London Art & Design School Trips & Tours

Home to some of the world’s largest permanent collections and with a wide range of art on show, an art school trip to London is guaranteed to enrich and inspire your group’s work.

With the latest exhibitions, museums, galleries and innovative talent to see and many other exciting visits, a London school trip is guaranteed to create memories that will last a lifetime. Here, your pupils can develop an understanding of British heritage and culture, whilst also taking inspiration from the many fantastic collections, museums and galleries.

Plus, when you book your school trip with NST, we’ll create an itinerary that includes visits to galleries and attractions that have been highly recommended by other groups that have travelled with us. 

Sample itinerary

Our sample itinerary provides you with an idea of the visits you can cover during your trip. We can tailor-make an itinerary to support your specific learning outcomes.

Morning Afternoon Evening
1 Morning departure from Ireland Tate Modern Visit to the V&A Museum
2 The National Portrait Gallery - sketching time Saatchi Gallery West End Theatre Show
3 The Hayward Gallery Time to enjoy Covent Garden. Departure for return flight to Ireland
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Morning Morning departure from Ireland
Afternoon Tate Modern
Evening Visit to the V&A Museum
Morning The National Portrait Gallery - sketching time
Afternoon Saatchi Gallery
Evening West End Theatre Show
Morning The Hayward Gallery
Afternoon Time to enjoy Covent Garden. Departure for return flight to Ireland
Evening

On-tour support

On-tour support includes...

Additional on-tour support available...

  • Pre-booked meals at great group prices
  • Pre-booked and pre-paid London Underground tickets
  • A choice of packed lunches for your group throughout your stay

Accommodation

Popular options in London


Top visits

V&A Museum

The world’s largest collection of decorative and applied arts. Some areas focus on the history of costume and are of particular interest to pupils studying textiles. The holdings of ceramics, glass, costumes, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, prints and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world.

EW Photography Centre at the V&A Victoria & Albert Museum

The V&A has been collecting photographs since 1856, and it was one of the first museums to present photography exhibitions. The museum has now added the Royal Photographic Society collection to its holdings, which contains around 270,000 photographs, an extensive library, and 6,000 cameras and pieces of equipment associated with leading artists and photographic pioneers. To maximise the impact of the expanded collection, the V&A has now developed a new photography centre.

National Portrait Gallery

The history of British portraiture from its beginning, through to the edge of abstraction. The most comprehensive portrait gallery in the world. Includes works by Holbein, Van Dyck and Reynolds, Gainsborough, Millais and Tissot, Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, and Patrick Heron.

Tate Modern

Britain’s spectacular museum of modern and contemporary international art. Themes include landscapes, environment, still life, action, and the body. The viewing level offers awe-inspiring 360ᵒ views of the London skyline from high above the River Thames, whilst The Tanks celebrate new art and showcase performances, interactive art and video installations.

National Gallery

An outstanding collection of Old Masters from the early Renaissance to 1900. A collection of Old Masters’ works from the early Renaissance onwards. The five floors and wings are arranged chronologically, making it easy for your pupils to track artistic progression. Examples include Giotto, Duccio, and many more.

Saatchi Gallery

Contemporary art by largely unseen UK artists and established international artists rarely exhibited in the UK. The Saatchi Gallery acts as a launchpad for lesser-known artists and houses brave, contemporary art. Well-proportioned rooms with high ceilings showcase works famed for courting media controversy and gaining extremes of critical reaction. This gallery is ideal for challenging more traditional ways of thinking.

The Hayward Gallery

One of the biggest temporary art exhibition centres in the world. The gallery has a reputation for presenting a diverse range of landmark exhibitions, casting new perceptions on prominent, established artists, and providing a platform for works of up-and-coming art and artists. The Hayward develops ideas and encourages critical discussions.

Royal Academy of Arts

An independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and Architects.  The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

 

Whitechapel Gallery

A touchstone for contemporary art internationally. For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world-class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. The Gallery is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.

 

London Town Walking Tours - Street Art Walk

The Old Street, Spitalfields and Shoreditch areas have become London’s capital of street art. There’s a dazzling array of images to see, and the great thing is the art is continually changing. You’ll visit the well-known street art spots and see favourite spots that are a little off the beaten street art tourist track. You’ll learn something about Banksy too.

West End Shows

A West End show is a magical and unforgettable experience and a must for groups visiting the city! Catch a show at one of the capital's famous theatres with tickets to an array of award-winning plays and spectacular musicals, including the Lion King and Wicked! 

There are so many popular options to choose from and we can book any show for your group. Plus, our dedicated in-house theatre team and our links with the best ticket providers means we’ll be able to reserve your first choice tickets.

The lastminute.com London Eye

A classroom with a moving view! Standing 135m tall on the South Bank of the River Thames, nothing says iconic like The lastminute.com London Eye.

Since 2000, this world-famous structure has taken over 75million people on a journey into London’s skyline. Be Inspired with our Skyline Workshops. At an additional cost, these enhanced in-pod experiences are delivered by our education hosts and include interactive activities and interesting facts on London's iconic skyline.

Developed in collaboration with education specialists, teachers can book either a KS2/KS3 version.

Explore Covent Garden

A trip to the capital isn’t complete without a little shopping time! We recommend Covent Garden as a suitable area for groups to explore and watch the street performers.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter

Step on to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series. Tread the original stone floor of the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter animatronic creatures and wander down Diagon Alley. Your Harry Potter World school trip is located at the Studios where all 8 films were produced.

45 minute workshops are also available, covering Art and Design, Business Studies, English and Drama, Film and Media and STEM subjects, as well as Primary.

 

London Dungeon

The London Dungeon has been delighting audiences for over 40 years and brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, scenes and rides in an exciting walk-through experience that lets you see, hear and smell historic London and its perilous past. Get pupils thinking about spoken language and stage directions as they review script writing and explore the physical creation of a show as they look at the design process, including room layout, make-up and costume design and highlight the importance of historical accuracy in relation to topic, characters and set design. 

Madame Tussauds

The world of the Media is a creative and inspiring one, where ideas combine with drama, excitement and humour to keep us entertained and engaged. A fully interactive experience, Madame Tussauds will inspire, enthuse and immerse pupils in celebrity culture and modern media as they walk among the stars!

Thames River Cruise

Take in London’s best-loved sights on this enjoyable cruise. Your students will gain an insight into the many layers of history that have built up along the river, from the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge to the Coca-Cola London Eye.

The View from The Shard

The View from The Shard offers a unique education experience – it is the only place where students can see the entire city at once; both old and new! Two high speed kaleidoscopic lifts will transport your group to the viewing platforms on Level 69 and Level 72 where you can encourage your student’s fascination with the history of London and enjoy the unparalleled 360 degree views.

Educational visits can support learning across both the National and London Curriculum, including History, English, Maths, Geography, and Art and Design.

Sketching in Covent Garden

Let your pupils develop their sketchbooks in this bustling area of London. Here, they can draw inspiration from the many street performers and passers-by. A great way to inject new life into exam prep work!

ArcelorMittal Orbit

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the perfect destination for persons of any age! You will be able to admire breath-taking views of London from the UK's tallest sculpture, from stunning viewing platform with floor to ceiling windows & from the outside observation walkways suspended 80m above the ground. You will also experience the adrenaline of riding the world's tallest, longest and fastest tunnel slide of 178 metres length. You will travel through light and dark sections, loops and gentle curves at a speed of up to 15 miles per hour!

Design Museum

Take your group on a self guided visit to the Design Museum, to view designs from around the world including architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport. Design is a continually evolving subject which the Design Museum explores through its exhibitions programme, permanent collection, learning and research activities.

The Photographers Gallery

The Photographers' Gallery was founded in London in 1971, and was the first independent gallery in Britain that was devoted entirely to photography. It is the leading centre for contemporary and historical photography with 3 exhibition spaces.

The Photographers Gallery - Visual Literacy Workshop

Visual Literacy workshops are led by a photographer-educator, and centre around an exhibition currently on show at the gallery.
Students take part in group discussion, image analysis and practical assignments responding to themes in the exhibition, all aimed at improving visual literacy. In the workshop, students will:
• Consider the formal elements and vocabulary used to describe photographs
• Explore how ideas, feelings and meanings are conveyed and interpreted
through images
• Reflect on how the context of an image shapes how we read it
• Develop an understanding of the term visual literacy
For Visual Literacy workshops, it is useful for pupils to bring cameras (iPads, phones, compact cameras, DSLRs) for the practical assignments. Pupils can share cameras in pairs or small groups.

The Photographers Gallery - Camera obscura workshop

In the camera obscura workshops, students will explore the history and science of photography using The Photographers’ Gallery’s own camera obscura. After experimenting with the camera obscura room, students will take part in a practical activity, working in pairs create their own hand-held pinhole camera obscuras.
In the workshop, students will:
• Develop an understanding of the science behind how a camera obscura works,
and its applications throughout history
• Work collaboratively to make functioning hand-held camera obscuras
• Explore different ways of capturing images using the camera obscure
For camera obscura workshops, it is useful for pupils to bring cameras (iPads, phones, compact cameras, DSLRs) for the practical assignments. Pupils can share cameras in pairs or small groups


Evening activites

  • Jack the Ripper tour
  • Evening ghost bus tour
  • Ice skating
  • Bowling
  • Host a quiz at a function room 

Transport

We offer flights from a variety of departure airports and we’ll work with you to plan your route at the best value possible.

Flight


Giving you full support throughout

Before your tour

  • Your own dedicated NST contact
  • Bespoke tour itineraries
  • Unrivalled local knowledge & expertise
  • Curriculum linked visit programmes
  • Great value for money - no hidden costs
  • Free group leader inspection visits
  • Risk assessment guidance
  • Safety assured, transport, accommodation and visits

Whilst you're away

  • Free educational resources
  • Group-friendly accommodation
  • Exceptional standards of coaching
  • On-tour support from our reps on the ground
  • Support & assistance from our specialists guides throughout your tour
  • 24/7 support just a call away
  • Extensive group travel insurance

On your return

  • Priority rebooking services
  • Rewarding your loyalty with our reward scheme
  • You say, we listen - we're committed to continuously improving our tours
  • School travel company of choice since 1996