Following on from my last Northern Ireland post, the breathtaking Dunluce Castle is a location which has also made a fleeting appearance in Game of Thrones, but such an amazing place seemed to deserve a dedicated post! Clinging to the coastline just a short drive along the glorious coastal road out of Bushmills, this medieval outcrop has a long history- and one which has been swept up in a considerable amount of myth and folk legend over the last five centuries too! Now a ruin, Dunluce Castle is through to have been built in 1513, before being seized in the 1550s by the MacDonnell clan. In a plot worthy of any of the best schemers in Westeros, the castle was seized by a younger brother after the death of the clan leader, who then went on to swear allegiance to Elizabeth I. Local legend holds that part of the castle kitchen was swept into the sea during a particularly extravagant feast (although the lovely lady at the visitor information desk told us that there is no factual evidence to back this fantastically tall tale up!)
Although the castle remained the seat of the Earls of Antrim until the late 1600s, it was left to become a ruin after the MacDonnell clan lost everything following the Battle of the Boyne. Nevertheless, it's still an incredible site, and stands as testament to the sheer power of the sea and rough weather along that stretch of coastline- so much so that exploring it in glorious sunshine felt a little bit inappropriate! To top off our trip, we sat down for a gorgeous slice of cake at the top of the hill- this rose and pistachio slice which Elodie and I shared was well and truly worthy of such spectacular surroundings- prepared in a kitchen which was well and truly fixed on firm ground!
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)