Summer at Bolton Castle


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07 August 2023
Mary Queen of Scots at Bolton Castle Mary Queen of Scots at Bolton Castle
A range of events are on offer at the medieval castle in North Yorkshire.

Bolton Castle in North Yorkshire is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the country. Originally built as one of the finest and most luxurious homes in the land, the castle bears the scars of over 600 years of fascinating history.  Still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, the direct descendant of the castle’s original owner Sir Richard le Scrope, the castle provides a programme of events throughout the open season, great for history buffs and those who just enjoy fresh air and glorious views. The castle, gardens and tea room are fully open until 2 November 2023. Falconry displays take place every day and are free with entry. Tickets cost £12.50 per adult, £9 per child and £48 family for castle and gardens.

Events are free with entry unless otherwise stated and take place from 10am to 5pm in-line with the garden and castle opening times.


Living History Weekend – Tudor Times

Saturday 12 August & Sunday 13 August (free with entry)


One of the most popular weekends, this year, Bolton Castle welcomes Mary Queen of Scots to bring history alive and provide a taste of Tudor life at a key moment in our country’s history. Living historians are on site to help you discover more about the life and times of, arguably, Bolton Castle’s most famous resident, Mary Queen of Scots. Come and see the rooms where she spent the six months of her captivity. There is also a castle tour at 12.30pm. Free with Entry.


Living History 17th Century Civil War Weekend

Saturday 19 August & Sunday 20 August, 10am to 5pm (free with entry)

Saturday 7 October & Sunday 8 October, 10am to 5pm (free with entry)


Find out about life in the castle during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, better known as the English Civil Wars. Held for King Charles I, this was the only occasion when the castle came under siege, the garrison eventually surrendering when they had run out of food on 5 November 1645. Join in for a day in the life of those involved in the Civil War, and experience a slice of life under siege at the castle.


15th Century Medieval Music in the Dales

Thursday 7 to Saturday 10 September, 10am to 5pm (free with entry).


The September festival at Bolton Castle remains the heart of Medieval Music in the Dales and is perfect for anyone who loves music and history. Come and listen and find out more about the wonderful variety of medieval music – and if you play or sing, come and be part of the music-making! Medieval Music in the Dales 2023 is a journey to the 15th century, and an exploration of the many transitions of that fascinating time. Musically, there was just so much going on in the 15th century, with music moving ever more towards the styles and harmonic textures of the renaissance. For information, visit Medieval Music in the Dales medieval music festival Yorkshire


Lord Scrope’s Household: Tudor Living History Weekend

Saturday 23 September & Sunday 24 September, 10am to 5pm (free with entry).

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Come visit Lord Scrope's Tudor household and learn about the turbulent time of the Border Reivers, infamous raiding families including Armstrongs, Elliots, Grahams, Johnstones, Maxwells, Scotts, Nixons and many others who terrorised the Anglo-Scottish borderland. It is the year 1596 and trouble is brewing between England and Scotland. The notorious Scottish reiver, Kinmont Willie has been broken out of Carlisle castle after being captured under dubious circumstances on a day of truce. Lord Scrope of Bolton, responsible for keeping order on the West March is furious at having a prize prisoner snatched from him and has ordered a raid into Scottish territory that threatens to shake loose the border. Visit the castle as the household prepares for the foray. Experience the sights and sounds of a busy Tudor kitchen responsible for feeding the garrison, see the work of the tradespeople who kept the castle running day in day out and learn how you would fight and survive as a common soldier in Britain's contested lands.


Halloween Events

Saturday 14 October to Thursday 2 November, 10am to 5pm (free with entry).


Come and enjoy our family Halloween trail with pumpkins, witches, skeletons and all things Halloween. Where better to see and hear such things than at a spooky castle – good for little ones as well as all the family. Storytelling is at 1pm on 21 to 28 October.

In addition and to really give spooky a capital ‘S’, Bolton Castle is running two Castle by Lanternlight tours this year from 6pm-8pm. The dates are the Monday 23 October and Friday 27 October. The numbers are limited to 30 people and this year we are including a meal and a glass of wine or soft drink with either Wild Boar Stew or Vegetable Tagine. Tickets are £30 per person.



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