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The rural county of North Yorkshire is one of the most historically significant parts of the United Kingdom. Close to the North Sea and the border with Scotland, the county has seen its fair share of invasions, battles and intrigue over the years. Of the many historical sites to visit around North Yorkshire, one of the most fascinating is Bolton Castle, one of the most pristine medieval castles in England. Located in the north-east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, there are plenty of excellent hotels and guesthouses nearby.
Bolton Castle is a 14th-century quadrangular structure situated near Wensleydale, in North Yorkshire. Built by Richard 1st Baron Scrope of Bolton (yes, Game of Thrones fans, that's Lord Bolton!) between 1378 and 1399, the castle has seen a great deal of excitement. Despite taking some damage in the English Civil War, the Grade I listed building remains one of the best preserved medieval castles in the country.
The castle is well known for hosting Mary Queen of Scots for a six-month period, following her defeat at the Battle of Langside in 1568. Her bedroom is still on show.
It's not just hard-core history buffs who'll get a kick out of Bolton Castle. This is a complete tourist attraction, and there's plenty to see and do for all the family.
Indoors, the castle has lots of corridors, nooks and crannies to explore. From the everyday rooms such as the kitchens and solar to the drudgery of the armoury and dungeons, there's a great deal to inspire young minds. Tours are available for groups of all sizes.
Elsewhere on the site, visitors will find kids' costumes, a pretty garden, and a tearoom serving local produce.
Sitting on the edge of the famous Yorkshire Dales, Bolton Castle is surrounded by some of the finest hotels in North Yorkshire, from small guesthouses to expansive rural estates.
Those seeking an affordable option close to Bolton Castle can head for the YHA Grinton Lodge. There's free WiFi, a library and a garden, complete with barbecue grills for guests to cook up an evening meal.