If you are looking for a day out which combines history and adventure, then bring the family to Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim. This Norman castle, o
Marine Highway, Carrickfergus
Tel: 028 9335 1273
Gardens and Open Spaces, Historical Sites, Outdoor Activities
Ages 5 - 12, All ages, Schools and Groups, Teenagers, Under 5s
(based on family of 4)
If you are looking for a day out which combines history and adventure, then bring the family to Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim. This Norman castle, one of the best preserved medieval structures in Northern Ireland, sits on a rocky spur on the northern shore of Belfast Lough and has enjoyed an imposing presence on the landscape for over 800 years, whether it is approached by land or by sea. John de Courcy, an Anglo-Norman baron, built the castle that was almost totally surrounded by sea, after he conquered eastern Ulster and ruled from there until he was thrown out by Hugh de Lacy. Attacked over the years in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle saw action throughout and played a vital military role right up to WW2. In the 1790s, the castle was used as a prison, known by state and county prisoners for its grimness. For over a century it was used as an armoury and magazine and by the early 20th century, during WW1, it had become a garrison and ordnance store, protecting Belfast Lough; then during WW2, its basements were turned into air-raid shelters. This self-guiding venue has information boards positioned around the castle explaining its history, though it is worth purchasing an information booklet with a map from the Visitor Centre at the entrance to the castle. Children will enjoy exploring this monument and are able to climb around the cannons and find about medieval life in the recreated banqueting hall. Guided tours are also available, but these need to be pre-booked.
We recommend you always check COVID-secure measures before you travel and note changes to booking requirements. We hope you and your children enjoy wonderful and safe days out this autumn.