I had never visited Carlingord in Co Louth. It was a town I had read about and just never quite seemed to find the time to visit until now. I left Limerick in my hire car and navigated my way across the country, taking the ring road around Dublin and further north to Carlingford. The drive was easy with only 2 tolls on the roads. My plan was to stay one night in 'Ghan House'. After all, it's a small town and I would not possibly need more than a night there. Famous last words as I stayed two nights at Ghan House.
Ghan House Ghan House Drawing Room
Ireland was invaded by the Vikings in the 9th Century.
The name Carlingford is thought to be Scandinavian , translating into 'Fjord of Carlinn'
King John visited Carlingford in 1210 and the Norman Fortress which was completed in 1261 was named after him. It now towers majestically over the lough. I was fortunate enough to have the lovely Frances from the tourist office host me. I'd like to say she was my guide, but she was far more than that. She took me around the town introducing me to people in shops, craft stores, antique stores and guest houses. We enjoyed the lovely sunshine and ate lunch in the courtyard of the famous O'Hares Pub, located inside the medieval town wall.
King John's Castle View overlooking Carlingford Lough
I could share my timetable with you but I find this can be rather boring for the reader. I ambled around the town by myself also, doing what I like to do best, which is discovering all the sights and sounds without any pre conceived ideas. You see, my clients will come to me to arrange their trip to Ireland , their interests are so wide and varied that I want to be well versed on whats on offer in each town and village. You never know when it will be relevant. It isn't until I meet with them that I discover hidden interests that they do not even associate with Ireland. My most recent experince was a lady who loved to read anything about middle earth. She did not mention this to me, but I saw she had a book on the table. She was a aTolkien fan. It was only natural that she visit Gregans Castle in Ballyvaughan and have lunch at the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna, where the proprietor, Mr Peter Curtin is the founder of the Tolkien Society.
I for one, cannot wait to return and plan on doing so very soon.