Exploring Bolsover Castle with Kids

During our Stay, Play, Explore weekend in Leicestershire we were invited to hop over the border into Derbyshire by English Heritage and Mumsnet to discover the delights of Bolsover Castle.

It took us just under an hour to get from Leicester to get to Bolsover Castle. I am a sucker for a beautiful castle and Dunnottar in Scotland is still my favourite, but Bolsover comes a very close second for the view from the road.

Unlike many tourist attractions, there is free parking available just over the road from the entrance to the castle and we couldn’t wait to get inside and start exploring.

Bolsover Castle

The romantic ruined terrace range which overlooks the Vale of Scarsdale was our first port of call. It is a dramatic roofless shell that was once a range of stately rooms that formed the entrance to Bolsover Castle and is perfect for a game of hide and seek.

Bolsover Castle

The kids were keen to see what else we could find and our next stop was the Fountain Garden which was designed around the statue of Venus emerging from her bath. Cue much giggling from the kids as not only was Venus loosely draped in shawl, but the statue also featured lots of little boys going for a wee-wee.

Bolsover Castle

We wandered around the stunning the gardens which were manicured to perfection with plants and flowers planted to capture the spirit of the garden in its heyday.

To one side of the garden is the Little Castle with medieval-style turrets and towers. Inside the castle is a labyrinth of sumptuous rooms which has been brilliantly preserved and beautifully restored, with richly coloured wall art, carved marble fireplaces and stunning painted ceilings.

Bolsover Castle

Inside was a room with a stage for the kids and regal costumes to try on, plus there was an English Heritage member of staff on hand to talk about some of the rooms and paintings. She was really knowledgable and happy to answer all the questions the kids threw at her, even managing to answer the request for a ghost story.

Bolsover Castle

If you visit Bolsover Castle I urge you to walk along the Castle Walls as it has stunning countryside views, and looks down on the fountain garden down below.

Bolsover Castle

Our final stop was the riding school, where William Cavendish trained his horses back in the 1600’s.

Bolsover Castle

We just missed the Cavalier Horsemanship display which is on 3 times daily, which demonstrate moves that we know today as dressage and all with the riders clothed in the frills, feathers and high boots. Thankfully the kids were happy to clamber up onto a wooden horse or gallop around the displays aboard a hobby horse.

In the grounds there is also a small play park and a large picnic area complete with medieval games for people to try.

Bolsover Castle

Visiting castles with kids opens up their imaginations as they climb the ramparts, investigate the history of the castle, or simply take in the atmosphere. During Easter, English Heritage will be running a series of Easter Adventure Quests across the country, where families can meet a costumed character, solve clues and win chocolate rewards.

I really would recommend visiting an English Heritage property as a fun family day out and you can read about our visit to Kenilworth Castle here.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

Country Kids

18 thoughts on “Exploring Bolsover Castle with Kids

  1. Laura says:

    Oh wow what a fantastic day out and absolutely perfect for families with all ages! My two boys love exploring castles and I know they would love this one – thanks for sharing

    Laura x

  2. Lisa Gumn says:

    This looks like a good place to visit. My husband loves castles and history, as do I, plus it looks like it’s child friendly with plenty for them to enjoy too!

  3. It looks like you all had an amazing time. I’m definitely adding this castle to the list of places to visit with the kids this year

  4. Ooh, this sounds good! Gotta love somewhere with free parking! The only English Heritage site I think I’ve visited has been Stonehenge – but Kenilworth Castle is just down the road from us so will have to give that a proper visit. Only ever been there before as it’s the end of a local running race I sometimes run in! I’m usually too knackered at the end to really explore the castle afterwards.

  5. Stephanie says:

    My son would love that castle, he’s into his history and loves running around the castles! I like that it has a play area there too

  6. Woweee! Bolsover Castle looks impressive. Like the sound of the little castle and the play area 🙂 The kids look like they are having a whale of a time x

  7. Alina says:

    I really enjoy exploring, especially castles as we did so not long ago ourselves but in Kent. Looks like a lot of fun and that there’s lots to do too.

  8. Lilinha says:

    Such a great family day out. I am sure little man would have so much fun trying the costumes! 🙂

  9. Like you I do like a good castle and English Heritage have a few of them down our way. I love their special events when they have volunteers on hand dressed up to inspire the children. Sounds like Easter will be a good time to look out on our local castles. I love your photos from Bolsover, the kids look so happy exploring the castle and wow to the views from the top of the castle walls.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Let’s Explore with Lonely Planet KidsMy Profile

  10. The fountain garden is probably my favourite part of Bolsover castle although the entire place looks picturesque. So gorgeous x

  11. That looks like a fab castle. We are visiting one this Friday and the kids are so excited!!

  12. I love a good castle and this one looks fab! Gorgeous photos as always!

  13. This looks amazing! I haven’t heard of it before 🙁 but we now have English Heritage membership so want to see as much as we can!

  14. Growing up in Derbyshire I’m pretty sure I visited Bolsover Castle at some point but I don’t really remember it – we’ll have to make a trip there next time we’re up that way!

  15. Clair says:

    The kids look like they are having great fun! What a great way to learn about history.

  16. Susan Mann says:

    This looks fantastic. What a wonderful place to visit and free parking too. Lots for the children to do and interesting at the same time. Must try to visit xx

  17. Shirley says:

    I love the photographs, it seems like you had a great time. I love to explore historic places and Castles are my all time favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Sonia Cave says:

    Free parking got my attention from the start!! It looks like a lovely place to go, and you could see how majestic it once was. Lots for the children to keep their interest #countrykidsfun

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