Northwest of downtown and 120m (394 feet) above sea level stands Belfast Castle, its 80-hectare (198-acre) estate spreading down the slopes of what is now Cave Hill Country Park. Dating from 1870, this was the family residence of the third marquis of Donegall, and it was built in the style of Balmoral Castle, the Scottish residence of the British monarch. The outside is more interesting than the inside, which has been sadly modernized over the years and is now a popular wedding venue. The estate, though, is a lovely place to visit, offering sweeping views of Belfast and the lough. Its cellars contain a Victorian arcade, a restaurant (open daily 11am–5pm, and Tuesdays until 9pm) and a shop selling antiques and crafts. According to legend, a white cat brought the castle residents luck, so look around for carvings featuring this much-loved feline.
Signposted off Antrim Rd., 2 1/2 miles (4km) north of the city center, Belfast, BT15 5GR
Our Rating Hours Tues–Sat 9am–10pm, Sun 9am–5:30pm, Mon 9am–6pm Phone 028/9077-6925 Prices Free admission and parking Web site Belfast Castle
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.