The Lands of Castle Bolton

  • A beautifully preserved castle
  • Excellent views of Wensleydale
  • Visit the village of Redmire

Bolton Castle is most famous for being one of the castles where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned after losing out at the Battle of Langside. I always felt Mary was given a little bit of a rum deal in her life and although many historians disagree she appeared to have been a political pawn of the Scottish nobles to start with and then spent the remainder of her life imprisoned by a dithering Queen Elizabeth before eventually being dispatched by her English counterpart.

Having said that Bolton Castle does have fabulous views of Upper and Lower Wensleydale (which I am sure comforted Mary!) and I was determined to explore the grounds a little further afield. The weather was fabulous and the hay meadows spectacular as I approached the castle from the nearby village of Redmire. The castle is very well preserved and if Alnwick Castle was not so good would have been used in many a film set. The gardens and the maze are kept well and an inside ticket is well worth the entrance fee.

Walking towards the River Ure is very agreeable although distracting as I tried to search out different angles and perspectives of the Castle. It is clear to see how difficult it would be to attack the castle. This proved to be the case during the Civil War when the Earl Of Scrope defended the castle stoutly until famine and shear weight of numbers over came him in 1645. Now though English Heritage have done a fine job ensuring Bolton Castle is a must see element of the Yorkshire Dales experience.


The route I finally selected was short, only 2.5 miles long as some of the ‘marked’ paths barely exist anymore on the ground, the one to Low Thorelsby being a case in point.

Download GPX file

Castle Bolton map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North & Central
Start Point: SE 045912. Parking is available in Redmire but be considerate to the locals.
Height to Climb: 98 ms (321 feet)
Terrain: Easy walking throughout on lanes and across fields.
Eating & Drinking: Part of the reason for starting in Redmire is the very pleasant pub the Bolton Arms. There is a tea shop in the castle.
Similar Walks Nearby: A walk from Aysgarth Falls
The Prettiest Village in the Dales?
Gallops of Middleham
Places to Stay:


Wheatsheaf Arms, CarperbyBolton Arms, Redmire