Home Europe Dunluce Castle | Medieval Irish Castle Ruin Visit this dramatic clifftop ruin...

Dunluce Castle | Medieval Irish Castle Ruin Visit this dramatic clifftop ruin overlooking the sea.

dunluce castle northern ireland

Dunluce Castle is a medieval Irish castle ruin in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It lies on an outcropping connected to the mainland by footbridge. It was the seat of the Earls of Antrim until the impoverishment of Clan MacDonnell following their defeat at the Battle of Boyne in 1690.

The earliest castle was built in the 13th century by Richard de Burgh, the second Earl of Ulster, on the site of an earlier Viking fort. Enlarged by the Irish MacQuillan family around 1500, it was seized by the Scottish Clan MacDonnell during the tumultuous 1550s and became their family seat.

The MacDonnells enlarged the castle in what is known as the Scottish style in 1584, and developed a a small plantation style settlement, Dunluce Town, in 1608. They brought Scottish settlers over to populate the town.

What to See at the Site

Dunluce Castle  Wander around the ruins. Enjoy the spectacular views overlooking the sea.


Dunluce Town  Explore the findings from archaeological excavations of the 17th century plantation era settlement.

Mermaid’s Cave Take the stairs down to Mermaid’s Cave, a natural feature inside the outcropping on which the castle sits.

Something Special to do Here

Turn your visit into an all day adventure. Pack a picnic lunch and walk the 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Portrush along the Coastal Walk. You can catch a bus back to town if you don’t feel like hoofing it both ways.

Attraction Details

87 Dunluce Road
Bushmills, County Antrim BT57 8UY
Northern Ireland

Hours of Operation:
Open all year round
10:00-17:00 Daily
Closed 25,26 December
Last entry 16:30, strictly observed

How to get there:

On Foot  Three miles (5 Kilometers) from Portrush along the

By Car  Less than one hour by road from Londonderry via the A37 andA2. Just 15 minutes from Coleraine via the A2.

By Bus  Many local buses stop at this major site. Check in Coleraine for the most convenient route.

By Rail  The Belfast-Derry railway line run by Northern Ireland Railways connects to Coleraine along the branch line to Portrush. Local Ulsterbus provide connections to the railway stations.

dunluce castle

UNESCO World Heritage

A world of wonder waiting to be discovered.

There are over 1000 Unesco World Heritage sites around the globe. Each of them special, unique, and preserved for posterity.

Visit the Khomani Cultural Landscape | South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Khomani Cultural Landscape is found in a broad expanse of sand dunes and wild frontier at the north end of West Cape Province, South Africa, close to the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The area contains evidence of habitation dating back to the stone age, and includes many historical and cultural connections reflecting the [...]

UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves An International Designation for Environmental Sustainability

The UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves is a list of protected natural areas emblematic of balance between man and nature. They are a cornerstone of UNESCO efforts to promote ecosystem preservation and sustainability around the world. {{ vc_btn: title=Search+Now&link=url%3Ahttps%253A%252F%252Fnarangahtravel.com%252F%253Fs%253Dmobile%252Balabama%7C%7C%7C&style=flat&gradient_color_1=turquoise&gradient_color_2=blue&gradient_custom_color_1=%23dd3333&gradient_custom_color_2=%23eeee22&gradient_text_color=%23ffffff&custom_background=%23ededed&custom_text=%23666&outline_custom_color=%23666&outline_custom_hover_background=%23666&outline_custom_hover_text=%23fff&shape=rounded&color=warning&size=lg&align=left&i_align=left&i_type=fontawesome&i_icon_fontawesome=fas+fa-adjust&i_icon_openiconic=vc-oi+vc-oi-dial&i_icon_typicons=typcn+typcn-adjust-brightness&i_icon_entypo=entypo-icon+entypo-icon-note&i_icon_linecons=vc_li+vc_li-heart&i_icon_monosocial=vc-mono+vc-mono-fivehundredpx&i_icon_material=vc-material+vc-material-cake&i_icon_pixelicons=vc_pixel_icon+vc_pixel_icon-alert }}Explore Africa!Plan your visit today.Explore Africa Planning to Visit a Site in the UNESCO World [...]

Visit Toledo: The Capital City of Hispania Discover the History and Culture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Everything you need to know to plan a visit to Toledo, Spain.Learn more from our introductory article and links to the local history timeline. Explore recommendations for sights, activities, food, lodging, entertainment, and festivals and events. No time to do all this online? Download a Toledo travel guide or have Amazon deliver one to you door. Discover Toledo [...]

Learn more about the UNESCO World Heritage List

Check out our UNESCO World Heritage index page for the latest full list of sites, complete with links to our dedicated destination pages.

Only interested in the most important sights? Choose from the Faber Dozen: UNESCO World Heritage Edition to see our fifteen best ideas for an unforgettable trip.

Just Browsing? Go back to the narangah Travel home page to uncover a wealth of travel information about destinations near and far. Imagine yourself there, and let us take you exploring around the world!

Discover your next adventure!

Get narangah Traveler sent to your inbox.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive regular travel news from around the world. We do not spam, and will not sell your data to anyone, ever.