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“A little jewel in the dales”
Review of Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle
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$59.99*
and up
Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York
Ranked #1 of 20 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.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

This little castle won't give you hours of entertainment but it's a stunning stop-off in this lovely area with some notable historical points of interest and fantastic views.

Reminds me of the tiny castles to be found all over Scotland and I find them quite magical.

Thank Nicki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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684 - 688 of 818 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

I went to Bolton Castle with 5 children between the ages of 7 and 12, as well as 3 adults. When we first arrived the lady behind the counter seemed nice enough. As we went through to the castle, the children were playing with the games and the props that were left out for them - one of which was a broom. No harm was being done, just sweeping the floor, when the lady came in and shouted at the children to leave the items alone. Not asking nicely, actually shouting and snatching it out of the child's hand.

When we went into the maze the children were running around rather than walking, and a different lady - the one who usually does the archery - shouted at them and asked them to walk as they were upsetting other visitors. When this lady was approched by us asking what the problem was she abruptly told us "you used half price tickets to get in, so you can't realy complain for the price you actually paid". This lady was NOT there when I arrived at the castle, so pretty obvious that they had discussed who paid what to get in! Whether I got in for free, or full price - it doesn't give them the right to shout at these children, and be snotty with us.

The castle itself is lovely, but not enough information to make it educational. I would strongly advise anyone it's children to avoid this, unless you keep them on a tight leash!

2  Thank Lesley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

This is an interesting old castle/ruins to visit with very information signs and audio guide. We were lucky to meet an (ex) teacher in the kitchen who started our visit with a most informative and interesting chat.

Lyndsie gave us a great hawk and owl flying display in the castle courtyard and explained a lot about the birds - a very knowledgeable young lady.

All the staff were friendly and helpful, but we would like to make special mention of Carol in the shop for a friendly greeting and giving us advice that enabled us to make the most of our visit.

Thank here2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

A great day out for all the family, a castle that is full of interest including daily events. The views from the castle are stunning across the dale. Archery and falconry shows are a great visitor attraction for all the family.

Thank Gordon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Thank Carla W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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