be left in the drying room for the next day. The boys' showers are on the ground floor.

    The impressive hallway provides a good place for groups to convene prior to meals or for team talks. A large lounge where children can chill out or play games looks out over the valley to the sea. Games such as chess, monopoly, articulate and many more are available.

    There is a separate staff room which doubles as a first aid room next door and then a large dining room.

    How many children can we accommodate?

    We provide small dormitory-style accommodation for 30 children with camp bed provision for a further 6 children.  Bigger groups of up to 80 can be additionally accommodated by using large bell tents which sleep 6 children (additional cost per tent - mattress and blanket provided). Boys and girls are allocated their own dormitories with separate showering facilities.

    Teachers' accommodation

    Rooms 3,5,6 and 7 all have their own bathrooms and can sleep individual teachers or sometimes staff are prepared to share rooms. Many of the rooms have stunning sea views. At least 4 staff can have large comfortable rooms. Rooms 1 and 2 are single beds and staff would have to share facilities. There is the option for these rooms to be used for children as well. The number of staff accompanying each group varies depending on group ratios and additional needs. If the top deck is used a member of staff must sleep on the same floor with the capacity for a further adult at the other end of the dormitory.

     Suggested kit list

    Here is an example of clothing and items children should need to bring with them depending on the season and age of the children.

    • Three complete changes of clothes and a school coat. Please include multiple layers- T-shirts/fleece/warm jumper/tracksuits. Underwear and sock
    • hat, gloves and scarf
    • waterproof coat and trousers
    • wellington boots in a named carrier bag
    • sunhat, suncream
    • Trainers (must be comfortable for walking) and a spare pair in the likelihood of getting wet
    • 3 x plastic bags for any dirty/wet clothing
      Beach towel and shower towel
    • Swimwear
    • Washing kit
    • Pyjamas and dressing gown
    • Bedtime book and teddy/comforter
    • Shoes or slippers to be worn inside
    • A small, refillable water bottle
    • A day rucksack for excursions
    • *Children may bring books and small games, but not mobile phones, iPads, iPods, or any device which has a Wi-Fi function. No sweets or money either please.

    *Individual schools to decide

    Bed plan for residential trips for schools

    First Floor Landing
    Room 1Twin (2 singles)
    Room 2Twin (2 singles)
    Room 3Family Room (1 double, 1 single + truckle bed), ensuite
    Room 4Bathroom
    Room 5Family Room (1 double, 1 single + truckle bed), ensuite
    Room 6Double/ensuite
    Room 7Double/ensuite
    Room 83 double bunks (sleeps 6)
    Quarter Deck
    Room 93 double bunks (sleeps 6)
    Room 103 double bunks (sleeps 6)
    Upper Deck - Top floor
    1st Room4 beds
    2nd Room3 beds
    3rd Room5 beds
    4th Area2 beds
    5th Area2 beds
    6th Area2 beds
    7th Area4 beds

    Children involved in teamwork

    Family room for teachers
    Top floor dormitory with bunkbeds
    Double bedroom with views over the sea
    Bunkbed dormitories for children

    Eating at Battisborough House

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    All the children will eat together with the staff in the dining room. Food prepared by the chef is served by staff as the children walk through. The extensive hallway can also be used for additional dining tables. Each child must take part in laying the tables and clearing up afterwards.

    Once you are booked in you will be required to fill in all dietary requirements well in advance of your stay (please see example below). This will ensure the chef caters for all individual needs and can plan the menu according to whether you are on or off-site.

    Meal plan example

    BreakfastNot requiredYes - full EnglishYes - full EnglishYes - full EnglishYes - full English
    Mid-morning snackNot requiredDrink & biscuitDrink & biscuit off siteDrink & biscuit off siteDrink & biscuit off site
    LunchNot required (bringing own)Not required (bringing own)*Packed lunch off site or hot lunch on site*Packed lunch off site or hot lunch on site*Packed lunch off site
    Afternoon snackNot requiredDrink & cakeDrink & cakeDrink & cakeNot required
    SupperYesYesYesYesNot required
    Children in the dining room
    Large farmhouse kitchen
    School children in the dining room with views of the sea
    Children in the hallway and stairs

    Booking prices and availability

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    Booking prices

    The cost per person is £80 per day for full use of the house and grounds.

    • Includes breakfast, mid-morning snack, light lunch, mid-afternoon snack, hot dinner and bed linen
    • There is an additional charge for the use of tents, mattresses and blankets
    • Open throughout the year
    • Groups usually stay Monday to Friday, minimum stay of 3 nights
    • Arrival from 1600hrs, departure by 1000hrs
    • An additional charge of £20 is applied per dog

    Availability Calendar

    We are always happy to chat through your requirements and can answer any questions you may have. We will also be pleased to discuss the booking of bespoke dates, or the organisation of special breaks, retreats or events.

    Children singing in the hallway
    Children at tables during teamwork exercise
    Group of children problem solving
    Teacher giving instructions for the day

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    Why we think children benefit from a School Residential Trip

    Our residential trips for schools are designed to captivate and inspire, a week-long experience offers children the chance to step outside their comfort zones and discover a world of possibilities. Unlike day trips, a stay at Battisborough House provides an immersive environment where children can enhance their soft skills, social development, and overall well-being.

    The benefits of a residential trip over a day trip

    Numerous studies have shown the positive impact of residential school trips on children's self-esteem, confidence, emotional health, physical well-being, and mental resilience. By breaking free from the familiar classroom setting and their parents or guardians, children gain essential life skills that will shape their future success.

    Expand horizons and foster personal growth

    Through exciting activities and exploration, it enables children to broaden their horizons, discover new passions, and develop their independence and confidence.

    The benefits of our residential school trips are extensive. Students will not only boost their self-confidence but also learn valuable social skills as they interact and collaborate with their peers. Our residential trips foster good behaviour and create a positive environment for personal growth. Furthermore, by expanding their social networks, children gain a broader perspective on the world and forge lifelong friendships.

    Fun, educational and active

    Don't miss out on the opportunity to give your students an extraordinary experience that will leave a lasting impact. Book your residential school trip with us today and watch your children thrive as they embark on a journey of self-discovery, knowledge, and unforgettable memories.

    Beautiful grounds of Battisborough House
    Sunset from Battisborough House over the sea
    Battisborough House
    Tennis court with views of the sea