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“Could Be Better”

Carrickfergus Castle
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Owner description: Due to the military impenetrability of this castle the town of Carrickfergus long thrived even when surrounding villages suffered defeats.
Level 6 Contributor
466 reviews
294 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 397 helpful votes
“Could Be Better”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Couldn't agree more with the previous reviewer - I think this review says it all and I completely agree with all the points made.
We did enjoy our visit here - the castle is magnificent with some interesting history, views out to sea are great and we enjoyed strolling around the little marina after our visit. I thought it was a bit pricey for 6 of us to enter, we explored all the nooks and crannies, read all the notice boards, our son spent an eternity climbing on the cannons and we watched the films and had a game of giant chess but were not in there for more than about an hour.
I found the staff a bit disinterested and unfriendly, the visitor centre / shop is dull and uninspired and the cafe was shut when we were there.
There are maintenance issues for sure and the whole place just lacks something.
I wouldn't return and would only recommend if you are in Carrickfergus and find yourself with a spare half an hour. Even at that I would probably just take pictures from the outside and read a book about the history.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Joy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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603 reviews from our community

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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“It could be so much better”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Possibly one of the most photographed castles in Ireland, set in a superb location and with a fascinating history. It was a 'must see' for us on holiday but we left thinking it could have been so much better.

Firstly the car parking arrangements around the castle area - clear message from the authorities - get it wrong and we will penalise you heavily. If this was in central London I might agree but half of Carrickfergus looks as though it would benefit from a dramatic increase in visitors and their spending money. Why not offer free parking and a tourist friendly approach - not employing someone in a uniform with a book of penalty tickets to spoil a visitors day?

Secondly the castle itself - very friendly staff and plenty of info for visitors. A great building to wander around but the management appear to be asleep when it comes to basic maintenance at the town's premier visitor attraction.

On ascending the keep we expected to be able to get a 'bird's eye' view of the fortifications, the lough and the town. Unfortunately no access to the roof is allowed - did I travel hundreds of miles to jump off? Then on the upper floor we were met by a bucket catching the rainfall dripping from the ceiling above - various other stains suggested water ingress has been going on for some time. Then we went over to the large windows which have been fitted with double glazing units to enjoy the view - unfortunately the view was restricted as the double glazing had failed and condensation was restricting our view.

The exhibits were great, the giant chess set was enjoyed and the staff on duty were pleasant but we left thinking that the whole visitor experience could have been so much better. Note to management - you have a long way to go if you want to play in the premier division. Note to self - Ireland's history is ever more confusing after reading about all of the different groups of people who feature in the castle's history.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Rest757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fit for a king.”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Loved our visit to Carrickfergus castle. I use to come here a lot as a child however I haven't been in quite a while. I was worried that I would find it a little boring now however this was not the case. I went as a family day trip with my mum and brother and we all enjoyed ourselves. My brother is a big history buff and he loved reading all the facts around the castle. I would deff recommend this to anyone, it's a lovely day out and very interesting.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Jenni M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicosia, Cyprus
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great castle with an even greater view”
Reviewed 14 July 2014 via mobile

We rented a car and here was our first stop! Nice castle, and with some fantasy you can feel that you're back in the dark ages where knights and true kings still existed!

Thank Dennis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“King John on the John”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

An easy walk downhill from the train station, this castle is well preserved, fun and interesting. Life-size figures are scattered around to help you imagine reliving the history of this very old structure. It's a Norman castle, so I'm not sure if you can blame the English for invading this particular chip of land. King John came to visit, and you can see him in one of the castle "throne rooms" taking his ease. Displays show how the original castle was expanded, and two short videos in the Visitor's Center introduce you to the characters and history. The castle, the village and the surrounding countryside are all delightfully picturesque, even on a day with occasional drizzle.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Joe L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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