Tourist Attractions Around Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland
If you are travelling to Ireland for a seaside holiday this year, then you may want to consider coming to Carlingford in County Louth. Carlingford has a long history and some medieval streets remain, along with the old mint and tollgate. You can visit the remains of a Norman Castle that is reputed to have been occupied for a time by King John.
The Growth of Carlingford
Carlingford is situated on the east coast of Ireland, and it is this which made it an important trading port, particularly during the late middle ages. The town received the first of its five charters in 1326 from Edward the Second, and this resulted in a growing merchant class, which made it an important town for trading. By the late eighteenth century, much of the town was in ruins because of the Ulster risings. However, during the mid-nineteenth century the town’s fortunes started to improve, as it became a popular tourist town. Fishing is still an important industry in Carlingford and every year, usually in August, it hosts the Carlingford Oyster Festival.
Staying in Carlingford
Apart from a range of bed and breakfast accommodation, as well as villas and apartments, there is a wide range of hotels in Carlingford. If you are looking for luxury, self-catering accommodation, then you will find it all at Carlingford Heights. Accommodation rates are generally reasonable and there is no pre-booking fee. The mountain views are wonderful, as well as private parking and all the conveniences you would expect from modern establishments.
Places to Visit
King John’s Castle and the Merchant House, or Taaffe’s Castle as it is sometimes known, are two of the oldest buildings in the town and well worth a visit. The latter is a town house with fortifications, once owned by the Taaffe family, part of the historical growing mercantile class in the town. The town gate, or the Tholsel, is one of the few remaining examples of its kind, particularly in Ireland.
Carlingford Mint is another historical building, parts of which date back to the 1400s. The building has traces of art that date back to the sixteenth century, and although it is called a mint, it’s thought that it was never used for that purpose. The town wall was given a charter in 1326 by King Edward, and it’s thought that goods and people had to go through the gate to enter the town, which allowed officials to monitor who came and went.
Modern Day Carlingford
While the town has plenty of historical attractions, it is also a favourite seaside resort. Most of the town’s historical buildings and artefacts have remained because it did not take well to heavy industry – good news for those who wish to visit today!
Planning a holiday in Ireland in 2017?
The end of January is usually the time when most people start to think about the summer – and begin planning their holiday. If you have never been to Ireland then summer is the best time of year to see this beautiful country.
Whether you plan to fly to Ireland, take the ferry, or make the drive, it is a good idea to plan your route before you go. Carlingford is a great place to stay; it’s near the border and very beautiful, but Ireland also has some beautiful coves and mountains, as well as some great city sights, so be prepared for variety. Winter can be grim at this time of year, so why not brighten things up, and start making your arrangements when you can begin planning your 2017 holiday to Ireland now?
You’ve probably heard the song about Dublin’s fair city, and if you have ever been there then you’ll know that is the best way to describe this part of Ireland. Dubliners are friendly people, and more than willing to tell you all about their home town. Dublin is a decidedly cultural spot, and in 2010 was designated Unesco City of Literature. This is the city that produced many famous poets and legendary writers, including James Joyce.
There is a route that runs through the city and is known as the Dubline, which is comprised of various trails that introduce you to the history, culture, and buildings of he city. But Dublin is also a place that is renowned for its nightlife and its sophisticated shopping. If you do decide to visit Ireland this year, then make seeing Dublin a priority.
If you are visiting the south of Ireland, then Cork is a must-see. Cork is home to one of Ireland’s oldest clans, the O’Connells, which, legend has it, was the clan of the ancient King of all Ireland. There are plenty of places to stay in Cork, whether you are looking for a budget priced bed and breakfast or one of Ireland’s grand hotels. Ireland is renowned for its hospitality; whether you choose a self-catering holiday or one of the city’s many guesthouses, you can be sure of a warm bed, good food, and a fantastic welcome. East Cork has a rich history and is a favourite spot for summer holidays. Whether you are into shopping, sports, or literary festivals, Cork has a lot to offer its visitors.
Consider a trip north of the border if you’re coming to Carlingford! The troubles are long over in Belfast and more people visit the city every year. Like most other parts of the island, Belfast has a rich history, plenty of places to visit and a host of things to do and places to eat and drink. The transport links are good so you shouldn’t have any problems getting there. While in the North why not plan a Giants Causeway Tour, considered one of the wonders of the world.
Why wait until the summer to plan your Irish holiday when you can start finding out about the options today?
Hen Parties – Best hen night venues in Carlingford
Located at the foot of the Cooley and Mourne mountains, the coastal town of Carlingford is a great place to choose for a hen party that’s both stylish and fun. Those who want a dignified night to remember, with just a side order of mischief, should consider choosing Carlingford and heading out to the some of the best hen night venues in the city. Here are just a few of our favourites to consider.
At the Four Seasons, guests not only have the chance to partake in a wonderful dinner, but they can also make their own cocktails. This is a great way to get your hen night started, as everyone can create their ideal cocktails as a preliminary drink before the real shenanigans of the night begin.
Taaffes Castle is easily one of the trendiest places in Carlingford, which is ironic given that it is also one of the oldest. The castle has been turned into a hotspot that offers your choice of dining, activities, accommodation and more. If you are just looking for a place to party, than Taaffes is an awesome choice.
Inside the castle is an old fashioned pub, which is open seven days a week. It has an open layout and plenty of great pints on tap. If you are looking for a bit more privacy, you can call the pub in advance of your visit and book a reserved area, so that your entire party can be seated together. Then, when you are really ready to get down and party, you can head upstairs to the number one disco bar in Carlingford and dance the night away. The DJ’s spin all through the night and the best part is there is never a cover charge!
PJ O’Hare’s Carlingford
If you are looking for something fairly gentle to start the night before the craziness begins, you may want to plan a trip over to PJ O’Hare’s. The food is great, the atmosphere is fun, and the people are friendly and jovial. This is also a great place to end the evening if you need a place to decompress, and the pub-style food always hits the spot after a hard night’s partying.
For a coastal experience in an authentic old pub you can do no better than Lily Finnegan’s. Tucked into the Cooley Peninsula, this gem has been carefully restored so that it has remained completely authentic. Complete with a flagstone floor, this pub is a charming place to drink great Guinness and enjoy the fine views of the city.
Top 10 Golf courses in Ireland near Carlingford
Carlingford is a delightful coastal village that offers some tremendous views which can easily be appreciated from the golf course. In fact, the moors and the mountains make the golf courses in Ireland near Carlingford some of the best. Here is a look at the top ten golf courses near Carlingford.
Royal County Down Golf Club – The Royal County Down Golf Club is a shortish distance from Carlingford; it is a 30 mile drive, but for those who want a memorable experience it is worth the trip. Consistently voted in the top 10 of best golf courses in the world, the club is one of the oldest and most historic in the UK, and features two courses and quite a few course amenities. If you can this is well worth the visit to play this world class links course.
Cloverhill Golf Club – Found in neighbouring Newry, the Cloverhill Golf Club is an affordable choice and offers golfers access to a restaurant and a bar after their game.
Kilkeel Golf Club – Take a quick jump over to Mourne Park, and enjoy the parkland golf course enclosed inside the Kikeel Golf Club, as well as the putting greens and driving range.
Greenore Golf Club – Those that want a premier golf experience without a long drive will want to check out the Greenore Golf Club, which offers finely groomed greens as well as a chipping area, putting green, and driving range.
Dundalk Golf Club – Located in nearby Dundalk, this golf course offers 18 holes and a reasonable tee fee that makes it a great choice to visit during the weekdays or the weekends, with plenty of nearby pubs you can pop into afterwards.
Warrenpoint Golf Club – The wooded parkland golf course found at Warrenpoint Golf Club is very picturesque and quite fun to play. Golfers will feel as if they are literally in the middle of a forest for most of their game, due to the pine lined course!
Mayobridge Golf Club – The parkland golf course is a favourite among regular golfers in Newry, due to its low tee costs and the fact that it offers its players access to a restaurant and bar on the premises.
Ballymascanlon Golf Club – Located about ten kilometres from Carlingford, the Ballymascanlon Golf Course offers a resort-like experience, topped off with a hotel on the premises for those who want to stay a while.
Ashfield Golf Club – Those looking for a quick and inexpensive game will want to hop over to Newry and try out the Ashfield Golf Club. While the clubhouse may not be as full as some of the other choices, the greens are in great condition and fun to play through.
Killin Park Golf Course – Situated in Dundalk, the Killin Park Golf Course offers visitors a great way to get in a quick 18 holes, before relaxing at a nearby pub. Popular with all ages, the golf course is well maintained and fun to play.
This is just a small selection of the spectacular golf courses available within an hours drive of Carlingford.
The history of Carlingford, County Louth
Carlingford, County Louth, is a coastal town that is delightfully ‘Irish’ in every way and is located in North of Ireland. It has a very rich medieval history that is still present in the town, making it a wonderful place to visit. Many of its streets are still medieval, and the town even has a Mint and an old Toll Gate still standing for visitors to see today. It has a very rich history that makes it an even more intriguing place to holiday…
The town was first occupied by Hugh De Lacy, a Norman knight that built the foundation for his castle with rock. Soon a settlement popped up near the castle foundation, although the actual castle construction is thought to have been started by King John around 1210. The castle is now a large ruin that sits on the solid rock, with sea to the sides and mountain on the inland edge.
The fact that Carlingford sits on the coast is one reason why it was prosperous as a trading port for many years. The trade helped the town become quite well to do, from the 14th through to the 16th century. It did falter for a moment in 1388, when the Scots burnt the town to the ground to punish Ireland for attacks on Galloway, but it was then rebuilt.
Over the course of time the town received five charters, starting with one from Edward II in 1326 and ending with a charter by James I in 1619. Throughout this time trade continued to increase, helping to build a healthy mercantile class within the town, which can still be observed by visiting Taffe’s Castle and the Mint. During this time Carlingford was well known for its Green Finned Oysters, which were also one of its main sources of employment.
The local economy, however, took a fall in 1641 due to the Cromwellian Conquest and then the Williamite Wars that followed close behind in the 1690s. The economy tanked as the town was left in ruins.
Due to the fact that heavy industry never developed in Carlingford the town’s medieval layout remained intact, along with the mediaeval ruins. In the 1870s the area was opened up to tourism by a railway that passed through it. Although the line closed in 1951, it exposed the town enough that tourism is still a prime source of employment in the area. Fishing also continues to be a mainstay of the economy.
Best locations for fishing in Carlingford
Carlingford sits along the coast, and throughout history has actually been supported by its coastal location. For a while, trade was the backbone of the local economy, as well as fishing and the oysters that the town was known for. Although the trading port is no longer open for business, Carlingford still offers some of the best seafood in Northern Ireland. If you are looking to fish while staying on holiday, then you will be impressed, but you need to know where to head. Here are just a few of the best fishing locations around Carlingford.
Carlingford Lough offers grand fishing opportunities with a picturesque village setting more inland. The Lough is a great place to fish, with the backdrop of the Cooley Mountains and Slieve Gullion in front of you. During the summer months the Lough offers an abundance of mackerel, and during the winter, whiting and flounder are more popular.
While you can fish in the winter, most people go to Carlingford during the summer months for tope fishing. Those who wish to get out on their small boats will find that the best way to fish in the Lough is by dropping an anchor. There are a lot of slipways that dot the southern shore of the Lough where you can easily launch a small boat, and there are also some charter boat services for those who need to hire a vessel.
The best type of fishing in Lough Carlingford is ledger fishing, with the use of large bait. During the summer months, the best bait to use from boats is sand-eel and mackerel. You can manage to catch everything with a bit of luck, from codling to mackerel to dogfish.
If you head in close to Carlingford Village you will find a place that the locals refer to as ‘the West Hole.’ The townspeople are friendly, and will direct you towards it if you ask. This spot is an excellent place to fish for tope without leaving the shore, which can be handy if you do not have a boat!
Additionally, the shore around the lighthouse is a great spot to fish for those who are looking for sea trout, ray, pollack, mackerel, and dogfish. Those who spin fish will also be able to catch some bass with some luck. Anglers, however, should be careful when fishing in this spot, because there are some strong currents that wash in near the lighthouse.
If you are visiting Carlingford for a fishing trip with your mates, check out Carlingford Heights Accommodation and enjoy your trip in luxury.
Ten Reasons to Visit Carlingford Heights
Carlingford Heights is in County Louth, Ireland, and has wonderful countryside views, especially if you stay in the Swiss style lodge. Ireland is a friendly country, and its people are full of tales of the myths and legends that abound in that part of the world. The area is only fifty miles from Dublin Airport, but, in style, many more miles from any large city or town! The heights in Carlingford offer wonderful views to visitors, as do the not far distant Mountains of Mourne.
There are plenty of places to stay in Carlingford, and some are great just to visit. The Swiss style lodge at Carlingford Heights has plenty of space, and this self-catering accommodation has some of the best views of the area of Carlingford and of Slieve Foy. The lodge is just a short walk away from Carlingford itself, and from all the things this part of Ireland has to offer its visitors.
The Irish are noted for their connections with the fairy world; Carlingford is no exception as it is reputed to be the home of the last leprechaun. When you go on this visit you’ll be taken to the shop where there are hundreds of leprechauns to choose from; then it’s upstairs for a talk. You will hear the story of the leprechauns, and that Carlingford is reputed to be the home of the last one. Kevin, who tells the story, is said to be a leprechaun whisperer and when you go down into the cavern, you’ll also hear about the fairies and the magical sprite.
The centre is the home of the Cooley range of whiskies, and you’ll learn how they distill the spirit and about coopering, which is an ancient trade.
Visit the Carlingford Adventure Centre and join in some of the great activities that are available to visitors. It’s also the place where they host hen and stag parties who want a taste of adventure.
Visit the Marina while you’re in Carlingford for some wonderful views, especially those looking out across the sea.
The Design House
If you visit the design house towards the end of your stay, you will find plenty of wonderful gifts, including some beautiful jewellery for the people back home.
Visit the Ghan House cookery school, and see what goes into both local dishes and into cuisine from across Ireland.
Carlingford Heritage Centre
The Carlingford Heritage Centre is housed in a beautiful medieval church, which is also used for weddings and other functions. You will also see the written history of the area, including when the Vikings landed.
Carlingford Farmers’ Market
Even if you are staying in a place where all of your meals are provided, a visit to the local farmers’ market makes for a good day out.
Carlingford is a medieval town with a long history, and a visit to the castle is a must when you are in the area.
Best Reasons to Have Your Walking Tour in Carlingford
Carlingford is a beautiful part of County Louth, Ireland; it’s a medieval town with a long history, and it has some of the best mountain views you will ever see. If you enjoy walking tours then this is the place to have your next one! The walking tour is on every day at 11.00 in the morning, and again at three in the afternoon. You will hear about Carlingford and the changes in the town and the local area, from the time of the Vikings to the present day. It is believed that the town was actually founded by the Vikings, and Carlingford is thought to be a Viking name as it gave shelter to their ships.
The views of the mountains and sea around Carlingford are breathtaking. This area is regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, and you will see those views for yourself on this memorable walking tour. You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will tell you about the history of the area, and show you the most beautiful views around.
The Vikings were seafaring warriors who inhabited the area in and around Carlingford in the eighth and ninth centuries. It is believed that they used Carlingford Bay, which is a sheltered harbour, as a place to moor their boats, if only on a temporary basis. As you walk around the area, your guide will tell you all the magical tales that are part of Carlingford’s history.
The town still has its medieval layout of streets and lanes that wind around the area. The lanes lead out to Carlingford’s harbour and its beautiful marina.
King John’s Castle
King John’s Castle is situated on the Carlingford Lough shores. Hugh de Lacy is reputed to have built the castle in which King John stayed as long ago as 1210. In the early years, there was an enclosed courtyard around the castle with towers at the entrance. The castle was modified in 1261 when the eastern half of the castle was built.
At the Church of the Holy Trinity, which dates back to the 13th Century, great renovations were undertaken at the start of the 19th Century. The church has been donated by the Church of Ireland as a heritage centre for Carlingford.
The Dominican Friary
The friary in Castleford was first established in the town in 1305, and the building itself was dedicated to St. Malachy. The chancel and knave, which are divided by a tower, are all that remains of the original friary building. To the south east of the friary itself, there is a mill and a pond. In 1548, Henry VIII dissolved the friary, as he was doing with most of the religious houses. The Dominicans eventually left the building and moved on.
There is more than enough to see on a guided walk through Castleford, and the guides are extremely knowledgeable about the area and its history, so it is worth going if you visit the area.
Things to do in Carlingford during your stay in Carlingford Heights
Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland, offers plenty of great activities that everybody can enjoy whether they’re families, couples, singles, or just local people looking for something fun to do. The following is a quick rundown of some of the top attractions in Carlingford.
First up on the list is the magical Leprechaun and Fairy Underground Cavern. The naturally formed cavern has been transformed into a mystical home for leprechauns and fairies. Guests not only get to tour this display of wonderful geology, but they also get to listen to the local guide wax lyrical with stories of the days of old, when the leprechauns and fairies ran free in Ireland. Regardless of age, by the end of the tour you will probably believe in every word!
Up next on the list for thrill-seekers and the adventurous is the Carlingford Adventure Centre. This unique outdoor mega-centre for adults offers everything from a high ropes course to zip-lining, paintball, archery and more. The brave can even try out Zorbing (rolling downhill inside an inflatable ball) for a unique activity they will be talking about for years. There truly is something for everyone and those who want to experience it all can try multiple activities at the SkyPark or the Land Extravaganza.
Time for a Bite
The Carlingford Marina is a picturesque spot offering a great scenic view and plenty of nearby sights to tour. Within walking distance of the marina are half a dozen quaint bed and breakfasts, village shops, and some great local cafes. Cafe Marina is a great spot to dine and offers fabulous views, whether you sit inside or out on the terrace.
If you just want to get outside and enjoy the local scenery around Carlingford, then consider parking your car and walking or cycling along the Carlingford to Omeath Greenway. The off-road walkway is a great, safe option for families or those cycling recreationally, and features a variety of foliage and fauna along the walk. Depending on the season there are different wildflowers, plenty of birds, and sometimes even lambs out in the field as the sea laps against the shores.
Finally, a trip to Carlingford is not complete without a stop at the Candyford Sweet Shop. This shop is known for having just about every sweet you have ever heard of, and more. They have treats from decades ago, a full range of modern sweets, and even some from international suppliers. Those who feel the need to cool off will certainly take delight in their many unique flavours of ice cream, including honeycomb.
A quick guide to the best pubs and restaurants in Carlingford
There are plenty of great places to eat and grab a pint in Carlingford, County Louth, whether you live nearby or are looking for a place to pop into while on holiday. Here are just a few choices to help you figure out where to start.
Up first on the list is gastro pub PJ O’Hares. This delightfully Irish pub offers a great menu that includes several fresh seafood dishes. The pub often gets buzzing inside, but the beer garden stays quiet outdoors for those who want a lower-key experience. However, the open fire indoors and the warm atmosphere are just as intoxicating as the beer garden.
Next on the list is The Bay Tree, which is often included as a package deal for those who stay at local bed and breakfasts. Its inclusion in the must-try list is obvious to anyone dining at the quiet and private dining room. From vegetables to seafood to dessert, everything is locally sourced and delivered to guests with a smile.
Time for Tea?
Although not quite a restaurant, a trip to Carlingford is not complete without a stop at Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms, which is an attraction in itself. Ideal for lunch or dessert, the tea rooms are charmingly historical and guests are treated to an authentic tea served off beautiful china and vintage tableware. The menu offers soups, gourmet desserts, and tray bakes. The baked goods are all fresh, and so light that you will want more.
Those who want a more raucous Irish experience will want to stop over at the Carlingford Arms for lunch or dinner. This authentic pub offers great live music most nights and excellent pub food to match their great pints. The daily menu includes classic pub fare such as fish and chips, lasagne, and seafood. The pub is known for its large portion sizes, so make sure you come hungry and ready to have a bold time!
Rounding off the list is the Kingfisher Bistro, which is the perfect place to enjoy fine dining outside under the sun. The patio settings are idyllic, but not as tantalizing as the eclectic menu which includes monkfish, garlic mash, oysters, chicken fillet, and sticky rice. The portion sizes are large and the chiefs are talented, adding in great touches on every plate. Plus, the wine menu is diverse, with something to pair with every dinner entrée, so you can walk away fully satisfied every time.