Going Back in Time at the Bolsover Castle

On our recent visit to Chesterfield in Derbyshire, we visited my children’s first real castle called Bolsover.  Built in 1612 by Charles Cavendish as a mansion modeled on a medieval castle, it is now a tourist site that proudly displays the castle’s remains. It has withheld the test of time, and there is a lot of history to be learned from a walk around. Some of the castle is in the open air, so do bundle your kids up.
Bolsover Castle
The castle is now in the care of English Heritage and has been since the death of William Cavendish’s (the son of Charles) wife in 1883 and they have take great care to restore and conserve as much of the castle as they can.  The symbolic wall-paintings it, the castle battlements and the garden have been restored, and the fountain, with 23 new statues, plays again for the first time in centuries.  We explained to our children that we were witnessing a very special part of history and they were intrigued.
During our visit, which happened to fall right before Easter, the castle was hosting an Easter egg hunt.  The children had to find eggs with letters around the castle and figure out the words that they spelled to get a chocolate at the end of our tour.  They loved it and it definitely kept up their interest on our tour.  The word spelled out “Easter Eggs” in case you were wondering about the result.
Bolsover Castle

The castle is very well laid out and we took a free audio tour which was very informative and educational for us all.  With the explanations, it was easy to imagine the lavish meals and parties had in the Star Chamber; guests playing cards in the Marble Closet;  the cooks cooking extravagant meals for guests in the kitchen; guests warming in front of the fireplace after a play in the garden.

After our walk around, which took about an hour plus, we ended up in the cafe, where they serve traditional tea and scones.  There’s never a good time to educate my kids who hold British passports like the present.

The Castle is located at Castle Street, Bolsover, Derbyshire – S44 6PR and is open between April and November.  Admission times and prices are listed here.

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to facilitate this review, but all opinions are my own.


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