The village of Bolton Abbey
For generations the village has been the focal point for the great hunting estate belonging to the Dukes of Devonshire, and the Dukes of Cumberland before them. Today it has a large car park for visitors with a village shop, post office and several other specialist shops nearby. There are excellent visitor facilities with something for everyone. The Devonshire Arms Hotel offers luxury accommodation and fine dining while Hesketh Farm Park provides a wonderful day out for families with young children.
Bolton Priory, with its magnificent church and monastery ruins, sits in a beautiful riverside location and in medieval times, was the home and workplace of Augustinian, or Black, Canons. 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. Visitors are free to explore the ruins of the priory in their beautiful setting beside the River Wharfe.
Bolton Abbey Estate
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 Strid Wood 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 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 Rylstone, Cracoe or Embsay
By train, bus or car
Bolton Abbey easily accessible by bus throughout the week. The Wharfedale bus services allow you to follow the Dales Way path along the riverside upstream and then return from a choice of places served by bus along the route. You could also travel by steam train on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway - it is about a one mile walk from Bolton Abbey station by footpath.
Cars may be parked in the car parks provided by the estate in the village, at Sandholme next to the Cavendish Pavilion and beside Strid Wood. Details of car parking charges can be found on the Bolton Abbey Estate website.