Listen to an interview of Jim Spear by Bruce Connolly of Radio Beijing in 5 parts.
–The schoolhouse project at Mutianyu
–Creating a sustainable business model
–From Schoolhouse to Brickyard
–Restoring but maintaining links with the past
–Encouraging people to discover more of the surrounding rural area
At each of our restaurants, we make virtually everything homemade from scratch and strive to source as much as possible from our own farms and local sources. Visit one of our restaurants in Mutianyu, take a stroll through our gardens, visit our Schoolhouse Orchard to learn about our organic farming principles, and take home some of our homemade goods.
Open Year Round
Last Dinner Order 21:30
This intimate and warm space is open for dining exclusively for dining by our lodging guests or by prior appointment subject to availability.
Visit BRICKYARD for information
Our restaurant is housed in the former classrooms of the village school and offers indoor and outdoor seating where Mutianyu visitors can gather, relax and enjoy a combination of Western comfort foods, traditional local dishes, daily seasonal specials or just coffee and homemade desserts. On Saturday evenings, we often host special dinners with entertainment so be sure to check our calendar of events for more information. This venue can be used for private functions.
The Schoolhouse Canteen is housed in the former classrooms of the village primary school which was abandoned in the 1990’s due to declining enrollments and urban migration. It is now a full restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating where guests can gather, relax and enjoy all day dining. On Saturday evenings, we light the candles and welcome you to a fine dining experience at the Great Wall.
Xiaolumian, which translates to Little Hut Noodles, is a converted farmhouse belonging to a villager. Now a noodle shop Xiaolumian provides Mutianyu with a charming dining experience where guests enjoy fresh homemade noodles and dumplings in a beautifully restored building with original heated “kang” beds. This venue is available for private functions.
In addition to our restaurants, we provide a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for private events, and on and off-site catering for a parties and special events.
There are many ways to climb the restored section of the Wall. Our Walking Guide to Mutianyu employs a social geographic approach with eight self-guided walks for visitors. Visitors should purchase tickets at the park ticket office or at The Schoolhouse or Brickyard and have tickets ready to show to local guards who patrol the area. However, we cannot guarantee that access, even with a ticket, will be granted.
From barbecues to farmers markets, art exhibitions to holiday dinners, and live music to fund raisers. Check our calendar of events to see a list of events happening here at The Schoolhouse.
A stay with us is the perfect way to start or end a busy trip in China. Get over jetlag by being close to nature and enjoying our simple and wholesome foods. Or decompress for a night or two while enjoying our villages and the Great Wall before heading home.
The Great Wall of China was constructed between 1368 and 1644 to keep out the nomadic tribes to the north. This 2.5 kilometer section is built mainly from granite with crenellations on both sides of the Wall and 22 watchtowers built at almost 100 meter intervals. High quality construction and unique features make this section of the Great Wall a prominent feature in the defense of the Capital. Other unique features in this section include the ‘Tail Wall’ which stretches out perpendicular to the Wall along a ridgeline for stronger defensive positioning, and another perpendicular extension on the other side of the Wall.
The Great Wall at Mutianyu is not nearly as crowded as nearby Badaling or Juyongguan sections, where large tour groups follow the beaten tourism path. In late afternoon, or in poor weather, you often might find yourself alone with only the sound of the wind to keep you company.
There are two tourist routes to visit the Wall at Mutianyu which include a cable car and toboggan. Alternatively, those who are more adventurous can take one of the lesser known paths to even quieter areas of the wall.
Open 365 Days a Year
April to October: 7:00 – 18:00
November to March: 7:30 – 17:30
General Admission: RMB 45
Children 12 & Under: RMB 25
Cable Cars and Toboggans
Cable Car One-Way: Rmb 80
Cable Car Round Trip: Rmb 100
Toboggan Down: Rmb 80
Chair Lift Up, Toboggan Down: Rmb 100
We work closely with our neighbours, the village governments, and park authorities to ensure our developments contribute to helping Mutianyu become a distinctive and sustainable Great Wall destination. We also help visitors learn about village life by administering a program of non-commercial visits with local families. Included in these trips are fees for private guides and interpreters. These visits are appropriate for anyone. From single travelers to groups, children to companies.
What’s “off the wall” is the village of Mutianyu nestled beneath the mountain pass famous for its crown pines and descendants of the laborers who built this section of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty. Agricultural products are apricots, pears, and chestnuts grown in orchards dotting the steep hills. To learn more, our book Mutianyu: Off the (Great) Wall is available for purchase and we can arrange guided tours.
We have special activities for many traditional Chinese and Western holidays from Chinese New Year’s Eve to Christmas. We welcome you and your family to share in the festivities with us.
Mutianyu Village is one of four villages in the little valleys under Mutianyu Great Wall connected by trails and agricultural lanes through orchards and pine forests. Each village (Mutianyu, Beigou, Xinying, Tianxianyu) is a community with its own history and local feeling. Perhaps the best way to get a sense for life in the countryside is to get on your feet and go exploring.
Our staff have put together small picture guides to some of our hikes specifically designed for using on a mobile phone. Below are links to our guides:
Mutianyu is one of more than twenty villages in Bohai Township, a remote mountain area northeast of Beijing that is part of the Huairou District. Our intern from France, Audrey Gueho came up with 12 scenic rides ranging from very easy to quite challenging. She wrote and illustrated our book Biking Bohai available for purchase. If you don’t have your own bicycle, the Brickyard rents Trek bicycles to lodging guests.
We commit ourselves to sharing knowledge we gain with others, and believe children are the best audience for learning about environmental awareness, social and cultural issues. Our Schoolhouse Curriculum includes engaging programs designed for primary school children based on real life examples in Mutianyu Village. Each program can be duplicated anywhere in the world and moderated by any adult, teacher, or even young adult and includes teaching guides, activity materials and additional resources.
We have not copyrighted the curricula. If you use it, credit to The Schoolhouse and the authors would be appreciated.
Traditional foodways, cultural dissemination of foods, and the impact of the modern world are explored through six dining experiences around Mutianyu — from farmer’s home, to home stay, to restaurants, to festival foods — in this book by our Italian intern, Tiziana Ghezzi.
The Short Cut
Difficulty level: Easy, but requires an intuitive sense of direction
Tips: Locals often hike this trail between villages. At places the trail is not very clear; please pay attention to the general direction in which you need to go rather than trying to follow an exact trail. Do not do this hike if you are very worried about getting lost in the hills.
The Short Cut
Difficulty level: Easy, but requires an intuitive sense of direction
Tips: Locals often hike this trail between villages. At places the trail is not very clear; please pay attention to the general direction in which you need to go rather than trying to follow an exact trail. Do not do this hike if you are worried about getting lost in the hills. *if you plan to walk to the great wall park entrance you’ll need an additional 10 minutes.
The Art Room, which started off as the village tractor shed during the period of communal agriculture, is a key part of The Schoolhouse campus. It offers a 200 square meter exhibition space filled with natural light for meetings, receptions, exhibitions and dining for up to 160 people. There are unobstructed views of mountains and the Great Wall as well as a private outdoor terrace nestled into the hillside.
The Art Room also contains a 46 square meter studio where our visiting artists in our fellowship program work. We also welcome inquiries for using the studio or for staging exhibitions.
The Schoolhouse awards fellowships to established artists, scholars, or professionals as a means to foster creativity and thought amongst individuals who can contribute to social, economic, or ecological sustainability. During their time at the Schoolhouse, fellows work on a project and are also asked to offer a public lecture or exhibition on an agreed topic/theme.
Click here for information on FELLOWS
We welcome proposals for fellowships. The number of fellowships awarded varies from year to year and we reserve the sole right to accept or decline proposals as well as to change or modify the fellowships at will.
Come enjoy live folk music by amateurs from local villages who have a lot of fun showing off their skills and enthusiasm.
The Schoolhouse Orchard follows organic principles and develops, produces and sells fruit and other food products. Our visitor center in Tianxianyu Village is open to the public by appointment only.
In addition, it is our venue for outreach to the local community and for public activities.
Products are also available for sale at the Schoolhouse, or for delivery to addresses in Beijing.
Thanks to our concrete experience with our Sustainable Food Program, our Composting Lesson has particular goals to make children understand the interest and functioning of composting and, then, to go further by making them aware of the waste issue and of how, at their level, they can deal with it.
While we use almost everything we can grow in our restaurants, we do have surplus for sale at our farmer’s market. We also invite villagers to sell their vegetables and fruits from plots to encourage a community event. Products include local product, local honeys, handmade tofu, and a variety of dry goods, crafts and local goodies made in the area.
30 August, 4 October
An orchard is a rich ecosystem with a complex set of relationships among the living resources, habitats, and residents of an area. The orchards surrounding Mutianyu and its neighboring villages are places where plants and animal species find food and shelter. Our garden tour encourages participants, including children, to use all their senses so they are more aware of surrounding ecosystems and biodiversity.
We support the Slow Food movement and host occasional weekend day experiences for Brickyard guests focussed on the Orchard. These excursions are meant to foster good, clean, and fair foods and to support the preservation of traditional foodways.
The purpose of this bike ride charity event is to raise money for the Elderly of the villages of Bohai Township, who have helped this area grow. Those living outside Mutianyu Village struggle as they are left behind by the young, and don’t have strong tourism revenue. From 2010-2015 Bohai or Bust has raised over RMB 125,000. In 2015, Bohai or Bust was held on 18 April 2015 and raised RMB 25,459.60 which will be donated to the local elderly during Chong Yang Jie (Elder’s Day), a traditional Chinese holiday which celebrates the elderly.
For more information go to BOHAI OR BUST.
The Schoolhouse Orchard is now producing a variety of liqueurs and vinegars for sale at the Schoolhouse Canteen, the Schoolhouse General Store, the Brickyard, or for delivery to addresses in Beijing.
Yunnan Coffee Liqueur
Five Spice Liqueur
Red Wine Vinegar
Local stores sell an assortment of fruit, vegetables, groceries, toiletries and more. Please note that village stores generally do not have an standard operating times. If you don’t see anyone inside, or the door is locked, just try knocking on the door for a while and shout a loud “fuwuyuan!” With that said, our experience is that the shops are generally open from about 08:00‐19:00.
Market stalls from nearby villages sell produce can be found every afternoon at the Mutianyu Afternoon Market along the street coming down from the Great Wall.
The Bohai Village Square Morning Market sells produce, clothing, shoes, bags and blankets on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 07:00-12:00.
The Shayu Morning Market runs daily from early morning until noon in the village square. We suggest renting a bike at the Brickyard and exploring the beautiful village of Shayu.
Visit OUR GUIDE TO SHOPPING
Our business philosophy is sustainable tourism. We support our local community, leave the land in agriculture, use existing buildings, adopt green practices, and source food products locally, serving real food. We also sponsor educational and cultural exchange programs that help visitors understand village life and that foster broader horizons for our rural neighbors.
These simple guiding principles act as the cornerstone for our business practice. We have found they do a good job in helping us pursue a broader philosophy. Nowadays rural communities are shrinking as the young flee to jobs and excitement in cities and the rural population declines and ages.
Free tastings of artisanal liqueurs and vinegars and tours in a magnificent setting under cliffs topped by the Great Wall.
Our main concern is the preservation of the village and its surroundings. We have recognized the importance of respecting the village and the locals who host it, and our primary goal is to provide guests with an authentic village experience by housing them in existing structures that haven’t changed the profile of the village.
Looking for a special gift for a friend? How about the gift of a relaxing getaway to Mutianyu, a special dinner, or products from our Orchard?
Delivery options available upon request.
We continue to work closely with our neighbours, the village governments, and park authorities to ensure our developments fit into the community and contribute to helping Mutianyu become a distinctive and sustainable Great Wall destination. No one has been displaced by any of our development projects and we have used existing footprints right in the villages instead of tearing down or building greenfield.
Buildings are all leased at market prices directly from individual peasant families who have used the proceeds creatively to set up businesses, to educate their children, or to care for their elderly.
Mrs. Jin’s store is on the north side of Beigou Village Square. She was born in Beigou and has been running this store with her husband since 1985. Items on sale in this small shop include groceries, drinks, alcohol and stationery. They also have fresh eggs and vegetables, though these goods are hidden in the cellar where people in the village typically store perishable goods.
Our mission is to combine quality and responsibility, offering our guests the best service and respecting at the same time the surrounding environment and the community that hosts our business. We are happy to share with the public our achievements
in some of the areas that characterize sustainability in order to provide evidence of what we actually do at The Schoolhouse and to simplify the process of improvement over time, because “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.”
All of our business properties started off from run-down buildings. Each of the homes at Brickyard was leased at market prices from individual peasant families who received the proceeds directly. No one has been displaced by any of our development projects.
Though many of the new structures are built of brick, most of the bricks were salvaged from the area, cleaned and reused. We also used our tiles from the factory and other materials where possible.
Where we couldn’t use salvaged materials, we did our best to adopt as many local materials into our designs including native field stone, slate, gravel, brick and fruitwoods in the design of our buildings.
Like most businesses we do purchase from wholesalers and bulk suppliers, but where possible, we preferentially source goods and services from local suppliers. For example, a tailor in an adjacent village makes our spa pajamas, kitchen uniforms, and other textile items.
The Schoolhouse’s mission is to thrive alongside the community that hosts it, and support the economic development of the village through the tourism it promotes.
We serve foods homemade from scratch using mainly local ingredients, compost our organic waste and operate a kitchen garden on organic principles.
We employ local builders and craftsmen to realize the design of our projects.
We offer challenging internships to international students who can bring talent, hard work and a willingness to learn and share to our cross-cultural team. Tailored programs include mentors from our management team providing guidance and encouragement outside daily operations. We also offer unpaid internships based in Beijing.
Watch the TEDxVictoriaHarbour talk by Schoolhouse founder, Jim Spear, on the value of interns.
We hire locally where possible, but also want to be open to diversity. While more than 50% of our employees are locally hired, the goal is to maintain the number of local employees above 75% which we need to work harder on.
Meet our Sustainability team:
Approximately 70% of our employees are women, which is great compared to the tourism industry worldwide average of 56%!
Our design maximizes natural light and ventilation and incorporates insulation and thermal-paned windows and doors throughout. The lighting is nearly 100 per cent LED with some fluorescent. Hot water production is decentralized and uses a combination of storage units and in-line heaters. Heating and air-conditioning is produced and controlled in each room. Electricity usage is monitored regularly.
Our rule on waste reduction starts with minimizing waste production. We use bulk soaps and shampoos and only offer pre-packaged amenities such as toothbrushes and razor by request, and change linens weekly or upon request. We filter local spring water to avoid plastic bottled water. We compost our organic waste and recycle waste fiber, glass and plastic.
Water is conserved through selectable toilet flushing and rainforest shower heads. Phase 2 of our design includes a grey water processing system and we are exploring adding rainwater harvesting as well. In addition, water usage is monitored.
The Schoolhouse donates a day of labor by our staff each July to Mutianyu Village on our annual Community Service Day. We welcome visitors to participate and provide a free lunch to everyone who lends a hand. We keep the Canteen open on that day and donate our gross receipts for lunch service to the village charity fund. The Schoolhouse organizes and hosts the BOHAI OR BUST bicycle ride the first Saturday of each April as a nonprofit community activity with all proceeds used to benefit elderly residents of our township. We appreciate the generous support of many co-host and sponsor enterprises and organizations as well as enthusiastic volunteers. Come out for an early Spring adventure in the fresh air at Mutianyu!
On the first Saturday in September we also organize and co-host Slow Food Saturday with the Beijing Convivium of Slow Food as a not-for-profit activity. SLOW FOOD SATURDAY is a harvest festival that celebrates the ideals of the Slow Food movement and the traditional foodways and customs of our villages nestled under Mutianyu Great Wall. Many other local businesses, the park, the village committees, and our neighbors have joined us to make this festival a very special event. Foods are for sale in participating restaurants but there are many no-charge activities such as demontrations, tastings, performances, and so on. Volunteers and the help of other businesses as sponsors are the not-so-secret ingredient that help us succeed.
Beijing expats Jim Spear & Liang Tang acquired a peasant’s house in Mutianyu Village nearly two decades ago after a serendipitous encounter with villager Li Fengquan on the Great Wall.
In 2005 Jim & Liang moved to live here full-time and Mayor Li Lianting encouraged them to give something back to the community. Along with old friends Julie Upton-Wang & Peiming Wang they leased Mutianyu’s abandoned primary school and turned it into a restaurant.
Today The Schoolhouse has grown into a comprehensive lodging and dining destination with venues around Bohai Township. We’ve welcomed guests from more than 100 countries to our little corner of China for meetings, events, sightseeing, getaways, and homemade food.
We hope you’ll visit us soon!
The Schoolhouse represents a direct source of income for many local people, encourages women empowerment and trains staff to have the possibility to work with people from around the world, with different realities and a different language: English.
All of our projects use existing footprints and village structures which were delicately restored to create unique spaces for sophisticated travelers to relax and enjoy the Chinese countryside at the foot of the Great Wall. In conjunction, these projects provide local villagers with rental income for otherwise underutilized buildings.
Many of China’s top leaders have visited or stayed at The Schoolhouse. Our partner Jim Spear is shown here with the then Politburo member and Beijing Party Secretary Liu Qi. Jim & The Schoolhouse have attracted more than Rmb 100 million in outside small-scale private investment, a model for transforming rural communities. Jim was recognized in 2014 with the Great Wall Friendship Award.
The Brickyard Homes are originally local village houses leased from villagers. We preserved the existing footprints and reused salvageable materials in the build-out, and finished each home with modern interiors, finishings and facilities resulting in a unique experience where guests are immersed in an authentic village community, the rural face of today’s vibrant China.
The Brickyard is a 25-room retreat built on the footprint of an old ceramics factory producing glazed roof tiles for temples.
Huairou District was a center for producing the glazed tiles used in palaces and temples in Imperial times, and the Brickyard’s kiln was originally built in the 1960’s during the Cultural Revolution for village industry. When we first discovered the site it had been virtually run into the ground and thick black coal smoke billowed from the nine chimneys whenever there was a firing.
In Mutianyu and our surrounding villages, we provide a range of breathtaking indoor and outdoor facilities for up to 160 people and lodging in 25 rooms and 9 homes at the Brickyard Retreat. All of our facilities offer wireless internet and we have a variety of support facilities including A/V equipment, meeting equipment, and dining services.
Support services include catering from our restaurants and assistance with transportation.
Set in a walled chestnut orchard in the middle of Beigou Village, Xiaolumian preserves the original stone farmhouse dwelling of a villager. When we leased his home, we provided him with an upfront cash payment and provided him with quarters and employment as a security watchman on one of our other properties in the village. Now a noodle shop, Xiaolumian provides Mutianyu with a charming dining experience where guests enjoy fresh homemade noodles and dumplings in a beautifully restored building with original heated “kang” beds.
If you’re looking for a venue far enough from the city to provide a quiet learning and sharing atmosphere, but close enough that it is accessible and diverse enough to combine a variety of team building activities, our venues at the Schoolhouse are the perfect option. We can combine your meeting with team building, educational courses, volunteer opportunities, Great Wall touring and accommodation at Brickyard Retreat.
The Art Room started as the village tractor station during the period of communal agriculture. It offers a 200 square meter exhibition space filled with natural light that is used for meetings, receptions, and dining for up to 160 people. There are unobstructed views of mountains and the Great Wall as well as a private outdoor terrace nestled into the hillside. It’s now used for a variety of events including parties, gallery shows and art installations.
If you are looking for a special place to host your event we hope you’ll consider our various venues. Just 60 to 90 minutes from Beijing’s Capital Airport and downtown Beijing, we offer a unique setting where guests can enjoy the natural surroundings of Mutianyu. Schoolhouse offers a variety of venues, catering and accommodation options for your special event or party.
Our team is here to help you with the tiniest of details.
The Smithy was a vacant village blacksmith shop converted into The Schoolhouse’s fine dining room.
We’d love to help create a wonderful experience for your next party. From birthdays to farewells, company celebrations or private parties, we can accommodate groups up to 160 guest in indoor and outdoor venues with sit-down or buffet dining. Options include barbecues, bonfires and entertainment from live jazz to Chinese folk performers.
There is nothing that our team enjoys more than helping a wedding couple plan and execute a perfect wedding in one of our venues at Mutianyu Great Wall. From helping organize the decoration and entertainment, to menus, accommodation and more.
We would also be happy to plan your wedding and help take the stress out of the preparation, just as we are happy to work with professional wedding planners and consultants.
We love organizing themed parties for kids including supervised activities and meals so parents can relax and enjoy complimentary cake and coffee while kids have fun. From scavenger hunts to Chinese noodle making, we’ll keep kids busy, and smiling.
Click here for MORE INFORMATION
We can organize cocktails and canapés at two different sites on Mutianyu Great Wall.
With a personal guide from The Schoolhouse, climb through chestnut orchards into a pine forest. Arrive at a ridge top clearing where you will be handed a class of Moet & Chandon Champagne and find a white linen table laid with a picnic catered by The Schoolhouse. Enjoy the spectacular view of the Great Wall from your forest refuge.
CLICK HERE for more information
The Schoolhouse has helped a number of schools create special programs for young students including nature classes, human geography classes, cooking demonstrations and other activities. In addition, these programs are combined with catering, accommodation and transportation.
The Schoolhouse provides qualified non-profit organizations from around the world with special programs involving cultural, environmental and educational aspects. We also provide gratis use of meeting facilities to non-profit groups in conjunction with food and beverage service when possible and can help organize transportation for your group.
Let us know what the goal is of your visit, and we will help you customize your program.
Many university, graduate, and MBA programs include tours with a stop at Mutianyu Great Wall and The Schoolhouse. These programs can include cocktail receptions, entertainment, and deluxe meals, or accommodation at Brickyard for overnight stays. What better way to end a China visit than unwinding at the Great Wall?
The Schoolhouse Art Glass Studio was formerly a warehouse and is now home to a studio led by professional glass artists who produce wonderful works of art and art blowing demonstrations to visitors at the Schoolhouse.
Wang Anshun, Beijing Mayor
Thank you for the unforgettable weekend at the Brickyard. Our whole team really loved to stay there, we had two wonderful days. The rooms and facilities are so nice, the food you served was delicious and a lot of my co-workers said they definitely want to go to the Brickyard again.
Jasmin Schueller, German Embassy School, Beijing
Shao Qiwei, CNTA Chairman
Liu Qi, Politburo Member & Beijing Party Secretary
To the staff of The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu Great Wall – Thank you so much for providing a great environment, menu, lunch presentation, and glass blowing demonstration for our Team Building Offsite Meeting. We accomplished our goals due in large part to the venue being just perfect. Members of our team agree that they look forward to visiting again for business events and for weekends and holidays with their families.
Kristin B. Zimmerman, General Motors China (Beijing), Environment, Energy & Safety Policy
The Schoolhouse is an exceptional place to entertain, whether for business or for pleasure. I am always pleased with the attentiveness of the staff, the great food and, of course, the wonderful settings, whether on the Terrace, in the Smithy or at the Canteen. I especially appreciate and value the Schoolhouse team’s ‘can do’ attitude. They are always willing to try new ideas and are flexible with our requests.
John Watkins, Cummins (China) Investment Co. Ltd.
Their chefs with our chefs
I can say with great pleasure that our visit to The Schoolhouse was a real highlight of the overall trip. The students kept commenting on how much they learned and enjoyed their visit with you throughout the rest of our itinerary to Shanghai, Suzhou, Suzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. It was truly unique among the range of experiences MBA students have in visits to China, which as you know are filled with company visits. Based on their comments, I believe they appreciated the opportunity to learn about something very different, but which they had no idea they might encounter in China. Julie Upton-Wang’s presentation was extremely well received. So, I very much hope to make this a regular part of our program in the future. Please thank all your staff on our behalf for making this such a success for us.
John Thomas, Dean Emeritus, School of Management at the State University of New York at Buffalo
Jim Yong Kim, World Bank CEO
There is only one way to describe our Moon Festival weekend at Brickyard, Schoolhouse and Xiaolumian: ‘Over The Moon.’
Ariane Favero Schmid, Beijing, September 2013
First Lady Michelle Obama
The Schoolhouse was the perfect venue for my team’s mini-retreat and our team building activities. The invigorating hike along the Great Wall at Mutianyu, coupled with the mountain clean air, the Schoolhouse’s local fresh food and ample meeting facilities, enabled us to step-back from the daily grind and relax, cultivate our working relationships and focus on our corporate and team goals and objectives.
John W. Sullivan, Asia Legal Director, Texas Instruments Incorporated
Li Changchun, CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member, touring Persimmon Court, a Brickyard Home
The Schoolhouse has been the venue for several A.P. Moller – Maersk events and our experiences are positive without fail. While meeting facilities are basic but adequate, the accommodation in individually styled villas is outstanding and the food excellent. Also, the uniformly friendly staff has made every effort to accommodate our needs. For company events, The Schoolhouse provides a tranquil and charming alternative to the drab anonymity of a five-star hotel function room. We will be back!
Mr. Jens Eskelund, Senior Director of External Relations and Communication, A.P. Moller – Maersk (North Asia)
Kenneth J. Arrow, Economics Laureate
Download a partial list of EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS that have visited The Schoolhouse.
It’s possible to visit Mutianyu for a day. Here’s a sample itinerary:
Depart from Beijing towards Mutianyu in the morning. Head straight for the Great Wall at Mutianyu for a stroll across the wall. When you’re finished, enjoy lunch at the Schoolhouse Canteen where everything is homemade from scratch from fresh ingredients. You can also visit our Schoolhouse Orchard to learn about organic farming principles. Head back to Beijing in the late afternoon.
With one evening, you’ll be able to enjoy the basics of what Mutianyu offers at a relaxed pace.
Check-in to your room or home at the Brickyard and enjoy afternoon beverages and snacks. Simply relax at the hotel, or enjoy a short walk or bike ride through Mutianyu Village. Indulge in a treatment at the Brickyard Spa before dinner at the Lodge. Then relax by the fireside in the Lodge or stargaze from your patio before calling it a night.
Sleep in! After breakfast, walk along the magnificent Great Wall. For lunch, visit the Schoolhouse, where a different lunch menu offers lighter fare. Then visit the Schoolhouse Orchard to learn about our organic farming principles before leaving Mutianyu.
*Please note that Brickyard facilities are only available to guests staying overnight at the Brickyard
Stay more than 2 nights at the Brickyard and enjoy discounted room rates and more time to relax!
Check-in to your room or home at the Brickyard and enjoy afternoon beverages and snacks. Relax at the hotel, or enjoy a short walk or bike ride through Mutianyu Village. Enjoy a soak in the Brickyard jacuzzi before feasting on an unforgettable dinner at the Schoolhouse Canteen.
Sleep in! After breakfast, walk along the magnificent Great Wall. For lunch, visit the Schoolhouse, where a different lunch menu offers lighter fare. Indulge in a spa treatment at the Brickyard Spa before dinner. Enjoy a heartwarming dinner at the Brickyard Lodge, then relax by the fireside in the Lodge or stargaze from your patio.
After breakfast, take a walk and experience the villager’s life for a moment. Visit the Schoolhouse Orchard to learn about our organic farming principles, and relax and see more of the village before heading off.
*Please note that Brickyard facilities are only available to guests staying overnight at the Brickyard
Mutianyu is full of family friendly activities that make it a destination perfect for your children, and even your parents!
Check-in to your room or home at the Brickyard and enjoy afternoon beverages and snacks. Children can enjoy the children’s area, games room or video room before dinner while parents relax in the Lodge. Have dinner at the Brickyard Lodge, which offers several children’s menu options. Enjoy the fireplace and share stories with fellow travelers, or stargaze from your patio.
After breakfast, visit the magnificent Great Wall at Mutianyu. Take the cable car up and the toboggan down for a touch of adventure! For lunch, visit the Schoolhouse Canteen, housed in the former village Schoolhouse, which also features several children’s menu options.Visit the Schoolhouse Orchard to learn about our organic farming principles.
If time permits or you have a second day, add a bit of culture to the trip. Experience the life of the locals by doing a village tour or go for an exciting bike ride with the kids around one of our selected trails. You can also inquire about cooking demonstrations for you and your family, or learn how to create your own compost!
*Please note that Brickyard facilities are only available to guests staying overnight at the Brickyard
When travelling with a group, it’s always fun to ensure there are activities planned throughout your stay. We can create a unique and magical event packed with activities to ensure everyone is entertained. Here are some sample itineraries.
After guests arrive and check-in to their rooms or homes at the Brickyard, they can relax and enjoy afternoon beverages and snacks, a short hike and bike ride, or take a stroll through Mutianyu. A welcome cocktail and group dinner can be arranged at the Brickyard, with possibilities of a bonfire, entertainment, barbecue or more!
Guests can enjoy breakfast at their own pace before visiting the Great Wall as a group. A special private lunch can be organized at Xiaolumian, our village noodle shop and event venue depending on the season. After lunch, enjoy a private cooking demonstration – learn to pull traditional village noodles or make dumplings! Unwind in the evening, with a cocktail reception and dinner at the Schoolhouse Canteen. Then guests are free to enjoy an evening bonfire, massage or stargaze as a group.
Guests can enjoy breakfast on their own or even sleep in. Those interested can hike or bicycle around our Mutianyu paths. If time permits, you can also visit our Schoolhouse Orchard to learn about organic farming with a final lunch at the Schoolhouse Canteen to end the trip.
Mutianyu Village is just one of four villages in the little valleys under Mutianyu Great Wall connected across the ridges by trails and agricultural lanes through orchards and pine forests. It’s the perfect destination for outdoorsy types and nature lovers!
Check-in to your room or home at the Brickyard and enjoy afternoon beverages and snacks. Take a short walk or bike ride through Mutianyu Village. Don’t have a bicycle? Ask us if we have one to rent! Then indulge in a treatment at the Brickyard Spa before dinner at the Schoolhouse Canteen. Get to bed early so you can enjoy a full day of activities starting in the morning.
Get up bright and early! After breakfast, pack water and take a hike along a village road to a quieter and less visited area of the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Hike along the Wall, and take a cable car or toboggan down for a touch of adventure! For lunch, visit the Schoolhouse, where a different lunch offers lighter fare. Relax your sore muscles in the Jacuzzi before dinner at the Brickyard Lodge. Then relax by the fireside and share stories with other travelers.
After breakfast, hike one of our area trails. Visit the Schoolhouse Orchard to sample our homemade liqueurs. Relax and see more of the village before heading off.
*Please note that Brickyard facilities are only available to guests staying overnight at the Brickyard.
The Brickyard has 25 guestrooms and 8 wonderfully restored village homes accommodating between 5 and 10 guests.
Visit the BRICKYARD for information on specials including overnight stays, mid week packages, yoga retreats and more!
Enjoy a CCTV 4 profile of Mutianyu Great Wall with a segment on the Brickyard’s design including the views of the Great Wall. In Chinese with English subtitles.
Wok & Roll — Slow Food Saturday Festival (Bon TV, 23:59)
Each September, The Schoolhouse invites Beijingers to get to know their local food in its annual Slowfood Saturday. BON TV’s foodie program “Wok and Roll” explores the festival in two 10 minute clips. The first clip features corn milling in Mutianyu and local trout farms in Tianxianyu.
CCTV4’s Across China (走遍中国) profiled The Schoolhouse, Jim Spear’s designs, and Schoolhouse Art Glass in a half hour segment broadcast nationally. You can watch the CHINESE LANGUAGE PROGRAM HERE.
A celebration of Beigou village, this CCTV 7 feature runs 12 minutes and culminates in a tour of The Brickyard led by Schoolhouse Partner Jim Spear.
Published on Dec 30, 2012
A 10 minute Eco Hero feature, this Tianjin TV clip tells story of The Schoolhouse through a brief account of Schoolhouse Partner Jim Spear’s personal biography. The clip includes interviews with Jim, with the man who helped Jim buy his home in the village, Li Fengquan, and photo portraits of several homes.
Tianjin TV’s half-hour “China Right Here” biography of Schoolhouse Partner Jim Spear takes us through Jim’s journey to the Great Wall and explores his path to becoming a sustainable designer and entrepreneur
The four international villages of the Mutianyu Great Wall include Mutianyu itself as well as Yingbeigou, Xinying and Tianxianyu. This 12 minute video celebrates the four villages and takes viewers on a tour of The Schoolhouse Restaurant and The Brickyard Eco Lodge. Chinese language clip. May 2010.
CCTV4 profiling Jim Spear
Watch the VIDEO
On Board: Travels with the First Lady in China, The Great Wall of China
We operate shuttle service between Beijing and Mutianyu every Saturday and Sunday, March to November, with special holiday schedules. Pricing for our weekend service includes roundtrip transportation and set lunch at The Schoolhouse for one guest.
09:30 from Kempinski Hotel
16:30 from Schoolhouse
Round-trip – Same day
2-day advance purchase is required
12 Mutianyu Village
Tel +86 10 6162 6506
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The Schoolhouse is located about 60-90 minutes northeast of central Beijing via the Jingcheng Expressway and excellent scenic highways.
Schoolhouse GPS: 40.425,116.558
Brickyard GPS: 40.433, 116.556
Xiaolumian GPS: 40.437, 116.557
Beijing International Airport
60-75 min / 60 km
60-90 min / 77 km
Mutianyu Great Wall Entrance
2-3 min / 1.3 km
We can arrange convenient transfer services from Beijing. Our transportation providers have committed to providing safe, clean cars with skilled and professional drivers familiar with our location and attentive to guest needs.
Round-Trip Beijing Transfer
Small Sedan — Chery or similar
(max 3-4 people, small bags)
One-Way Beijing Transfer
Small Sedan — Chery or similar
(max 3-4 people, small bags)
Standard Sedan — Passat or similar
(Max 3-4 people, medium bags)
Standard Van — Buick GL8 or similar
(Maximum 5-6 people, large bags)
Please contact us at least 24 hours in advance with the following information: your name, number of guests, pickup location, date, time and flight number (if coming from the airport). A 12-hour cancellation is required to avoid cancellation fees.
Vehicle access to Mutianyu Village & Great Wall is restricted. To visit The Schoolhouse inside of the restricted zone you can either:
a) pay to park at the Mutianyu Visitor Center and pay to ride a park shuttle that makes stops at The Schoolhouse
b) purchase a pre-paid non-refundable VIP Permit online that you can use to drive your vehicle up to The Schoolhouse and the Great Wall
c) purchase a VIP Permit at our General Store located in the Visitor Center, anytime 11:00-15:00 or at our Brickyard Retreat
Please Note: Please check current hours for The Schoolhouse online.
Guests are all welcome to arrange their own transportation which may often be found at a lower cost. To avoid difficulty while driving here, we encourage you to download directions and the map before venturing here on your own.
Note: The Schoolhouse is in Mutianyu Village where traffic is restricted. The Brickyard is in nearby Beigou Village with no traffic restrictions.
Escape to Mutianyu for some fresh air and take part in Brickyard Yoga Weekend Retreats. These classes are held by a certified instructor and are appropriate for all levels. Participants will be shown how to correct their poses based on individual levels.
Packages include transportation, accommodation, yoga lessons, dinner and breakfast.
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Mutianyu is a destination with something special for every season. Take a stroll through Beigou village in early spring, enjoy the colors of September while hiking through a fragrant orchard trail, or take in the breathtaking view of a snow covered Great Wall in the winter and warm up by a cozy fire in our lodge. Plan your time to Mutianyu and make the most of your trip.