Somewhat tucked away on a hill in Derbyshire is the magnificent Bolsover Castle. We went on a fairly grey day, but as I squinted, I saw the great picnic potential on the plentiful grass around the grounds.
The castle is fabulously run by English Heritage. An audio tour (on what appeared to be a smart phone) was included in the ticket price, which I would enforce on every historic property if I could. The audio tour is broken down into small recordings with varying degrees of detail; I only listened to the introduction in the Riding School, but took my time exploring the paintings in the private rooms of the Little Castle.
I found the history of the place to be delightful, going through various ruinations and restorations, ongoing today (though hopefully not the ruin). The Terrace Range that once played host to the royal court, now roofless, is an enjoyable maze of ruined rooms that visitors are free to explore, no barriers in sight. I particularly enjoyed the irreverent carvings in the walls; I’ve had a love for graffiti on historic sites since I visited Hadrian’s Gate in Antalya, Turkey.
Bolsover Castle is a well cared for and wonderfully presented historic site. I only wish we’d gone on a busier day when the Riding School hosts live horsemanship displays.
The castle is open year-round, though only on weekends during the low-season. Entry is £10.20 for adults and £6.1o for children. Members, of course, go free.