5 Castles to Visit Near Harrogate

Ripley Castle

Postcode: HG3 3AY

Prices: Adults £5, Under 12’s FREE

Park: Free at HG3 3AX (1 min walk)

Ripley Castle is actually a Grade I listed, 14th century country house situated just 3 miles from Harrogate and is privately owned by the 6th Baronet and his wife Lady Ingleby.

While you’re there…Be sure to treat yourself to a famous Ripley Ice Cream (in the height of summer be prepared to queue!) and pop in to Just Makers in the castle courtyard to browse all the gorgeous gifts and homewares made in Yorkshire.

Ripley Castle

Spofforth Castle

Postcode:HG3 1DA

Prices: FREE

Park: on the roadside in the village

Spofforth Castle was the main seat of the Percy family – one of the most important and influential families in northern England – until the late 14th century. William de Percy, a favourite of William the Conqueror, built a manor house here in the 11th century, and it was reputedly here that rebel barons drew up Magna Carta in 1215. The surviving remains are those of a fortified manor house, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries.

While you’re there…walk around the corner and have a drink or some lunch in the Castle Inn, one of our favourite pubs in the area.

Spofforth Castle

Knaresborough Castle

Postcode: HG5 8AS

Prices: Adult £3.50/Child (up 16 yrs) £2/Family ticket (two adults and up to three children) £10

Park: Castle Yard car park around £1.60 for 4 hours

It may seem peaceful now, but Knaresborough Castle was once a mighty stronghold of medieval kings. Take in the awe-inspiring views and then discover the dungeon, ancient graffiti and special secret tunnel. Inside the museum you’ll find tales of local characters including Blind Jack, Guy Fawkes and Mother Shipton. You’ll also find the rare, original Tudor court room where suspected criminals faced public trail.

While you’re there…There’s so much to do in Knaresborough, you can see more in my other blogs but make sure you take in the views of the river Nidd and the viaduct.

Bolton Castle

Postcode: DL8 4ET

Prices:  Castle, Gardens and Grounds: Adults £12.50/Concessions £9.00/Family ticket £48.00Gardens only: Adults £5.00/Concessions £4.00/Family ticket £20.00

Park: FREE onsite parking

This has to be one of the best family days out we’ve had recently! 

Bolton Castle was a luxurious family home as well as a defensive fortress and, despite being partially ‘slighted’ by Cromwell’s’ men during the Civil War siege, the Castle is preserved in outstanding condition with many interesting rooms and features to discover including the Old Kitchens, Dungeon, Solar, Nursery, Armory, Great Chamber and Mary Queen of Scots’ bedroom. About one third of the rooms are fully intact and the rest of the Castle is almost completely accessible giving visitors great insight into its turbulent past.

While you’re there…Check the website and see when the falconry displays are and if you’re up to it climb right to the top and take in the stunning views of Wensleydale.

Skipton Castle

Postcode: BD23 1AW

Prices: Adults: £10.20/Children (5-17): £6.90/Children under 5: free/Over 65s: £9.20 Family Ticket for two adults and up to 3 children over 5: £34.00

Park: Bailey car park BD23 1UA, all day parking £4.50

Over 900 years old, Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England and is well worth a visit at any season of the year. Visitors can explore every corner of this impressive history-rich castle, which withstood a three-year siege during the Civil War. View the Banqueting Hall, the Kitchen, the Bedchamber and Privy. Climb from the depths of the Dungeon to the top storey of the Watch Tower.

While you’re there: Try and time your visit with market days (Mon,Wed,Fri,Sat) and find yourself a bargain. Just behind the castle are Skipton woods which offers lovely woodland walks and views of the canal.

Skipton Castle