A SUMMER of fun is on the cards at one of Yorkshire’s best-preserved and most majestic medieval castles.

Bolton Castle has been one of the most striking features of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside since 1399, and it has proved a hit with families and visitors for decades.

The popular visitor destination is now preparing to host an entire summer of adventure, and tickets are going fast for the most exciting events.

Events are taking place throughout the summer, but here’s a sneak peek at a few of the highlights coming to the 14th-century castle…

20th July - The Recruiting Officer

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Make your mark and take the king’s shilling, the Recruiting Officer is in town!

The Rain or Shine Theatre Company returns to Bolton Castle with its latest thrilling, restored show entitled ‘The Recruiting Officer’ - a bawdy Restoration comedy by Irish playwright George Farquhar.

Written in 1706, it follows the misadventures of two unscrupulous army recruiting offices – the licentious Captain Plume and the cowardly Captain Brazen – as they get into mischief in 18th century Shrewsbury.

Performed in full period costume, the show is a fascinating glimpse into historical life, and is a classic of English theatre.

Curtain-up at 7:30pm, so quick march!

27th July - The Reluctant Dragon

Darlington and Stockton Times:

What does a smart dragon do when a notorious knight comes calling? Stays in his cave and writes poetry, of course!

Quantum Theatre presents this charming adaptation of The Reluctant Dragon, originally written by Wind in the Willows author, Kenneth Grahame.

When St George arrives to rid a village of their not-so-terrible monster, it’s up to a young boy to save his fire-breathing friend. Can he come up with a clever plan and convince the townspeople that maybe not all dragons are bad?

The curtain rises on this enchanting adventure at 4:30pm.

5th – 7th August - An Audience with Mary Queen of Scots

Visitors can meet one of Bolton Castle’s most infamous former residents: Mary Queen of Scots!

Professional historical re-enactor, Jane Collier, will delight visitors by bringing to life the fascinating charming, warm, and fun-loving woman who was imprisoned in Bolton Castle.

Mary spent 19 years locked away in the castle when her existence threatened the rule of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, but now visitors will get to know the woman behind the legend.

22nd August - Jay Britton, Opera Singer

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Discover how Tudor ladies lived, with professional opera singer Jay Britton, as she leads visitors around the rooms and gardens of Bolton Castle, accompanied by none other than King Henry VIII!

As well as giving tours and offering glimpses into Tudor life, Jay will demonstrate her incredible singing talents and share traditional Tudor music at two special evening performances.

Authentically accompanied by a lute, she will perform her acclaimed ‘Tudor Songbook’, a collection of pieces that conjure the beauty and a romance of the Tudor age.

27th August - The Handlebards Present Twelfth Night

Darlington and Stockton Times:

The popular Shakespeare company, The Handlebards, return once again to Bolton Castle, this time with their dramatic performance of Twelfth Night.

This all-female foursome travel from venue to venue with their sets, props, costumes –entirely by bicycle!

Enjoy their rousing and hilarious re-telling of the classic Shakespeare comedy under the open skies in Bolton Castle’s beautiful grounds – don’t forget to bring along your picnic and something to sit on!

These are just a few of the exciting gems coming to Bolton Castle, but it’s by no means everything.

See the past come alive at the Castle’s Living History Weekends.

Brave an overnight stay and hunt for ghosts!

Or experience one of the most dramatic consequences of the eventual execution of Mary, Queen of Scots: the launch of the Spanish Armada, and train as a soldier to help defend the castle!

With so much going on behind the walls of one of Yorkshire’s most beautiful historic treasures, there’s something for everyone at Bolton Castle this summer.

For more information, visit www.boltoncastle.co.uk