LOWER the drawbridge and raise the portcullis! Bolton Castle is throwing open its doors to welcome back visitors to this historic venue, and offers a summer of exciting events.

The castle, which has been standing since 1399, is a popular visitor destination nestled within the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. It has always been owned by the same family, and, at one time, served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots.

Mary, presented by re-enactor Jane Collier, will tell her story in An Audience with Mary, Queen of Scots, within the castle on the evening of July 30. The highs and lows of her time at the castle as the ‘guest’ of the Scrope family will tug at your heartstrings, as she tells you of her 19-year illegal incarceration by Queen Elizabeth I. Tickets cost £12.50 and can be booked through the website.

There are lots of different outdoor events throughout the summer, which can be made extra-special by bringing along a blanket, or pop-up chairs, and a picnic.

The Northern Echo:

On July 31, Mary will be at the castle to give children a more lighthearted rendition of what it was like for this talented, charming and fun-loving queen during those years she spent at Bolton Castle. Although there is no charge for this event, attendance may be limited, so please register on the website.

August 5 sees the ever-popular Handlebards bringing another Scottish Royal to Bolton Castle, with their entertaining  production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Using only bicycle-power, this four-strong, all-female troupe pedal from venue to venue carrying their set, props, and costumes. Bring a blanket, or pop-up chairs, and a picnic, for an evening of madcap fun. Tickets and other information can be found on the website.

The Northern Echo:

There’s something stirring in the castle vegetable patch on August 8, which the little ones won’t want to miss. It’s Beatrix Potter’s much-loved Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny – sure to delight and entertain the whole family. Children’s tickets are £8; adults £12.50.

In the evening, another magical Shakespeare tale will unfold in the castle grounds. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been a favourite with all ages. The fantastical story of fairies, elves, love, and revenge is timeless comedy of fun and frivolity. Bring a picnic and make it an evening to remember.

A tale as old as time will be told in the castle grounds on August 22. The ‘delightfully daft’ re-telling of the classic, Beauty and the Beast, gives IK Productions the chance to bring their own brand of fast-paced family fun to their audience. Tickets can be booked online, and cost £12, or £10 for over 60s and under 16s.

The Northern Echo:

Bolton Castle is open every day from 10am to 5pm, to offer visitors the chance to experience what life was like in the castle’s heyday, featuring authentic rooms like the old kitchens, dungeon, solar, nursery, armory, great chamber, and Mary, Queen of Scots’ bedroom.

A new Children’s Trail through the castle will educate and entertain, as will the Medieval Trail in the gardens. Explore the different planted beds around the garden, such as the Poison Bed, and the Myth & Magical Bed, featuring the ‘screaming’ Mandrake plant from the pages of Harry Potter.

Within the beautiful grounds are the resident Wensleydale sheep, and bees in their hives, plus daily activities such as incredible flying displays with falcons, hawks and owls; archery demonstrations; and wild boar feeding.

Rest a while and enjoy some refreshments in the Restaurant Guru-recommended Tea Shop, where treats such as scones, sandwiches and quiches use locally-sourced produce wherever possible.

Admission tickets to the castle and gardens can be purchased online, to help us to monitor visitor numbers, in line with current guidelines.

It’s all waiting to be discovered at Bolton Castle.

Bolton Castle, Nr Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4ET

www.boltoncastle.co.uk

T: 01969 623981

E: info@boltoncastle.co.uk