Carrickfergus Castle

Places to See | Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.



If you only get the chance to visit one castle in Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus should be the one.

Standing on a rocky spur on the northern shore of Belfast Lough, Carrickfergus Castle dominates all approaches to the town. John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman baron who conquered much of Ulster, started building it about 1178 and it remained fully garrisoned for 750 years until 1928.

Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the Castle saw action right up to World War II.  Now preserved as one of the best medieval structures in Ireland, it is open to the public and remains an iconic symbol of the town and certainly one of the places to see in Co Antrim.

Whilst it is local joke about how convenient it was to build a castle so close to a car park and some great restaurants, the castle was originally nearly completely surrounded by the sea. Strategically, it was a vital stronghold, commanding views across the lough and from land approaches.

Carrickfergus Castle is a self-guiding facility. Information boards around the Castle allow you to explore this historic monument at your leisure whilst getting an insight into the history of the site. You can also purchase an information booklet with map from the Visitor Centre, which is located at the entrance to the Castle.

As one of the premier family attractions in Northern Ireland, younger visitors can enjoy climbing around the cannon and experiencing medieval life in the recreated banqueting hall. Guided tours of the Castle are also available. Pre-booking is advisable, but essential for larger groups.

Carrickfergus Castle is managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Opening times:

  • Easter to end of September – 10am to 6pm daily
  • October to Easter – Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm and Sundays 12-4pm

Address: Carrickfergus Castle, Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim BT38 7BG



5 Responses to Carrickfergus Castle

  1. Pingback: How to plan a trip to Carrickfergus Castle (In Ireland) - Click How To - Click How To

  2. Hello,
    I´d like to book a visit of 45 tourists for the 20th of August at 10:00.We´re from the Czech Republic.Thank you very much for your reply.
    With kind regards !
    Tomas

    tomas Rezler August 15, 2013 at 10:29 am Reply
    • Hello Tomas. Thanks for the comment. We don’t deal with bookings on this site. Please contact nieainfo@doeni.gov.uk and they will deal with your enquiry directly.

      Thank you

      Thomas August 15, 2013 at 10:37 am Reply
  3. Pingback: 10 Things to Do with Kids in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK) - Kids Activities Blog

  4. Northern Ireland is situated in the north east area of Ireland and many people plan for spending leisure time with their family by having a trip to Ireland. Most of the people visit Derry in the Northern Ireland area as Derry/Londonderry is very beautiful and we had walked around the walled city. With a lot of attractions and greenery all around Northern Ireland has become a famous place for tourists.

    Carrickfergus Castle is a wonderful and we just loved the beauty and it is situated on the northern area of the Belfast Lough. Omagh is an Irish town in this area and it depicts a lot about the history. We had taken food and visited a lot of pubs for seeing the night life in the northern area of Ireland. The food served in was in traditional style and we had a great time there. There are a lot of attractions to see in Ireland Northern part such as Cave hill, Ulster museum, Marble arch caves, Ulster American Folk Park etc. Exploring the countryside can be exciting with a rental car and that’s why we rented a car on our trip to enjoy at the fullest.

    The self drive in the northern areas of Ireland with my family was really exciting and comfortable experience. While driving in Ireland one should remember to drive the cars on the left side and you are not allowed to drink at public places. For further information about how to drive in Ireland you can have a look at this blog http://www.dan-dooley.ie/blog/general-car-rental-news/driving-tips-for-ireland-dan-dooley/

    Jessica Mathew February 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm Reply

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