Dunluce Castle:  Does it Look Familiar?  It May Well Be!  Here's Why...

If you're eager to see Dunluce Castle and tour its ruins, then you'll need to head to one of the northernmost spots in all of Ireland.  Belonging to County Antrim and therefore Ulster Province, the Castle is between two and three hours from Dublin Airport by car.

Majestic Dunluce Castle perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

Stay on the M1, and be prepared for the road name to switch to the A1 when you cross over the border to Northern Ireland. When you hit the coast, you'll know you've arrive at Dunluce Castle on the aptly named Dunluce Road.    

Things to Know About Dunluce Castle

Here are some fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark.  Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!

But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.

  • In Northern Ireland's County Antrim, you'll come across Dunluce Castle.
  • It was built on dramatic cliffs along the sea in the early 16th century, and its precarious location has always been the stuff of local legend.

  • Some stories tell of the castle's kitchen falling off into the water on a particularly stormy night.
  • The striking castle has been featured on albums covers and in hit movies for decades, and today the ruins can be toured solo or with a local guide.
  • The Castle is situated on a basalt outcropping. To get to it from the mainland, you'll need to cross over a bridge.
  • On either side of the castle, there are steep drops. When the first fort was built at this location, those steep drops were highly valued. They add to the protected nature of the Castle, and they also add to the dramatic views.
  • The first Dunluce Castle was built in the 13th century by Richard Óg de Burgh, who was the 2nd Earl of Ulster. By the 16th century, the castle had been rebuilt and was in the hands of the MacDonnell Family.
  • Girona, a ship from the Spanish Armada, crashed in the rocks in front of the castle at the end of the 16th century. The cannons from the ship were installed within the castle, and the goods onboard were sold to fund castle restoration.
  • Rumor has it that the kitchen of the castle simply fell off into the water below one day. A small boy was in the corner of the kitchen of the time, but he was safe. 
  • Until the end of the 17th century, the Castle was the seat for the Earl of Antrim. After the Battle of Boyne, however, the castle was largely abandoned. 
  • Later on, the entire north wall of the Castle slid off into the sea below. Fortunately, the remaining south, east and west walls still stand.
  • Dunluce is said to be the inspiration for Cair Paravel, the castle C.S. Lewis writes about in his famous Chronicles of Narnia.
  • In more recent pop culture, it was a major filming location for the TV show Game of Thrones. In the show, Dunluce is Pyke Castle, the Seat of House Greyjoy.
  • Today, there's a visitor center at the castle. After your tour of the castle, check out the ruins of the domestic buildings that are also available to the public.

You can find more information about this amazing Irish landmark here.

Want More Irish Castles?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish castles!  The Emerald Isle is dotted with hundreds of these incredible structures.  

Sharing pictures and stories about them gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured the most amazing pictures and descriptions of Irish castles in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Guide to Irish Castles and Abbeys."

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email to get instant access!

That Was Fun!  Where Can I See More?

Great question! As you can see, exploring the castles of Ireland offers many opportunities for enjoying an Irish experience and expressing your personal Irish side!

For more information of this kind, you might pay a visit to our section on Ireland Sightseeing here!