Bolton Priory, with its magnificent church and ruins, sits in a beautiful riverside location and was once the home and workplace of Augustinian, or Black, Canons.
The village itself has assumed the name of Bolton Abbey and for generations has been the focal point for the great hunting estate belonging to the Dukes of Devonshire, and the Dukes of Cumberland before them.
The great Gateway to the Priory was converted more than two centuries ago into a handsome lodge where for generations kings and prime ministers stayed when they came to Yorkshire in the grouse shooting season.
The public have also long been warmly invited to enjoy Bolton Abbey Estate by the Trustees of the Chatsworth Estate. There are fine riverside and woodland walks, past the Cavendish Pavilion, which offers refreshments, through the Strid Woods past the awesome Strid (a narrow rocky chasm through which the whole river flows with great force) to the great medieval hunting lodge of Barden Tower, and perhaps on to Burnsall along the Dales Way.
Strid Wood offers a choice of waymarked nature and woodland trails, some suitable for people with disabilities. Keen walkers can follow paths across the Barden Fell Access land, through the Valley of Desolation and up to Simon's Seat returning via Howgill, Appletreewick, Burnsall or even Grassington, onto Barden Moor as far as Rlystone, Cracoe or Embsay.
Not only is Bolton Abbey easily accessible by bus throughout the week, and even by steam train on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway (it is about a one mile walk from Bolton Abbey station by footpath), but the Wharfedale bus services allow you to follow the Dales Way path along the riverside upstream and return from a choice of places served by bus along the route.
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