An October 2006 trip
to County Antrim by hagnel2
Quote: In my opinion the Antrim and Causeway coast is an area of exceptional beauty. Rich in culture and heritage, it has something to offer all visitors. For me it was definitely love at first sight. Land of legend and fairies for sure it is bewitching. ("So it is".)
Attraction | "Bushmills Distillery"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2006
Old Bushmills Distillery
2 Distillery Road
Bushmills, County Antrin BT57 8XH
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 21, 2006
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Ballintoy, County Antrim
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Attraction | "Giants Causeway"
The Causeway Coast
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Attraction | "Romantic Dunluce Castle Ruins"
This is the castle you see on many Northern Ireland postcards in reality it is better than any image, it is truly spectacular. Perched precariously on a wild craggy rock this 13th-century fairy tale ruin oozes with history.Built in the 13th century by Richard de Burgh it subsequently sustained many sieges and in 1565 the castle became the stronghold of the mighty Sorley boy MacDonnell clan who were Lords of the isles that ruled over northeastern Ulster. In 1584 the English forced Sorley boy and his clan to flee after battering the castle with artillery, however, Sorley had inside aid and he regained his castle in a unique way, men were hauled up the plummeting rock side in a basket and the English were slain. In 1588 a peace with the English was achieved and the James the first made Sorely’s son Randall Earl of Antrim.Randall restored the castle and built a manor house inside its walls and remnants of it can still be seen. His wife the former Lady Katherine Manners disliked the splendid but isolated castle, to compensate she hosted court friends and filled the castle with fine furnishings. Katherine disliked the sound of the sea; her fears were realized in 1641 when during a violent storm the entire kitchen and its staff plummeted into the churning Atlantic. The countess of Antrim returned to London and remained there. Following other sieges that found the Earl briefly imprisoned in Carrickfergus and his castle ransacked all seemed lost, however, the Earl was able to return in 1666 and remained there until his death in 1683. The MacDonnell family backed the wrong side during the battle of the Boyne in 1690, consequently they lost their home and wealth and the castle was abandoned.Today wandering the extensive ruins is like walking with ancient spirits, if those stones could speak what other stories would they tell? The brooding stones keep the history of long ago battles, feasting, merriment and tragedy yes, the ruins are impressive and definitely atmospheric. Information boards dotted around the ruins document the castles history makes it easy to see the castle independently. Guided tours are available in season by previous arrangement.The main section dates to the 16th/17th century. Two towers date from the 13th century and the Scottish gatehouse from around 1600. You can still see the remains of the great hall that was part of the manor house, but the modern window whilst giving the room definition is out of place. Cobblestones and uneven surfaces can be slippery when wet do wear appropriate footwear. Climb the towers to see the view the MacDonnell’s would have all those years ago but take care the stairs are narrow and uneven. A cave runs directly beneath castle and during calm weather it is possible to visit it by boat.
This castle is well worth the £2 admission and in my opinion is the most magnificent site in the country.
87 Dunluce Road
Bushmills, Coleraine, County Antrim BT57 8UY
028 2073 1938