Dear Mummy it’s a beautiful sunny day in Belfast and we’ve headed up Cavehill to Belfast Castle.
You can see the castle from the M2 as you whizz through Belfast and it was the first thing I noticed as we headed to Grandmas house on the outskirts of the city.
My princess radar must have been on overdrive as I scanned the hill looking for this grand castle which my mummy had spoken so highly about.
Belfast Castle is set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland in a prominent position 400 feet (120 m) above sea level. Its location provides unobstructed views of the city of Belfast and Belfast Lough. On a clear day, like today it’s stunning!
Belfast Castle was built in 1862 to replace an earlier castle in the city centre which was destroyed by fire. All that remains of that 12th Century Norman castle is a few street names like Castle Place and a shopping centre name.
It’s now owned by Belfast City Council and from 1978 to 1988 the council refurbished the castle and opened it up to the public. It’s free to walk around and the car park has ample of space and is free too! However, dogs aren’t allowed in the gardens.
It has a lovely gift shop and quaint little restaurant and cafe downstairs in the old servants quarters. It’s full of period charm. A lot of joggers and dog walkers roam the grounds and there are plenty of trails up the steep hill for walkers.
The views are breathtaking over Belfast and the harbour. You can even see the famous Harland and Wolff yellow cranes in the dockyard!
The gardens are immaculate and the previous owner had a love of cats. The castle sits in its own formally landscaped gardens, including the Cat Garden. Tradition has it that good fortune will come to those who visit the castle, as long as the castle has a resident white cat. The Cat Garden celebrates that will no fewer than nine depictions of the cat in paving, sculpture and garden furniture. We had fun spotting all the hidden cats with the shrubs, sculptures and even on the tilled floors! However, we didn’t see the White Cat!!
Belfast Castle is renowned for its lavish weddings in Northern Ireland and we can see why – the views and the location is stunning. Inside it is full of winding spiral staircases and hidden cellar doors.
There is ornate wooden carvings on the staircases and fireplaces. The hanging pictures are fascinating and show a mixture of Irish landscapes and old wedding photographs from people that have been married there.
We’d definitely recommend a trip to Belfast Castle! It only took us 45 minutes to walk round and is just around the corner from Belfast Zoo, so we managed to do both attractions in one day!
I had fun pretending I was a princess and waltzing around in the ballroom, the sunlight glinting through the large windows casting a spectrum of light on the floors.
20 thoughts on “Cat crazy at Belfast Castle”
Looks a great place to explore. I like the idea of the cat garden. Adds its own quirkiness. #CountryKids
Some lovely photos from a beautiful old castle. I love the story about the white cat in residence, I hope she was there on your visit? How lovely to have it free to visit and open to everyone. It really does look like it commands a great position and is well worth a visit. thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.
What lovely views, the castle looks fabulous in your photos. I didn’t have chance to visit on my last trip to the city but that plus the zoo would probably be my daughter’s perfect day out. #countrykids
Such a stunning place and I love the topiary cat!
Ooh, I may have to visit Northern Ireland now just so I can see all those gorgeous cats!! Lovely day out. #CountryKids
This looks like a beautiful place to explore. Spiral staircases always make me feel queasy though
Looks like a lovely place. That photo of the staircase is amazing!
Thanks! It was very enchanting 🙂
Ha, we live 10 minutes away but we have never visited inside, can you believe it? We will need to rectify that and do another trip to the Zoo, now that the weather is improving.xx
Such an amazing place! The architecture and the details there is just lovely! Thanks for sharing =) #countrykids
I didn’t know Belfast had a castle. the cat garden sounds great! #monday escapes
What a beautiful castle, inside and out. I love pretending I’m a princess when we visit castles too Bella 😉 x #MondayEscapes
oh wow such breath taking views, I am loving the Belfast castle so much to see.
We’re coming over to Belfast for a short break at the end of the month. I’ve been on the lookout for places to visit so your post was very timely. My son is cat mad so I know he’d enjoy it 🙂 #Mondayescapes
Beautiful place, thank you for sharing your day 🙂 The cat garden sounds like my dream place, I’ve got to check it out when I visit Belfast! #WhatevertheWeather
Looks absolutely beautiful, the grounds as well as the castle. Did you see the white cat?! #countrykids
No white cat I’m afraid but plenty of topiary ones!
LOVE that cat tiled floor, they really must have loved their cats! That must be so much fun to explore and spot all the cat themed things you could find. It’s definitely a magnificent building, princess worthy indeed! Thanks so much for linking up your wonderful day out to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x
This is the most magical castle I’ve ever seen. I love that there has to be a white cat present too! The views, the gardens, the staircases, it’s all so beautiful. I can see why you’d feel like a true princess here. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with #whatevertheweather xx
It looks like a wonderful place to explore. I think I would feel like a princess too! I especially like the cat garden! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes