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Our Guide to the Castles of County Antrim

Our Guide to the Castles of County Antrim

Our parks are situated on the Northern Irish coast, a place with a deep history dating back as far as 7900 BC. The area surrounding our parks, County Antrim,  is a treasure trove of ancient castles that whisper tales of a bygone era. Each castle holds a unique charm and story. These dramatic coastal ruins and expertly restored properties are just waiting to be explored. So, strap on your boots and let this guide take you through the areas most beautiful castles.

Kinbane Castle

Tucked away on a picturesque headland jutting into the North Atlantic, Kinbane Castle offers a more secluded and intimate castle experience. Colla MacDonnell built the castle in 1546, on a site flanked by rugged cliffs and sweeping views of the sea. Though only a fragment of the original structure remains, the site’s dramatic location and tranquil atmosphere make it a hidden gem worth exploring. The descent to the castle involves a steep path, rewarding visitors with a sense of adventure and the opportunity to discover one of Antrim’s lesser-known historical treasures.

Olderfleet Castle

Olderfleet Castle, a lesser-known gem of County Antrim, offers a rich history and intrigue. The Scots originally built this 13th-century wonder in the coastal town of Larne. Though now in ruins, the castle’s remains offer a fascinating glimpse into the medieval past. A visit to Olderfleet Castle provides a peaceful yet evocative experience, perfect for those looking to delve deeper into the lesser-known aspects of Antrim’s rich historical tapestry. Whether you’re a history buff or simply enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path sites, Olderfleet Castle is a worthy addition to your itinerary.

Carrickfergus Castle

One of the best-preserved medieval structures in Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus Castle stands proudly on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Built in 1177 by John de Courcy, this Norman castle has played a pivotal role in Irish history. The castle’s robust stone walls and towers provide a formidable sight, while its interior offers an engaging museum experience. Families will love the interactive exhibits that bring the castle’s history to life. It’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts of all ages. Visitors can explore medieval weapons, take in views from the battlements and immerse themselves in the stories of the past.

Dunluce Castle

If you’re looking for a dramatic vista worthy of a fantasy film, don’t skip Dunluce Castle. Perched on a basalt outcrop overlooking the North Atlantic, Dunluce Castle is one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landmarks. Dating back to the 13th century, this medieval castle offers breathtaking views and a fascinating glimpse into the turbulent history of the region. The castle’s strategic position made it a significant stronghold, and its ruins tell tales of battles, shipwrecks, and folklore. Visitors can explore the remnants of the castle, including its impressive keep, curtain walls, and the awe-inspiring Mermaid’s Cave below. Dunluce Castle is also famously associated with the sinking of the Girona. The treasures of this sunken Spanish ship were later recovered from the nearby coast. This adds a layer of intrigue and adventure to any visit, making it a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and treasure hunters alike.

County Antrim’s castles are more than just remnants of the past. They are gateways to the stories, legends, and heritage that have shaped this enchanting region. But, when the adventure is over and you need somewhere to rest your feet, look no further than an Encore holiday home. To learn more about our parks and properties on offer, contact our experienced team today.