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Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Glenarm Castle, in the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland
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Glenarm Castle, in the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland

King John granted Glenarm a municipal charter in the 13th century. It is said to be the oldest town in Ireland.

Glenarm Castle is the ancestral home of the MacDonnells, who have been Earls of Antrim for 400 years.

 

Glenarm, Northern Ireland
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Glenarm, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Before that, the seat of the Earls of Antrim was the medieval Dunluce Castle.

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
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Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

Guided tours of the Glenarm Castle are available occasionally throughout the year.

Family portraits line the foyer, which dazzles with light from the elegant crystal chandeliers.

Glenarm Estate foyer, Glenarm, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
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foyer

foyer, Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
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foyer

The family generally stays here at their country estate during school holidays.

Randal, Viscount Dunluce, son of the 14th Earl of Antrim and his wife Aurora, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
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Randal, Viscount Dunluce, son of the 14th Earl of Antrim and his wife Aurora, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland

portrait of Aurora, wife of Randal, Viscount Dunluce, son of the 14th Earl of Antrim, with their daughter Helena and son Alexander, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
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portrait of Aurora, wife of Randal, Viscount Dunluce, son of the 14th Earl of Antrim, with their daughter Helena and son Alexander, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland

The rooms are filled with family photographs, fine art and antiques.

photos on the piano, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
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portraits on the piano, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
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living room, Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
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living room

photos, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
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photos, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
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The butler, George, holds a photo from a visit by Prince Charles and Camilla, Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland

visit by Prince Charles and Camilla
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visit by Prince Charles and Camilla to Glenarm Castle

The castle is surrounded by a pasture, river and streams, woods, hills and waterfalls. This idyllic setting is used for special events, exhibitions and workshops to help defray the cost of maintaining the estate.

It is a sought-after site for corporate events (pigeon shooting, anyone?) and elegant weddings. “Five Minutes of Heaven,” which starred Liam Neeson, is among the movies filmed here.

Tea Room, Glenarm Castle, Coastal Causeway, Northern Ireland
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Tea Room, Glenarm Castle, Coastal Causeway, Northern Ireland

The walled garden, one of the oldest in Ireland, and a lovely tea room in the old Mushroom House, are open seasonally.

Tea Room, Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
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Tea Room, Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Glenarm Castle is still a working farm, and since 2008 has been organic. Glenarm beef and lamb have won many prestigious awards.

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