Located in north-eastern Ireland, about an hour’s drive from Dublin, Carlingford is one of Ireland’s most beautiful and well preserved medieval villages. It is part of County Louth, and has wonderful mountains and sea views.

Carlingford-IrelandFlickr/rosario fiore

An interesting past

One can fully appreciate the beauty of Carlingford village by knowing a bit about its history. This village was raided and occupied by the Vikings in the 8th and 9th century. Later, in the 12th century, a permanent area of settlement was established by Hugh de Lacy, a Norman knight. The village then played an important role as a trading port, primarily due to its excellent strategic location on the east coast of Ireland. Tourism was introduced to the village in the 1870’s, and has been the mainstay of the economy in recent times.

Carlingford’s attractions and activities

No visit to Carlingford is complete without visiting King John’s Castle. This castle was the very point at which Carlingford was officially established by Hugh de Lacy. The castle was named after King John, who visited the village in 1210. There is no entry allowed for visiting the interiors of the castle though, but the spectacular views of the sea from the viewing area makes a visit here memorable. The Tholsel or town gate is another interesting piece of architecture. This was used as a place to levy taxes on goods entering the village, and later on, even served as the village jail. Another historic structure is the Dominican Friary. This was the area where Dominican monks used to live, and any visitor can get an idea of the monastic lifestyle by visiting the Friary ruins.

If you are seeking an adrenaline rush, then go to the Carlingford Adventure Centre. Here, you can try your hand at zorbing, kayaking and rock climbing. Adventure seekers simply love coming here, as there are even half day and full day packages available. If you want to see Carlingford from the sea, then book a seat on a ferry cruise. There are different cruise options available, and last about an hour up to an hour and a half.

The Carlingford experience provides a mix of history and adventure and you too will feel the same if you visit this Irish village.

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