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Carrickfergus Castle

Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, BT38 7BG
A woman and child having a pretend sword fight in the room at the top of the castle keep with the sun beaming through the window behind.

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About

Get ready to step back in time at Carrickfergus Castle, an incredible Norman castle nestled in the charming seaside town of Carrickfergus, County Antrim, right on the shores of Belfast Lough. This place isn't just old—it's legendary!

FAQs:

Where is Carrickfergus Castle?

You'll find this gem right at the starting point of Northern Ireland's Causeway Coastal Route, offering stunning views and a rich history. 

Unlike many ancient castles, Carrickfergus Castle is still standing tall and proud. It’s been through a lot: sieges by the Scots, Irish, English, and even the French, and it served a key military role until 1928. But despite all that, it’s one of Ireland’s best-preserved medieval structures, and guess what? You can visit it!

For over 800 years, this castle has been a majestic presence on the Northern Irish landscape. Today, it’s home to fascinating historical exhibits and a collection of cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

What to Expect on Your Visit:

  • The Great Hall: Check out the newly renovated roof that gives the Great Hall a fresh look and makes your visit even more spectacular.
  • Visitor Information Centre: Located within the castle, it’s your go-to spot for local information, cool crafts, and unique souvenirs. Plus, they’ve got a great selection of books, including local history, kids’ books, and recipe collections.
  • Café: After your tour, relax with a cup of tea or coffee and plan your next adventure with the help of our friendly Visitor Information staff.
  • When Was Carrickfergus Castle Built? Carrickfergus Castle dates back to 1177, making it a true medieval marvel.

How to Visit:

  • Buy your Carrickfergus Castle tickets at the Visitor Information Centre when you arrive—no need to book ahead!
  • Explore the castle at your own pace: climb the keep, walk the walls, and soak in the stunning views over Belfast Lough.
  • Check out the banquet hall, vaults, and armory. We’ve got lifelike props and seasonal decorations to make your visit extra special.

When Can I Visit?

Carrickfergus Castle Opening Times:

  • Easter to September: 9:30am - 4:30pm (last admission)
  • October to Easter: 9:00am - 4pm (last entry 3:30pm)

In case of extreme weather, give us a call to make sure we're open before you head out.

How Much Does It Cost?

  • Carrickfergus Castle Ticket Prices:
  • Adults: £6.00
  • Children: £4.00 (Under 4s go free)
  • Seniors & Students: £4.50
  • Family (up to 2 adults and 3 kids): £18
  • Annual Tickets: £12 (adult), £8 (child), £9 (senior/student) – unlimited visits!
  • Groups (15+): £4.50 per person

Is There Parking at Carrickfergus Castle:

Don't worry about your car! There's a convenient, free car park just beside the castle.

Can I Have A Guided Tour:

Yes! There are free daily guided tours to give you all the juicy details about the history of Carrickfergus Castle.

How Long Should I Plan to Stay?

Set aside a couple of hours to fully explore all the nooks and crannies.

Fun for Kids:

  • Kids can dress up in medieval costumes, play with props, and even challenge each other to a game of giant chess!
  • There’s a sensory room for a calming experience and an education room with historical videos in various languages.
  • Life-like exhibits, including knights in armor and a miniature model of the castle, will fascinate kids (and adults) of all ages.

Fun Facts About Carrickfergus Castle:

  • It’s one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Ireland.
  • It's seen action from Scots, Irish, English, and French forces.
  • It's the only castle of its age in Ireland open to the public.

While you're at Carrickfergus Castle, why not make a day of it? Explore the Causeway Coastal Route and check out other attractions in Mid & East Antrim. Don't forget to grab a Causeway Coastal Route map at the Visitor Information Centre to make the most of your adventure!

Book Tickets

Facilities

Attraction Facilities

  • Gift Shop
  • Guided Tours Available

Catering

  • Picnic Area

Children & Infants

  • Accept children (Minimum age)
  • Facilities for children

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Event venue
  • Family Fun
  • Groups accepted
  • Shop
  • Toilets
  • Visitor information

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking
  • Station nearby

Payment Methods

  • All major credit/debit cards accepted

Provider Preferences

  • Coastal
  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Film or TV location
  • Haunted
  • In town/city centre
  • Of historic, literary or architectural interest
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Seafront
  • Unique venue

Travel & Trade

  • Family Discount

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult 18+ years£6.00 per ticket
Child 5 - 17 years£4.00 per ticket
Child Under 5Free
Concession*£4.50 per ticket
Family*£18.00 per ticket

Tickets can be purchased on site, at the ticket office. Online booking is not available.
Group rate available for 15 adults (+1 tour guide free) £4.50pp
Annual rates are also available; Adult - £12, Child 5 -17- £8.00, Concession* - £9.00 & Family Pack* - £36.00

*Concession - 65+, Students (18+with official student card), disabled, unemployed citizens
*Family - Up to 5 people (including up to 3 adults)

Add Carrickfergus Castle to your Itinerary

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Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0) 28 9335 1273

Map & Directions

Opening Times

* Monday: Closed (apart from bank holidays)
Tuesday - Sunday: Open 09:00 – 16:00
Last admission 15:30

Summer opening from April 1:

Monday: Closed (apart from Bank Holidays).
Tuesday - Sunday: Open 09:30 – 17:00.
Last admission 16:30.

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Related

Red vintage pull along fire carriage branded Carrickfergus Fire BrigadeCarrickfergus Museum, CarrickfergusLocal museum interpreting the long and distinguished history of the town and surrounding area, with artefacts of treasure excavated in Carrickfergus. There are multi-media and audio-visual presentations.

Carrickfergus Visitor Information Centre, CarrickfergusWe offer a full range of services, including free maps and information leaflets, bus and rail times.

Interior of the Guard Room with information panels on wall and desk with Visitor BookThe Guard Room Carrickfergus, CarrickfergusStep back in time at The Guard Room in Carrickfergus Town Hall, immersing visitors in the early 20th-century quarters of the Antrim Artillery militia with interactive exhibits and historical narratives spanning 800 years.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

Directions from Town: Carrickfergus is 10 miles north of Belfast city centre, a straight run on the M5

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