Bolsover Castle - a convenient place to stop near the M1 in Derbyshire

When travelling up and down the country I really cannot think of anything worse than stopping at a service station. Service stations in my mind are NOT the place to take a break from the road. Commercialised, busy, full of bright lights, expensive.....they are my sort of nightmare! 

When planning a trip away I always check my route and pick a towns that are located 2-4 hours into our journey. Then I search English Heritage and National Trust to see if there are any properties nearby (we are members of both) that would be a suitable place to stop. During our recent journey to Stonehenge, we stopped at Bolsover Castle which is managed by English Heritage a few miles from the M1 in Derbyshire. We spent about 90 minutes stopping for lunch and exploring before heading on our way and it was a wonderful break from the car.

First stop was lunch and we grabbed a table on the terrace outside of the tearoom that overlooked this delightful park. Healthy lunch boxes for the kids and rather unhealthy sausage rolls for us - they looked too tempting sitting on the hot counter (they were freshly made). Hubby declared it the best sausage roll he's ever eaten! All followed by delicious homemade cake. No photos as we were too hungry! The menu is limited but there are a few hot and cold options to choose from. There are also lots of picnic tables next to the park if you prefer to bring your own food.

Lots of open space for the kids to stretch their legs. 

We didn't want to spend long at the Castle as it was just a place to stretch our legs so didn't join in with any of the activities, audio tours or guides but we could't come all this way and not have a quick peek.

Gorgeous views from the Castle ruins

Eager to see what's inside

Stunning architecture

Pretending to be Royal!

You can walk along the Castle walls

Medieval storytime

Beautiful gardens

This is me! Suitably rested and ready to continue our journey!

Bolsover Castle was the perfect place for us to break up our journey and we will certainly stop again during another trip. Entry is FREE for English Heritage members of £25.50 for a family ticket if not. 

Bolsover Castle is signposted from M1 at Junction 29A. 
Please visit Bolsover Castle website for further information



  1. I keep saying we need to do this, why do I always forget? We did a 5 hour journey from Norfolk to Newcastle yesterday and there were no services on the A roads so we had to keep pulling into petrol stations .. why on earth didn't we try and find something nicer out in the country? Doh!

  2. Next time you do this there is a FAB Italian restaurant almost next to the castle called Bella Blu. It is divine. We lived near here for 10 years and were regular visitors. Your other option is just minutes off Junction 28 - Alfreton/Mansfield turn. There is a designer outlet there. Places to eat and shop and a Thorntons!!


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