Dunluce Castle Ireland

Discover the Magic of Dunluce Castle Ireland

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Charming Dunluce Castle Ireland will draw you in 

The beautiful ruin of Dunluce Castle is in Northern Ireland. If you are ever in this part of the world, you really should make the effort to see this stunning medieval castle, that many claim to be haunted.

I passed this legendary place many years ago, while travelling the Antrim Coast Road from Belfast with family, to visit the Giant’s Causeway. At the time, I knew nothing about Dunluce Castle and just saw this incredible ruin appear in front of me in the most dramatic setting possible, with impossibly steep drops leading down to the water. Get ready for some of the best selfies of your life!

A Little Bit of History on Dunluce Castle Ireland

Dunluce Castle was first built in the 13th century and since then it has had a long and frankly incredible history. Battles, a shipwrecked Spanish Armada ship, and a town around it wiped from the map are just some of the highlights of the Dunluce story to date.

There is also the famous legend of the kitchens falling into the sea one stormy night during a party at the castle, which could well have been true as the castle is perched quite precariously on top of a cliff. Legend also has it there was only one survivor, a young kitchen boy who perched on a windowsill and had to be rescued from there.

Around 2008, archaeologists found significant remains of the adjacent town of Dunluce,  built around 1608, but in the Irish uprising of 1641 was razed to the ground and never rebuilt. Archaeological digs have uncovered an even older settlement dating back to at least the 15 century.

Considering the settlement has lain undisturbed for such a long time, it’s an important archaeological discovery.  There is a 5 year excavation plan underway to uncover as much of the settlement as possible and preserve the findings.  The fact that Dunluce Castle and town didn’t have a nearby harbour, was also a big factor in both their demise.

Medieval Fair Dunluce Castle Ireland

Once upon a time, there was an annual fair held at the castle, but legend has it that it was eventually closed down permanently because of all the bawdiness and debauchery it resulted in.  Those saucy Irish 🙂

For the last few years, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has held a traditional style medieval fair at Dunluce Castle.  It’s part of their ‘Living History‘ program and a great way to discover more about life back in medieval times in Ireland – although as far as I’m aware without the previous sauciness, perhaps you bring your own? 🙂

Just follow these links to learn more about it.

2014 Medieval Fair

2015 Medieval Fair

Once upon a time there was an annual fair held at the castle, but legend has it that it was eventually closed down permanently because of all the bawdiness and debauchery it resulted in.  Those saucy Irish 🙂

Spanish Armada Shipwreck at Dunluce Castle Ireland

Dunluce Castle has links to the Spanish Armada ship, the Girona.   It foundered near the Giant’s Causeway in the winter of 1588. Sorley Boy MacDonnell(who occupied the castle at this time)mounted the cannons from the Girona after retrieving them from the shipwreck.

The Abandonment of Dunluce Castle Ireland

Dunluce Castle was owned and accupied by the MacDonnells back in the late 1600s but they became impoverished shortly after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, when they had taken the side of James II against King William (Billy). They abandoned Dunluce Castle at this time which led to the ruins we find today.

Gallows at Dunluce Castle Ireland

Dunluce Castle had it’s very own gallows (used for torture and execution)

Mermaids Cave at Dunluce Castle Ireland

There is a huge, spectacular cavern just below the castle, known as Mermaid’s Cave.

For even more in-depth information on Dunluce Castle Ireland – Follow these links

Discover Dunluce Castle Ireland – Opening times, tours, directions, facilities

A tale of two Castles

Virtual Tour of Dunluce Castle Ireland

50 things you probably never knew about Dunluce Castle Ireland

More History on Dunluce Castle Ireland

Ireland’s Most Haunted Sites…..Dunluce Castle

dunluce castle ireland

On a clear day you can see across the sea to Islay in Scotland – via

There’s even an artist’s impression and model of Dunluce Castle Ireland, at Dunluce Castle, showing it in all it’s former glory 🙂

Nearby Attractions

Giants Causeway

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge


Portrush Golf Club

Downhill Demesne, Hezlett House and Mussenden Temple


Portstewart Golf Club


Ballycastle Golf Club

The Dark Hedges Ballymoney (of Game of Thrones Fame) – Bregagh Road, Co. Antrim

Mermaids Cave – Great Sea Caves of Antrim

Ballintoy Co. Antrim – Discover Ballintoy – (Also of Game of Thrones Fame)

Derry/Londonderry – UK City of Culture 2013

Causeway Coastal Route – Fantastic website for places to go and things to do in the local area

dunluce castle ireland

Printed Canvas available for Purchase via

Dunluce Castle Ireland – by David John
Cover image via – All images copyrighted and Flickr images licensed under CC BY 2.0

And yes, you can indeed see the Northern Lights on occasion from the north of Ireland, even in summer.

This concludes our Dunluce Castle Ireland. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.

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