Another Day, Another Castle – Just Don’t Touch the Button!
Bolsover Castle today. We treated ourselves to English Heritage membership using our Nectar points, we figured it’d give us even more options for days out with the boys, especially when we start camping again. So our first outing was up the M1 to Bolsover. It’s an impressive castle that can easily be seen from the M1, I’d often drive past and wonder what it’d be like to visit. I was impressed to find a free car park so close by to start with, ideal when you have little ones. The staff were lovely and very friendly and offered us to take the audio tour thingies, but I politely declined explaining that we had young children and any sniff of structure to the day and they’d completely rebel. So freeform it is.
So unfortunately I cannot tell you much about the history, as a quick glance at interpretation boards was simply not enough, whilst running off in pursuit of The Muppets (it’s OK, they like that name).
What I can say is that it’s a great castle with a lot to explore. We started with the stables.
Lots of steps and rooms to look in, at the other end was a large model castle with activities and dressing up and this red button… We could see it was the button to start the video, but how deadly does it look??
We played it cool, just explained to the boys we didn’t know what the button did, BUT it could set a nuclear rocket off into space and explode etc, etc. They looked at it with intrigue and fear. There was lots of ‘You push it’, ‘No, you push it’. The Cyclist walked up to it, pressed it and sprinted off to the other end of the room! The boys squealed in excitement and returned to find the historical video had indeed started.
Next we had a quick look around the ruins then straight onto The Little Castle. What a bizarre place! There were so many little rooms with amazing painted murals and very grand fireplaces.
Lots of stairs with and tiny little rooms all over the place. It was great fun to explore, the boys just wanted to know where the jail was. They thought maybe down at the bottom, but I’m pretty sure that was the kitchens. The Farmer started to get tired and hungry, The Fireman was less than helpful by suggesting we were lost and DOOOOOOMED! We were in fact, not doomed and found a nice bench out in the courtyard to eat our (bracing) picnic.
We spent more time exploring and discovering loads more fireplaces. I’m quite keen to go back in the school holidays when they do the Time Travellers: Knights and Princesses. Somehow we managed to leave without purchasing another weapon and without tears, all in all, a good day!