Destination Europe UK

Visiting Carrickfergus Castle with Kids

Posted on
March 27, 2019

Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough.

The castle was built in 1177 by John de Courcy and is still remarkably intact, making it perfect for exploring.

From the outside of the castle, you can see various models looking through windows, or guarding the towers which really bring the history to life.

The kids were most fascinated by the “murder hole” in the ceiling of the gateway. It would have been used in defence of the castle, allowing defenders to fire, throw or pour harmful substances or objects, such as rocks, arrows, scalding water, hot sand, quicklime, tar, or boiling oil, down on attackers.

There were other rooms to explore too, including the murder room and it’s Chapel.

As well as the historical displays, there are also cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries in various locations around the castle.

During its 800 year history, Carrickfergus Castle has been besieged by the Scots, English, Irish and French at various points and has racked up over 750 years of continuous military occupation until 1928.

We were surprised by how close some of the castle rooms were to the water and found it really interesting seeing how it would have been defended, both from the land and the water.

The best bit about exploring castles is not only finding all the nooks and crannies, but climbing the castle walls and surveying your kingdom below.

It was such a shame that it was a murky day, as the view from the top is stunning.

As we visited in half term, they had a craft workshop in the Keep where the kids could make a crown, keyring and / or a Mothers’ Day Card.

Of course, the kids insisted on trying all the crafts on offer and all proudly wore their crowns for the rest of the day.

Also in the Keep, is a display of how they are maintaining the building, including putting a new roof on the castle.

We visited Carrickfergus Castle whilst travelling the Northern Ireland Coastal Road and spent around 90 minutes exploring.

Entry to the castle costs £15.00 for a family (up to five members).

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14 Comments
  1. Reply

    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    March 27, 2019

    So many different aspects to see and learn about, the murder hole would certainly catch my children’s attention

  2. Reply

    Laura Dove

    March 27, 2019

    Oh what a fab castle! We’ve never been here, I need to add it to my castle bucket list!

  3. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    March 27, 2019

    We love a Trip to a castle and this looks great, with lots to do!

  4. Reply

    Tracey Kifford

    March 27, 2019

    The murder room sounds fantastically grim … I like looking around torture chambers!!!!

  5. Reply

    Lewis | Lewisherelewisthere

    March 28, 2019

    I love visiting old castles! My favourite castle is Stirling (I actually dont like Edinburgh castle very much). This one seems really good and informative. It’s right up my street!

  6. Reply

    fashionandstylepolice

    March 28, 2019

    What a lovely looking castle. I can imagine all the fun.

  7. Reply

    Anne Fraser

    March 28, 2019

    What a lovely way to introduce your children to history. I can imagine my children liking a murder hole as well.

  8. Reply

    Jenny

    March 28, 2019

    We love exploring castles, this one looks fab for the whole family.

  9. Reply

    Talya

    March 29, 2019

    Love the use of the models – it really helps to bring it to life! What an interesting day out.

  10. Reply

    Jenni

    March 29, 2019

    That’s a very reasonable price! Looks fab to explore, I think my partner and i would find it really interesting

  11. Reply

    Louise

    March 31, 2019

    I’ve never heard of Carrickfergus Castle before but it looks like a fab place to visit with the kids 🙂
    Louise x

  12. Reply

    Emma | The Mini Mes and Me

    March 31, 2019

    £15 is a bargain for entry! I’ve never been to Belfast before but it’s definitely on the list to visit x

  13. Reply

    Claire Roach

    March 31, 2019

    This looks great, looking to take my 5 there this summer holidays.

  14. Reply

    Rachel

    April 1, 2019

    This looks like such a fun day out, I love visiting castles and find it so interesting! xo

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk