Dunluce Castle



Dunluce Castle History

Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce, In the 13th century. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about 9 metres (30 ft) in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the McQuillans after they became lords of the "an Rúta" (territory) in the early 1500s.

Later Dunluce Castle became the home of the chief of the Clan MacDonnell of Antrim and later John Mor MacDonald the 6th chief Clan Donald of Scotland. In 1584 with the passing off John Mor MacDonald, the Antrim Glens and Castle were seized by Sorley Boy MacDonnell, making it the seat again solely of the MacDonnell Clan. Sorley Boy took the castle, keeping it for himself and improving it in the Scottish style. Sorley Boy swore allegiance to the crown and his son Randal was made 1st Earl of Antrim by King James I.

The Girona, a galleass (Ship) from the Spanish Armada, was wrecked in a storm on the rocks at Lacada Point on the night of 26 October 1588. Cannons from the ship were installed in the gatehouses and the rest of the cargo sold, funding restoration of the castle.

Dunluce Castle served as the seat of the Earl of Antrim until the impoverishment of the MacDonnells in 1690, following the Battle of the Boyne and the Clan picking the losing side of King James. Since that time, the castle has deteriorated and parts were scavenged to serve as materials for nearby buildings

Dunluce Castle Game of Thrones

The Castle has become a tourist hotspot not only for the stunning views on offer but more recently its claim to fame with being used in the iconic show Game of Thrones and used as Seat of House Greyjoy, the great castle of Pyke.

- Dunluce Castle Information -

The distance between Belfast and Dunluce Castle is 50 miles. The road distance is 59.5 miles. The daily Giants Causeway tour and Game of Thrones tour visits here and returns to Belfast daily.

Dunluce castle tickets & admission information 2020.
Pay on arrival.

  • Adult - £5.50
  • Child (age 4 - 16) - £3.50
  • Student and Benefit Claimants £3.50
  • Family (up to 5 members, including up to 3 adults) - £15.00
  • Group rate(10 plus, must be pre-booked) - £4 per person
  • Child under 4 - Free

Getting to Dunluce castle could not be easier. We have a daily Giants Causeway tour and a daily Game of Thrones tour - both depart central Belfast daily. Each tours stop at the House of Greyjoy - Dunluce.

  • Daily: 09.30 – 16.00 - Last entry strictly 15.30

The first Dunluce Castle was built in the 13th Century by Richard Óg de Burg and later became the seat of the McQuillans, until they were displaced by the MacDonnell clan in the 16th Century. The MacDonnells fell on hard times after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and the castle fell into disrepair shortly after. Today its serves as a tourist location, offering stunning views over the ocean.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency - The people.


The castle was modified with CGI, but Dunluce Castle is still instantly recognisable from the hit show Game of Thrones, It was used as Castle Greyjoy.

Dunluce castle - 'Dunluce' meaning 'strong fort' - rests on the edge of the clifftops between Bushmills and Portrush. ... Underneath the fortification, a sea cave could hide several boats for a quick escape to Rathlin Island or Scotland.

Dunluce Castle, provides a perfect backdrop for a fairytale ceremony. This dreamy location is flanked by rolling fields of green grass and endless sea views - to have your ceremony there, you simply park up, walk out, and say your vows.