Dunluce Castle

Don’t forget to bring your camera when you visit this striking medieval Irish castle that clings to a headland above the wild Irish Sea.

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.

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