Dunluce Castle: exploring the majestic clifftop ruins

Your one-stop guide to Dunluce Castle, steeped in history hanging on the cliffs of County Antrim.

Dunluce Castle: unveiling the majestic ruins and dramatic clifftop setting.
Credits: Tourism Ireland (Matthew Woodhouse); Chris Hill @ Tourism Ireland

Perched dramatically on the rugged cliffs of the North Antrim coast, Dunluce Castle stands as a picturesque reminder of Northern Ireland’s tumultuous past and breathtaking landscapes.

This iconic ruin, dating back to the 13th century, offers visitors a unique blend of medieval history, mythical tales, and a captivating clifftop setting that has made it a must-visit destination.

IB4UD’s top tips for visiting Dunluce Castle:

  • Enhance your experience by opting for a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights into the castle’s history, architectural significance, and the legendary tales that surround it.
  • Combine your visit with a trip to the nearby Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its unique hexagonal basalt columns. This dual experience provides a comprehensive exploration of both history and nature.
  • Don’t forget your camera! The clifftop location of Dunluce Castle offers panoramic views of the North Antrim coast, providing ample opportunities for stunning photographs.
  • Take some time to wander through the charming cobbled streets and stone merchants’ houses surrounding the castle. These areas offer additional insights into the historical context and daily life during the castle’s heyday.

Ireland Before You Die’s fun facts about Dunluce Castle:

  • Fans of the acclaimed TV series Game of Thrones will recognise Dunluce Castle as the exterior of Pyke Castle of House Greyjoy. The castle’s imposing structure and dramatic location perfectly suited the series’ medieval fantasy setting.
  • The MacDonnell clan played a crucial role in the castle’s history. Their influence can be traced through various periods of political turmoil and power struggles.
  • The McQuillan family, integral to the castle’s lineage, significantly contributed to its prominence during medieval times.
  • The castle is shrouded in myths, including eerie tales of banshees that add a mystical dimension to its rich history.
  • Dunluce Castle shares proximity with the world-famous Giant’s Causeway, creating a synergy of natural wonder and historical intrigue for visitors.

What’s nearby

Food: Bushmills Restaurant and Bar (Pub Grub), Urban Restaurant (European), The Nook (Pub Grub), 55 Degrees North (European).

Drink: Springhill Bar, the Quays Bar & Gastropub, the Bush House Bar, the Station Bar, and McBrides Bar.

Accommodation: The Royal Court Hotel (3-star), Bayview Hotel (4-star), The Bushmills Inn Hotel (4-star).

Other attractions: Portrush Whiterocks Beach, Causeway Coastal Route, Old Bushmills Distillery, Giant’s Causeway.

Your questions answered about Dunluce Castle

What happened to Dunluce Castle?

Dunluce Castle underwent centuries of political turmoil, including its strategic abandonment during the 17th century. Natural erosion and the ravages of time gradually transformed it into the evocative ruins we see today.

What has been filmed at Dunluce Castle?

Dunluce Castle gained international recognition as one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones. It served as the visually stunning backdrop for pivotal scenes, adding to its allure for fans of the series.

How much is it to get into Dunluce Castle?

Admission prices to Dunluce Castle vary, with concessions available for seniors, students, and children. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is advisable to check here.

More info

Address: 87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8UY

Telephone: 028 207 31938

Email: [email protected]

Opening hours: Monday–Sunday, 9 am–5 pm.

Admission price: Adults £6, Children 5-17 years, £4, Children under 5, free. A concession ticket is £4.50.

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