On my many trips over to Upper Wensleydale and back I’ve always admired the grand frontage of Bolton Castle, standing proudly on the hillside looking out across the Yorkshire Dales countryside. It is a majestic sight, and until recently one that I had only enjoyed from afar.
This Autumn I decided to put that right, with kids excited in the back seat we set off to spend a day exploring this fantastic Yorkshire attraction. So here are my 5 reasons to visit Bolton Castle…
5 reasons to visit Bolton Castle Wensleydale
#01 The view
Before you actually go inside, take a moment to enjoy the view from up here. Looking down across the lush green pastures of Wensleydale, Bolton Castle commands one of the best views in the Dales.
#02 Meet the local Wild Boar
Now before you start getting a little concerned, this quite impressive family of wild boar are safely closed into a generous and natural habitat. But its possible to get very close to these curious creatures and see how they like to spend their time. The little ones are possibly the cutest things I have ever seen. Larger ones more scary than cute but fascinating all the same
#03 Live and breathe the history
Bolton Castle dates back to 14th Century and was built by Richard Le Scrope, the then Lord Chancellor of England. As well as being a defensive fortress Bolton Castle was a luxurious family home, and despite being the subject of attack over its long history most of the castle is very well preserved. You can explore and learn about life in the castle as it was during its prime, taking in the castle kitchens, nursery, Armory and dungeons. Mary Queen of Scots was also a resident here.
#04 The grandest afternoon tea in Yorkshire?
The charming cafe at Bolton Castle is housed in the castle’s impressive Guest Hall where visitors have been entertained for over 600 years. In the colder months there is a roaring fire to keep you warm, and as you munch on your scones and cream you can just about imagine what raucous parties there must have been here all those centuries ago.
#05 Heaven for children
Children absolutely love Bolton Castle. My girls couldn’t get enough of it, from finding their way around the maze to playing with the 15th Century toys in the castle nursery. And then there was the Birds of Prey display to enjoy. Just so much fun and the perfect way to keep kids happy for a day.
Bolton Castle – Tell Me More
Bolton Castle is one of the worlds best preserved medieval castles. Still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, you may have spotted it on the recent series about The Dales on ITV.
It is open throughout the year and regularly hosts a variety of special events. You can visit the castle as an individual or part of a group – for more information just visit their website at www.boltoncastle.co.uk
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay nearby we have several lovely cottages in and around Wensleydale including the gorgeous Waterside Cottage and Fell View. Or you can view or full collection of Yorkshire Dales Cottages here.