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“Very enjoyable. Could use some perfecting.”
Review of Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle
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$400.88*
and up
Private Group Yorkshire Dales Day Trip from York
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$40.77*
and up
Full-Day Yorkshire Dales Tour from York in Winter
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$57.08*
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 July 2, 2014

Bolton Castle is a really nice day out. I would recommend getting there in the morning, looking at the castle, watching some of the shows, eating some lunch in the tea room, watching any shows you missed in the morning, and then leaving around 2 or 3pm. You could spend less time if you don't care too much about the different shows (they have a birds of prey show- not as good as at Warwick Caste, but still great - an archery show, an owl show, and a wild boar show). The Castle has a number of rooms that are in excellent condition, including the rooms where Mary, Queen of Scots stayed while she was under house arrest there. The gardens are very nice, and there is a lot of information throughout the Castle to give you an idea of its rich history.

The only problems I had were that (1) the tea room is a bit expensive. Not prohibitively so, but enough to notice the price. Also, (2) the waitresses in the tea rooms could have been a little nicer. It seemed like none of them wanted to be there. (3) The shows could have been more consistent. Would have liked to see the archer shoot some arrows, but it did not happen while we were there because of the people walking around...

However, the woman in the gift shop, the woman who did the bird of prey show, and the archer were all extremely nice. The prices in the gift shop were very good (the wool they sell is made from the sheep on the property!). And the parking is refunded when you buy your entrance ticket. It is definitely worth a visit!

1  Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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568 - 572 of 817 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2014

Brilliant for a half day visit, the castle is in very good condition in parts so you get a feel of what it was like to live in those days. The icing on the cake for us was the falconry display, the birds came that close you could touch them but obviously not allowed as they would probably bite you.

Thank ShropshireTravelgeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2014 via mobile

Visited the Castle with a Groupon voucher so excellent value for money. Great day out, the castle is huge, yes some of it is in ruins but does not detract from the history.
Anyone with difficulties may struggle to see all because of the spiral staircases and some uneven paths.
Watched the falconry display and thought the girl giving the display was very informative and clearly loved and cared for the birds.
We had coffee in the cafe, but had a picnic in the car park, plenty of grassy area, plus toilets.
I would definitely recommend.

Thank Amethyst0702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2014

It was fantastic! Bird of prey display, archery practice, nice tea room (even though she could do with some help in there), I loved the place!

Thank dawnb2uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

from a distance this castle looks very imposing, but most of it towers ares in ruins although the lower levels are pretty well complete it can make for some very spectacular photos. the birds of prey shows are quite good as the area in which they show the birds is quit intimate, the maze is only waist high so easy to navigate but the kids seemed to be enjoying it. the nearby church although small and plain is worth a visit

Thank peter j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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