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 Tavern, the Courtyard and Queen Mary's Chamber. Perform solo, or come as a band - in return for a few performances you get a free festival pass! You've got to register in advance as a performer - more information here.
If you want to listen and enjoy - by all means. Enjoy the concerts at 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
if you want to buy, there's an unrivalled selection of medieval instruments and musical accessories in the Luthiers' Exhibition, and beautiful handmade crafts in the Medieval Market. 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. 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.
Bookings open for Friends of Medieval Music in the Dales on March 1st 2019.
The general Box Office opens on March 21st 2019.
food and drink
You can choose from:
The Bolton Castle Tea Room, open 10am-5pm each day
Our festival Breakfast Bar, open from 7am-11am each day
Neeps and Tatties in the Courtyard, with their amazing vegan/vegetarian offerings, from 12 noon to 6.30pm each day. This year their theme is Middle Eastern fare, in honour of William Marshal's crusade exploits and to mark the influence of middle eastern cuisine on medieval food
Granny's Kitchen in the Courtyard with pies, pasties and all their other delights, from 12 noon to 6.30pm each day.
Proper Pizzas will be on hand with their delicious fresh-cooked fare from around 6pm - 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
The Tavern 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. There is a fee of £15 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. There are showers and toilets for campers, drinking water, and hard standing for campers and motor homes. If you want to camp, you need to book in advance - you can buy your camping pass when you book.
hotels, b&b, self-catering
Wensleydale is a busy tourist destination and there are many options for accommodation. We are pleased to recommend:
The Aysgarth Falls Hotel
Thirteen gorgeous and comfortably styled en-suite rooms await you here at the Aysgarth Falls Hotel on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales village of Aysgarth. All are contemporary and light, but most of all comfy and relaxing, so you’ll quickly feel at home. At the Aysgarth Falls Hotel you can be sure of chat, a book or a paper to read, in a cosy bar - usually with a real fire too. We also serve great food, and our usual food service times are 12 – 2.30pm for lunch, a limited afternoon menu is available until 5pm (Sunday lunch until 4pm on Sundays) and dinner is from 6 – 8.45pm every day. More information on our website.
Tel 01969 663775. Email
We own a selection of quality holiday cottages in Wensleydale, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park available for weekly or short breaks all year round. You can find out more on our website: www.nicheholidays.com, or telephone 07798 725454, or email Mike Walker at
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. The nearest 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 156 Bus, which stops in Redmire and in Castle Bolton right by the castle. This last is not that frequent and does not run on Sundays.
Alternatively, there is a single service which connects direct from Darlington to Leyburn. The Procters 610R Bus is the Darlington College service into the Dales, so again runs only Monday-Friday, but there is a single service a day each way - 1725 from Darlington to Leyburn, and 0744 from Leyburn to Darlington. The journey takes about one hour and leaves from Darlington Town Hall.
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.
On Sundays only, you can take the Little White Bus 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 really needs to 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 along with your personalised festival pass and tickets you will get a parking map indicating where you need to park. Please help the Stewards by sticking to these instructions!