Carrickfergus, steeped in history and legend

Located on the coastline along Belfast Lough, Carrickfergus has a renowned 12th century Norman Castle, built by John de Courcy. The castle overlooks an ancient fishing harbour. Carrickfergus is an historical town enclosed within 16th Century stone walls and there are tours available of the town throughout the year.

Carrickfergus has long been a haven for seafaring pursuits and has a spectacular and modern Marina. The town centre is just 8 miles, 15 minutes drive from Larne, which has a port of entry. Carrickfergus is 11 miles, 20 minutes drive from the capital Belfast. Carrickfergus is 50 miles, 1 hours drive from Portrush. Amazing coastal drive.

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local attractions

  • Carrickfergus Castle
  • St Nicholas Church
  • Andrew Jackson Cottage
  • Carrickfergus Marina
  • Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
  • Giant's Causeway
  • Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge

haunted hotel?

If you like a good ghost story, Dobbins Inn Hotel is the place for you.

It was during this period that the inn acquired its resident ghost, when Elizabeth, wife of the owner, Hugh Dobbins, fell in love with a handsome soldier, stationed at the castle opposite. At night she would creep through a secret tunnel (the entrance to which is still evident at the back of the huge stone fireplace in the hotel's reception) in order to enjoy romantic trysts with her soldier love, remembered simply as 'Buttoncap'. But her husband discovered their affair and, according to contemporary accounts, 'did put them to death with his sword'. Whether or not the husband was punished is not recorded, but Elizabeth' s ghost has wandered the building ever since.

In 1946 the old property was converted into a hotel and the spirit of Elizabeth - or Maude, as she for some reason became known - lingered on as its oldest resident. Several guests have been wakened from their slumbers by the light touch of a ghostly hand caressing their faces. Others have caught glimpses of a furtive figure flitting across reception and disappearing close to the stone fireplace. A waiter working in the restaurant one night was struck on the back of the leg by a coin, but when he turned to remonstrate with whoever had thrown it, found that the room was empty.

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