Wow, where do we start? We’ve got dramatic crenellations set against the coast, sprawling estates full of outstanding natural beauty, and even castles you can stay in!
Let’s start at one of the most famous, Dunluce Castle on the Causeway Coastal Route
. Standing against a backdrop of foaming seas and soaring cliffs, this medieval castle has a tumultuous history starting in the 16th century. Coupled with jaw-dropping sea views and amazing archaeological findings, it’s one for the bucket list.
Travel to the city of Belfast for the weekend, and you’ll definitely want to hike up to Cave Hill Country Park
– it’s here that you’ll find Belfast Castle
. Looking down over the city, it features a rather excellent restaurant to try out once you’ve worked up an appetite!
For a touch of old school glamour in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, head to Glenarm Castle
. Built in 1836,it’s currently the home of Viscount and Viscountess Dunluce, and as such it’s not open all year round, but a walk around the blooming walled gardens is a horticulturalist’s treat.
This little list is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s Carrickfergus on the edge of Belfast Lough, Crom Castle sitting in 2,000 of enchanting parkland in Fermanagh, Enniskillen rising from the island town of the same name, and Hillsborough – now a working royal palace.
All the castles not only take your breath away, but their back stories are pretty incredible too… but that’s for you to find out, so get exploring!