Short Tour (Trial)

I have had a few requests recently about doing a shorter version of my Tour, as the two miles, and ninety minutes, of the standard Tour may not suit everyone. It was also suggested that visitors to the Castle may not have the time to commit to a long walk, but may consider a shorter Tour.

I’m always open to suggestions.

Consequently, I am going to try out a new shorter route next week, which will be about a mile in length. This will mean missing out a stop that’s a bit out of town, and will reduce the time needed to come on the Tour to 45-60 minutes.

I hope to be able to include the main substance of the standard Tour, through sharing some photographs, but maybe not in as much depth as the normal Tour.

Time will tell.

To test this new route, I intend to run a Short Tour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week (29 July, 31 July and 2 August), leaving from the Castle at 2:00pm. This will mean the Tour will finish just in time to enjoy your mid-afternoon complimentary cup of tea or coffee in Dobbins Inn.

I tested out the new route with my dog Maxx this morning (he didn’t like it as it was too short!).

It will allow visitors to our beautiful town to see some of the older parts of Carrickfergus along the way: St. Nicholas’ Church, Town Walls, North Gate and Shaftesbury Park, to name a few.

As my Tour concentrates on the role Carrickfergus played during the Second World War, I won’t be going into any great detail about those parts of the town, but I should be able to give a few pointers for the visitors to explore later for themselves.

The price for the trial run of this shorter Tour is £5 for Adults (16+), £3 for Youths (11-16) FREE for younger children. This includes a voucher, for each paying guest, entitling them to a complimentary cup of tea or coffee in Dobbins Inn.

The next Scheduled full Tour will be on Saturday 27 July at 10:30.

Other days and times available on request. Group bookings welcome.

I may be able to offer a supported visit to the US Rangers Museum on certain Tours – contact me to discuss.

I would hugely appreciate you sharing this information on your Facebook Page, and liking/follow the Tour’s main page, if you haven’t already.

August 2019 – Scheduled Tour Dates

There will be a scheduled Tour every Saturday morning during August, starting at 10:30am.

These Saturday Morning Tours do not include a supported visit to the US Rangers Museum.

Other days and times, which may include a supported visit to the US Rangers Museum, can be accommodated on request – just get in touch and I’ll do my best to deliver a Tour that fits better into your itinerary.

All Tours leave from the left hand side of Carrickfergus Castle (as you face the main entrance).

Meeting Point for the start of the Tour

The Guide will be easy to find – he’ll be carrying a replica US Army Jeep Bag.

US Army Jeep Bag

You can pay on the day or pre-book a place on the Tour through Eventbrite – provided the ticket is purchased by 11:00pm on the day before the Tour.

Click on the Eventbrite Logo below to be redirected there.

Re-opening of the US Rangers Centre

With the imminent re-opening of the Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Centre at Boneybefore, I am going to incorporate a visit there into a variation of the Tour.

The story of the US Rangers forms a significant part of the Tour, and the exhibitions in the Centre really add to that.

It’s a right wee dander (or “quite a walk” for any non-Northern folk out there) from the town to Boneybefore. It turns the Tour’s standard two-mile circuit into a three-and-a-half mile round trip. I think that for all but the most ambitious visitor, those are a few steps too far.

So, I’m going to try to do few variations of the Tour, to see how they work out.

My standard, “just turn up” scheduled Tours on most Saturday mornings at 10:30am will remain as they are: a two-mile, ninety-minute circular route that does not incorporate the US Rangers Centre. You can always visit the Centre at your leisure after the Tour.

I can also offer this standard Tour on other days and times, on request.

On a request-only basis (contact me to agree a day and time), if anyone wants to come on a Tour that includes a stop at the US Rangers Centre, I have a few permutations:

Walk the Walk. I don’t mind taking the extra steps. In fact, I could probably do with them! By doing the Tour (inclusive of visiting the US Rangers Centre), you will end up walking three and a half miles, in around two hours. You will follow most of the route we use in the Standard Tour, starting at the Castle, but deviate to Boneybefore, and then walk back along the promenade side of the Marine Highway. You get some decent photos of the Castle along this stretch. The standard Tour prices will apply.

Walk and Ride. This will be a combination of a shorter walk (about a mile and a half), followed by transportation to the US Rangers Centre, and then back to the Castle. The information I share during the Tour remains exactly the same as in the other Tours: you just do less walking. If you are able to provide your own transport, that’s great. If you don’t, I was planning just to use the local taxi service. The walking part of this Tour starts at the Castle, and ends at Taylors Avenue. From there, I will arrange for transportation to take us to the US Rangers Centre for 30-45 minutes, and then back to the Castle. I reckon, depending on how many are in the group taking the Tour, it should not add more than £2 to the standard cost of the Tour.

For these variations it really is only feasible if there are at least 3 people on the Tour, so you may need to rustle up a few additions from family & friends, or be prepared to join a waiting list until I get the necessary numbers. The more flexible you are about preferred days and times, the easier I may be able to cobble together a group.

A point to remember – the US Rangers Centre normally opens on Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Tours incorporating a visit need to work round those times. In some circumstances, though, if there is decent size Group booking, the Centre may open outside of those times. I would need to be given a decent bit of notice in advance to make a request.

I am trying to be as flexible as I can for anyone wishing to come on one of my Tours. I appreciate that not everyone may be comfortable walking two miles (though it feels less – honestly!), or the Saturday morning slot may not suit. If you have any special requests about how I can help you join a Tour, please get in touch. I’ll do my very best to accommodate you.

The story of Carrickfergus during the Second World War is much more interesting than you may think! Join me to find out more.

All Tours conclude with a complimentary regular size tea or coffee at Dobbins Inn.

July 2019 Tour Dates

The Scheduled Standard Tour Dates for July 2019 are:

Saturday 6th – 10:30am

Saturday 20th – 10:30am

Saturday 27th – 10:30am

Other Tour Variations and Days and Times available on Request.

Contact me to arrange a Tour that suits you or your Group. I will do my very best to accommodate you.

Latest Information on Tours from 1 June 2019

I have used April and May to fine tune the Tour. As a result of feedback from those who came on the Tours, I have a few changes to announce.

Complimentary Tea or Coffee included in the price

Dobbins Inn is now supporting the Tour by providing a regular size cup of tea or coffee to participants at the end of the Tour (this does not include Children aged under 11, who can go on the Tour for free). Adults and Youths will be provided with a Voucher which should be presented to whoever serves them in Dobbins Inn.

I really appreciate the support of the most recognised and established business in Carrickfergus.

Scheduled Tours now on Saturdays

I am going to offer a scheduled Tour on most Saturdays, starting at 10:30am

*I may be unavailable on the odd Saturday due to unforeseen or personal circumstances, but I’ll announce any changes as far in advance as I can.

Tours at other days and times can be arranged on request. Please contact me to discuss.

Pre-Purchase Pricing

If you pre-purchase Tickets, there is a discount of £1 per person if you book through Eventbrite. There are no hidden administration fees added to the prices advertised – I will absorb those.

Anyone considering a Group Tour should contact me to agree a discounted overall price, based on the Group size, rather than book a series of individual tickets.

Tour now includes complimentary tea or coffee

I am delighted that Dobbins Inn is supporting the Lead The Way Tour.

I am now able to offer a complimentary regular size cup of tea or coffee to Tour participants at the conclusion of the Tour, in one of Ireland’s oldest buildings that is steeped in history and oozing character, offering a great atmosphere, real coal burning fire, “craic”, quality service and top class food.

There’s also accommodation available, with all bedrooms en suite complete with TV, telephone, complimentary WI-FI and tea/coffee making facilities.

Click on the logo below to visit the Dobbins Inn website.

June Tours Schedule

See the Pricing page for information on the cost of the Tour and discounts available if pre-booked online.

If you plan to turn up for a Tour without a pre-purchased ticket, please revisit this page to confirm a Tour is operating on your chosen date, to avoid disappointment and a wasted journey.

June 2019 Confirmed Tour Dates and Times (Updated Daily)

These are the current Tour dates and times for June 2019.

Saturday 1, at 10.30am

Recently added: Wednesday 5, at 10.30am

No Tour on Saturday 8 June due to the Royal Landings Pageant in Carrickfergus

Saturday 15, at 10.30am

Saturday 22, at 10.30am

Saturday 30, at 10.30am

Updates will be provided on this page, and also on the Tour’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Dates still don’t suit?

Additional dates/times may be added on request. Contact me to discuss options

REMINDER: dates and times may be subject to change – please re-visit this page regularly for details, or contact me in advance, especially before travelling.

First Tour Dates Announced

The first “Just Turn Up” Tours will start on Sunday 5 May.

This date is of specific importance to me.

My late mother was Dutch. She grew up as a child in Eindhoven, while it was under German occupation from 1940-45.

She was immensely grateful to those Allied service personnel who risked everything to liberate her country.

The Dutch, as a nation, have not forgotten either. 5 May is their Liberation Day – Bevrijdingsdag.

To commemorate, in my own way, this important day I will be offering three Tours on the 5 May 2019. Each will depart from Carrickfergus Castle (just to the left hand side of it, as you face the main entrance) – 10:30am, 1:00pm and 3:30pm

The cost of the Tour is:

Adult (over 16): £5

Juvenile (11-16): £3

Families (2 Adults and up to 3 Juveniles): £15

Children (under 11): FREE, if accompanied and supervised by an Adult (up to 2 children per Adult).

Pre-Booking is not needed for “Just Turn Up” Tours, but I may have to limit the numbers joining any Tour – apologies in advance.

Other Tours in May

Other dates for “Just Turn Up” Tours during May will be added here soon – please re-visit this page to find out more.

If you wish to pre-book a Group Tour, rather than come on a “Just Turn Up” one, please get in touch. I will try, where possible, to deliver a Tour on a date/time that suits you.

There are discounts available for Groups (see the Pricing section for details)