Today was an exceptionally sunny day so on a whim we decided to go out for the afternoon. Miss P is doing a module on castle at school so we thought we’d visit a castle at the nearby town of Carrickfergus so she could see one in real life.
I had last been to the castle many years ago with my dear Auntie Sandy who is no longer with us, I recall the day being very cold, wet and windy – no real surprises there for Northern Ireland. Today, however, the weather was glorious, blue skies and barely a cloud in the sky.
The castle is over 800 years old and last saw military action during World War 2. Following the short walk from the carpark, Miss E and Miss P were keen to get inside and explore.
We had to walk up quite a few steps to get to the top of the ramparts. This was the view that rewarded us when we got to the top – the marina and Belfast Lough.
There were several huge cannons on display. We then went inside the Keep (the fortified tower built within the castle) to investigate the different levels. There are 4 floors which we could visit. The ground floor contains the vaults, the 1st floor houses a model of the castle and the original well. There is also a room to watch a animated film on the history of the castle. The 2nd floor contains the Servery and Banquet Hall and the 3rd floor is the huge Solar Room. The Solar Room was the the girls favourite as it contained a giant chess game and a suit of armour and a chain mail suit.
Some of the rooms had windows that are little more than slits in the walls, but look how deep the walls are!
The castle contains a couple of original narrow and spiral staircases but we thought it best to stick to the user friendly modern day ones.
After leaving the castle, the girls got to play on the green outside and since we came prepared Miss P had a go with her new kite.
It really was perfect weather for a kite flying novice. Once we had enough we got ice creams from a van parked nearby and sat on a wall to eat them.
Overall we had a good afternoon, the girls enjoyed running around the castle both inside and outside and Miss P found it great that she could relate what she had learnt in school to something real.