The most beautiful castles in Northern Ireland

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle, photo by Andrew_D_Hurley/flickr

As we all know, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The region’s landscape is picturesque, but it has a rich cultural heritage, too. If you think only of its capital city, Belfast or the beautiful cities of Newcastle, Enniskillen, Portadown or Antrim, you will surely want to visit the country on your next holiday. Once you get there, make sure you visit some of these towns, but don’t forget about Northern Ireland’s most impressive castles. Some of these are medieval castles and can be seen in the most attractive towns of the country. Thus, you will have the occasion of making gorgeous sightseeing tours and historical itineraries at the same time.

Belfast Castle

One of Northern Ireland’s most attractive castles, it is situated in the northern part of the capital city. The original castle was built in the 12th century by the Normans. During the 17th and the early 18th century the castle was the home of Sir Arthur Chichester, the baron of Belfast. Unfortunately, the castle was burned down in 1708. Instead of rebuilding the castle on its original site, the Chichester family decided to build a new residence in the town’s suburbs. The castle that stands today was built between 1811-1870, in Scottish baronial style. The impressive Belfast Castle is open to the public, it is also very popular for wedding receptions or conferences. It houses a restaurant and an antique shop, but there is also a visitor center for the tourists.

 

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle, photo by Andrew_D_Hurley/flickr

Dunluce Castle

This remarkable castle, located on the north Antrim coast, stands on a crag which was shaped by the erosion action of the sea. It is a now-ruined castle of which origins date back in the 13th century, when the Normans built it in the place of an Irish fort. The castle is accessible by a bridge which makes the connection between the cliffs and the mainland. In 2011 archeologists found remains of the “lost town of Dunluce” which was razed down in 1641, during the Irish uprising. Once you get on the crag, you will be amazed by the spectacular view over the sea.

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle, photo by robertpaulyoung/flickr

Carrickfergus Castle

The first real Irish castle was built in 1180. It is situated in the town of Carrickfergus, in the County of Antrim, being one of the best reserved medieval structures in Ireland. Carrickfergus Castle played an important military role until 1928 and today it is a historic monument. It is open to the public, being very popular for the tourists.

Enniskillen Castle

Originally built in the 16th century, it is located in the County of Fermanagh, in the southern part of Northern Ireland. Its tower, known as the Watergate tower, was added in the 17th century. It houses today the Fermanagh County Museum that focuses the country’s history, culture and natural history. The museum has award-winning exhibitions including “Country People, Country Places: “The Making of a Landscape”.

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