Belfast Castle: discover the rich heritage and captivating views

Planning a trip to Northern Ireland? Don’t overlook a visit to the historic Belfast Castle, nestled in the city’s mountains.

Belfast Castle: Discover the Rich Heritage and Captivating Views of Northern Ireland’s Castle Gem.
Credits: Ireland’s Content Pool / Tourism Ireland

Nestled within the heart of Northern Ireland, Belfast Castle stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of history woven into the region’s landscape.

This iconic structure, perched on the slopes of Cave Hill Country Park, offers not only a glimpse into the past but also panoramic views of Belfast Lough and the city of Belfast.

As visitors explore this old castle and its landscaped gardens, they are transported through time, encountering a treasure trove of stories and experiences.

Our top tips for visiting Belfast Castle:

  • Choose the ideal time to visit: October showcases the vibrant autumn colours.
  • Enhance your experience by opting for a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides unravel the history of the castle, taking you through the original Belfast Castle’s construction by the Normans and its subsequent transformation.
  • The castle’s Cellar Restaurant provides not just a dining experience but a journey through exquisite local flavours. Enjoy superb views of the city and indulge in delectable dishes from Northern Ireland’s culinary heritage.
  • Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens that surround the castle, designed to offer a peaceful retreat. Each themed garden presents an opportunity to connect with nature and capture memorable moments.
  • Extend your visit to include a hike of Cave Hill. This is a moderate walk that offers breathtaking views over the city.

IB4UD’s interesting facts about Belfast Castle:

  • Belfast Castle has roots dating back to the 12th century when the original structure was constructed by the Normans as part of their strategic fortification. A second castle was built on the site in 1611.
  • These earlier buildings were in Belfast City Centre and are responsible for the street names Castle Street and Castle Place.
  • Building work was finished on today’s Belfast Castle, in the north of the city, in 1870.
  • The 9th Earl of Shaftesbury played a pivotal role in shaping the appearance of Belfast Castle in the 19th century. His vision transformed the castle into the stunning edifice we see today, adorned with Gothic architectural elements.
  • The castle and its surroundings are rich not just in history but also in biodiversity. Spot sparrowhawks and a variety of other wildlife species as you explore the castle’s grounds and Cave Hill Country Park.
  • Uncover the layers of history through archaeological sites scattered around Cave Hill Country Park. These remnants offer glimpses into the lives of those who inhabited the area centuries ago.
  • Positioned on the slopes of Cave Hill, the castle provides unrivalled views of Belfast Lough and the city itself. The vantage points from the castle offer a unique perspective, making it a popular venue for weddings and events.

What’s nearby

Food: Murphy Browns (European), Ben Madigans Bar & Kitchen (Pub Grub), Novelli at City Quays (Brasserie).

Drink: Portside Inn, The Chester, Hill Tavern.

Attractions: Check out our Belfast Bucket List for what to do elsewhere in the city.

Your questions answered about Belfast Castle

Yes, Belfast Castle is a sought-after wedding venue, offering a stunning backdrop for couples seeking a romantic and historic setting. The castle’s charm, coupled with its breathtaking views, makes it an ideal choice for memorable ceremonies.

How do you get to Belfast Castle?

The castle is easily accessible from the city centre. A short drive or public transport can take you to this iconic landmark. Follow signs to Cave Hill Country Park for a scenic journey leading up to the castle.

Are there family-friendly activities near Belfast Castle?

Absolutely! The nearby Cave Hill Adventurous Playground provides a fun-filled experience for families. Children can enjoy various activities while surrounded by the natural beauty of the area.

More info

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9077 6925

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastcastle/home

Opening hours: 9 am–6 pm

Admission: Free

Address: Antrim Rd, Belfast BT15 5GR

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