Bolton Castle
Bolton Castle
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Caitlin
    Norwich, United Kingdom20 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly recommend
    Absolutely loved our day here at the castle - and would highly recommend the experience. The educators who run the talks and tours are exceptional, really hands on and get you involved with stories they are passionate about, we loved learning about the history of the land and castle. The falconer was brilliant, passionate and enthusiastic with a genuine love for the birds they looks after, they spoke to us about the animals and also got everyone involved with activities. The castle itself is brilliant, we loved looking at the maps and seeing how the castle used to be and how it stands today. The views from the top are sensational and well worth the trip up if you can manage the stairs! The only thing that stops this review being 5 stars is the attitude of the clerical staff who are meant to welcome you to the castle. It would be great to have a positive, exciting welcome to a monumental site of heritage where the visitors are looking forward to their day, but it wasn’t that we had. We felt the welcome was slightly rude and also the manner of the staff was off.
    Thank you for your review, I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit. We very much welcome all feedback as we strive to provide an excellent experience to everyone who comes here. We hope you will come and see us again.
    Written 15 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 August 2023
  • Eleanor C
    London, United Kingdom18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day out
    My favourite day out in N Yorks! A beautiful castle in a truly stunning location with breathtaking views across the dales. Lots to see and do for all ages with great gardens incl. maze much to our children’s delight. The birds of prey talk is really impressive, entertaining and informative too. Oh and the tea room is not to be missed either! Can’t go wrong with a day out here :)
    Thank you very much for your lovely review and comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed your day here and we hope you will visit again.
    Written 20 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 August 2023
  • BeeHappy
    Durham, United Kingdom11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great time visiting the castle!
    We had the best time visiting the castle on the 19th of August, the staff /volunteers were all really friendly and informative. They were so passionate about history and really made the visit. The castle and grounds are really stunning , it's well worth a visit!
    Thank you very much for your lovely comments, I will pass them on to the team. Please come and visit again.
    Written 22 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 August 2023
  • Patricia N
    8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful experience.....BUT
    Wonderful place to roam and get the feel of what life was like in the castle , grounds and maze really good . Cafe cosy with good cakes . Only one down side to my few hours , only a small thing , but not expected when paying so much to get in....The toilets looked as if they hadn't been cleaned for at least a month ,stained and splattered toilet bowls , filth grimy wood work and a really pretty , big mirror that was so smeared and dusty you could just see your reflection . I don't expected pristine toilets in such an old building , but clean toilet bowls and sinks with a mirror that looks as if someone has cared to clean it would be good ...... really neglected area .
    Thank you for your review and comments. We work very hard to constantly improve for our visitors experience and all comments are taken seriously so I thank you for this.
    Written 23 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 22 August 2023
  • PeterReigate
    Otley, United Kingdom408 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    History Brought To Life
    Although in ruins the history of the place is brought to life. Spaces have been recreated to illustrate there original purpose. We last visited 15 years ago when we were fit and healthy and were alrmed to realise the problems with stairs for people like us who are less mobile. Well worth the effort though.
    Thank you for your review and comments. Thank you for persevering in getting to the top. We do as much as we can within the limits of the castle to help people navigate the stairs.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 28 August 2023
  • Debbie S
    Manchester, United Kingdom75 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely castle and talks
    Fantastic. Enjoyed the castle, was just in time to catch a tour which we really enjoyed. Even had a try at archery. The views from the top are fabulous. And the boars are cute with the little humbugs running around and the talk was very informative. The only downside was the admission/shop lady was less than welcoming. Made us decide to purchase books on display there on amazon rather than bother her.
    Thank you for your review, I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit. I am sorry to hear about our admission team, we try hard to welcome everyone with a smile.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 September 2023
  • Marcelle G
    26 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Surprisingly good
    A proper castle! Amazing views, lots to see, well thought out, the kids would love it, the falconry display was very well done and well worth a visit, the falconer made it very interesting and taught us a lot, loved the raven. Only criticism would be the lady at the desk was not very helpful or cheerful, we noticed some numbers on the information boards, and when enquiring was told we could download an app, I think it would of been nice if we were informed whilst buying a ticket that this was available, and also that the falconry display was on at 11 o'clock, and that we could have had the car park ticket to reduce the entrance price, this info is available but I think it should be reiterated whilst buying our ticket's, basically doing her job.
    Thank you very much for your review, I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and we hope you will come and see us again.
    Written 18 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 September 2023
  • Mitchell C
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.
    We had a fantastic day at the Castle on Thursday 21 September. We loved the Castle but we really enjoyed the falconry displays and we learned a lot! Went to both because we enjoyed the morning display so much. Archery demonstration - brilliant. Tearoom good too but missed out on the Bolton Pie - it was very popular! Great day out, idyllic location - thoroughly recommended.
    Thank you so much for your lovely comments, I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you here again soon.
    Written 28 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 September 2023
  • MrsP
    North East England, United Kingdom320 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting.
    Excellent place to visit. It took us a couple of hours to have a good snoop around the castle, even ended up on the Battlements, with its spectacular views. Gardens were immaculate, tea room nice.
    Thank you for your lovely review, I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and I hope you will come and visit us again.
    Written 10 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 9 October 2023
  • Leicesterspire
    Desford, United Kingdom103 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pleasant surprise
    My wife and I visited today and had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Not being the fittest of people, we did find all the steps a little daunting, but with the help of the handrails we made it around. So pleased we did, as the castle is so worth a visit. The signage is spot on, to guide you around, and the information boards give you a very interesting insight into the history of the castle. We took in the archery, falconry and wild boar events. These were all hosted by Luke, we think that was his name, and he was superb. He made everything very interesting and had excellent knowledge, which he imparted with a great sense of humour. We visited the tearoom, for refreshments, and the cakes were delicious. Overall all of the staff were cheerful and friendly.
    Thank you very much for visiting us and for your lovely comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed being here and I will certainly pass on your thanks and comment to the rest of the team. We hope you will come and see us again.
    Written 13 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,259 reviews
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Yvonne F
London, UK228 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
We arranged to visit the castle as it looked impressive from the road. Tickets and time slot booked on line, unfortunately it was an overcast, cold and rainy day making some areas quite wet and slippy. An interesting castle and gives you a good feel for what it would have been like to live here in years gone by. Interesting facts and information available in each room. Great views from the top of the castle.
Tea room was not open. Saw the birds of prey (I’m not keen on caged birds, they all look miserable). We didn’t do the maze but it looked good.
I would have liked to see the beehives and be given the history of beekeeping it just appeared to be a shed with a beehive sign on it. Not sure if I was missing something here.
Written 14 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review and for taking the time to visit. Our birds are in large aviaries and are inspected by a qualified professional every year to ensure their welfare. They are flown every day and are superbly looked after by our falconers. The bees have not been at site this year due to the short season but there is information there to provide an insight. I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit on the whole, even though the weather was inclement and we hope to see you again in sunnier times.
Written 17 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MadManYorkshire
Barnsley, UK321 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
I have to say we had mixed thoughts after a recent visit to the Castle.

We visited on the first day of compulsory mask wearing in shops/ enclosed spaces and I have to say things could have been thought out much better.

We booked online as this was described on the website as the best way to do things. Upon arrival we paid our parking which isn't included in your ticket price. The signs seemed to be pointing up some stairs to the ticket office. So we donned our masks and joined the queue. Only to find people without masks, also once people had sorted their tickets out they had to squeeze back past the people queuing to get in. A bizarre set up as with a little thought those who had purchased tickets should be funneled into the castle and out through the exit rather than back into the waiting queue.

That said the sun was shining and the small but immaculate manicured grounds are worth a stroll.
The Birds of Prey display was very informative and will pass a good 45 mins.
The Castle its self is OK but the displays were a little old and past their best. Considering the £9 entrance fee I maybe expected a little more.
That said, if the sun is shining a great place for a picnic.
Written 27 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review and feedback. All feedback is appreciated to enable us to ensure a safe and pleasurable time for all of our visitors.
Written 3 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Natalie W
51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
We almost went to a different castle a bit further away for half the price but I’m really glad we went here.
Driving up to the castle we were impressed at the size of it. Parking was £3 but when you take part of your ticket inside you get £2 off the admission.
The castle has lots of information in every room/ chamber, our boys loved exploring every nook and cranny. The views are fantastic. The gardens are pretty and the maze was fun. We took a picnic and sat to take in the beautiful views. The extra bonus was the bird display the man was brilliant with the birds and you could tell that he really cared for them. We were there about 4 hours.
Written 1 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely comments, I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and hope to see you all again soon.
Written 3 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tracey634
Sheffield, UK97 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020 • Couples
The castle itself was lovely to wander round. Kids would love it. The grounds were pretty and the falconry display is a must. The young mans passion for these creatures was blatantly obvious and he made it both interesting and funny for the audience.
Written 11 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Bolton Castle. I am so pleased you all enjoyed your experience and we look forward to welcoming you all back soon.
Written 14 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Steph618
England, UK175 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
A ruin of a castle which still retains original internal and external features, although obviously missing a large number of floors and walls. Good for exploring from basement rooms up to the battlements. We visited mid week and there weren't to many people and you could wander about with no crowds. The castle would be fun to explore for children age 4 and over too. Although there are many many steep steps internally. Beautiful views over Wensleydale . The gardens are not that big and lovely. Had a go at the Maze. One negative was that the garden was low on the number of benches to sit on. We counted 4 backless stone benches, (not very comfortable as on slopes or uneven concert benches) and 1 backed bench in Dyers Garden. So nowhere to comfortably sit, so bring picnic blanket or picnic chairs from the car. I wouldn't say the castle or the gardens really where accessible for wheelchair users as the gardens are sloped. Car parking is £3 per day and you get £2 cash back when you purchase entry in shop. Alternatively you can walk easily from Aysgarth or Carperby across field footpaths. Castle Bolton village is lovely in itself. And the church across from castle is worth a visit inside, as there's been a church there before the castle. The road leading up to the castle there is a large wooden dragon eating a knight carving in the field which children might like. There is a cafe in the castle before you go into pay entry. Little gift shop also. Would certainly recommend a visit.
Written 9 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review and comments which we very much appreciate. I am pleased you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you again.
Written 11 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

stax549
Coningsby, UK98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Couples
Only 20 mins from where we were staying we decided to take a look and weren’t disappointed! Easy to get to, easy reasonably cheap parking and, if you take your ticket in, a refund of £2.00! Although the website says it’s easier to book in advance I think for this time of year it’s just as simple to pay on the door, especially as I wasn’t aware I was a “concession” which knocked a few Bob off the price! First thing we saw was the Bird of Prey demo and it’s one of the best I’ve seen (and we go to a lot of them) the fellah in charge was funny, entertaining and obviously loves his birds. He even flew a Raven, which I’ve never seen before. The cafe is nice, not cheap but good quality sandwiches and cake. There is a lot to see and it’s good they have information boards up describing what went on where when it was a working castle back in the day. Watching the wild Boar and their youngsters was an entertaining few minutes. All in all a good few hours out and I will be visiting again in the future!
Written 25 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your lovely comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit here and we look forward to welcoming you back.
Written 26 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

W4yno
Sheffield, UK73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
From its position high on top of the hill it's a very imposing castle. It's not glamorous but that's to its credit. Unlike places like Bamburgh that have had a Victorian makeover it's a real, albeit, largely ruined and unrestored building. The information boards give you all the information your imagination needs to rebuild the walls and floors and fill it again with the voices of the occupants. There are plenty of rooms that have been restored so there's a nice balance between the derelict and the habitable.

Outside there's nice gardens and daily falconry displays (unless the weather intervenes). At 4pm there's the feeding of the wild boar with an opportunity to ask questions about these magnificent animals.

It comes COVID-secure and is highly recommended for those interested in history.
Written 26 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and we hope you will return soon.
Written 30 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wilberlee
London, UK11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Brilliant. Best medieval castle I have ever seen.
We went on a grey rainy day and paid for entry to the interior. Worth every penny, I was expecting to see a draughty old ruin and instead saw a magical interior with many rooms imaginatively restored to their former glory
Mary Queen of Scots bedroom, the Great Hall, Salon, Dungeon, old kitchens, and the Lords Bedroom were just some of the highlights. And the view from the top of the castle is stunning.
The hot chocolate and marshmallows in front of a roaring log fire in the cafe were a perfect end to the visit.
Can’t recommend highly enough.
Written 2 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review, I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and it exceeded your expectations. Please come and visit us again.
Written 4 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Erasedcitizen
Lowestoft, UK113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021 • Friends
Great place to visit in the area. The drive to the castle is pleasant in itself and when arriving you’re met with a lovely looking castle, a nice little church (St Oswolds) and great views.
The admission price is reasonable and includes the opportunity to go along to a couple of displays (archery and falconry). There is also a nice little cafe situated inside the castle with excellent homemade food on offer, along with various refreshments.
The rooms and areas of the castle have been laid out well to deliver a feel and knowledge of great history and the falconry display in the castle gardens is an absolute must (make sure you duck lol)
Written 5 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review and comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you here again.
Written 6 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Patricia N
8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Wonderful place to roam and get the feel of what life was like in the castle , grounds and maze really good . Cafe cosy with good cakes . Only one down side to my few hours , only a small thing , but not expected when paying so much to get in....The toilets looked as if they hadn't been cleaned for at least a month ,stained and splattered toilet bowls , filth grimy wood work and a really pretty , big mirror that was so smeared and dusty you could just see your reflection . I don't expected pristine toilets in such an old building , but clean toilet bowls and sinks with a mirror that looks as if someone has cared to clean it would be good ...... really neglected area .
Written 22 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review and comments. We work very hard to constantly improve for our visitors experience and all comments are taken seriously so I thank you for this.
Written 23 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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