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Bolton Castle

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Nr Leyburn, Leyburn DL8 4ET, England
Phone Number:
+44 1969 623981
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

Now one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles, Bolton was...

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.


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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 670 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 346
  • 202
    Very good
  • 59
  • 31
  • 19
Feb Holidays

Great place, really interesting, must visit, got to say the most unwelcoming staff I have come across, it's almost as though they didn't want you to visit.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Dean B
via mobile
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670 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 657: English reviews
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Great place, really interesting, must visit, got to say the most unwelcoming staff I have come across, it's almost as though they didn't want you to visit.

Thank Dean B
Northwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited Bolton Castle a few years ago, a return was overdue. We opted to park in the Country Park and walk to the church & Abbey over the field. We thought the £4 car parking charge was a little high by the facilities in the Cavendish Pavilion are excellent. The church and Abbey are really worth the visit with... More 

1 Thank Wheaty798
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2017

The castle was not open in January but we enjoyed a short walk round it. Parking was free. It is an impressive place.

Thank Jennifer L
Level Contributor
101 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2016

Visited Castle Bolton during half term week with my two young nephews. As a family we love a good castle and this one didn't disappoint! It's a great example of a well-intact medieval castle, with many rooms still open for exploring. As Halloween was approaching there was a special themed activity for kids which involved finding various objects in each... More 

1 Thank Caroline J
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2016 via mobile

Lovely historic place we attended a friend's wedding at. The castle is really nice to wander around, the staff were lovely and the wedding event was good. A little chilly at first but once the event got going it was toasty warm!

1 Thank Alen B
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2016

Stunning unpretentious old castle, mainly untouched over time. It sits grandly in Wensleydale with magnificent views of the surrounding coutryside. A great little tea rooms serving lovely lunches/teas and homemade cakes. Try to catch one of the Bird of Prey displays by the very knowledgeable staff. Lots on offer during the open season. A great day out.

1 Thank Morag63
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2016

didnt have the best weather for this but still a must see. amazing castle full of history, great falconry show too.

1 Thank seanforde1
Level Contributor
32 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2016 via mobile

We walked from Aysgarth Falls on a circular walk besides the castle. The weather beautiful and the castle looked delightful as we approached. An oasis we thought. Wrong. Our dog not allowed anywhere near the castle. Nour benches to sit outside. No water for the dog. Outside toilets not that clean. Teashop dingy and small flies put me off the... More 

1 Thank LincolnshireKwak
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
246 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2016

We visited during the last week before the castle closed for the winter, so for example, the falconry display was cut down. I'm sure that better weather would make the castle and gardens look better. It was still very nice though. There is enough to keep a family occupied for a few hours and I would recommend a visit if... More 

1 Thank KeithJenner
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2016

As avid castle-lovers, we attempted to visit this during a holiday in Wensleydale - it's in a spectacular setting and an impressive castle... from the outside. We'd had to put the dogs back in the car as they're not allowed in or around the castle but this did give us a new opportunity to use the absolutely filthy toilet facilities.... More 

3 Thank Jonny R

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