Carrickfergus is a dream for those with an interest in history. One of the oldest towns in Northern Ireland, it has some of the finest Norman architecture in Europe, with its castle lauded as the jewel in its crown.
Built in the 12th century by Knight John de Courcy, its history is revealed in an audio visual presentation and brought to life by a cast of faithfully recreated characters from 800 years ago.
Some of the town’s original walls remain, dating from the early 17th century, and are excellent examples of Jacobean building. Still standing strong in Roman style archway, and the Irish or West Gate which yielded many medieval artifacts during excavations in the last few decades.
Carrickfergus is also perfect as a base for not only touring the splendid Causeway Coast but also for day trips into Belfast. One can experience the sites in Belfast before retiring to this quiet rural setting once again. With two services daily to Belfast you don’t even have to worry about any traffic.
Each year it hosts a variety of special events, with one of the most stunning being the Medieval Lughnasa Festival. With its costumed performers and period musicians, you truly do feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the heyday of the castle.
During the summer, walking tours that take in the walls and other high points of the town are available.
Carrickfergus Castle is an impressive Anglo-Norman castle, built in 1180, which stands on Belfast Lough. It is home to medieval banquets, a fair and a crafts market in the summer.
Getting to Carrickfergus and Around
Carrickfergus is located a short distance north-east of Belfast City, via the M5 and then A2 coast road. Carrickfergus train station is served by the Belfast to Larne railway line, providing a rail link to the town.
You can find further information on getting around Carrickfergus and surrounding areas in our Co. Antrim Transport Guide.