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“Fantastic Medieval Castle”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle
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Private Group Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Leyburn
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Now one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles, Bolton was originally built, by Sir Richard Le Scrope, to rival the finest and most luxurious homes in the land. Completed in 1399, its scars bear testament to over 600 years of fascinating history including involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace, Mary Queen of Scot’s imprisonment and a Civil War siege. Bolton Castle was a luxurious family home as well as a defensive fortress and, despite being partially ‘slighted’ by Cromwell’s’ men during the Civil War, the Castle is preserved in outstanding condition with many interesting rooms and features to discover including the Old Kitchens, Dungeon, Solar, Nursery, Armory, Great Chamber and Mary Queen of Scots’ bedroom. About one third of the rooms are fully intact and the rest of the Castle is almost completely accessible giving visitors great insight into its turbulent past. You will find a raft of sights, sounds and smells which bring the castle to life and make for a truly memorable visit. There is something for everyone to enjoy as you discover what life was really like during the Castle’s heyday through our authentic room displays, wonderful falconry experience, archery demonstrations, children’s trails and costumes and hands on medieval games and activities. Daily Activities 11.30: Bird of Prey Display 13.45: Archery Display 15.00: Bird of Prey Display 16.00: Wild Boar Feeding Time Tea Room Situated in the beautiful and atmospheric Guest Hall, our tea room serves a selection of homemade and locally produced hot meals, soups, sandwiches, snacks and freshly baked cakes. Afternoon tea is served from 2.30pm and our Yorkshire Tapas board is always a popular choice with visitors. Experience a friendly welcome and excellent service in the castle’s impressive Guest Hall, where visitors have enjoyed hospitality for over six hundred years. Gardens The Castle gardens have been restored along medieval lines and include a well-stocked herb garden, rose garden, walled vineyard, bowling green and maze as well as the birds of prey on their weathering ground and our bee observation hive (seasonal). Children will love finding the centre of the maze or trying our Garden activity trails.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fantastic Medieval Castle”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

I have visited Bolton Castle a few times and I fall in love with it more on each visit. I first spotted the castle many years ago on a walk around Aysgarth falls. It was a sunny day and the castle came into view after climbing a small hill, the view was like something from a painting and we just had to visit! The history of the castle is fascinating, especially as Mary Queen of Scotts was once help captive here. Whether warm and sunny or cold and windy, the castle has a magical atmosphere that appeals to people of all ages. With the introduction of the birds of prey and the wild boar there is even more for families to do. A definite must if you are in the area!

Visited April 2012
Thank Sarah K M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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688 reviews from our community

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English first
South Jersey
Level Contributor
57 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Medieval but still feels alive.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

We chose the self-directed version of the tour of Castle Bolton. Most of the the rooms have plaques explaining the function of the room and the occupation or role of the individual(s) who occupied the room. So we don't feel our experience at CB was lessened by not having a guide. The tour of the castle ascends several floors, and the stone stairwells are spiraling, but not claustrophobic like Warwick Castle (which I very highly recommend, by the way) or the Tower of London. Each room is different, and you get the sense that the higher the room within the castle, the greater importance of the individual who occupied that room. There are enough furnishings and period pieces in most of the rooms to convey the feeling of what it was like to live in the castle. This makes the castle still feel "alive" despite falling into disuse many centuries ago. The top of the castle is open to the elements, and moderately acrophobic, but perfectly safe, with sturdy metal hand rails installed, and metal grates over the lower openings. Climbing to the top is worth the fleeting fear of heights to enjoy view of the bucolic countryside.

Visited June 2012
Thank philly_suburbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Peace, views and a taste of medieval life”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

I love Bolton castle and have visited many times over the past 20 years or so. It's so atmospheric, with lots left to your imagination - rather than a patronising Disney-esque re-creation. The setting is amazing and the views across the valley are incredible. The changes Tom has made over the last few years have been tasteful, imaginative and in-keeping with such a treasured family seat. However could I suggest a bar/restaurant in the tea rooms a few evenings a week? People would love that experience - and with so many wonderful local breweries and food producers it could be fantastic.

Visited October 2012
Thank LawsonsStudio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“great day out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

Great example of a Medieval Castle. Enjoyed the Falconry display and the small church across the road. Took a great picture of Mary Queen of Scots bedroom

Visited September 2012
Thank Linda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Save your money”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

Very disappointing visit considering we paid £30.00. Will not be visiting again. Save your money and enjoy looking at the surrounding views and maybe take a walk around.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Lily B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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