Our Surroundings

The Area

Lying about 12 miles north of Larne it is the most southerly of the Nine Glens of Antrim. The village of Glenarm has a population of around 500 people with perhaps 600-700 in the upper glen. There was an important fort here in Norman times providing an outlet to the sea for the extensive Norman settlement in mid-Antrim. The harbour has recently been renovated and a new marina created with moorings for some 75 boats.

Glenarm is a truly rustic and idyllic location. Once one of the most important ports in Ireland, besieged and controlled by Irish warlords and Normans alike, Glenarm is now a quiet village, steeped in Irish history, which generously shares it’s culture with all who visit.

Immaculately preserved Georgian streets paved with history, a pristine river that’s teeming with wild salmon and walks with stunning panoramas of the Glens and the coast of Scotland come together to make up charming Glenarm Village.

One of the 9 Glens of Antrim, Glenarm epitomises the beauty of the Causeway Coast and a visit here has mesmerised and captivated many a traveller and is sure to do the same to you and your guests.

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Discover Glenarm Castle

The Castle

Glenarm Castle, dating from 1750 with early 19th century alterations lies near the village and the Antrim Estate extends up the Glen for about four miles on both sides of the river. The Church of Ireland stands on the site of a Third Order Franciscan Friary founded about AD 1500 with part of the walls still visible.

Glenarm Castle has been the ancestral seat of the McDonnell family, Earls of Antrim since it was first built by Randal, 1st Earl of Antrim in the 17th century.

In July 2021, the 14th Earl of Antrim, Alexander, sadly passed away. Lord Antrim had an illustrious career as Keeper of Conservation for the Tate Gallery in London. For many years he was the proud custodian of Glenarm Castle.

The current and 15th Earl of Antrim is Randal. Along with his wife Aurora, Lady Antrim and their two children, they currently reside in Glenarm Castle.

The MacDonnell Family

The MacDonnell family came to Glenarm from Scotland in the late 14th Century when John Mor MacDonnell married Marjory Bisset, who was heiress, then to the Glens of Antrim. They came from Scotland to take up lands on the Antrim coast. Their castle lay on another side of the Glenarm River, where the village stands today. The advantageous marriage brought a shift in power to the MacDonnell clan, who then had control over five estates on the northern coast between Antrim and Dunluce.

Built by Randal MacDonnell in 1636, Glenarm Castle was burnt by Scott Covenanter’s army, who were attacking the MacDonnell family in 1642. The castle remained in ruin for ninety years post this event. The castle was again built to its former glory in 1756, and since then, many renovations have taken place to maintain the castle and the estate.