Take your pick of these magical 5* castle retreats or stately manor homes, all in the most stunning locations in Northern Ireland. And all with plenty of interesting things to see and do around them. So, make dreams come true with a castle stay in Northern Ireland - even if it is only yours for a few days.
1. The Barbican Gatelodge
Standing at the end of an old stone bridge across the Glenarm River, The Barbican Gatelodge is a charming building complete with gothic windows and a stone turret staircase. Early evening delivers the most spectacular views here. So get ready to head up to the roof garden to see the coastline in all its twilight glory. This self-catering accommodation is the perfect romantic hideaway and the ideal starting point for a road trip to discover the dramatic Causeway Coast, stopping off at the 5* Giant’s Causeway and 4* Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge en route. From the wonderful to the quirky, this is Northern Ireland’s past and it’s all yours to explore. There’s the perfect spot out there for your romantic getaway, so go get it.
2. Killyleagh Castle Towers, County Down
Built in the 12th century by Norman knight, John de Courcy, Killyleagh Castle is the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland today, sitting close to the shores of Strangford Lough. The towers, where your self-catering property awaits, are by comparison mere newcomers. They didn’t put in an appearance till 1620s and are actually built into the defensive walls of the castle. For the record, they go by the names of Ava and Blackwood.
3. Ballygally Castle Hotel, County Antrim
Just 26 miles from Belfast and close to Larne, the enchanting Ballygally Castle Hotel (4*) sits at the tip of the Causeway Coastal Route, with views all the way across the Irish Sea. The castle dates back to 1625 and today is the only 17th century building in Northern Ireland still used as a residence. Character, charm, original beamed ceilings and restful contemporary décor add to the welcoming atmosphere. As does the reputedly friendly ghost. If you’re feeling brave enough, there’s a ‘ghost room’ in one of the towers where you can investigate the goings-on for yourself.
4. Helen’s Tower, County Down
If you like that top of the world feeling, Helen’s Tower is just made for you. In fact, it’s a castle just made for two, with sky-high views that go on forever. Perfect for a romantic getaway. Hidden on the edge of a winding country lane, this enchanting three storey, stone tower nestles deep in the woods on the Clandeboye Estate, perched high above the rolling hills of County Down with wonderful forest walks nearby