Bolsover Castle
Bolsover Castle
4.5
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
With spectacular views over Derbyshire, the fairy-tale Stuart mansion, Bolsover Castle, was designed to entertain and impress. Its reputation for revelry lives on as we now entertain you and your family. Wander the lavish rooms of the Little Castle, explore the romantic ruined terrace range, and delight in the views from the wall walk. Start your visit in the exhibition in the Riding House then run wild in extensive grounds (and fun play area).
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4.5
1,568 reviews
Excellent
862
Very good
503
Average
128
Poor
42
Terrible
33

JNK65
Hutton Rudby, UK75 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
A well worth visit. Not a castle, rather a 17th Century residence giving an insight into how the wealthy and powerful lived.
BEWARE. They will push annual English Heritage membership and the guide book which are extra without mentioning the FREE audio guide which I would recommend
Written July 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thomas M
Offenbach, Germany6,314 contributions
Feb 2023
Bolsover Castle is a large 17th century fortification built on the grounds of the original medieval castle from the 12th century. Part of it lies in ruins (ironically the larger, later part), the other part, the so-called "Little Castle", is intact. This is a great place to visit with your family, for there's plenty to see and do (but mostly to see), as you can walk the castle walls, visit the "horse theatre", listen to stories by costumed volunteers or simply picnic on the grounds. The Little Castle is intact, though none of the original furniture remains. But a large part of the original decorative wooden wall tilings remain, as do some ceiling paintings (some of which are quite elaborate), as well as some large wall carpets. Elsewhere, there are only "shadows" of past glory remaining. The tickets aren't cheap, but you can benefit from a discount plan that allows you or your family reduced entry on repeat visits within one year. It's only open on weekends, at least during the cold season.
The best way to get to Bolsover Castle is by car, but there are buses from Chesterfield that stop 3 minutes from the castle grounds. You enter the place through a modern visitors' centre that also functions as shop/café. A large and well-equipped JD Wetherspoon pub (The Pillar of Rock), is directly adjacent to the grounds, so you can have a quick lunch after your visit, too.
Written February 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

enfootexplorer
1 contribution
Jan 2023 • Solo
Reading some reviews before I visited, it seems that people were disappointed with the lack of furniture and interpretation.
However, I took the time to ask why there wasn't any furniture in the castle and the very friendly staff explained that much of it was taken either by the Roundheads who occupied the castle during the civil war, the Cavendish family when they abandoned the house, or that some of it was merely lost to time.

Understandably, it would cost a fortune to refill these rooms with accurate furniture artifacts, and any reconstruction would force an idea of the place into the visitor's head which might not even be the right idea!
That's not what this place is about. They want to let the imagination of the rooms form in the visitor's head given what historic information they have. Not intentionally mislead.

And as far as the lack of interpretation, guess what! They have guidebooks for £5 and audioguides which are free! What more do you want?!
People visit actual ruins which are nothing more than just a pile of stones that require more imagination. So I don't see what everyone's problem is with this place.

It's an excellent site to visit. With ample information (just ask for an audioguide, buy a guidebook, ask the staff or a volunteer).
And just use your imagination, people!

The staff are lovely, the views a awesome (try and pick a clear day, though) and it's got more than you think.
Written January 31, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dianaecave
Chesterfield, UK37 contributions
Dec 2022 • Family
Bolsover Castle is a wonderful day out normally and at Halloween when we visited, it was wonderful, but it didn’t look as though much thought had gone into the Santa experience.
My family and I went to the Santa experience at Bolsover Castle December 2022. It was an audience with Santa but included 12/15 other families and not at all private hence the children did not feel able to enjoy it fully.
It was held in Bolsover Castles riding Hall and not a grotto and it was absolutely freezing and barely decorated for Christmas. Santa looked more like the German Saint Nikolaus , we were sat at the back and could not hear him very well. The Children didn’t hear the story he was telling (which actually was a nice story about how the Robin got it’s Red breast).
The children were called down by the elf to come to speak to Santa and collect their present. I had my five grandchildren with me and their parents and we had to ask for them to go down to Santa together as we would have liked a photo of them all with him and the tree.
My eldest granddaughter 11 was too embarrassed to go in front of all the other families, but even so it was very difficult to get a photo of the others and Santa didn’t turn round to give a photo opportunity.
We had paid for all five children to see Santa, but because my eldest granddaughter did not go down to him, i had to ask for her gift otherwise they were going to let her go without one and both her and my 10-year-old grandson got a box of dominoes each.
It certainly wasn’t worth the money that we paid.
To top it all off my youngest grandson fell outside and ended up in A&E with a cut to his head (which was not anyone’s fault) but all in all it was a very disappointing day.
Sorry
Written December 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ilovemyfood
United Kingdom75 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
Visited with my children and was greeted by a lady stood outside the front who spent at least10 minutes trying to hard sell me setting up a yearly membership. All happy smiles until I didn't sign up then she turned her attention to the next group (good luck!)
Not the greatest first impression we carried on through to the tills to purchase tickets. An extremely miserable older gentleman served us. No hello, no small talk, no eye contact and definitely no manners!

Reluctantly we went further inside (if we didn't have two excited kids with us we would of run away) the playground looked good yet very busy. Lots of tables dotted around but most say you can't sit on them unless you buy from their cafe so if you wanted to take a picnic you will also need a blanket etc

The castle itself is NOTHING like any of the images we viewed. It's extremely run down. Most of the rooms are just empty or cornered off so you can't go inside and there is no access for disabled people

Very expensive for a very disappointing "day out"

We will never return and will most definitely let everyone know of our terrible experience. Thank goodness I didn't get a membership!!!
Written August 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aliya
Cambridge, UK4 contributions
Oct 2022
Enjoyed an excellent ghost tour around the castle with Winnifred as our guide. She was hilarious and did a great job entertaining us with tales whilst taking us through the grounds and castle. This was an evening visit and it was lovely (and spooky!) to view the castle at night. The views over Derbyshire are also a sight to behold.

I'd highly recommend a visit to any history enthusiasts as well as those wanting to do something informative and entertaining in the run-up to Halloween and the winter months.

Afterwards, there is the opportunity to visit the cafe and gift shop.
Written November 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dillan1965
Leeds, UK219 contributions
Oct 2021
Had high hopes for Bolsover Castle but have to say it's somewhat a hit and miss affair. Parking isn't easy as the 'official signposted' car park is small and the 'official' additional parking isn't that much larger. We parked the other side of Bolsover by the church, a good 15 minute walk.

We are English Heritage members so whether you wish to pay the high entrance fee of, at the time of writing £20 per adult if you aren't a member, then fine. Personally, I feel the entrance fee is excessive.

The majority of the castle is ruin. There is an overview of the history of Charles Cavendish and Bolsover in the 'horse' building.

The 'Little Castle' is lovely as are the gardens and the walled garden. You can walk the walls.

If you are expecting plenty of background information in and around the ruins and the Little Castle gardens by virtue of information boards, then you will be disappointed. There's not much at all.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sonic007
4 contributions
Dec 2022
We went to Bolsover Castle for the Santa Experience and loved every moment!

Firstly, the castle itself is full of places to discover so my children loved going up the stairs and discovering all the little rooms and gardens.
Don't ever think it is only ruins, there is plenty to see inside too!.

The thing that made our day amazing was meeting Santa. 10/10 to the man that played Father Christmas. The story he told about the little robin and kindness was everything this world needs right now. Fantastic!

Unlike some other grotto experiences you can do elswhere, we did not feel rushed at all and Santa spent time listening to our children. He even let them perform their song in front of everyone! They were absolutely thrilled!
The children got given a traditional dominoes set as a present which we thought was great.

The cafe can be a little expensive but I guess that is the same everywhere.

We really enjoyed our visit and even found some great books to buy in the second hand bookshop.

One of the best Santa experiences we've been to!
Written January 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jamie G
Wigan, UK304 contributions
Jun 2021
A really beautiful site to visit with unimaginable views out of the gallery terrace. Fascinating interior too and a good shop, really would recommend visiting Bolsover - we were done in around 1hr 30mins. Thanks also to Barry, the very informative guide within the Little Castle!
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

yamfan
Hartlepool, UK97 contributions
Feb 2022
So much more to see than we envisaged. There's been a lot of focus on the riding house that we didn't expect much more but the site is much bigger than we expected, with fantastic views, plus there's the 'Little Castle' with very impressive original wall paintings and panelling.
Despite it being a cold and wet day in February there was a volunteer in the Llittle Castle who gave us a short tour, pointing out items of interest and explaining things. (think his name was Mick but I may be wrong, but thank very much for your time).
Only wish we had more time
Is an ideal stop off point when travelling north or south as is close to the motorway. Much more pleasurable than stopping at a service station.
Written March 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Bolsover Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle is open:
  • Sat - Sun 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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