Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sights to See: Carlingford, Ireland

CARLINGFORD  1 hour north of Dublin, on the Cooley Peninsula. 
Located halfway between Dublin and Belfast, Carlingford was raided and occupied by the Vikings in the 8th and 9th centuries.  It retains its original narrow medieval streets and lanes and is Ireland’s best-preserved medieval village, and its sheltered harbor provides views across the water of the majestic Slieve Foye mountain and the famous mountains of Mourne.

King John's Castle in Carlingford, Ireland
The 13th-century King John’s Castle is a landmark for Cuan Aighneach--the town’s ancient name, which translates as "Haven of the People with the Perfect Reputation."  The magical area also seems to be leprechaun central. 

Ghan House  +353 (0) 42937-3682.  12 rooms.  Situated beside Carlingford Lough and just a short stroll from the village, this L-shaped 18th-century Early Georgian house has been converted into an inn that is probably most famous for its restaurant.  The kitchen staff grows their own vegetables and makes all stocks, chutneys, jams, breads, and ice creams in house.

rack of Cooley lamb at Ghan House in Carlingford, Ireland
Guests can have a cocktail in the bar, then go upstairs to the exquisite dining room for dinner by candlelight.  A cooking school—the third-oldest in Ireland--is available to groups.

guest room at Ghan House in Carlingford, Ireland
Upstairs, guest rooms with mountain views are furnished with family antiques.  This charming lodging is particularly popular with ladies on a “hen weekend.”

P.J. O’Hare pub  Tholsel St., 042-9373106.  Established in 1860, this popular pub pours a proper Guinness and is also a great spot for an Irish coffee.  Don’t leave without viewing the display of leprechaun bones in a wall cabinet. 

Carlingford Oyster Company  This renowned oyster farm is home to the famous Carlingford Oyster.
owner and workers at Carlingford Oyster Company in Carlingford, Ireland
Oysters have thrived in Carlingford Lough for centuries, and the Louet-Feisser family has been farming them here for 39 years.  The unique sweet taste and high meat content makes these oysters prized gourmet treasures.  This company supplies top restaurants throughout Ireland and the U.K.

More things to do in Ireland. 

More information about Ireland.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images and video ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


  1. How I love Ireland! Carlingford looks wonderful, and we should put it on the list for when we return. There is much that we didn't see in Ireland with only a week there.

  2. Ever since watching the Vikings series on HBO I can totally understand the appeal of following in the footsteps of those formidable adventurers. Carlingford looks like a great place to begin

  3. Thanks for sharing more of Ireland with us. Can't wait to go ourselves!

  4. Hmm. The Vikings. "Formidable adventurers" or rapers and pillagers---or maybe some of both. When we visited Ireland, I was surprised by their omnipresence in Irish history.

  5. Maybe one day (when they have a real summer) I will visit Ireland! So often that I hear or read enticing stories about this country, and almost all Irish I've ever met were lovely people - if sometimes hidden under a rough demeanor...

  6. I love the look of St. John's Castle. Leprechaun bones and fresh oysters - Carlingford sounds like an interesting visit.

  7. Love the moodiness in your first shot. Spent many weeks in Ireland a few years ago but not enough time in and around the Dublin area.

  8. I've never been to Ireland but your post makes it tempting!

  9. My daughter and I were fortunate to visit Ireland on our summer European Adventure last month. We only had time to enjoy Dublin and Kilkenny though. I can't wait to come back and see the history of Carlingford and those fresh oysters make me hungry.

  10. This makes me want to visit Ireland, I've never had an interest before. Staying in a small personable inn with a gourmet restaurant sounds divine to me :)

    1. Sounds like you might also like The Merrion in Dublin,