6 Free Things to do in Carlingford this Winter

There is no place like Carlingford but when the sun ain’t shining, people fear that there is nothing to do or see in Carlingford but they are wrong! We have put together a list of fun things to do in Carlingford this Autumn and Winter season for FREE.  At a recent community think tank, we discussed the reasons people come to Carlingford. One that always stands out is, of course, the location of Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula, a spot of outstanding natural beauty.

However, it is not just what you can see when you get here. There are the smells, the sounds, the feeling and the people that provide a place with its artistry and charm. While we recommend you visit for a few days and enjoy some fine food, culture and fun activities, there is a lot to do in our little town. Check them out…

1. Take a drive

Take a spin, this is perfect if the weather isn’t just as sunny as it should be.

Have you ever been to a place where things go backwards?

Less than a 15 minute drive from Carlingford you’ll find a place known locally as Magic Hill. There is a section of road that goes downhill and if you stop the car at the bottom and release the brake, the car will roll backwards up the hill! It needs to be seen to be believed.

To help you on your way; As you leave Dundalk, take the R173 to Carlingford. Halfway along you will spot a Texaco Petrol Station. Take the first left after this, where you’ll see a sign for McCrystals Food Store and signs for the Táin Trail and Oriel Trail. Follow the road around and past McCrystals until you reach a T-Junction. Turn right and immediately left on the other side, again following signs for the Táin and Oriel Trails. Follow the road straight to the brow of the hill, go down into a dip and stop immediately next to the big mushroom.

Have fun!

2. Bird Watching

Bird watching is not just for bird enthusiasts. It can be a relaxing and enjoyable pastime for anyone. Carlingford has beaches and mudflats with mountains and woods nearby. Buzzard, Raven and Dipper are found on the Carlingford Mountains, while the forests on Slieve Foye support Jay, Crossbill, Long-eared Owl,Woodcock and Grasshopper Warbler. You can bird watch from many locations if the weather is poor and even from the conmfort of your vehicle

From the pier at Carlingford in Winter, scan the bay for Grebes, Divers and Scaup. Rarities have included Black-throated and White-billed Divers and Slavonian Grebe. Continue past the Carlingford Sailing Club, back to the main road scanning for water birds. Harbour seals lounge on the rocks, and Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper occur on passage.

Continue on to a small inlet, Shilties Lough, and from the smaller road, look for Lapwing,Teal,Wigeon, Kingfisher and Yellowhammer. Greenore Port is excellent for Black Guillemots in Spring and for terns, which nest on nearby Green Island. Ballagan Point is good for seawatching (Long-tailed Skua have been seen). At Whitestown beach, Mediterranean Gulls and White Wagtails are regular and Sand Martins nest in the sand-cliffs.

You can download a guide to birdwatching for carlingford.

3. A Cycle Along The Greenway

Enjoy a cycle along our brilliant Greenway, if you have your own bikes then great it’s free but if not we have lots of rental companies in Carlingford to cater to your needs including electric bikes. The great thing about the Greenway is that the Carlingford Marina offers a great spot where you can warm up with a hot cuppa or drink.

Book online or on the day with…

E-Bikes and EscapeHQ Bike Rental

Or…

On Yer Bike

4. Let the Walking do the Talking!

Fancy a Walk? Well then you’re in luck.

Carlingford is going to spoil you with an abundance of strolling or hiking options. There are lots of maps available for varying abilities or you can keep walking along the signposted routes until your heart is content. Pop into our office for n array of maps and advice.

The routes guide you through the village and up the mountainside of Slieve Foy. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a leprechaun!

Don’t forget that no matter which route you decide to take, always ensure to you have a good pair of trekking shoes, raingear, keep hydrated and have a mobile phone. We recommend a flask of hot tea 🙂 It is always advised that you make somebody aware where you are going and when you plan to return.

Take the family on a trek. There are many mountain trails, for big kids challenge them to climb to the top of the highest mountain in Louth and don’t forget to bring the sandwiches for the top. Educate little ones with an abundance of nature along the trails from sheep, horses, bugs to the wild heather, bog cotton and waterfalls.

5. Crafty Carlingford

There is a wealth of talent in Carlingford, including textile art, wood-turning, printing, vintage spoon jewellery, visual art, fused glass, handknits, polymer clay craft, preserves, scented soy candles, hand-stitched bags, gift cards, and much more besides. There are a plenty of shops offering great products from locals artists and craftspeople.

Carlingford Craft, The Craft Barn and Carlingford Design House are amoung some of the top spots for searching for locally produced merchandise. Look out for the big shopping night in December which allows for unique discounts across the entire village.

6. Explore the History of Carlingford

Carlingford really has some incredible history to share and behold. The history and stories of Carlingford span right through the ages of Celtic myths and Legends. Carlingford has some of the finest examples of architecture from the medieval period, with Castles and Merchant houses located throughout the town. Each of the locations is adorned with a plaque explaining a brief history of the landmark.

You can also use our website to help find the locations and read the accompanying history.

Carlingford has many castles and historical sites. Explore the periphery of King John’s Castle. Create tales to entertain kids of Thosel Arch, The Dominican Priory and the Carlingford Mint. See how many castles you can count in the village. Locate the Famine village along the Barnavave Loop. Visit the ruins of the church of Cill Mhuire and graveyard situated at Templetown.

The Carlingford Heritage Centre situated in the middle of the village will have an abundance of historical knowledge, a great way to educate the kids and yourself on those days where it is far too cold to brave the elements 😀

The Humble Oyster

Welcome to the home of the world-renowned Carlingford Oyster. Oysters have thrived in Carlingford for many many centuries. With the upcoming Carlingford Oyster Festival reaching it’s 40th Anniversary we at Visit Carlingford want to pay homage to the humble Oyster in every way possible.

Nature has created the ideal location to grow oysters right on our doorstep in Carlingford Lough and Carlingford Oyster Company, family-run business has been farming oysters in the clean grade ‘A’ classification waters of Carlingford Lough since 1974.

Take a look at the video for a little insight into the process…

How It All Began

On a misty morning in the late 1960’s Peter Louët Feisser sailed into Carlingford Lough on a wooden yacht, built with his own hands, accompanied by his wife Anna and two chickens. He was enchanted by the Loughs natural beauty and seduced by the allure of the Irish way of life.

Always attracted by the sea, he was inspired in 1974 to begin growing oysters after hearing a broadcast on BBC radio 4. Now in his 80’s Peter can still be found early in the morning out on the oyster farm at low tide perfecting new growing techniques devised to create the ultimate Carlingford Oyster.

Oyster farming offers a unique quality of life governed by the cyclical rhythm of natures seasons and tides. The next generation are now following in the footsteps of Peter, with his son Kian and wife Mary building on that romantic notion from 1974.

All of our customers will be familiar with the friendly voice of Peter’s youngest daughter Charm who manages our sales department and during the holidays Peter’s grand children will be found helping out around the farm learning the family business and earning some pocket money.

How Do You Eat Yours?

The famous question, baked or raw? Well, we have two recipes below for your tastebuds…

RAW

Ingredients:

  • 12 oysters
  • Crushed ice or rock salt
  • Cucumber Mignonette

Method:
1. Scrub the oysters under cold water with a stiff brush to remove the dirt, especially in the hinge area where mud has a tendency to get trapped.

2. Find a durable thick cloth and fold it over several times to create a square; this will steady the oysters as you shuck them and also protect your hand.

3. Using the towel as a mitt, place the oyster, cup-side down in the palm of your towel-covered hand with the hinge facing you; have a small bowl handy to catch the delicious juice. Insert the tip of an oyster knife or dull butter knife as far into the hinge as it will go; don’t jab it in there or you could break the shell.

4. With gentle force, twist the knife back and forth to pry the shell open.

5. Using the knife, cut the muscle away from the top shell, bend the shell back, and discard it.

6. Run the knife underneath the oyster to detach it completely, but leave it in its shell.

7. Tip out the briny liquor into the bowl and pour it back over the shucked oysters. Nestle the oysters in a bed of crushed ice or rock salt to keep them steady. Spoon the cucumber mignonette on top and serve as part of a raw shellfish bar.

Cucumber Mignonette Sauce:
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 hothouse cucumber, peeled and minced
Several turns freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

8. In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, shallots, ginger, cucumber, black pepper, and cilantro; mixing with a fork. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to the day before you plan to serve, to allow the flavors to come together. Serve with raw oysters and clams.

Yield: 1 cup
To eat a raw oyster you will need to do the following:
1. Pick up one of the oysters by the shell.
2. Use the cocktail fork that comes with your order to detach the oyster from its shell.
3. When you are sure the oyster is no longer attached to the shell, put the edge of the shell against your bottom lip.
4. Slurp the oyster into your mouth.

A few questions you might have:
Should I swallow the oyster or chew it? You should chew it! How else will you know what it tastes like?
Should I use any type of seasoning? Some people like to put seasoning on their oysters before eating them. Popular choices include cocktail sauce, Tabasco sauce, and lemon juice.

 

ENJOY!

 

BAKED

These delicious oysters are baked with butter, cheese, garlic and pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kilos fresh oysters
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • ¼ cup minced fried garlic
  • Dash of pepper
  • ¼ cup melted butter
Instructions:
How to cook Baked Oysters

1. Open oysters. Clean the part with the meat and discard the other shell.

2. Top each shell with cheese, garlic, and butter then sprinkle with a dash of pepper.

3. Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F or until golden brown.

4. Serve immediately with a slice of lemon.

10 Oyster Facts You Didn’t Know

Just for a little fun, we have found 10 interesting facts about Oysters, these are definitely worth a read!

  1. Oysters change their gender.
    One of the most interesting oyster facts is that oysters change their sex during their lives, starting as males and usually ending as females.
  2. An oyster can filter 1.3 gallons of water per hour.
    Oysters filter water in through their gills and consume food, like plankton, in the process. Oysters can maintain the balance of a marine ecosystem by reducing excess algae and sediment that can lead to hypoxia, or low oxygen levels, causing other marine life to die. The oyster population of Chesapeake Bay used to filter the entire water volume of the bay in just three days.
  3. Oysters are shaped by their beds.
    Once an oyster attaches to a bed (a surface occupied by a group of oysters), it grows and forms around the surface it attaches to as well as the other oysters around it.
  4. Pearls and the relationship with Oysters
    All oysters are capable of producing pearls, but not the shiny, pretty pearls of value. In fact, most pearls are harvested from an inedible type of oyster as well as from freshwater mussels.
  5. Oysters have been around for thousands of years.
    Oysters have been eaten by humans since prehistoric times and cultivated at least since the times of the Roman Empire. The Roman Sergius Orata was the first person known to cultivate oysters by building a system that could control water levels.
  6. Most American oysters are of the same species.
    Get your oyster facts straight — oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay and off the coast of Virginia are all the same oyster, Crassotrea virginica. This oyster species is native to the Gulf Coast and the East Coast. However, this does NOT mean they all taste the same.
  7. Gulf oysters used to have different names.
    Other than Gulf oysters, you may have tried Blue Points or Quonset Points. These are all the same species of oyster, but they are named after the specific locations where they are harvested. Once upon a time, Gulf oysters were also named after specific bays, but distributors started to group them all into the same category. This may change again in the future.
  8. Oysters get their flavours from their environments.
    Although most American oysters are the same species, they have different flavors. Because oysters filter so much water, they develop a flavor profile from their environment. Different bodies of water have varying levels of salt and different kinds of nutrients.
  9. Like wines, Oysters have a variety of flavour profiles
    The flavor of oysters can be categorized mainly by the following flavor characteristics: briny, buttery, sweet, metallic and mild. Experts can break down these flavors even further, picking out flavors like melon, cucumber, mushroom and more.
  10. Vitamins rich and full of nutrients
    Oysters contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients including zinc, calcium, magnesium, protein, selenium, and vitamin A. They also contain especially high levels of vitamin B12, iron and monounsaturated fat – the “healthy” kind of fat that you also find in olive oil.

How To Guide On Crab Fishing In Carlingford

Are you looking for something fun for the kids to get them out and about away from their screens?
Crabbing is an easy way to have fun with the family and introduce children to the wonders of marine ecology. Test their patience with this free activity.
Here’s a to guide on crab fishing in #Carlingford
 

YOU WILL NEED:

-string
-bucket
-small fishing net
-a netted bag like an old washing tablet bag
-some bait (fish and bacon works)

NOW TO GET STARTED:

1. Find a handy rockpool. It needs to be full of sea creatures and safe for you to visit. The pier in Carlingford can usually be a good spot.
 
 
2. Fill the bucket with seaweed and some pebbles – this helps mimic a crab’s natural environment, cover the crabs in moist seaweed and keep the bucket out of direct sunlight.
 
3. Put the bait in the small netted bag and tie it to the string. Then simply drop the bait into the water and let it hit the seabed. It’s a good idea to wrap a little bit of the line loosely around your finger so that you can feel the crabs pulling on it.
 
4. When you feel the crabs nibble, lift the line out of the water and put the net underneath so that it doesn’t fall back in. Then carefully place the crab in the bucket. Try not to have a gang of more than 10 in each bucket.
 
See how many different types of crabs you can get.
 
Be careful when handling the crabs – if they pinch it is very hard to make them let go. If you do want to pick them up, make sure you hold the crab with your finger and thumb on either side of the shell, behind the pincers, so that they cannot reach you with them and so you don’t hurt the crab either.
 

IMPORTANT:

Once you’ve finished with your crabs, carefully release them back into the sea near the water’s edge.
 
Happy fishing 🎣🎣🎣🎣

9 Free Things to do in Carlingford this Summer

There is no place like Carlingford in the sunshine and if the Summer doesn’t show up we have put together some great ideas of things to do Carlingford for FREE, yes free! At a recent community think tank, we discussed the reasons people come to Carlingford. One that always stands out is, of course, the location of Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula, a spot of outstanding natural beauty.

However, it is not just what you can see when you get here. There are the smells, the sounds, the feeling and the people that provide a place with its artistry and charm. While we recommend you visit for a few days and enjoy some fine food, culture and fun activities, there is a lot to do in our little town, free of charge. With this in mind, we have compiled (in no particular order) our top ten list for you.

1. Take a drive

Take a spin, this is perfect if the weather isn’t just as sunny as it should be.

Have you ever been to a place where things go backwards?

Less than a 15 minute drive from Carlingford you’ll find a place known locally as Magic Hill. There is a section of road that goes downhill and if you stop the car at the bottom and release the brake, the car will roll backwards up the hill! It needs to be seen to be believed.

To help you on your way; As you leave Dundalk, take the R173 to Carlingford. Halfway along you will spot a Texaco Petrol Station. Take the first left after this, where you’ll see a sign for McCrystals Food Store and signs for the Táin Trail and Oriel Trail. Follow the road around and past McCrystals until you reach a T-Junction. Turn right and immediately left on the other side, again following signs for the Táin and Oriel Trails. Follow the road straight to the brow of the hill, go down into a dip and stop immediately next to the big mushroom.

Have fun!

2. Crab Fishing

All you really need is a piece of string, bait and a weight heavy enough to keep the bait of the bottom. Crabs like bait such as bacon, chicken, fish and the like. You don’t need the good bits – use the bits that you throw away in a big soggy mess. Crabs are not that fussy when it comes to their dinner!

Let your line drop right to the bottom where the crabs live. Wrap a little line loosely around your finger and wait until you feel the crabs pulling.

The two piers of Carlingford Lough are a favourite spot during the busy summer months.

3. Pier Jumping

An all-time favourite and always great fun for adults and kids alike. Although Carlingford Lough is tidal, never fear, Carlingford offers two superb pontoons. This activity is normally done at the end of your water activity if you booked with Carlingford Adventure Centre.

As always with the water, there are some risk concerns that need to be addressed before you dive off the edge, like making sure the tide is in. Like everything, don’t be foolish or careless, take caution in anything to do in the water, make sure you are with people and ensure you have appropriate clothing.

4. Bird Watching

Bird watching is not just for bird enthusiasts. It can be a relaxing and enjoyable pastime for anyone. Carlingford has beaches and mudflats with mountains and woods nearby. Buzzard, Raven and Dipper are found on the Carlingford Mountains, while the forests on Slieve Foye support Jay, Crossbill, Long-eared Owl,Woodcock and Grasshopper Warbler.

From the pier at Carlingford in Winter, scan the bay for Grebes, Divers and Scaup. Rarities have included Black-throated and White-billed Divers and Slavonian Grebe. Continue past the Carlingford Sailing Club, back to the main road scanning for water birds. Harbour seals lounge on the rocks, and Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper occur on passage.

Continue on to a small inlet, Shilties Lough, and from the smaller road, look for Lapwing,Teal,Wigeon, Kingfisher and Yellowhammer. Greenore Port is excellent for Black Guillemots in Spring and for terns, which nest on nearby Green Island. Ballagan Point is good for seawatching (Long-tailed Skua have been seen). At Whitestown beach, Mediterranean Gulls and White Wagtails are regular and Sand Martins nest in the sand-cliffs.

You can download a guide to birdwatching for carlingford.

5. A Cycle Along The Greenway

Enjoy a cycle along our brilliant Greenway, if you have your own bikes then great it’s free but if not we have lots of rental companies in Carlingford to cater to your needs including electric bikes.

Book online or on the day with…

E-Bikes and EscapeHQ Bike Rental

Or…

On Yer Bike

6. Collect Sea Shells

Kids will enjoy collecting seashells more than you know and there are so many interesting shells to be found on our shores. Recently Carlingford Lough Ferry shared some wonderful examples from the Carlingford shore, you could make a day out of it, travel across to Greencastle on the Ferry and collect shells from both sides of the Lough. A spin up to Newcastle for even more.

This is a great activity to incorporate your picnic.

Photo credits to @Brónac Mackin

There is a charge on Ferry but Sea Shells are completely free :D, take a dip in the water if the weather is sunny enough.

7. Fun for kids  in the Playgrounds & The Leprechaun Cavern

Carlingford has a great playground but aside from this, there is two top of the range playgrounds outside of the village. One in Lordship and the other in Cooley both visible from the main road on the way to Carlingford from Ballymascanlon. Tire out little ones and give them endless amounts of fun in any of these playgrounds.

Carlingford

Lordship

Cooley

Everyday at 3pm local leprechaun whisperer Kevin Woods will be participating in 15 minutes of storytelling and an introduction to how the last leprechauns of Ireland became a protected species by the E.U..This is done in the story room, there is a charge for this but you can take a look around at any stage of the day, there is plenty to see.

8. Let the Walking do the Talking!

Fancy a Walk? Well then you’re in luck.

Carlingford is going to spoil you with an abundance of strolling or hiking options. There are lots of maps available for varying abilities or you can keep walking along the signposted routes until your heart is content. Pop into our office for n array of maps and advice.

The routes guide you through the village and up the mountainside of Slieve Foy. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a leprechaun!

Don’t forget that no matter which route you decide to take, always ensure to you have a good pair of trekking shoes, raingear, keep hydrated and have a mobile phone. It is always advised that you make somebody aware where you are going and when you plan to return.

Take the family on a trek. There are many mountain trails, for big kids challenge them to climb to the top of the highest mountain in Louth and don’t forget to bring the sandwiches for the top. Educate little ones with an abundance of nature along the trails from sheep, horses, bugs to the wild heather, bog cotton and waterfalls.

9. Explore the History of Carlingford

Carlingford really has some incredible history to share and behold. The history and stories of Carlingford span right through the ages of Celtic myths and Legends. Carlingford has some of the finest examples of architecture from the medieval period, with Castles and Merchant houses located throughout the town. Each of the locations is adorned with a plaque explaining a brief history of the landmark.

You can also use our website to help find the locations and read the accompanying history.

Carlingford has many castles and historical sites. Explore the periphery of King John’s Castle. Create tales to entertain kids of Thosel Arch, The Dominican Priory and the Carlingford Mint. See how many castles you can count in the village. Locate the Famine village along the Barnavave Loop. Visit the ruins of the church of Cill Mhuire and graveyard situated at Templetown.

The Carlingford Heritage Centre situated in the middle of the village will have an abundance of historical knowledge, a great way to educate the kids and yourself 😀

Family Friendly Activities in Carlingford this Easter

Carlingford can be a hectic time at Easter but we at Visit Carlingford want to make sure that everyone enjoys Easter, especially little ones. We understand that it can be difficult to keep little ones entertained over the Easter break so we have put together a few suggestions. Most of which are free, outdoors and lots of fun.

 

With the weather set to be beautiful this weekend it is the perfect opportunity to get everyone outdoors for some fr.esh air and some creative inspiration.

A Cycle Along The Greenway

On Yer Bike, Carlingford Marina, Cooley Peninsula Undiscovered & Carlingford Lough Greenway have come together and created an event along the Greenway, kids go free on bike rental which s great if you are coming from a long distance away. There will be some Easter surprises and lots of great views to soak in. When you have completed this 7km long cycle then you will be sure to have worked up an appetite and Sitar Marina Bar & indian cuisine is at the best surprise at the very end

Easter Egg Hunt

Carlingford Adventure Centre are hosting an Easter Egg Hunt & Family Fun Day on Sunday the 21st of April!  The Easter Bunny and Chicken are ready to welcome everyone to have lots of fun. The weather forecast is looking good already, another reason that an Easter Egg Hunt is ideal. There will be BOUNCY CASTLES, FACE PAINTING and some ARTS & CRAFTS in our their brand new pop-up marquee.

An Easter Egg Hunt is something you can do in your own back garden, whether you choose to hide chocolate eggs or not kids are sure to have a great time. You could even get the kids to paint some stones and hide them afterwards.

A Picnic

Who doesn’t love a picnic, you could theme it for Easter with healthy carrot sticks, hot cross buns and egg sandwiches. Whether you have it at the beach, the playground, in the green area, on the mountain or in the back of the car. You can always add a bag of chips from the chip vans or follow it up with an ice-cream from the ice cream van. The weather is set to be sunny so an ice-cream would be a right treat.

 

Collect Sea Shells

Kids will enjoy collecting seashells more than you know and there are so many interesting shells to be found on our shores. Recently Carlingford Lough Ferry shared some wonderful examples from the Carlingford shore, you could make a day out of it, travel across to Greencastle on the Ferry and collect shells from both sides of the Lough. A spin up to Newcastle for even more.

This is a great activity to incorporate your picnic.

Photo credits to @Brónac Mackin

 

Visit Carlingford Colouring Competition

Our colouring competition is unique in that it is running over Easter. We have had some wonderful entries already and we expect some more in. We will be displaying them up on our walls in the office over the Easter break and we will announce a winner next Wednesday 24th April. Help our Easter bunny colour in the eggs.

Arts and crafts and colouring is such a great way to entertain the kids, why not paint some stones or eggs. Get them to create Easter cards from Grandparents.

Vintage and Collectables Flea Market

Easter Monday 22nd April at 12 noon until 6pm in St. Michael’s Hall there will be fantastic Flea Market open to the public. This is a nice event to pop into when out and about for a stroll around the village. The madness of Easter Sunday should have passed. You will never know what treasures you might find.

Leprechaun Cavern and Fairy Underground Cavern

Everyday at 3pm local leprechaun whisperer Kevin Woods will be participating in 15 minutes of storytelling and an introduction to how the last leprechauns of Ireland became a protected species by the E.U..This is done in the story room.  This is followed by a visit below the ground where leprechauns and fairies converge in the morning as the sun rises.

You can explore the Leprechaun Cavern and Fairy Underground Cavern at any time however and there is plenty to see.

Fun in the Playground

Carlingford has a great playground but aside from this, there is two top of the range playgrounds outside of the village. One in Lordship and the other in Cooley both visible from the main road on the way to Carlingford from Ballymascanlon. Tire out little ones and give them endless amounts of fun in any of these playgrounds.

Carlingford

Lordship

Cooley

 

Explore The Mountain Trails

Take the family on a trek. There are many mountain trails, for big kids challenge them to climb to the top of the highest mountain in Louth and don’t forget to bring the sandwiches for the top. Educate little ones with an abundance of nature along the trails from sheep, horses, bugs to the wild heather, bog cotton and waterfalls.

Get the kids to paint some eggs and roll them down the hills to see who gets their egg the furthest, this is endless amounts of fun.

 

Explore the Historical Sites

 

Carlingford has many castles and historical sites. Explore the periphery of King John’s Castle. Create tales to entertain kids of Thosel Arch, The Dominican Priory and the Carlingford Mint. See how many castles you can count in the village. Locate the Famine village along the Barnavave Loop. Visit the ruins of the church of Cill Mhuire and graveyard situated at Templetown.

The Carlingford Heritage Centre situated in the middle of the village will have an abundance of historical knowledge, a great way to educate the kids and yourself 😀

 

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL EASTER FROM EVERYONE ON THE VISIT CARLINGFORD TEAM!

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day in Carlingford

What is Romance?

Romance is defined as a feeling of excitement, mystery and remoteness from everyday life.

Carlingford offers this in bucket loads. Enjoy the infamous buzz that appears in Carlingford throughout the pubs, restaurants and quaint streets. Melt into the medieval mystery of the historic village and all the stories it has to offer. Remove yourself and your other half from the weekly grind and get lost in the natural beauty of Carlingfords’ stunning location.

Let Visit Carlingford provide a few suggestions that should cater to all sorts of lovebirds heading this way for Valentines.

 


 

A Romantic Walk

-Wrap up warm and head up Riverlane, to the right of Des Savages Butchers.
Take the shorter route over Mountain Park and Rooskey where you will pass the Deserted Village and return into the town past St Michaels Church.
(approximately 40 minutes)

-If you are keen walkers, take yourselves up toward the mountain and take in the breath-taking views at the crossover between Carlingford and neighbouring townland Glenmore.
Perfect for a soppy selfie!
(approximately 90 minutes)

 


 

 

Make A Night Of It

Choose one our beautiful 1 / 2-bedroom self-catering properties to enjoy a relaxing, cosy stay.
Two of our favourites for couples are St. Anna’s Cottage. Castle Hill Apartment and Courtyard Cottage.
Get in touch now on info@visitcarlingford.com to check availability.

 


 

 

Give Them A Gift They Will Cherish

Carlingford is home to a number of beautiful boutiques, menswear shops and salons.

For a special treat on this occasion, take your other half to Jeweller Garret Mallon at Carlingford Design House. Pick one of his amazing creations or customise something extra special!

 


 

 

Dining Options

Whether you enjoy some traditional pub grub and live music or opt for an intimate meal in one of Carlingfords’ scrumptious restaurants, you are sure to be left satisfied.
If you are like us and tend to get a little peckish as the night closes in and you’ve polished off the end of the wine, take a stroll towards the pier en route back to your accommodation.

Grab a bag of chips as you go (one bag between two, that’s the Valentines way!)
Plonk yourselves on the pier wall and gaze out on the lights that dot Carlingford Lough.

No doubt the sea breeze (and February weather) will make your eyes water.
But with your loved one by your side, bear the weather and enjoy the moment!

 


 

 

Proposals

Planning to pop the question this Valentines?
Take the short walk out of the village to the Proposal Stone on Ghan Road.

Supposedly originating from the Fairy Glen in Rostrevor, Co Down the stone is said to be watched over by the resident fairies to ensure happiness and good luck follows the couple. If you need a helping hand to plan this momentous occasion, however simple or extravagant your idea, contact local Proposal Planner Arlene Malone from Propose2Me.

Before leaving Carlingford take the short walk to King Johns Castle.
Climb the rickety steps to the top that overlooks Carlingford Lough.


This spot is and has long been the location of first kisses for so many young lovers that call Carlingford home!
There must be some good luck in that.
So grab your gal or guy and plan them one!

Happy Valentines Day all!!

 

Valentine’s Day Romance in Carlingford

What is Romance?

Romance is defined as a feeling of excitement, mystery and remoteness from everyday life.

Carlingford offers this in bucket loads. Enjoy the infamous buzz that appears in Carlingford throughout the pubs, restaurants and quaint streets. Melt into the medieval mystery of the historic village and all the stories it has to offer. Remove yourself and your other half from the weekly grind and get lost in the natural beauty of Carlingfords’ stunning location.

Let Visit Carlingford provide a few suggestions that should cater to all sorts of lovebirds heading this way for Valentines.


A Romantic Walk

-Wrap up warm and head up Riverlane, to the right of Des Savages Butchers.
Take the shorter route over Mountain Park and Rooskey where you will pass the Deserted Village and return into the town past St Michaels Church.
(approximately 40 minutes)

-If you are keen walkers, take yourselves up toward the mountain and take in the breath-taking views at the crossover between Carlingford and neighbouring townland Glenmore.
Perfect for a soppy selfie!
(approximately 90 minutes)


Make A Night Of It

Choose one our beautiful 1 / 2-bedroom self-catering properties to enjoy a relaxing, cosy stay.
Two of our favourites for couples are St. Anna’s Cottage. Castle Hill Apartment and Courtyard Cottage.
Get in touch now on info@visitcarlingford.com to check availability.


Give Them A Gift They Will Cherish

Carlingford is home to a number of beautiful boutiques, menswear shops and salons.

For a special treat on this occasion, take your other half to Jeweller Garret Mallon at Carlingford Design House. Pick one of his amazing creations or customise something extra special!


Dining Options

Whether you enjoy some traditional pub grub and live music or opt for an intimate meal in one of Carlingfords’ scrumptious restaurants, you are sure to be left satisfied.
If you are like us and tend to get a little peckish as the night closes in and you’ve polished off the end of the wine, take a stroll towards the pier en route back to your accommodation.

Grab a bag of chips as you go (one bag between two, that’s the Valentines way!)
Plonk yourselves on the pier wall and gaze out on the lights that dot Carlingford Lough.

No doubt the sea breeze (and February weather) will make your eyes water.
But with your loved one by your side, bear the weather and enjoy the moment!


Proposals

Planning to pop the question this Valentines?
Take the short walk out of the village to the Proposal Stone on Ghan Road.

Supposedly originating from the Fairy Glen in Rostrevor, Co Down the stone is said to be watched over by the resident fairies to ensure happiness and good luck follows the couple. If you need a helping hand to plan this momentous occasion, however simple or extravagant your idea, contact local Proposal Planner Arlene Malone from Propose2Me.

Before leaving Carlingford take the short walk to King Johns Castle.
Climb the rickety steps to the top that overlooks Carlingford Lough.


This spot is and has long been the location of first kisses for so many young lovers that call Carlingford home!
There must be some good luck in that.
So grab your gal or guy and plan them one!

Happy Valentines Day all!!

12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts

Introducing the ’12 days of Carlingford Christmas shop fronts’. We have showcased a new business shop for the 12 day of Christmas which started on 16th December. Check out what we posted below…

 

Day 1: D. Savage Butchers

To kick off our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ we are going to start with the one and only D. Savages Butchers. . D. Savage Butchers has been around for years and is very consistent in it’s excellent shop front. They are so good that they where recognised at the ‘Louth Looking Good’ awards for their excellence this year. . Find out our shopfront tomorrow for number 2 of our Carlingford Christmas shop fronts. . #VisitCarlingford #12daysofChristmas #Christmas#shopfronts

Day 2: Mc Ardles Boutique

It is day 2 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ and we have chosen ‘Mc Ardle’s Boutique’. . With it’s pastel pink walls, fashion window display complete with silver sparkling Christmas decor we think it is the perfect Carlingford Christmas shop front. This picture doesn’t quiet do it justice so check it out for yourself and pop inside for even more wonder.

Day 3: Mc Kevitt’s Village Hotel

Mc Kevitt’s Village Hotel is day 3 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ . Throughout the year Mc Kevitt’s Village Hotel is adorned with beautiful blooming window flower boxes on the entire front of the building. It is no surprise that for Christmas their flower boxes are full of winter blooms set below their magical hanging fairy lights. Mc Kevitts is just as beautifully decorated inside as it is outside. So call in for some festive cheer!

Day 4: Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms

It is day 4 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ and we have chosen ‘Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms’. Ruby Ellen’s Tea Room’s charming shop front matches it’s charming interior with all things pretty and delicate from their hand-painted signage to their china tea sets and even their delicious cakes.

Day 5: Unique Boutique

‘Unique Boutique’ is day 5 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ . Unique Boutique’s bright pink half-door invites you in with it’s Christmas garland. Check out their fashionable festive display and don’t just take our word for it.

Day 6: The Bay Tree Restaurant

It is day 6 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ and we have chosen ‘The Bay Tree, Restaurant’. We think The Bay Tree has created a really inviting shop front. We love their seating area which is there throughout the year. The tree adorned with round lights and their window displays give off a festive feeling in a subtle, understated way. We recommend The Bay Tree for an amazing meal.

Day 7: Riina’s Italian

‘Riina’s Italian’ is day 7 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ Red and green are the festive colours after all and Riian’s Italian has used their colourful shopfront to their festive advantage. Looking in you can see beautiful hanging Scandinavian stars, check them out for yourself.

Day 8: The Design House

It is day 8 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ and we have chosen ‘The Design House’ It is no wonder that The Design House has a great shop front, what you cannot see is the perfectly wrapped hanging Christmas presents in the window display. We also think the garland looks fantastic against the purple walls.

 

Day 9: The Carlingford Arms & The Loft Cocktail Bar

‘The Carlingford Arms & The Loft Cocktail Bar’ is day 9 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ We think The Carlingford Arms & The Loft Cocktail Bar looks like it’s own Christmas wonderland with all its Christmas trees and statues on the ledge. We highly commend these guys for going all out and making the most of the space they have to make a show-stopping Christmas display which is great for little ones.

 

Day 10: The Craft Barn

It is day 10 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ and we have chosen ‘The Craft Barn’ The Craft Barn is a newly opened craft shop on Thosel Street, it is beautifully painted and adorned with an amazing wooden sign. However, it was the window display that really caught our attention. Of course, we did expect a wonderful display from such creative individuals. This window display will only allure you to have a look inside. There is still time to get amazing gifts for your loved ones.

Day 11: Taaffes Castle Bar

‘Taaffes Castle Bar’ is day 11 of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ We are running out of days with so many fantastic shop front here in Carlingford. . Taaffes’ Castle is a fantastic heritage site and can be seen as you enter the village. The front of the building is decorated with fabulous lights and wreaths. . Tomorrow is our final day of our ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’

 

Day 12: PJ O’Hares

It is our last day of ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ We loved sharing Carlingford shop fronts with you and there are so many other amazing shop fronts that didn’t feature but we believe you must visit Carlingford to see them for yourself. Our final shop front of ’12 Days Of Carlingford Christmas Shop Fronts’ goes to PJ O’ Hares, this establishment is renowned across the country for its unique shop front that stands the testament of time. Pj O’Hares is always a great spot but make sure to call in for some festive cheer over the Christmas period.

 

We really enjoyed showcasing Carlingford shop fronts to you and there are so many that we were unable to post as there are just not enough days. We hope to run this again next year, register your interest with us to feature on any of our blog post or indeed for Christmas 2019. Who knows maybe we will mix it up a little.
Happy Christmas!

 

 

 

 

The Carlingford Gift Guide

Looking for a special gift this Christmas, something that won’t be returned once the shops re-open and are sick of buying socks.
We have some great ideas for everyone…

The Adventurist


They love activities and getting outdoors, why not book one of our great activities. What is better is when January hits everyone is focused on getting a little more exercise and outdoors in the fresh air. So why not book…
-A Scavenger Hunt
-Water sports from Banana Boating to canoeing
-Archery
-Skypark or Ziptopia
-Clay Pigeon Shooting
From €15- €49 pp
Whilst you may not know what dates suit, you can always get one of our vouchers to use in the new year.

The Historian


Carlingford is full of history, you can opt for a historical walking tour which is also a great way to get out in the fresh air and visit some of the historical sites around the village for just €10. If trains are your thing the Greenore Railway Museum is a sight to behold, not very many people know about this gem, you can enjoy tea and a scone, dress up in period costumes and receive a guided tour of the Museum for just €18.

The Fashionista


Carlingford has many beautiful boutiques and design houses to feast your eye upon fabulous fashion and jewellery. On 4th December Carlingford, shops open their doors with discounts across their stock for one day only. This is a great opportunity to get the shoes, the bag, the necklace that she has been eyeing up for weeks. Unfortunately, there are not many shops that cater for the male fashionista. However, pop into shops like…
-Mc Ardles Boutique
-Unique Boutique
-Lush Boutique
-Memories
-Jewellery by Garrett Mallon
-Jewellery by Mia Mullen
for great gift ideas for her.

The Romantic


What do you get someone who has everything, have you run out of ideas?
Why not treat the one you love to a breakaway in Carlingford or a romantic meal. With accommodation, hotels and restaurants to suit every taste. You can be sure to woo your loved one and create memories to share together forever.

The Adrenaline Junkie


Do you know someone who loves living life on the edge, who gets a thrill out of roller-coasters? Maybe Orlando isn’t in your budget this year but what about some of our Adrenaline-fueled activities.
Try…
-4×4 Off Roading
-Go Karting
-Shooting
-Paintballing
From €20-€55 pp
It can often be difficult to buy for him and these are great ideas for something to do in the new year.

The Creative


Looking for something for someone who appreciates beautiful crafts and art. Carlingford is renowned for its crafters, scultures & artists. We have something for every budget.
You can find beautiful pieces in the following spots:
-Visit Carlingford Tourist Office
-Design House Carlingford
-The Craft Barn
-Carlingford Craft
If you want something more hands-on why not try a pottery class.

The Foodie


Looking for something for the food enthusiast? Carlingford has award-winning restaurant, why not treat them to a voucher or a meal out. If you can’t fit a meal into their schedule then Mc Kevitt’s Hotel do wonderfully wrapped Jams and Chutneys that would be perfect for a stocking filler. Calling to houses over the Christmas period to visit relatives and friends why not grab some fresh bakes and pastries from The Orchard Bakery and replace the boring tins of biscuits. Your friends will be looking forward to your next visit!

If you are still stuck for ideas for gifts for your loved one then why not call into our Visit Carlingford Tourist Office and we will be sure to direct you on the right path to getting Christmas all wrapped up!

 

The 15 Most Instagrammable Spots In Carlingford

Dreaming about the perfect Instagram post? Whether you get lucky with an amazing shot, or else just take a mediocre picture and filter the shit out of it – once posted you wait eagerly to see how many likes you can get.

That’s what it’s all about really, isn’t it? Getting as many likes as possible without having to sell your soul with a billion hashtags of course.

Carlingford and the Mourne Region is no doubt an extremely scenic and beautiful area so it should be easy really getting that perfect shot. However, we want to help you out even further so we have compiled the best #insta worthy spots.

1. Thosel Street

There is no doubt that Thosel Street makes a fantastic photograph. It’s cobbled pedestrian street in contrast with its colourful buildings is a beauty to behold. Lit up in the evening and at Christmas with twinkling lights, the street illuminates a magical feeling. The former gate house and Thosel with integral carriage arch, built c. 1450, lends itself to the naming of the street.

2. The Abbey

Also referred to as Carlingford Friary or Carlingford Priory, the rough coursed limestone and greywacke walls give a distinguished medieval feeling, the towering stonework and arches add the wow factor to your photograph. In rainy weather look out for reflection of these arches.

3. Top of Slieve Foye

The highest mountain peak in Co. Louth was never going to disappoint for a spectacular shot overlooking the Carlingford Lough & Mourne Mountains on one side and Dundalk Bay on the other. Rising to the top is a challenge that will reward you with likes for any shots captured is sure to please many audiences.

4. The Giant’s Chair

The Leprechaun and Fairy Cavern is a sight to behold for the young and the old. However when it comes to thee most Instagram worthy item, it is without a doubt The Giant’s Chair set on the backdrop of the ocean. The sign states that Fionn Mac Cumhaill owned this chair but Tommy Bowe reckons it was borrowed from Devon Toner.

5. The Lough Front

Relaxing on the wall enjoying a 99 ice cream whilst watching the sailors on the horizon during the summer or wrapped up enjoying the cold crisp air with a takeaway coffee during the winter? Needless to say, it’s a perfect backdrop of the Lough, framed by King John’s Castle.

6. The Greenway

The newest edition to Carlingford is this stretch of path from Carlingford to Omeath and now right through to Newry. The Greenway is for everyone from families taking bike rides, to couples having a romantic stroll, to fitness fanatics dashing to the finish line. Every step of the way is a beautiful view to take in.

7. Cafés

Café culture is becoming quite the hobby for the young and the old. Carlingford has some very unique and quaint cafés, each one with a unique character waiting to be captured. Along with unique decor, try or capture some of the tasty pastries, sandwiches and drinks that Carlingford has to offer.

8. King Johns Castle

King John’s Castle was built in the 12th century on a rocky outcrop overlooking Carlingford Lough. The Castle dominates the Lough, the harbour and the village. The castle itself is under renovation and is closed off to the public but it is still possible to encapsulate it in your picture.

9. Carlingford Scenic Ferry

Take the scenic route with the ferry which goes from Greenore to Greencastle daily. There will be plenty of opportunities to capture including on occasion some on board surprises. This is a trip worth taking for the Instagram shot alone.

10. The Gratitude Bench

What are you grateful for? An extra few like? Well whether you receive those likes are not this rainbow coloured bench on Thosel Street is worth a visit for it will surely brighten your day.

11. The Marina

If boats are your dream then this is their car park. All sorts of beautiful boats and parked up here, set your sights on your favourite and capture it. What’s more is you can sit in the warmth of an Indian Restaurant overlooking these boats and the Lough

12. Flagstaff Viewpoint

When this viewpoint is listed on Lonely Planet you know it’s got to be good. If you want to see a spectacular view you usually have to climb a huge mountain but this overs a unique experience in that you can drive right to the top.

13. The Anchor

This large anchor sits on the sea-front, this area gathers lots of families, they love it as the little ones can play away on the stoney beach and enjoy picnics on the grass area. Great for little ones but also a great shot for any Instagram page especially when it is sunny.

14. The Pier

You will find swimmers, pier jumpers and adventure centre activities taking part at the Carlingford Pier. In sunny weather, you’ll find crowds of people participating and watching pier jumping enjoy the Lough.

15. Colourful Buildings

We are not sure if it was planned or not but Carlingford has an array of brightly coloured shop fronts and homes across the village. These beautiful colours make the perfect backdrop for a bright rainbow shot.

Now get out there and start Instagramming!