Castles of Northern Ireland
Posted by Neil Hand on the 1st of May 2015 at 14:39:48
Ireland is known for her beautiful landscaped dotted with windswept castles bursting with romance and history! So if you are touring Northern Ireland in 2015, here are some of my favorite castles in one of my favorite regions that you simply must visit!
Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim – dominating the northern shore of Belfast Lough for some 800 years, this imposing and historic castle has some story to tell! Built in 1177 by the Norman Knight John de Courcy, it was still in use as a garrisoned property as recently as 1928. An iconic symbol of the town, take a tour of the imposing castle and learn its long and varied history! A wonderful medieval castle which takes you on a journey of discovery and illuminates centuries of history in one visit! Excellent!
Castle Ward, County Down - set in over 800 acres overlooking Strangford Lough, Castle Ward’s present Gothic and Classical incarnation dates to the 18th century, with an earlier building from the 16th building being demolished to make way for the present structure. Take a guided tour of the house, meander its exotic sunken gardens and explore its Georgian farmhouses where the fictional castle of Winterfell is located for the television series Game of Thrones. Breath-taking and intriguing, this should not be missed!
Dunluce Castle, County Antrim – once the headquarters of the MacDonnell clan, this magnificent castle rests precariously along Antrim’s northern coast – a stone’s throw away from the Giants Causeway. A politic and military pawn for centuries, the castle dates to the 14th century. Wander the site with the aid of an audio guide and visualize how this impressive castle would have looked in its hey-day.
Enniskillen Castle, County Fermanagh – standing for nearly 6 centuries on River Erne, it was once the stronghold of the Maguire clan before being used as an English garrison in the 17th century and then later a military barracks. The site has two museums – both worth a visit to – Fermanagh County Museum and The Inniskillings Museum which retells the story of the town’s two regiments.
Gosford Castle, County Armagh – is a 19th century castle full of history and character – and yet another site where the Game of Thrones is currently being filmed for season 4. Set amidst a forest and with beautifully landscaped gardens, this castle really has a fairytaleesque feel to it! Although now up for sale, you can take a walk in the associated forest park and perhaps catch a glimpse or two of this gorgeous castle.
Hillsborough Castle, County Down – is the official residence of the British royal family when they are in Northern Ireland and has been used as the residence of the Secretary of State since the 1970s. The castle is very much a working building, but you can get tours of ground floors rooms such as the Red Dining Room, the Throne Room and Lady Grey’s Sitting Room. Dating to the 18th century, this stunning Georgian building should be included in any tours of Northern Ireland!
So, if you are thinking of touring Northern Ireland, make sure you include some of these beautiful and historic castles to your tour! Why not Get a Quote from us today and let us turn your dream tour into a reality!