Bolton Abbey – 10 Reasons to Visit with Your Family

Bolton Abbey for Families

10 Reasons to Visit

Bolton Abbey is one of our all time favourite places to take a family walk.  We’ve done it in all seasons and it’s always been a really lovely day out for us.  Haven’t been yet?  Here’s 10 good reasons to visit soon!

1.  Setting

Every time we go, I find Bolton Abbey absolutely beautiful.  It’s gorgeous on sunny days, overcast days, in winter and summer.  With the priory for a back drop and the river running past it’s instant relaxation (even when chasing a two year old!)

Bolton Abbey

2.  Bolton Abbey Activity Trails

We haven’t tried one yet, but I will definitely be printing an I-Spy trail for Lily next time. It gives tots photos of things to spot with the chance to earn a certificate and sticker (always exciting!).  There’s also a photography competition for older children.

3. Walks for Little Feet & Prams

Even if you’ve only been walking for a few months like our little Leo, the path leading along the river is a great walk.  We’ve done it with a pram, backpack, front pack, me 8 months pregnant and both kids running free.

bolton abbey pram

Bolton Abbey

4.  Over 80 Miles of Footpaths

With so much choice Bolton Abbey can both feel familiar and have the appeal of novelty.  There’s a walk for every age and fitness level.  A visit to the Bolton Abbey website will provide you with free, printable maps.

5.  Wildlife

Sheep and duck spotting keeps our two-year old very entertained.  Last time we also hunted bits of sheep fluff and mole holes (and sheep poop too if I’m honest!  Potty training has made us very interested in all things poop related.) bolton abbey

6.  Picnic

Bolton Abbey welcomes picnickers and even has a designated spot for barbecues.  There’s an ice cream van parked near the ruins and footbridge during the warmer months.  It has proper Yorkshire-made ice cream too!

7. River Wharf

The riverside is a great place to sit and take in the view.  On a hot day it’s a great place to dip your feet in as well.  I couldn’t resist adding this photo of a one-year old Lily less than happy we wouldn’t let her join the dogs in a swim in the river two summers back.

bolton abbey river

8. Visit Hesketh Farm

I have to admit, I’ve never been to Hesketh Farm as I only discovered it was there while writing this.  It’s located just a mile from Bolton Abbey. It’s a working farm with animals to stroke, a giant sandpit and straw maze.  It’s not open year round, so check the site before you go and watch this space for a review!

9.  Priory Ruins and Church

The ruins of a 12th century Priory overlooking the river are stunning and we always enjoy a visit to the Priory Church as well.

Bolton Abbeybolton abbey

10.  Tea & Treats

Normally we end the walk with soup and tea in the lovely Tea Cottage which overlooks both the river and the ruins.  During out last trip we made our first visit to the oh-so-exciting Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour which is just a short drive away from Bolton Abbey.  I like to think the healthy walk earned us the delicious milk shakes!

billy bobs diner


To find out more about Bolton Abbey and to plan your visit, see

Have you been with your family to Bolton Abbey and have a suggestion to add to the list?  I’d love to hear about it!

Mums' Days

About Erin at Yorkshiretots

I'm an American mum of two Yorkshire tots who love adventures! I run, a website for events, news & fun for families in West Yorkshire.

21 Responses to Bolton Abbey – 10 Reasons to Visit with Your Family

  1. Eee I’ve not been to Bolton Abbey since I was a kid. Will have to look at goibg this summer.
    Colette (“We’re going on an adventure ….”) recently posted…Making a start on the Spring Bucket List!My Profile

  2. ClearlyBex says:

    Looks like a lovely place to visit, a shame I live too far away now. Hopefully we’ll make a day trip when the dog is over his travel sickness.

    • oh no! I didn’t know dogs could get travel sickness! There are always lots of dogs out for a walk when we’re there too so I’m sure he’d enjoy it.

  3. Bolton Abbey is on our list of places to visit. We have visited Sawley and Whalley Abbeys recently which my son really enjoyed. #sharefriday
    Katie Clark recently posted…What Do You Say When Your Child Asks About Death?My Profile

  4. haven’t been for decades! does sound fab
    Becky Willoughby (@LakesSingleMum) recently posted…Review: Ravensburger 3D Windmill PuzzleMy Profile

  5. Maxine says:

    I’ve never been to Bolton Abbey but it looks fun. It’s the kind of place you could go for a first date or family day trip : )
    Maxine recently posted…A Rare Fashion PostMy Profile

  6. Looks like a great place to go for a day out, I don’t think it’s too far from us either – I’ll have a look.

  7. Christina says:

    I’ve never been to Bolton Abbey and I must be honest, I didn’t even realise that there was quite so much to do there! It looks a lovely place to visit, especially when the weather is nice xx

  8. Expression and Confession says:

    I used to go there as a child, and can’t believe I’ve not taken my two! I definitely will now! xx

    • We used to go at least once a month when we just had one but suddenly with two we’ve only been this once in the past year. It’s just so easy for time to fly by!

  9. I’ve often wondered about Bolton Abbey actually, so its good to read about someone who’s been and enjoyed it 🙂
    x x
    ghostwritermummy recently posted…Birth Trauma affects dads tooMy Profile

  10. Ooh love Bolton Abbey (or abolition abbey as my predictive text has just changed it to!) I have fond memories of trecking around heavily pregnant. Didn’t know about Bill bob’s ice cream though – even better! X
    Helen at Casa Costello recently posted…Painting with Kids – Center Parcs March ChallengeMy Profile

  11. Bolton Abbey looks amazing!! I love how much variety there is there and the photo by the river is priceless 😉

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Belsay Hall and Castle – 1st AprilMy Profile

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