it's your festival to enjoy as you please...
Medieval Music in the Dales has something for everyone:
If you want to perform - you can, as a performer on the Castle Stages. These are the performance areas in the Marquee and Old Kitchen areas. Perform solo, or come as a band - in return for a minimum of two performances over the course of the three days, you get a free festival pass! You've got to register in advance as a performer - here's the registration form.
If you want to listen and enjoy - by all means. Enjoy the concerts in the Church, soak up the sounds on the Castle Stages, and enjoy the informal evening scene in the Tavern.
If you want to learn, you can choose from a great range of workshops and talks
if you want to buy, there's an unrivalled selection of medieval instruments and musical accessories from the Instrument Makers, plus music books, CDs and some incomparable festival souvenirs from the Festival Desk.
and if you want to help there are free places available for volunteer Stewards, and lots of chances to help out on a more informal basis. Being a Steward offers the chance to attend for free - we ask for 20 hours of work between Thursday afternoon and Monday morning but you get two free concerts/workshops in return as well as other benefits. Get in touch to find out more
This page contains lots of information on the practicalities of the festival - how to book, getting here, accommodation, parking and finding your way around. There's more information on the FAQs page. But if we've missed out anything crucial which you need to know, just drop us a line and we'll both fill you in and update the site.
FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE OPENS ON JUNE 21ST!
Bookings open for Friends of Medieval Music in the Dales on March 21st 2022
The general Box Office opens on May 1st 2022.
You'll find the Box Office clearly flagged up on this website.
food and drink
You can choose from:
The Bolton Castle Tea Room, open 10am-5pm each day
Our festival Breakfast Bar, open from 8am-10am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Granny's Kitchen in the Marquee with pies, pasties and all their other delights, from around 12 noon to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Proper Pizzas will be on hand with their delicious fresh-cooked fare from around 6pm - 8pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
The Tavern in the Marquee is open from 12 noon each day selling a good range of ales, wines and soft drinks as well as bar snacks.
You are welcome to camp at the castle and indeed it's the best way to enjoy the whole do as you are right there throughout. There is hardstanding available for motorhomes, campers and caravans and grass for tents. We have a small shower unit booked in for the festival, and there are water and toilets close at hand. There is a fee of £20 per person for camping (under 12s go free with accompanying adults) which allows you to camp on site from 2pm on the Wednesday before the festival through to 11am on the Monday after the festival. If you want to camp, you MUST book in advance, and you should buy your camping pass(es) when you book.
hotels, b&b, self-catering
Wensleydale is a busy tourist destination and there are many options for accommodation. However, it can book up early so get it organised as soon as you can.
To be honest, it is best starting with the large online services like booking.com, but it is always worthwhile contacting the provider direct for the best prices.
Wensleydale does not have the best transport links. It is possible to get to Bolton Castle on the bus on Mondays-Saturdays but there isn't a service to the village on Sundays. There is however a heritage railway to the neighbouring village of Redmire which runs from Northallerton and does operate on a Sunday. From there it is a pleasant walk - about a mile - to Bolton Castle The nearest mainline train stations are at Darlington and Northallerton, which both have excellent connections to London and Scotland on the East Coast mainline, and across the Pennines to Manchester. The nearest town with regular bus links is Leyburn, six miles away.
Here are the most useful timetables for public transport:
Coming from Darlington:
Arriva X26/X27 Bus to Richmond. From Richmond you can connect to the Dales & District 159 Bus to Ripon, which stops in Leyburn. From Leyburn you can connect to the Little White Bus Wensleydale Voyager (LWB) 156 Bus, which stops in Redmire and in Castle Bolton right by the castle if you ask the driver. This last is not that frequent and does not run on Sundays.
Alternatively, if you can manage to come at the right time of day, stay on the X25/X27 to the large Tesco Extra in Catterick Garrison. You can then pick up the LWB 156 at 1410
Coming from Northallerton:
Dales & District 73 Bus from County Hall in Northallerton (just over the road from the train station) to Bedale. From Bedale you can connect to the Little White Bus 155 Bus to Leyburn, where you can again connect to the 156 to Redmire and Castle Bolton; ask the driver to be set down in Castle Bolton village.
Leaving the Castle
So long as you book in advance (firstname.lastname@example.org) you can pick up the LWB 156 in Castle Bolton Village at around 9am, 11.15am, 1.40pm and 4.20pm. This will get you to Leyburn, where you can connect with the 159 to Richmond (and from there to Darlington)
On Sundays only, you can take the 856 Wensleydale Flyer to travel direct between Leyburn and Northallerton.
There is also the option of taking the Wensleydale Railway. You can use this to travel between Redmire (for the Castle) on the one hand, and Leyburn or Bedale on the other, and thus connect to the 856 Wensleydale Flyer.
We will be offering lifts to and from Leyburn at limited times, for those using public transport on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday in the late afternoon. Please contact us in advance if you would like to take advantage of this service - it must be booked in advance. Sorry, but we cannot provide lifts later in the evening after concerts.
Here's a link for taxis and private hire in and around Leyburn.
Parking at Bolton Castle is handy and free, but it isn't limitless and it takes some organising to fit everyone in efficiently. So when you book you will be asked for full details of your vehicle(s), and be allocated an area in which to park. When you arrive, the Stewards will show you to the appropriate area - please help them out by sticking to these instructions!
get the map
Click on the link below for a map of Bolton Castle and its locality, indicating where the various activities are taking place.