Bolton Priory

Estate Office Bolton Abbey Skipton North Yorkshire BD23 6EX

Immortalised by Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the hilarious TV series The Trip, Bolton Priory is one of North Yorkshire's most dramatic sights. Tradition has it erroneously as Bolton Abbey (helped in large part by Wordsworth's lofty eulogy of the same name), though most people know it by its correct name, Bolton Priory. Founded in the 12th century by Augustine monks, it's better preserved than most other English monasteries; the east end gable and north transept are enormous and very much intact, while the west tower, Gothic entrance and Victorian (Pugin-designed) windows offer tantalising insights into the conflicts and curses which hampered its construction. Nowadays it falls within the 30 000 acres of the Duke of Devonshire's estate and enjoys a picturesque setting next to the pristine waters of the river Wharfe. The 57 stepping stones were once the only way to cross the river. Today, they're a pleasing little thrill, but the less intrepid can use the bridge above. Riverside picnics are the thing here but for the quintessential Dales treat, The Tea Cottage serves delicious cream teas from its prime vantage point overlooking the ruins. Alternatively, the Michelin-starred Devonshire Arms County House Hotel offers a more refined dining experience, serving exquisitely presented dishes using meat and game from the estate as well as brown trout and grayling from the Wharf itself.

Best Places to stay near Bolton Priory