I rather like its address: Bolton Castle in Castle Bolton, a very small village of only 100 souls. The village's houses were once used for Mary Queen of Scots' servants when she was imprisoned in the Castle.
England has many castles, most of them now too ruined to give a proper picture of what castle life might have been like.
Bolton Castle is the exception, a very well preserved medieval palace-fortress. It's partly ruined but great towers still stand to their full height and some internal rooms have been restored and furnished. The courtyard and dungeons complete the picture.
They were an influential family with major and minor parts in royal history and government from fighting in Edward III's campaign in Scotland and France to becoming Richard II's chancellor in 1378, the same time that work started on the building of Bolton Castle. Richard Scrope tried to curb the Kind's excessive spending and was dismissed in 1382.
He retreated to the safety of his castle and his son William eventually took over the job. Unfortunately for him Henry IV overthrew Richard II and William was beheaded. That didn't seem to put off the Scrope family from getting involved in royal politics and over the years they participated in numerous battles.
Sir John was pardoned and after some rebuilding the Scrope family was considered trustworthy enough to look after Mary, Queen of Scots. The Castle was held for the King during the Civil War until food supplies were exhausted and Parliament ordered the Castle to be slighted. Luckily although some damage was done, most of the structure survived.
Bolton Castle has a rectangular layout with five storey towers on each corner. As you approach the Castle you can still see these storeys which give the Castle its strength and dominance. At the time it was built, most castles had separate buildings for functions such as the kitchen, bakehouse and brewhouse. Bolton Castle was unusual because the grand rooms like the Great Hall and more practical spaces such as the kitchen and bakehouse were all integrated into one building.
Once inside the Castle several rooms such as the Great Chamber, and Mary, Queen of Scot's bedroom have enough furnishings in them to get a glimpse into castle life.
Children can try their hand at calligraphy or Tudor games, and marvel at the weapons.
In the courtyard you'll find the brewhouse, storerooms and the damp dungeons. There are sometimes opportunities to try activities such as archery. Within the garden there's now a maze, a small vineyard and you may get to the see their wild boar and birds of prey, with regular falconry displays. The tea room has a tempting range of homemade cakes and simple lunches.
It's best to check opening days and what's on before your visit. www.boltoncastle.co.uk