Seven Days Stay At A Gatelodge In Northern Ireland

The North Antrim Coast is a beautiful part of Northern Ireland that’s perfect for a holiday. With stunning landscapes like the Giant’s Causeway and the Glens of Antrim, there’s so much to see and do. You can explore ancient castles, visit charming villages, and experience the local arts and crafts scene.

Right in the middle of this lovely area is the Barbican Gatelodge in Glenarm, Co. Antrim. It’s a hidden gem that’s perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. The Barbican Gatelodge is a unique and picturesque place to stay, conserved and restored by Irish Landmark Trust. It’s a great base for exploring all the amazing things the North Antrim Coast has to offer. Whether you want to go hiking, learn about the area’s history, or just relax in the peaceful surroundings of Glenarm, this charming property is the ideal spot for a memorable 7-night break in one of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful destinations.

Brief History

The Barbican Gatelodge, built in the early 19th century, has a fascinating history tied to the McDonnell family, the Earls of Antrim. After the sixth Earl’s death in 1791, the estate was divided between his three daughters, with the eldest, Anne Catherine, becoming the Countess of Antrim.

In 1817, Anne Catherine married Edmund Phelps, who took the surname McDonnell and encouraged her to focus on the Glenarm estate. In 1823, Edmund commissioned architect William Morrison to transform the entrance gate into the “Barbican,” a mediaeval-style fortification with towers, walkways, and a coat of arms.

Using local basalt and red sandstone, Morrison created a striking and romantic structure that stands as a testament to the era’s architectural prowess. Although Anne Catherine and Edmund had no children, the estate passed to her sister Charlotte’s descendants, leaving the Barbican Gatelodge as a remarkable glimpse into the property’s fascinating past.

Day 1: Glenarm Castle

On day one of your stay at the Barbican Gatelodge, take the opportunity to explore the beautiful Glenarm Estate, right at your doorstep. The estate offers a variety of activities and attractions for all ages.

Start by strolling through the walled garden, admiring the colourful flowers and plants. Then, take a tour of the historic Glenarm Castle and visit the Coach House museum to see the impressive collection of vintage vehicles and memorabilia.

For lunch, enjoy a delicious meal at the estate’s charming tea room, which serves locally sourced ingredients and traditional Irish dishes. Don’t forget to save room for a treat from the Milk Parlour, where you can sample freshly made gelato in various flavours.

If you’re travelling with children, they’ll love the mini Land Rover experience, where they can drive a scaled-down version of the iconic vehicle around a purpose-built course.

Day 2: E-bike Tour

The Glens of Antrim and North Antrim Coast are amongst the most beautiful on the island of Ireland. You could explore this stunning area on an E-bike, which is an ideal and sustainable mode of transport. Whether you prefer coastal routes or countryside trails, an E-bike allows you to cover more ground while still enjoying the breathtaking scenery at a relaxed pace.

Glenarm Castle (onsite)  offers E-bike hire, making it easy for you to embark on your adventure. You can book your E-bike rental directly through the Glenarm Castle website.

Some popular routes to consider include:

  • The Antrim Coast Road offers stunning views of the seaside and the famous Glens of Antrim.
  • The Glenarm to Carnlough route takes you through picturesque villages and along the coast.
  • The Glenariff Forest Park trail allows you to explore the beautiful waterfalls and woodland areas of the park.

Remember to pack some snacks, water, and suncream, and wear comfortable clothing and a helmet for your safety. Enjoy your eco-friendly exploration of the Antrim Coast and Glens!

Day 3: Walking Tour & Boat Tour

Start your day with a fascinating guided walking tour that delves into the history of Glenarm Castle and the surrounding area. The tour, which lasts approximately 2 hours, is led by Dalriada Legends, a local tour company. After the walk, head to the Glenarm Castle Welcome Centre for a delicious lunch at the Tea Room or treat yourself to a refreshing ice cream at the Milk Parlour. For more information about the walking tour, contact Dalriada Legends directly through their Facebook page.

In the afternoon, embark on a scenic boat tour at Carnlough Bay, just a 5-minute drive from the Barbican Gatelodge. Carnlough Bay Boat Tours offer a unique perspective of the stunning coastline and the opportunity to spot local wildlife. For more information and to book your tour visit the website.

While in Carnlough, take a short walk to the picturesque Carnlough Waterfalls, also known as Cranny Falls. This beautiful spot is perfect for a peaceful stroll and some memorable photos.

Alternatively, you could visit the hidden village of Galboly, a 15-minute drive from Glenarm. This fascinating historical site offers a glimpse into rural life in Ireland’s past. 

For those feeling energetic, consider climbing Slemish Mountain, located a 20-minute drive from Glenarm. This mountain is known as the legendary first home of St. Patrick in Ireland. The hike offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. 

Day 4: Giants Causeway Day Trip

Get ready for an exciting day trip to the Giants Causeway, just a 1-hour drive from Glenarm. This UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its stunning rock formations and breathtaking coastal views.

Start your visit at the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the history and geology of this unique place. Guided tours leave from the Visitor Centre throughout the day, giving you the chance to discover more about the site’s fascinating past and the formation of the iconic basalt columns. During your visit, make sure to check out the Giant’s Boot and the Wishing Chair, two of the Causeway’s most popular features.

If you want to save money and help the environment, consider arriving at the Giants Causeway by public transport, bicycle, or on foot. By doing so, you’ll save £2 on adult admission, £1.25 on child admission, and £4 on family admission. Just show your proof of green travel at the Admissions Point, and remember to pre-book to ensure availability.

For a more in-depth experience, join the guided 5-mile Clifftop Experience Walk. This walk starts daily at 12:15 pm with a Rambler bus ride from the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre to Dunseverick Castle. From there, you’ll walk along the clifftops back to the Giants Causeway, enjoying amazing views of the coastline along the way. The Clifftop Experience takes around 3½ hours to complete.

No matter how you choose to explore the Giants Causeway, this incredible destination will leave you with unforgettable memories of your trip to Northern Ireland.

Day 5: Glenariff Forest Park

Prepare for a day of natural wonder and breathtaking scenery as you visit Glenariff Forest Park, just a 30-minute drive from Glenarm. Known as the “Queen of the Glens,” Glenariff is considered the most beautiful of the nine Antrim Glens, and it’s easy to see why.

The park offers an array of stunning landscapes, from lush forests and rolling hills to tranquil riverside walks and three magnificent waterfalls. The waterfalls are a must-see attraction, cascading down the rugged cliffs and creating a mesmerising display of natural beauty.

One of the best ways to explore Glenariff Forest Park is by taking one of the many hiking trails that wind through the forest. These trails range from gentle strolls to more challenging hikes, catering to visitors of all fitness levels. As you walk, keep an eye out for the diverse flora and fauna that call the park home, including rare species of plants and animals.

For those interested in the park’s history, the Glenariff Forest Park Visitor Centre offers insights into the area’s natural and cultural heritage. You can also enjoy a picnic in the designated areas or simply take in the views from one of the many scenic viewpoints scattered throughout the park.

To learn more about Glenariff Forest Park and plan your visit, check out the official website.

Day 6: Stone Carving Course at Glenarm Castle

If you’re looking for a unique and hands-on experience, consider signing up for a stone carving course at Glenarm Castle. This full-day workshop runs from 9 am to 3 pm and offers a fantastic opportunity to learn a new skill while immersing yourself in the beautiful surroundings of the castle grounds.

The stone carving courses are open to everyone, regardless of previous experience. However, it’s important to note that the classes involve manual labour and require participants to traverse uneven, hilly terrain to reach the workshop location. Make sure you’re prepared for a physically engaging day and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

During the workshop, you’ll learn the basics of stone carving techniques from experienced instructors. You’ll have the opportunity to create your own unique piece of stone art, which you can take home as a memorable souvenir of your time at Glenarm Castle.

For more information about the stone carving courses, including dates, prices, and what to expect, please visit the official website. It’s recommended to book your spot in advance to ensure availability.

Day 7: Causeway Coast Foodie Tour

A must-do is the Causeway Coast Foodie Tour, the perfect way to discover the delicious flavours and local specialities of the region. These exceptional tours are designed to showcase the best of what the area has to offer, from fresh seafood and artisanal cheeses to craft beverages and traditional dishes.

Causeway Coast Foodie Tours offers a variety of tour options, each focusing on different aspects of the local food scene. Whether you’re interested in visiting small-scale producers, sampling the catch of the day, or exploring the vibrant food culture of the Causeway Coast, there’s a tour to suit your tastes.

Some of the available tours include:

  • Catch and Sea: A unique experience that combines a fishing trip with a seafood feast.
  • Tasting Trails: A walking tour that takes you through charming coastal towns, stopping at local eateries and food producers along the way.
  • Meet the Makers: An opportunity to visit and learn from artisanal food and drink producers in the area.

To learn more about the specific tours, their duration, and pricing, as well as to book your spot, visit the Causeway Coast Foodie Tours website. It’s recommended to book in advance to ensure availability, as these popular tours can fill up quickly.

Where to Eat in the Area

Locally there are limited options for dining in Glenarm, but there are excellent options in the surrounding area.

  • Enjoy a delightful meal or afternoon tea at the charming Tearooms located within Glenarm Castle. Be sure to check their opening hours before visiting. They also have a pizza truck and the Milk parlour. 
  • Dine In at the Barbican with Hara at Home. If you’re staying at The Barbican Gatelodge, you can take advantage of the premium meal delivery service offered by Irish Landmark Trust in partnership with Hara at Home, a Co. Down-based food company. Simply visit the Shop Hara website to browse the menu and place your order for the desired date. Please note that deliveries only take place on Fridays.
  • The Barbican is also fully equipped for self catering so you can choose to buy some nice local produce and cook for yourself. 
  • Nearby Restaurants and Eateries: The Causeway Coastal Route is home to a wide variety of fantastic restaurants, cafes, and pubs. From fresh seafood and traditional Irish fare to international cuisines and cosy coffee shops, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. For a comprehensive list of places to eat near Glenarm head here.

Some notable restaurants and eateries in the area include:

When to Visit

The Barbican Gatelodge in Glenarm is a wonderful destination all year round. While the Glenarm Castle Tulip Festival in May is a particularly lovely time to visit, you’ll be charmed by the property and the area no matter when you go.

When booking your stay at the Barbican Gatelodge or any other Irish Landmark Trust property, keep in mind that the longer you stay, the more affordable the nightly rate becomes. With so much to see and do in the area, it’s well worth considering extending your visit by an extra night or two to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the Causeway Coast. To book your stay visit at Barbican Gatelodge

Please note that these suggestions are meant to help you plan your trip and are based on information available as of Spring 2024.  Always check individual websites for the most up-to-date opening times and booking details before finalising your itinerary.

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Booking Conditions


It is possible to reserve dates online at but bookings are not confirmed until a confirmation email is received from the bookings desk.     


Your booking must be for holiday purposes only.  Irish Landmark reserve the right to refuse hire for purposes other than holiday accommodation. When you make a booking, you accept full responsibility for all persons who will use or visit the property during the period booked.  When you book, you agree to indemnify us against all loss and damage arising directly or indirectly to the property and its contents from any deliberate or negligent act or omission by yourself, or any person accompanying you. 


The hiring contract shall be between the Hirer and Irish Landmark and made subject to these Booking Conditions . The Contract of Hire is not effective until Irish Landmark dispatches to the Hirer written confirmation of a booking. 


Irish Landmark reserves the right to increase or decrease the price of unsold holidays at any time. However, such amendments to price will not be applied to holidays already confirmed.   


All prices quoted are based on current prices and rates of V.A.T. at the time of going to press. Irish Landmark is unable to absorb increases in Value Added Tax or any new forms of taxation which may be introduced. Any such increases will be charged as notified and will be payable. 


All bookings can be paid for in full at time of booking. All bookings made within 12 weeks of stay must be paid in full at time of booking. Bookings made more than 12 weeks in advance of stay require a 30% non-refundable deposit with the balance due 12 weeks before arrival.  Irish Landmark shall be entitled to treat any failure to pay by the due date as a cancellation of the booking and will notify the Hirer by email.  The maximum number of payments for a booking will be limited to two – the deposit and balance payment.   A separate payment may be due where an amendment has been made to the original booking.  


Payments can be made by credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard ONLY).    

Payments for properties in the Republic of Ireland are taken in Euros, payments for properties in Northern Ireland are taken in Great British Pounds. 


Please note that only one voucher can be used per booking.  Vouchers have a strict expiry date. 


Upon receipt of payment by our bookings office, you will receive a confirmation of your reservation.  All charges for the booking will be confirmed in this notification.  Once confirmation has been issued, the Hirer is responsible for the total advertised price of the property and any extras notified.   

AMENDMENTS TO BOOKINGS (excluding cancellations):    

Irish Landmark does not offer a transfer of dates option. A complete change of dates is treated as a cancellation 

CANCELLATION POLICY: We hope that you will not have to cancel your stay, or part of your reservation.  If for any reason this is unavoidable, cancellations must be notified by email to In the event of cancellation (this includes a reduction in number of nights) your deposit is non-refundable and the following cancellation charges will apply:  

Date of Cancellation 

Cancellation Charge 

More than 12 weeks before start date 

The deposit of 30% 

84 – 28 days before start date 

50% of total rental 

Fewer than 28 days 

100% of total rental 

Irish Landmark does not operate a cancellation insurance scheme for any reason, including Covid-19, and strongly recommends that all guests take out full holiday insurance cover.    

PARTY SIZE AND COMPOSITION:  In no circumstances may more than the number of persons listed on the booking form occupy the property overnight.   Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse admission if this condition is not observed. Bookings can only be made by adults and cannot be accepted from anyone under the age of 21.  Irish Landmark only allows guest stays where the lead guest is aged 21 years or over.   


Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive Access Details and Important Information via email about your rental. This includes the contact information of the Local House Manager, directions to the property, arrival and departure time, etc. However, the specific arrival time must be agreed with the relevant local House Manager at least four days prior to holiday start date.  It is the responsibility of the Hirer to arrive at the property at the time agreed with the House Manager. Irish Landmark reserves the right to levy an additional charge if the property is not vacated in accordance with these terms on the day of departure.  


The number of day visitors will be limited to the capacity of the property – i.e., a 2-person property may have 2 day visitors, etc.   Prior written consent must be obtained from Irish Landmark Trust for additional numbers of day visitors. 

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Baggage and personal belongings are always at the Hirers risk. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage to any car or its contents. 


Only certain Irish Landmark Trust properties accept a dog.  ALWAYS check this before you book.  Hirers who have made a reservation and are taking a dog will be required to read and agree to special terms, which details the conditions of bringing a dog to one of these properties.  Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the guest being asked to leave a property.  The rental cost is non-refundable in such cases.   


Irish Landmark respectfully request that you charge your electric vehicle at the nearest charging point and not at the property.  


The Hirer is responsible for the property and is expected to take all reasonable care of it. Our House Managers work hard to maintain and clean the buildings and aim to ensure that the property is in a satisfactory condition for your enjoyment.  We ask that you leave the property in a clean and tidy condition upon departure, including all equipment, utensils etc. If the property is left in an unsatisfactory condition and additional cleaning costs are incurred, Irish Landmark reserves the right to recover these costs from the Hirer.   All breakages and damage must be reported to the House Manager immediately so that they can be rectified. All breakages and damage are the legal responsibility of the Hirer and the cost of repair or replacement must be paid to Irish Landmark upon demand.   If there are problems relating to the functioning of the building, please let the House Manager know immediately. Please note that candles are NOT permitted at any Irish Landmark property. Smoking is not allowed inside any Irish Landmark property. 


While every effort has been made to ensure that the representations stated on our website, or any printed literature, are made in good faith, neither they nor any oral representations made by employees or representatives of Irish Landmark Trust will create liability on the part of Irish Landmark. 


There shall be no liability for any claim arising from the act, omission or neglect or default of Irish Landmark Trust, its employees or representatives unless proved to be done with intent to cause damage or recklessly and with knowledge that loss or danger would probably result. Irish Landmark’s agents, servants and employees or other representatives have no authority to waive or modify these Conditions other than in writing. 


On rare occasions Irish Landmark may need access to the property for essential maintenance work, should it be necessary, Irish Landmark will give you as much notice as is possible.   There is no need for you to stay in the property since our House Manager can accompany any such visits. 


If you have any complaint during your holiday, please contact the House Manager.  If the matter is not dealt with to your satisfaction, please email outlining details of your complaint.   


Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse any booking and cancel any booking already made, if in its absolute discretion it considers this to be necessary. Where a booking is cancelled by Irish Landmark, every effort will be made to offer an alternative holiday at no increase in cost.  If the Hirer does not accept the alternative holiday offered, Irish Landmark will return to the Hirer the deposit paid and any other sum paid to Irish Landmark by the Hirer.  Liability for all consequential loss, damage and disappointments is accordingly limited to such return. 


It is the hirer’s responsibility to ensure they book a specific dog-friendly property if they are bringing a dog.  There are specific terms and conditions that to which the hirer must adhere: 

We allow a dog, but only when they have been booked in and paid for. The “Taking a Dog” option must be selected at time of booking.  A charge will apply.  

Our policy is strictly ONE DOG. If you arrive at the property with more than one dog the House Manger is entitled to deny you access to the property.  If it becomes known during/after your stay that more than one dog is/was with you, you may be asked to vacate the property and a charge of €100/£100 per dog will apply. 

You must bring your own crate/bed in which your dog can sleep.  Please also bring bowls, towels, and waste bags for your dog. 

Your dog must be house-trained and kept under proper control.  Dogs are STRICTLY not permitted on beds, sofas, or any furniture.  There is no exception to this rule.  

Before departure, please thoroughly clean the property, paying particular attention to removing pet hair from rugs and soft furnishings.  A vacuum cleaner is available to you.   

If there is evidence that you have not cleaned up adequately after your stay, you will be charged a flat rate of €100/£100.   

You must double-check that the outside area around the property is free of any foul. Dog fouling inside the property is completely unacceptable.  Guests will be asked to vacate the premises immediately if this is discovered.  

Your dog must not be left unsupervised in the property.  We ask that you take your dog with you when you go out.  Please be mindful of any livestock nearby. 


By accepting a confirmation of a reservation from Irish Landmark the lead guest agrees: 


I have read and agree to be bound by the Booking Conditions. 

I agree to be held responsible for the balance of hire for the property due and payable in accordance with these terms. 

I understand that most Irish Landmark properties have no television or internet access; that some have no washing machines or dishwashers; and that many have limited mobile phone coverage. 

I understand that as the Lead Person, I am responsible, before their arrival, for informing all guests of Irish Landmark’s booking conditions, and for their observance of same. 

If I am bringing a pet or having day visitors, I have particularly noted the special conditions that apply in these situations 


Hirers making a reservation over the telephone are deemed to have read all Booking Conditions and agree to be bound by them.   


Availability Calendar

Check availability for all of our properties at a glance here.

Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Important Notes

1-night stays are not permitted.

Bank Holidays & Special Dates have a set minimum number of nights.

Deposits are strictly non-refundable & non-transferable.

Cancellation Fees will apply if you cancel your reservation.

Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings.

Special Offers and Discounts are not valid against existing bookings.

There are restrictions on arrival and departure dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.
Strictly no arrivals or departures on 24th, 25th and 31st of December.