Glenarm and its surroundings constitute one of the nine “Antrim Glens”, or valleys which are among the attractions of this part of Northern Ireland. The glen itself, the river, the bay and the village are all called Glenarm, which stands for “Glen of the Army”, a reminder of a bloody past dating back to the Normans. The harbour at Glenarm has a long history, but has been restored and updated, and nowadays houses a marina used by yachts and pleasure boats. The village itself, dating from the 17th century, is a Conservation Area.
Across the river from the village is Glenarm Castle and Walled Garden, home to the Dunluce family. The castle originates from the 13th century when one John Bisset, expelled from Scotland for murder, arrived in the area and established a castle for the defence of his newly acquired land. However, it was in 1636 that the present-day version of the castle was built by the Earl of Antrim Sir Randall McDonnell. The Walled Garden dates from the 18th century and is one of Irelands oldest. There is a tea room which last year had a glowing write-up in the Belfast Telegraph. The garden is open to visitors from March until September, however the castle itself is only occasionally open to the public, and is available for group visits. The Glenarm Forest Park used to be part of the demesne of Glenarm Castle but is now open to the public and maintained by Ulster Wildlife Trust.
Glenarm Castle. Photo by Glenarm Castle, via Wikimedia Commons.