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Carlingford – the place where you fall in love with Ireland forever

When we talked about travelling on the Eastern coast of Ireland, we advised you to start your journey at the town of Carlingford, located near the boundary of Northern Ireland. Geographically, this place is so interestingly placed that it was even noted by the Normans, who built two castles on the opposite beaches of an eponymous gulf.

Even the town of Carlingford itself, located on the Cooley Peninsula, is adjoined by the eponymous gulf of Carlingford. Actually during the time of the Vikings this gulf was called a lake. Whatever its name is, the opposite beach is part of Northern Ireland. On this beach you can find the small Mourne Mountains and Greencastle.

As we earlier stated, the Normans, under the leadership of Lord Hugh de Lucy, built the castle of Carlingford on the Peninsula, which was later named King John’s Castle. This happened in 1210, after the English King John spent several days in Carlingford. Surprisingly Ireland has another castle, located in Limerick, named after King John, which was built on King John’s orders and which is of course; better than the one built in Carlingford by almost every aspect.

Carlingford Lough divides Ireland from Northern Ireland and for the barrier to be complete Narrow Water Castle was built.

View of Carlingford

But the most interesting thing in Carlingford is of course it’s the views of its surroundings. Our photos should give you some idea of the Peninsula and gulf, but it is of course better to visit this interesting place and see it with your own eyes.

Sadly we haven’t yet got the chance to visit the Northern beach of Carlingford Lough, but knowing that Greencastle, Kilfeaghan Dolmen and the Moorne Mountains are located there we hope visit some time soon.

Carlingford Lough

In Carlingford, you can not only view nature but also spend you time being active. The ‘Oyster Festival’ is held here yearly (this year from the 13th to 14th of August), where you can not only taste oysters, but also see a regatta, a street concert and a costumed play for the kids.

Apart from this, the town holds an Olympic Triathlon, Mountain Cycling (52km), Harbour Swim (50 and 100m). An event held on ‘Irish Heritage Week’ promises to be very interesting. On this event, seven voluntary families will have to live like their ancestors did 800 years ago. All these events will be held from August – September.


Coming back to the subject of Carlingford we would like to say that apart from its beauty Carlingford is also famous for its well known countryman, Thomas D’arsy McCee. In 1825 Thomas D’arsy McGee was born here, who became a respected politician in Canada and is tough to be one of the founding members of the Canadian Confederation. In 1991 a memorial was built in Carlingford in his honour. The prime ministers of both Ireland (The Taoiseach Mr.J.Haugh) and Canada (Brian Mulroney) were the ones that opened this memorial. Actually the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney also has Irish roots. His parents immigrated to Canada shortly before his birth.

As you can see, Carlingford has its fair share of things to see and do. The town of Carlingford itself is a mixture of Irish landscapes, a charming countryside and a calm seaside. If you ever decide to visit Carlingford don’t forget to buy the extraordinarily tasty ice-cream located there and only then go to ‘Magic Hill’ which is set only 15 Kilometres from Carlingford and which we will talk about in our next post.

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