Dunluce Castle: The real-life house of Greyjoy from Game of Thrones

By Aashima

Castle! The word takes you back to the era of kings, queens, kingdoms, soldiers, battles, and the grandeur of the ruins left behind. 

Dunluce Castle gives you the same feeling you imagine when listening to the word castle. 

It is a spectacular ruin that dates chiefly to the 16th and 17th centuries. 

This incredible ruin sits on the steep rocks facing the horizon, with the beautiful sea shimmering below. 

Dunluce Castle, one of the most photographed attractions in Northern Ireland, is also featured in the iconic show Game of Thrones. 

History buff or not, Dunluce Castle in Ireland is a must-visit to see the awe-inspiring historical site.

Include this beautiful attraction on your list with the Giant’s Causeway, and get ready to explore these significant locations with expert guides. Book a guided tour now!

Where is Dunluce Castle located? 

Dunluce Castle lies on the northern coast of Ireland.

It is located near Bushmills and about 4 miles from Portrush.

Dunluce Castle Location

Since it is near Bushmills, you can check out the Old Bushmills Distillery. 

This living history is also close to the Giant’s Causeway (approx. 7 km) and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (approx. 12 km). 

Therefore, we recommend that you visit these wonders along with Dunluce Castle.

Dunluce Castle History

Dunluce Castle is an integral part of Ireland’s architectural history.

Its timeless beauty has been the site of bloody battles between clans vying for control of this majestic castle.

Because who does not want to rule this flawlessly crafted structure?

Dunluce Castle was the home of several family “clans,” including the McQuillans, the MacDonnells, and Scottish settlers.

The remnants we see today are from the 16th and 17th centuries, during the period of Clan MacDonnell.

MacDonell’s supremacy fell after the Battle of Boyne in 1960, and they withdrew from Dunluce.

During the 17th century, Dunluce Castle served as the residence of the Earls of Antrim.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of archaeological findings, which can give you an idea about the lives of people in the past. Buy your tickets to Dunluce Castle now!

Dunluce Castle Exploration

The beautiful castle sitting splendidly on the cliff has so much to offer.

It is worth visiting because its courtyard ruins, towers, and living quarters reveal its rich history.

Since Dunluce Castle in Ireland sits impressively on a lofty cliff along the Causeway Coast of Antrim, it offers a paradisiacal ocean view.

After witnessing its grandeur, one might marvel at how this enduring legend has survived for many years.

After wandering through the ruins, you can descend a stairway to explore the cave beneath Dunluce.

With Dunluce Castle, you can also read our article on the best time to visit the Giant’s Causeway.

Dunluce Castle Game of Thrones

Dunluce Castle has its fair share of silver-screen fame as well. 

Being a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones, you will quickly realize that the Dunluce castle served as the House of Greyjoy in the Iron Islands.

Not only this, but Dunluce Castle also appeared on the inner sleeve of the album “Houses of the Holy ” by Led Zeppelin. 

Dunluce Castle hours

Dunluce Castle is open daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm, with the last admission at 4.30 pm.

The castle is closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

There are some exceptions to the opening hours. For example, the castle may be closed for special events or maintenance. 

It is advisable to visit before the last admission 30 minutes before closing.

Dunluce Castle price

With Dunluce Castle tickets, you can cruise around the Northern Island, ticking off the Giant’s Causeway, Game of Thrones locations, and Dark Hedges from your list.

On a guided tour from Dublin to Dunluce Castle, you will receive breakfast, lunch, and a break to stretch your legs.

Hence, travel down to all these romantic avenues for just €80 per person.


Can you go inside Dunluce Castle?

Yes, you can go inside Dunluce Castle. 

The castle is open to the public, and visitors can explore the ruins of the castle. 

However, some areas of the castle are not accessible to the public, such as the kitchen, which fell into the sea in 1639.

How much time does it take to explore Dunluce Castle?

It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to cover Dunluce Castle, Ireland.

However, it can vary depending on how much time you want to spend and your interest in the castle’s history.

What is the cave under Dunluce Castle?

The cave under Dunluce Castle is known as Mermaid’s Cave. 

It is a natural sea cave under the castle’s kitchen, about 300 feet long and 60 feet wide. 

It is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can take a boat trip into the cave.

Did Game of Thrones film at Dunluce Castle?

Yes, Game of Thrones did film at Dunluce Castle.

The iconic castle served as one of the filming locations for the hit TV series.

It was specifically used to depict the exterior shots of the Greyjoy family’s stronghold, Pyke, located on the Iron Islands.

Why is Dunluce Castle famous?

Dunluce Castle has gained recognition through its appearances in popular culture.

Its unique position on the cliff, combined with its distinctive stone walls and towers, showcases the impressive medieval construction techniques of the time.

Despite its ruined state, the castle’s remnants still reflect its former grandeur.

Why was Dunluce Castle abandoned?

Dunluce Castle was abandoned primarily due to a significant part of the kitchen collapsing into the sea during a storm in the 17th century.

This incident led to the decision to abandon the castle as a residence.

Over time, Dunluce Castle fell into disrepair and became a ruin. Today, it stands as a historic landmark and tourist attraction, showcasing the remnants of its intriguing past.

Do you have to pay for Dunluce Castle?

Yes, visitors must pay an entrance fee of €80 per person to access the castle grounds and explore its historic ruins.

Also, please note that there is limited access for wheelchair users at this location.

Additionally, it is required that an adult accompany all children.

What movies were filmed at Dunluce Castle?

Dunluce Castle has been featured in several movies and television shows. Here are some notable productions that were filmed at Dunluce Castle:

Roaming Through Northern Ireland (1949)
Game of Thrones
The Medallion (2003)
A Shine of Rainbows (2009)

Featured Image: Discovernorthernireland.com

Aashima (1)
About the author

Aashima is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.