Bolsover Castle Derbyshire

Start your visit in the exhibition in the Riding House then run wild in extensive grounds (and fun play area).

Driving on the M1 Bolsover Castle is an impressive sight from a distance. It’s even more spectacular when you visit. Bolsover Castle is owned by English Heritage. So, if you are already a member then you get to enter for free. Otherwise, you have to pay an admission fee which certainly isn’t going to break the bank.

When you arrive you’ll find plenty of places to park. There are car parks close by so you don’t have to walk far.

The Castle

Walking through the gates you enter into the Great Court. A massive copper beech tree will shade you on a hot day. Around the edges of the Great Court is the Riding House Range, Terrace Range and the outer wall of the Fountain Garden. Time to choose your direction! You might need a plan – find it here.

It soon becomes clear that you are traveling over several centuries. The castle starts it’s life in the 11th century with its founder being William Peveril, one of William the Conqueror’s knights. You can clearly see how it has been modified over the centuries.

The Riding Terrace Range

Post-1680’s, the Riding Terrace was converted to living quarters where fireplaces were added. Prior to that, there were stables to accommodate 15 horses, with a tack room, dressing room, smithy and viewing terrace. These days the stables themselves have been converted into an exhibition area for visitors.

The Terrace Range

Even though just a shell remains of the Terrace Range there is still enough left to get a feel for its former grandeur. With its large rooms and windows with outstanding views, you can see that it was designed for show and entertainment. It was here that, in 1634, William Cavendish entertained Charles 1st and Henrietta Maria.

The Little Castle and Fountain Garden

The Little Castle has stood the test of time and is preserved better than the other buildings on site.  It was created by Sir William Cavendish and included some very extravagant detail. You’ll witness this when you see its turrets and towers. Many of which, have marble fireplaces and amazing painted ceiling which have been carefully restored. You can also enjoy a view of the garden by walking on the high wall that surrounds it.

Events

If you time it right you could go when there is an event being staged. Please check the website for more details.

Refreshments

If you need a break with some food or drink. That’s not a problem! There’s a café where you can enjoy coffee, tea, a sandwich, and even homemade cakes.