Set a short distance back from the lough’s southern shore, the trim and charming former fishing village of CARLINGFORD is by far the best base for exploring the peninsula. Its tight and tortuous streets reflect its medieval origins and house a host of places where you can eat, drink and sleep. However, this is not a place for the light of purse or pocket: prices here are significantly higher than elsewhere in the county or across the water in Down.

Carlingford’s name is Old Norse in origin, deriving from “Kerlingfjörthr” (the fjord of the hag-shaped rock), and indicating that this was once a Viking settlement. By the lough shore stands the ruin of King John’s Castle, which served as an Anglo-Norman sentinel over the lough’s entrance. The village itself contains some impressive later buildings, including the fifteenth-century Mint, a fortified townhouse just off the main square. To learn more about Carlingford’s history, visit the Heritage Centre, housed in the restored medieval Holy Trinity church, whose displays document the village’s development from Norman times.

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