When you head to the Emerald Isle there are a few things you will be keen to see and do above all else. Sure, spotting a leprechaun would be nice and you wouldn’t say no to a pint of creamy Guinness but there are some incredible, legendary places to check out too. What about Dunluce Castle in Ireland’s north and other mysterious spots? There are plenty of these places to choose from.
Charming Dunluce Castle in Ireland
This beautiful, ruined castle is in Northern Ireland. If you are ever in this part of the world then you really need to make the effort to head over and see this stunning medieval castle.
The first Dunluce Castle in Ireland was built in the 13th century and since then it has had a long and frankly incredible history. Numerous battles. A shipwrecked Spanish Armada shi. A kitchen that collapsed into the sea. A town around it wiped from the map. These are just some of the highlights of the Dunluce Castle in Ireland story to date.
Getting to Dunluce Castle in Ireland
I passed this legendary place while driving the Antrim Coast Road from Belfast past the Giant’s Causeway. I knew nothing about it and just saw this incredible ruin appear in the most dramatic setting possible – with it’s impossibly steep drops down to the sea. Get ready for some of the best selfies of your life!
Talkative Blarney Castle
Ever wished that you could talk more freely and eloquently? We Irish call this the “gift of the gab”. You can supposedly gain this power by kissing the Blarney Stone, housed in Blarney Castle.
The Blarney Stone is a large block of limestone, built into Blarney Castle, just a few miles away from Cork. It has been here since the mid 15th century. In that time, millions of tourists from all over the planet have kissed it. In fact, the word “blarney” is now used by many people to mean a way of speaking in a flattering, witty and clever way.
It used to be that you got held by the ankles and went down head first to kiss the stone but I kissed the Blarney Stone just by holding on to the iron railing and leaning back. Get ready to start talking endlessly as soon as you do this. I bent every ear I met for days/weeks after, true story.
Spectacular Ross Castle, Ireland
As you are probably starting to see, this lush, green island is crammed full of fascinating and historic castles. Another one of these you will want to take in is Ross Castle in Ireland.
To see this glorious 15th century Irish castle you need to go County Kerry. Here, you will find a lovely looking building this is filled with history and incredible tales.
For example, it is said that one of the previous owners either jumped or was sucked out of a window and sent to the bottom of the nearby lake along with his horse and books. In fact, he is said to be still live down there, keeping an eye on the place while presumably reading all day long.
Another legendary tale from Ross Castle in Ireland is that people believed that it could never be conquered until a ship attacked it from the lake, which was considered impossible. When a boat was taken to the lake during the Irish Confederate Wars the locals couldn’t believe their eyes and quickly surrendered.
These days, it is simply a gorgeous castle in a lovely setting in a part of Ireland you really should get to know.
Bunratty Castle, Ireland for a Banquet
One of the great things about these Irish castles is that they each offer something different and unique. With Bunratty Castle, you get to see a beautiful structure in County Clare as well as enjoy a medieval banquet.
One of the most popular castles in Ireland. One of the main draws is the fun medieval banquet which they have been serving up since the 1960s, coupled with live entertainment.
Near Bunratty Castle is the equally enchanting Bunratty Folk Park. A living museum showing how locals lived in the past. There is a lot to do, so definitely add it to your list of Irish castles to visit.
There are even more castles dotted around Ireland than featured here. The more I visit the more I understand this amazing country, its history and timeless legends.