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Bolton Castle in Wensleydale in the glorious Yorkshire Dales


When I was little, many years ago, we often used to visit Bolton Castle. For me it was a magical place, the stuff of stories, exciting, fearful, daring and I also think that is where I started with vertigo! We would scamper up the winding stones steps to the top of one of the towers and creep along the narrow lead footway with its thin little handrail finally to look out over the parapet for miles and miles around!

We went down into the dungeon, underground, levels below the main banqueting hall, through a tiny trap door and a wooden step ladder, the door would then be shut and we would be total darkness. So scary! But now when I think about it how horrific for those incarcerated down there. Looking down the well in the corner of one of the court yards was always a mystery, trying to fathom how deep it might be. The portcullis at that time was always shut and we went into the castle by the outside steps to the west of the building where there was a museum but also where people lived in that part after the war. There was an air of ruin in parts but in others you could place and really imagine the people working there and the grandeur of some of the rooms where the nobility resided inside. My imagination would rise to the occasion.

But now of course a lot has changed, in those days there was no admission charge, the dungeon is out of bounds now and the well covered over but the magic still remains within the ancient walls.

Now Bolton Castle in Wensleydale provides a huge range of exciting things to do. From family days out to educational trips and historic tours you will find a raft of sights, sounds and smells which bring the castle to life and make for a truly memorable trip.

Bolton Castle is one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles; 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. The castle is still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, the direct descendant of the castle’s original owner Sir Richard le Scrope.

Country Hideaways

Written By Nadine Bell

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