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“Was expecting a bit more...”
Review of Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle
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Private Group Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York
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The Yorkshire Dales Tour from Windermere
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Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York
Ranked #1 of 16 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 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Was expecting a bit more...”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Looking at the reviews on here I thought this was going to be a great place to spend the day... It was ok for an hour or two but nothing special. The lady on the counter where you pay seemed bored and did not inspire much enthusiasm as she repeated her usual set of instructions to us. The castle was quite big but there wasn't an awful lt to see, it very cold and the information boards were pretty dull. The Choughs for the children to look out for were more interesting, but it never did explain why they were there...

Really didn't fancy the cafe - it stunk of fried food and although my husband said I was being too fussy, I really don't want the smell of horrible greasy chips whilst I'm trying to enjoy a coffee and cake.

The maze amused us for a few minutes and then we went to find the wild boar (far side of the car park by the way) before waiting for the Falconry display - the highlight of the trip for us; or so we hoped... One bird and ten minutes later we were back in the car heading to find something else to entertain us.

Visited June 2013
Thank Carla J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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737 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great castle; lovely cakes but cafe smells of frying”
Reviewed June 7, 2013

We very much enjoyed our visit and will be back with a grandchild at some point! In the cafe we had DELICIOUS home-made cake (and there was lots of choice) but the experience was slightly marred by that familiar smell of fried food emanating from the kitchen which is clearly not sufficiently well ventilated (I can see that in an ancient building this can be a problem). The cafe would be hugely improved if this problem could be sorted out.

Visited May 2013
Thank Jan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good value, great location, perfect for families”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

My wife and I visited here during Whit Week (we have no children) and it was full of families - which usually means many unruly kids running riot. We love castle visiting (have done most of Scotland) and this was a rare intact castle in England to visit.

We were not disappointed with Castle Bolton. The entry was reasonable and the castle is in a great condition, we have paid the same for ruins before, this has pretty much most of the castle available to view. The history information may be a little lacking, but the place is geared for families with lots of activities and child-friendly information throughout the castle. This meant the usual riot of children we have experienced before was not the case here - as the kids were entertained, not bored!

We didn't see the Archery or Falconry, but this is another good add-on provided.

The rooms are well preserved and of interest and the views afforded are fantastic. We ended the day with a trip to see the Owls and then in the Maze which was great fun (even for adults).

Well worth the entry fee and something for all ages.

Visited May 2013
Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A great family day out!”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Great trails, activities and demonstrations! Kept my 7 and 10 year old boys interested all afternoon! Really brings history to life and a good visit on a drizzly day!

Visited May 2013
Thank AGS72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great castle for children...and parents”
Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful castle that provides and excellent experience for the whole family. It was fairly quiet when we went (on a Tuesday) so we had the run of the place. We spent over 4 hrs there and had a picnic in the garden.

Visited April 2013
Thank NoMoreStatus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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