Young boy jumping in a puddle at Bolsover Castle, water splashing up his rainsuit

RAINY DAYS AT BOLSOVER CASTLE

Whatever the weather there is plenty to see and do at Bolsover Castle. If the elements are against you head inside the Little Castle and Riding House, as well as our magnificent indoor riding school.
Red velvet chairs and tapestries in the elaborately decorated Star Chamber in the Little Castle at Bolsover

Little Castle

Take cover from the rain and head inside the Little Castle House to marvel at the remarkable wall paintings and interiors, worthy of Bolsover's lavish reputation. View the spectacular Derbyshire landscape from inside through the great windows of the upper floors, designed to give panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Sir William Cavendish reclining on a red velvet throne chair

Hands On

Learn about 17th-century life with the hands-on exhibition. Take delight in the sumptuous rooms as Sir William intended with reproductive furniture where you can sit on a royal throne and open up the doors of the 'cabinets of curiosity' to find out the secrets of the rooms.


With no ropes or barriers inside the Little Castle it is easy to imagine the extravagant Royal feasts that were once held here. In 1634 Sir William spent a staggering £15,000 on entertainment and banquets for King Charles I, and his Queen Henrietta Maria. 

Eight horses and riders dressed for a 17th century civil war reinactment in the riding school at Bolsover Castle

Indoor Riding School

Even the horses are grateful for the shelter in our magnificent indoor riding school - the earliest such building in England to survive complete. Once riding master to the future King Charles II, William Cavendish built the Riding School and stables for the elegant horses he imported from as far afield as Turkey and North Africa.

Cavalier on horseback inside the Riding School at Bolsover

Cavalier Horses

Experience the Riding School brough dramatically to life and watch regular performance of classical dressage where Sir William trained his horses. Bolsover Castle is the only place in the country which stages regular performances of this breathtaking art, one of only four schools remaining in the world. The displays of circles, turns and leaps are performed to evocative Baroque music, with riders dressed in the frills, feathers and high boots of the Cavalier period.

Dramatic view of the banners in the stables exhibition

Stables Exhibition

Built as an opulent 17th-century aristocratic retreat for Sir Charles Cavendish in 1612 the 'toy keep', housing tiers of luxurious state rooms were finished by Charles Cavendish's son William - playboy, poet, courtier and later first Duke of Newcastle. Expand your knowledge of Bolsover's noble history in the Riding House to learn about Bolsover's Castle's history in our dramatic introductory video.

This will be a photo of food from the cafe in Bolsover

Café

There are plenty of seats inside our large café at Bolsover where you can take a break from your visit to the Castle and gaze over lovely views of the Riding House. We serve a great range of delicious food fit for the Cavalier banquets once held here. There's a choice of hot meals, sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as plenty of homemade cakes, bakes and biscuits if you fancy something sweeter. See our Food and Drinks page for more information.

Multimedia guide at Bolsover Castle

Interactive Guide

Take an interactive tour of the castle with our multimedia guide (voiced by Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones).


Download an adult or family multimedia guide onto your iPhone for FREE with this handy app, or pick up a handset when you arrive.


Fancy playing a touch-screen game? Or listening to an in-depth interview about 17th century horsemanship? There's something for everyone in this fun guide.

The wide range of English Heritage branded speciality wine including Elderberry Wine, Sloe Wine, Nettle Wine and more.

Shopping

Use the wet weather as a good excuse for some retail therapy and choose from our large selection of English Heritage gifts, including jams and chutneys; toys and books; stationary and cards; heritage related collectables and much more.

Plan your visit today ...

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