9.20am: ETA was 11am, so we left just before 9.30 and had a trouble-free journey there (although the traffic on the M1 was pretty heavy in places).
Apparently, we’d visited Bolsover Castle around 20 years ago, but as usual, none of it rang a bell to me! A quick check of my blog revealed that it must have been pre-blog (2004) days as there was nothing recorded - so that didn’t help much!
Bolsover Castle is best described as a 17th Century aristocratic retreat and it was initially owned by Charles Cavendish and then, his son, William Cavendish - the 1st Duke of Newcastle - the latter better known as The Father of Dressage. In all, you have the remains of the castle, the House and the Stables, all maintained by English Heritage.
11.05am: Parking was, shall we say, ‘challenging’ with both nearby car-parks already full. Fortunately, after a couple of laps round the local road, we spotted a sign for ‘overflow parking’ - not a massive number of spaces on offer, but we only needed one - and as it turned out, right next door to Dennis and Sandra who’d arrived 30 seconds before us!
…with stunning views across Derbyshire! Inside was a treat too…
…with priceless interiors!
11.55am: It didn’t take long to take it all in, but the combination of a roofless castle (a bit like Kirby Hall near us), the stunning vistas and plethora of rooms, combined to make it a very memorable (hopefully) visit!
We decamped in the Café for a drink whilst planning Lunch! Bolsover isn’t known for an abundance of eateries, but a quick check of Google revealed a few Pubs that were within walking distance.
Actually, as things turned out, there was somewhere suitable right on our doorstep, that we discovered within two minutes of exiting Bolsover Castle…
The Pillar of Rock - courtesy of Mr Wetherspoon! It was already busy by the time we arrived, but were able to secure a cosy table-for-four in the corner. The food and service didn’t disappoint, and we had plenty of time for a long catch-up. In fact, by the time we’d finished eating and talking, it was getting on for 3.30! Talk about a long lunch!
3.45pm: We took the short walk back to the car, said our goodbyes and headed for the M1.
It had been a great place to visit, with a lot to see - and in surprisingly good condition, given its age. But I think if it hadn’t been for the Pub/Restaurant almost next door, we might have struggled to find somewhere suitable to eat as Bolsover is only a small town. Still, it was all very agreeable!
There’s a few additional photos HERE.