Guide to a Dunluce Castle elopment

If you believe in rain on your wedding day and something blue, then we offer you up a one of a kind lucky adventure! We call this, your guide to a Dunluce Castle elopement. Take a trip to Northern Ireland to embrace all things light, fun and magically delicious. Also pick up an Irish dry stout. 

Welcome to Ireland

First, you gotta know if you are eloping in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland – commonly known as simply “Ireland.” First, they are two separate countries on one island. WHAT?! Yep. Think of it like West Virginia and Virginia. Close, but no cigar. A Dunluce Castle elopement takes place in the big bad NORTHERN Ireland. The North will for sure remember your elopement!

Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling (£), the currency also in circulation in England, Scotland and Wales. As of March 20, 2024, the pound sterling is equivalent to $1.28. 

We outline everything you need to know about eloping in Ireland including the idiosyncrasies between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in our guide Eloping in Ireland – American’s Guide updated *2023*.

Getting to Northern Ireland

Hop a flight to BFS IE Belfast. It will cost about $1600 for a roundtrip couple and takes around 16 hours. Plan on a layover in Paris. The honeybee elopement way is to always celebrate the ADVENTURE not only the destination. So, stop in Paris for a few days! Enjoy a croissant, pet a fluffy poodle, and check out the Shakespeare and Company, Independent Bookstore. Can we also say the Eiffel Tower at night is sparklier than Edward Cullen? Check out our Paris Elopement Inspiration – Luxury Experience if you don’t believe us.

Back to Dunluce! It’s about an hour drive to Dunluce Castle from Belfast. IE a long as fuck travel day. Hence stopping in Paris for at least a night, then taking the 2 hour flight from Paris to Belfast and renting a car to get to your Dunluce Castle elopement!

Getting Legally Married at Your Dunluce Castle Elopement

  • Your elopement needs to include an officiant for religious weddings, or a registrar or humanist celebrant for secular weddings. 
  • You must have two witnesses over the age of 18. (We volunteer as tribute!)
  • Within 12 months of your wedding, you must give notice – plan for about eight weeks out from your ceremony. Here’s the form you’ll fill out, and you can read about timing here, as well as which documents you’ll need to provide.
  • Apply for a UK marriage visa

Full list of marriage procedures in Northern Ireland found here to answer the big question of “can US citizens elope in Ireland?”

How to Get to Your Dunluce Castle Elopement

Only an hour away from Belfast, nestled along the coast is Dunluce Castle. There are two parts to your Dunluce Castle Elopement – Exploring Dunluce Castle and Your Fine Ass Wedding Ceremony

Guide to a Dunluce Castle Elopement

Dunluce Castle Elopement

Dunluce Castle is a now-ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland, the seat of Clan MacDonnell. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. How long do you need at the Dunluce Castle depends entirely on you! If you are the type of couple who wants to go slow and take it all in, you should plan on 2-3 hours. 

Regular operating hours are February to November: Daily 9.30am to 5pm. 

December/January: Daily 9.30am to 4pm. 

Adult 18+ years cost £6.00 per ticket

Tickets are purchased from the ticket office located on site. Online booking is not available. Don’t worry, as your elopement photographer team we will CAMP OUT if necessary to get you those tickets. We are the Wonka to your Charlie.

Ireland engagement session at Giant's Causeway best places to elope in Ireland

How Do You Elope at Dunluce Castle?

The castle ruins are where you are going to want to explore but NOT where you will get married. Ceremonies are not permitted on the grounds. SO, we found you a place next to Dunluce Castle for your elopement. They don’t call us location matchmakers for nothing!

Dunluce Castle Elopement Ceremony

The land next to Dunluce Castle is privately owned by a local farmer. It is £350 ($447.84) to access his land and cottage for 2 hours. This kind farmer is in the Honeybee Weddings little black book of vendors and he will drive you down to the viewpoint in his 4×4 truck. Let’s get rolling! As far as Ireland wedding venues go, this is THE one.

This is DEFINITELY the place to have your intimate ceremony. The views are incredible, and reserving the site means it will truly be a private occasion. Take this time, you and your love, to share your most meaningful moments. Wear the dress, bring the rings, and take home a spouse after! 

Get Ready for Your Dunluce Castle Elopement

Looking for a little extra glimmer at your elopement? We got your recs. Bridal hair by Michelle Jewess has a passion for styling wedding day hair. She shares, “my priority is to offer a high quality service, as well as a friendly face to help calm any pre wedding nerves. I love making people feel good and look amazing. I create on-trend, timeless classics and textured hairstyles that last day and evening.”

For makeup, we recommend Helen Pearson Makeup Artist. With thirteen years of experience, she has you covered. Helen describes her signature style as noticeable, yet natural.  “An elevated beauty experience with an emphasis on flawless, glowing complexion and eyes that subtly pop. Makeup is not one-size-fits-all, and my approach to beauty is tailored to each client’s individuality and comfort level. From glamorous to natural, each look I create is bespoke to every bride’s unique preferences and taste. My goal is to always bring a stress-free, inviting, relaxing energy to your wedding day.”

Where to Stay for your Dunluce Castle Elopement

Waterfall Caves is a family-run business, located below Binevenagh nestled along the Causeway Coastal Route of Northern Ireland. It’s 40 minutes away from Dunluce. It’s beautiful, but everything in Ireland is beautiful. What makes this extra unique is where you sleep. You can either choose to stay in an UNDERGROUND cave OR a turn around house that literally rotates 360 degrees, allowing visitors to take the panoramic views of Magilligan foreland and Binevenagh mountain. WHAT THE FUCK?!? Amazing. Ireland is our new favorite place.

Bayview Hotel is 4 minutes away from your Dunluce Castle elopement. Its got everything – a restaurant, a bar, and spa treatments. For couples that want a little more pampering and to stay in one place and enjoy, Bayview Hotel is a great choice.

Bushmills Inn is 4 minutes from Dunluce Castle and gives us The Traitors’ vibes. While that was filmed in Scotland, the oversized leather chairs, darkly painted red walls, a classic cocktail list, and the roaring fire make us want to sit back and wait for The Bachelor’s Peter Weber to appear and recruit us. The inn features spacious rooms, a full Irish breakfast, and afternoon tea. 

We are always going to be a sucker for a charming Air BnB. The Broadskies Cabin boasts beautiful sea views over Portballintrae and the Causeway coast. It’s the perfect spot to relax, set in a large private garden with private parking.

The garden is fenced in and gated and there is an indoor wood burning stove as well as an outdoor fire pit and wood fired hot tub with sea views. Cozy up with your loved one and bask in Ireland’s charm.


Activities During Your Dunluce Castle Elopement

Dunluce Castle elopement must have photos in Giant's Causeway.

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway is only 10 minutes from Dunluce Castle. It will be crowded, BUT it’s Ireland’s ONLY World Heritage Site. Can’t blame other people for also having good taste in their explorations. It cost $17.20 a person.

The roughly 40,000 massive black basalt columns, or hexagon-shaped rocks, and surrounding coastline looks like an area found at the edge of the world. If you want to check it out after your Dunluce Castle elopement, you can walk around and soak in the views on your own or take the audio tour to hear the Irish legend of how the rocks were formed. TBH It’s our FAVORITE place for adventure session photos. We’ll work to sneak around the crowds with you.

Black & White Bay

We have a sweet spot for all things off the beaten path. The stunning, sweeping sandy beach of White Park Bay is located in the small village of Ballintoy, County Antrim.  Enjoy lazy summer days, picnics, sandcastle-making and leisurely strolls along the beach which  forms a white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim coast. Hidden away and secluded, it is a perfect destination for a romantic getaway. Only 20 minutes from Dunluce Castle, dip your toes in the water, and feel the ocean on the other side of the world with your one true love. It’s an epic, sweet little spot! 

Dunluce Castle elopement, explore Black and White Bay.

Dunseverick Falls

If there’s one thing you can count on us for, it’s the waterfall recommendation. Can’t stop, won’t stop. The Dunseverick Falls are also only 20 minutes from Dunluce Castle. Keep on the trail & durable surfaces, avoid fragile sedimentary rock, don’t cross restoration barriers. It is a tourist attraction so expect some crowds.

It’s a great area to walk around and lightly hike. You’ll find yourself scrambling along a little bit of rocks, but it’s mostly easy. Not only is it beautiful but very accessible with nearby parking. This off-the-beaten-path waterfall is between the pier and the castle. 

Was Game of Thrones filmed at Dunluce Castle?

If you’ve really been lured to Northern Ireland for the Game of Thrones connections here are some locations you’ll be interested in. 

The Dark Hedges

20 minutes from Dunluce Castle is The Dark Hedges, an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Ready for this? Game of Thrones ended FIVE years ago. If you’re still cursing that ending and wishing you could relive the magic, stop by The Dark Hedges. They are featured in season 2, episode 1: ‘The North Remembers.’ 

Drive along the King’s Road which led Ned Stark to his death and Arya Stark away from King’s Landing. This location is probably one of the most photographed landmarks on the Game of Thrones Map and a hidden road on the way to Bushmills. Psstt Bushmills Inn sounds familiar because it is on our accommodation’s list above!

While a gorgeous spot in the trees, it tends to be very busy. You can expect it to be crowded and noisy with tourists and kids.

Sallagh Braes 

Distance: 1 hour 15 minutes from Dunluce Castle; 3.4 mile out and back hike. 748ft elevation gain, moderately challenging hike. Takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to complete.

GOT Connection: You’ll recognize the landscape from Game of Thrones Episode 7 Season 6: The Broken Man when Sandor Clegane, the Hound, after surviving being left to die by Arya Stark now lives a peaceful existence with a band of villagers in the Riverlands.

Cushendun Caves

Distance: 45 minutes from Dunluce Castle 

GOT Connection: The Cushendun Caves are located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The most direct route is to head to Ballymena and then onto Cushendall. Although the caves are very old, they acted as a key location. Find the caves here where Melisandre gave birth to her ‘shadow baby’ along the Antrim Coast in an area portrayed as the Stormlands.

Visit Cushendun Cave during your Dunluce Castle Elopement.

Larrybane Quarry 

Distance: 45 minutes from Dunluce Castle 

GOT Connection: Larrybane bay on the North Antrim Coast, protected by Sheep Island and a shallow reef, is one of the most sheltered and scenic locations along the Causeway Coast. From the cliffs above Larrybane the magnificent coastline can be viewed including Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Its old quarry set the scene for our introduction of Brienne of Tarth in season two, when she fought Ser Loras Tyrell in a tournament in front of King Renly in front of his new wife and queen, Margaery Tyrell.

Downhill Strand Beach

Distance: 30 minutes from Dunluce Castle 

GOT Connection: Downhill Strand in County Londonderry, a scenic beach, 7 miles (11 km) long it is one of the longest in Northern Ireland. The exterior beach scenes of Dragonstone island. Where Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon burn the statues of the Seven in the Season 2 premiere, “The North Remembers”; later on the same beach Davos talks with Salladhor Saan, and in Season 3 this beach of Dragonstone is where Davos sends Gendry away on a rowboat.

Dunluce Castle elopement, explore Downhill Strand Beach.


Distance: 45 minutes from Dunluce Castle ; 3.5 mile loop, 780ft elevation gain, moderately challenging and takes about 2 hours to complete.

GOT Connection: On the edge of the Antrim plateau, Binevenagh boasts panoramic views stretching for miles. The location was chosen for the Dothraki Sea far above the city of Meereen, where Daenerys is rescued by her dragon Drogon and brought to his lair. An easy-going route which is suitable to most abilities, so a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors. A great trail and easy enough to follow. Beware after rain as the descent is muddy and slippy, definitely need sturdy boots.

Your Turn for an Irish Goodbye

Forget the sparkler exit, in 2024 we are hyping up the IRISH GOODBYE! You and your honey having the time of your life and peacing out whenever you are ready! If you are ready for your Dunluce Castle elopement, let’s go! We are offering a $500 TRAVEL DISCOUNT for an elopement in September 2025! Contact us to secure your spot. We can’t wait for your amazing adventure!

Dunluce Castle elopement, how to have an adventure elopement in Ireland.
Dunluce Castle elopement, Explore the Dark Hedges.
Dunluce Castle elopement, complete guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *