Bolton Castle near Leyburn, North Yorkshire, Opens 2 March 2024: 

2024 Programme of Visitor Events 

One of the country’s best preserved medieval castles, Bolton Castle in North Yorkshire, offers a great day out for visitors. Just 10 minutes’ drive from the market town of Leyburn, the castle and gardens open for the new season on Saturday 2 March 2024.  The castle has remained in the same family’s ownership for over 600 years and bears the scars of its history. A day out here includes five floors of castle, including a dungeon, plus beautiful gardens, maze and tea room, daily falconry displays (where you can have a go) and wild boar feeding. Bolton Castle also offers an extensive programme of events which bring the story of the castle alive, many free with entry, including its acclaimed re-enactor days, storytelling, trails, and open-air theatre. Perfect for families, history buffs and garden lovers, and those that just enjoy a day out in the fresh air, the castle is nestled in beautiful Wensleydale.   

 

Tickets cost £15 per adult, £12.50 per child (children are 5 to 18 years old, children aged 4 and under are free) and £60 family for castle and gardens. Concessions available for 67 year-olds and over.  Tickets to the gardens only are £6 per adult and concessions £5 per person, family £25.  Car parking is £5 per vehicle.  

We encourage our visitors to book their tickets ahead via our website or on our App.  

Most events are free with entry and take place from 10am to 5pm unless otherwise stated in-line with the garden and castle opening times. Please check the website ahead of visiting on a non-event day in case of castle closure for private events. Check out the new App and download here – it’s a free audio that you can take with you around the castle to hear all about the turbulent history that has created the castle as it is today.   

Great Gift Idea for 2024: If you’re unable to make any of our fantastic events this year, why not think about a Full Day Castle Experience? Enjoy a full day on site, see behind the scenes at the castle, enjoy an archery lesson, help with our falconry displays and feed our wild boars. Did we mention enjoying a lovely lunch? It’s a brilliant and unique day. Perfect for a gift or for those with an interest in all-things-castle or just treat yourself. See website for details.  

 

Living History Tudor Weekend 

Saturday 2 March & Sunday 3 March, 10am to 5pm Free with Entry  

The castle kickstarts its jam-packed open season with one of its favourite events.  The Tudor Weekend, complete with appropriately dressed castle inhabitants, will show visitors just how life really was in the Tudor period.  Tudor England was a time of great change. Come and join the ‘Living Historians’ and find out how life would have differed between 1485, the beginning of the reign of King Henry V11, and 1603 with the death of Henry’s granddaughter, the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth 1. 

Living History Medieval Weekend 

Friday 29 March, Saturday 30 March & Sunday 31 March 10am to 5pm Free with Entry 

On Palm Sunday, 29 March 1461, arguably the largest and bloodiest battle on English soil took place, fought by an estimated 50,000 men continuing throughout the day and into the night. Among the combatants was Lord John Scrope from Bolton Castle, and a contingent of men at arms and archers from Wensleydale. The ‘Living Historians’ are in residence at the castle to talk about the battle, and its significance in the Wars of the Roses and the future of England’s monarchy. Come and try on some of the arms and armour and have a go at archery. Who would you have fought for, and would you have made the grade as a Medieval soldier? 

Easter Fun 

Saturday 23 March to Friday 5 April 10am to 5pm Free with Entry  

A visit to Bolton Castle is a great way to combine fresh air, fun and learning in one brilliant package. Easter, with all its traditions, is something children often know little about and our castle trail is a great way to give your little ones some fun facts by taking part in a find and seek trail, ending with a chocolate reward and some Maundy money as a token. 

The castle’s lovely friend the dragon Alfraeda has returned to her favourite castle. Having lost her egg, she needs help to find it. Can you help?  The trail is free with entry, so pick up a sheet at the ticket desk, bring an adult with a mobile phone (as we’ll need a quick snap of you with the egg) and enjoy our lovely castle, gardens, maze and views. You can also enter our lovely raffle for a chocolate gift! See you soon and Felix Paschal!   

 

Wedding Fair 

Sunday 7 April with The UK Wedding Event 11am to 2pm Pre-book free tickets to attend the Fair 

Is this your year, or maybe 2025. Whatever date you’re looking at, or just considering options, Bolton Castle’s Wedding Fair is a great way to see the castle and meet potential suppliers who can help you bring the wedding of your dreams to fruition.  

All potential visitors should click here to pre-book their tickets - https://theukweddingevent.co.uk/events/boltoncastle/ 

 

Living History Tudor Weekend Bank Holiday  

Saturday 4 May, Sunday 5 May & Monday 6 May 10am to 5pm Free with Entry  

The Tudor Weekend complete with appropriately dressed castle inhabitants, will show visitors just how life really was in the Tudor period. Tudor England was a time of great change. Come and join the ‘Living Historians’ and find out how life would have differed between 1485, the beginning of the reign of King Henry V11, and 1603 with the death of Henry’s granddaughter, the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth 1. 

Lord Scrope’s Medieval Weekend 

Saturday 18 May & Sunday 19 May 10am to 5pm Free with Entry 

Come visit Lord Scrope’s household and learn about the turbulent time of the Wars of the Roses. It is the year 1461 after the battle of Towton, the biggest and bloodiest clash on English soil resulting in victory for the Yorkists. After recovering from wounds sustained in the battle, Lord Scrope has gone north to assist in besieging the last Lancastrian outposts of Alnwick and Bamburgh. Visit the castle as the household prepares to finish off the Lancastrians. Experience the sights and sounds of a busy Medieval 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 during the Wars of the Roses. 

  

Living History Civil War Weekend 

Saturday 26 May & Sunday 27 May 10am to 5pm Free with Entry 

A weekend to immerse yourself in the past and learn about the part Bolton Castle played in the country’s history.  In August 1642, the long-standing dispute between King Charles 1 and his parliament erupted into open warfare. Seven years later, in January 1469, the king was executed and for the next eleven years Britain became a Republic. Bolton Castle was held for the king until November 1645 when the castle garrison ran out of food and was forced to surrender.  Bolton Castle’s ‘Living Historians’ are on hand to tell you more about the war of the ‘Three kingdoms’, and to give you the opportunity to handle the arms and armour of the period. In a war that split families in their loyalties, who would you have fought for? 

Captain Savile’s Weekend 

Saturday 15 June & Sunday 16 June 10am to 5pm Free with Entry 

Come join Sir John Savile and his retinue as they visit Bolton Castle and see the everyday workings of the household during a visit from the Sheriff of Yorkshire. The day is brought alive with re-enactors demonstrating archery, combat with swords and pollaxes, and the castle inhabitants showcase life amidst combat and peace. A great day out for all the family, Bolton Castle is abuzz with history, activities and a chance for visitors to have a go too.  

 

Lord Scrope’s History Weekend 

Saturday 22 June & Sunday 23 June 10am to 5pm Free with Entry 

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 terrorized 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 debatable lands. 

 

Living History Civil War Weekend 

Saturday 29 June & Sunday 30 June 10am to 5pm Free with Entry 

A weekend to immerse yourself in the past and learn about the part Bolton Castle played in the country’s history.  In August 1642, the long-standing dispute between King Charles 1 and his parliament erupted into open warfare. Seven years later, in January 1469, the king was executed and for the next eleven years Britain became a Republic. Bolton Castle was held for the king until November 1645 when the castle garrison ran out of food and was forced to surrender.  Bolton Castle’s ‘Living Historians’ are on hand to tell you more about the war of the ‘Three kingdoms’, and to give you the opportunity to handle the arms and armour of the period. In a war that split families in their loyalties, who would you have fought for? 

 

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