Almost hanging off the edge of a cliff overlooking the Irish Sea, ancient Dunluce Castle was built as a symbol of power. Its precarious position at the edge of the cliff saw parts of the castle collapse into the sea in 1639, and the building was subsequently abandoned. Attracting walkers, history fanatics and photographers, the atmospheric ruins make for a wonderful sight and offer great photo opportunities.
Although the earliest recorded history of the castle is when it belonged to the McQuillan family in the early 16th century, historians date the castle 200 years earlier, to the 14th century. It originally stood in the middle of a village, but this settlement burned down, and now only evidence of an old courtyard remains.
Photographers take note: the castle and its dramatic setting make for some wonderful pictures, whatever the weather. Head around the cliff face for a shot of the ruins against the dramatic cliffs.
Wander through the ruins and be transported back to the Middle Ages. If you have a smartphone, you can download a free app that provides maps, information and fun activities for your visit.
If you want to learn more about Dunluce Castle and its fascinating history, then stop by the Visitor Centre and sign up for a guided tour. The local guides will talk you through the castle’s past and tell stories about its renowned ghosts.
After taking in the view over the Irish Sea, head off for a scenic walk along the cliff-face. If you’re a keen walker or hiker, you can continue 4 kilometres to Bushmills.
Dunluce Castle is located just outside Bushmills and 97 kilometres northwest of Belfast. You can park your car free of charge but there is an entrance fee for the castle ruins. The castle is open every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Situated on the riverwalk, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Old Bushmills Distillery and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Giant's Causeway. Giants Causeway visitors centre and Hezlett House are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in Bushmills, this bed & breakfast is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Old Bushmills Distillery and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Giant's Causeway. Dunluce Castle and Giants Causeway visitors centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in the heart of Portrush, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Portrush Countryside Centre and Waterworld. Barry's Amusements and Portrush Beach are also within 15 minutes.
Situated in a rural location, this bed & breakfast is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Old Bushmills Distillery and within 3 mi (5 km) of Royal Portrush Golf Course and Dunluce Castle. Giants Causeway visitors centre and Hezlett House are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in Portrush, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Dunluce Centre, Coastal Zone, and Portrush Tourist Information Centre. Dunluce Family Entertainment Centre and Barry's Amusements are also within 1 mi (2 km).