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Bolton Abbey


The Bolton Abbey Estate is owned by the Duke of Devonshire and is an enjoyable amalgamation of recreational, historical and geographical. Some of the first people to enjoy the site were the Augustinian monks who moved here from Embsay in 1154 to found a new priory by the banks of the River Wharfe. It was finished by the following century - but now lies in evocative ruins in a meadow. The high altar, topped by the imposing east window, was raised on a step that spanned the entire width of the building. Now this step is covered in grass, a mute witness to the majestic church that once stood here. The adjoining priory church of St Mary and St Cuthbert is one of the finest in the Dales. It was built in 1220, and escaped the destruction of the Dissolution only to fall victim to dwindling congregations in the 1970s. It's been restored, and you can look inside to see the stained-glass and superb wall paintings. Day tickets allow you to drive between the several car parks across the vast Bolton Abbey estate. You can enjoy great walks in the area, including marked nature trails near the river and through Strid Wood, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. There are more than 60 different varieties of plants, and about 40 species of birds nest on the estate every year. Spring brings snowdrops and later whole rivers of bluebells, and in summer the air is thick with dragonflies, butterflies and bees. As the River Wharfe flows through the Bolton Abbey grounds, in one place it thunders through a narrow ravine called The Strid which is just a few feet across - little more than a stride, or 'strid'.

Further information

Tel: 01756 718000

View the website


Car park £8, reduced rate £4 31 Oct-18 Dec, 4 Jan-19 Feb & 27 Feb-12 Mar due to possible closure of paths for maintenance

Opening times

Car parks open daily. Grounds open daily 14 Mar-May & Sep-23 Oct, 9-7
Jun-Aug, 9-9
24 Oct-13 Mar, 9-6. Moorlands may be closed due to shooting events




Bolton Abbey

Local information for BD23 6EX

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