Carrickfergus Castle is an excellent example of a Norman castle in Northern Ireland. It is situated on the shore of Belfast Lough in the town of Carrickfergus, County Antrim.The castle was built by John de Courcy in 1177. He used this stronghold as his headquarters, after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177. During it’s existance, the castle has been begieged by the Scots, Irish, English and French.

As most of the perimeter of the castle is surrounded by water, it holds a very tactical, strategic position over Belfast Lough. It played an important miltitary role until 1928, but now is maintained by the Environment and Heritage Service and is an example of a well preserved, medieval structure. There aren’t very many left in Northern Ireland of such quality.

What you should know

This building is a self-guiding facility. Information boards are sited throughout the Castle and tell its story through time.There are also audio visual displays which allow you to explore this historic monument at your leisure whilst getting an insight into the history of the Castle. If you like, you can also purchase an information booklet with map from the Visitor Centre, which is located at the entrance to the Castle.

Guided tours of the Castle are also available. Pre-booking is advisable, but essential for larger groups. More information can be found at EHSNI

Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, BT38 7BG

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Map showing location of Carrickfergus Castle

If you would like driving directions to Carrick Castle from anywhere in Northern Ireland, use Route Planner

Travel by Bus

Ulsterbus No: 563 Belfast–Whitehead. Get off at Carrickfergus Joymount bus stop and walk for 4 minutes. For more information, visit the Translink website.

Travel by Bicycle

Take the national cycle route 9 from Belfast along the shore towards Hazelbank and Loughshore. Further along the route, change to route 93 towards the North. Route 93 is currently under construction. If you would like help to find the best way to get here on Bicycle, visit the National Cycle Network website.

Travel by Road

From Belfast, follow the M5 northbound then follow the A2 along the coast travelling through Whiteabbey and Jordanstown to Carrickfergus. It should take about 30 minutes. Do you need a hire car?

Travel by Train

Take the train from Belfast Central Station to Larne (NIR) Town Rail Stn. The nearest train station is Carrickfergus, which is 4 minutes walk from this attraction. For more information, visit the Translink website.

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