Bolsover Castle, located in Derbyshire, England, just a little over an hour from both Leeds and York, was designed as a place to entertain prestigious guests and has a rich history that dates all the way back to the 1100s. A tour of Bolsover Castle will allow you to take in the once-lavish rooms, walk the terrace wall, and take in the views of the English countryside.
Bolsover Castle History
Originally built in the 12th century by William Peveril (former knight of William the Conqueror), Bolsover Castle acquired the name “Little Castle” when the Cavendish family took it over in the 17th century.
The present castle was built upon the ruins of the 12th-century medieval castle by Sir Charles Cavendish.
His son William was added to the castle after his father’s death. One of the added spaces is the Terrace Range, the original entrance to Bolsover Castle.
The building once held a glorious dining hall and kitchen fit for royalty.
When you spend the day at Bolsover Castle, you will get to explore the entire property, including the interior.
It is amazing how intact this castle remains and how beautiful the interior rooms are decorated.
Tour of Bolsover Castle Interior Rooms
Inside the Little Castle at Bolsover, you will find rooms still painted with frescoes, lavish tapestries draped on the walls, and extensive hand-carved woodwork.
One thing that sets this castle off from many is that you are free to explore and touch everything. There are no roped-off areas at the castle.
You’ll find that like many of the walls, the ceilings are also painted.
The ceiling of the Heaven Closet (a private part of the home) even features a painting of the Ascension. Notice the cherubs are all playing instruments.
You will find yourself winding through small stairwells into room after room; some large and some small. All with the most magnificent views of the landscape.
Take time to explore each of the rooms as they are elaborately decorated and some have actual furnishings from the 18th century.
Tour of Bolsover Castle Grounds
Don’t miss the opportunity to take a walk along the exterior wall of Bolsover Castle.
It has recently been restored and will give you amazing views of the garden and the English countryside. It is one of the few times you can actually walk a full loop above the grounds along the exterior of a castle.
Continue walking the length of the building to arrive at the wall that surrounds the castle and enter through there.
As you approach the castle, spend some time in the Fountain Garden.
The centerpiece of the garden is a statue of Venus surrounded by some sprightly cherubs.
Taking Kids to Bolsover Castle
If you are travelling with kids, you will find that there is a ton for them to do.
To begin with, there is a playground for children behind the gift shop. If they need some time to get out and run around, this is a great place to do so.
During the summer, there are many different events at Bolsover Castle that are tailored to children.
You will find everything from jousting tournaments to events that teach little princes and princesses proper etiquette.
Children can also take part in the audio tour which will keep them interested as they learn.
This castle is very hands-on, so kids will find things to explore and manipulate along with dress-up areas for them to pretend play.
If you are looking for a place to spend an afternoon and take in some history, Bolsover Castle is the perfect spot.
With its well-maintained rooms and views of the Derbyshire countryside, a visit to Bolsover will be sure to leave you feeling impressed. So, if you find yourself in the area, be sure to stop by and take a tour!
Bolsover Castle Opening Times: 10:00 – 18:00
Tickets are FREE if one the English Heritage Overseas pass.
English Heritage Pass
We really enjoyed seeing this beautiful castle and loved experiencing this part of England. If you are planning on traveling to multiple English Heritage sites, I would suggest you purchase the English Heritage Overseas Pass. It will save you a lot of money in the end.
Have you been to Bolsover Castle? What did you think?