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Campsites in Larne, County Antrim
Campsites in Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Browns Bay Caravan & Camping Park, Islandmagee, County Antrim
- Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, County Antrim
- Curran Court Caravan Park, Larne, County Antrim
- Ford Farm, Larne, County Antrim
Places of Interest:
- The town has several parks:
- The Town Park sits above the picturesque Promenade area, with walks from Waterloo Bay towards the Chaine Memorial Tower at Sandy Bay – a lighthouse and memorial to the founder of Larne Harbour sea route to Scotland. The Leisure Centre is nearby.
- The Chaine Park contains the burial site of James Chaine and offers picturesque views over the North Channel.
- The Curran park has a large children's play area, bowling facilities and camping. There are also tributes to emigrants to North America and Larne's connections with North America.
- The Dixon Park contains a 2 hectare open green space area with bandstand.
- Smiley park is a small park in the centre of the town also with tributes to emigrants to North America who left from the port of Larne.
- Playing fields and cricket grounds at Sandy Bay.
- Carnfunnock Country Park, 3.5 miles north of Larne is a large site with camping, caravanning, gardens, maze of Northern Ireland, sundials, children's play area, mini-golf, 9 hole pitch and putt golf course, clay pigeon shooting, orienteering course, and walks.
- Larne Leisure Centre offers a 25m indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, weights, fitness, sports hall and theatre. It is situated at Sandy Bay near the picturesque Promenade area.
- Larne Museum & Arts Centre, situated in the Carnegie Centre in the centre of the town.
- Olderfleet Castle is the ruins of a 13th-century castle at Curran Point, near the Chaine Memorial Tower.
- Cairndhu Golf Course is an 18-hole course situated atop of Ballygally Head. Larne Golf Course on sits atop of the Islandmagee peninsula
- Nearby sandy beaches at:
- Sandy Bay (small beach)
- Drains Bay, just to the northern edge of the town.
- Ballygally, 5 miles north from centre of Larne. Ballygally Beach has recently won top awards for cleanliness and is rated to have top water quality for bathing.
- Browns Bay at the tip of Islandmagee offers camping and caravanning.
- Glenarm, 10 miles north from centre of Larne.
- Carnlough, 12 miles north from centre of Larne.
- Waterfalls and forest walk are at nearby Glenoe, 5 miles inland.
- Magheramorne, 5 miles to the south along Larne Lough, has a marina; a Mountainbiking course and an all-Ireland diving centre are currently under construction at the old Magheramorne lime quarry and cement works.The film studio at Magheramorne was used to film much of HBO TV Series Game of Thrones, where the quarry wall was used as a back-drop for much of the series, along with scenery at the Antrim Plateau near Cairncastle.
- Diving tours are also available off the coast. The lighthouse on The Maidens rocks hosts a colony of seals. Numerous coastal bird species and other wildlife such as otters, whales and dolphins are often visible along the Larne coastal area.
- Castle and estate of the Earl of Antrim in the nearby fishing village of Glenarm, 12 miles north, has walled gardens and often hosts Ulster Scots cultural events such as the Dalriada Festival and Highland Games.
- Larne Lough is a protected bird-watching area and designated Special Protection Area, Area of Special Scientific Interest and Ramsar wetland site to protect both birds and shellfish.
- There are numerous stables horse-riding facilities in the area and pony trekking tours are available.
Larne (from Irish: Latharna, the name of a Gaelic territory) is a seaport and industrial market town, as well as a civil parish, on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland with a population of 18,323 people in the 2008 Estimate. As of 2011, there are about 32,000 residents in the greater Larne area. It has been used as a seaport for over 1,000 years, and is today a major passenger and freight roll-on roll-off port. Larne is twinned with Clover, South Carolina which has named one of its schools, Larne Elementary School, after Larne. Larne is administered by Larne Borough Council.
The coastal area around Larne has been inhabited for millennia, and it thought to have been one of the earliest inhabited areas of Ireland, with these early human populations believed to have arrived from Scotland via the North Channel. The early coastal dwellers are thought to have had a sophisticated culture which involved trading between the shores of the North Channel and between other settlements on the coasts of Scotland. The coast of Scotland is in fact clearly visible from here. Archaeological digs in the area have found flintwork and other artefacts which have been assigned dates from 6000 BC onwards. The term Larnian has even been coined by archaeologists to describe such flintworks and similar artefacts of the Mesolithic era (and one time to describe Mesolithic culture in Ireland as a whole).
The river Inver runs through Larne and was the name of a small village( now area in Larne) to one side of the current Larne town. Its name is an Anglicised spelling of Scottish Gaelic inbhir.
The oldest recorded name for Larne Lough is the Irish Loch Ollarbha (loch meaning "inlet") and Inbhear nOllarbha (inbhear meaning "rivermouth"). Larne Lough is also recorded that the Roman Emperor Serverus described how, in 204AD, a Roman slave galley bound for Scotland was blown off course and took shelter in a place that they called Portus Saxa ("Port of the Standing stones") – this is thought to have been Larne Lough. The ancient Greeks also had knowledge of the Antrim Coast and Ptolemy, the astronomer and geographer of the 2nd century AD, referred to Islandmagee on one of his maps.
According to legend, Lathar, child of Úgaine Mór, ruled a small territory which stretched along the Antrim coast roughly from Glenarm to the Inver River – this territory was thus called Latharna (the lands of Lathar). The area where the modern town sits was known in Irish as Inbhear an Latharna ("rivermouth of Latharna") and was later anglicised as Inver Larne or simply Inver. The territorial name Latharna was only applied exclusively to the location of the present town in recent centuries.
There was Viking activity in the area during the 10th and 11th centuries AD. Viking burial sites and artefacts have been found in the area and dated to that time. Ulfreksfjord was an Old Norse name for Larne Lough. According to the Norse historian Snorri Sturluson, Connor, King of Ireland, defeated Orkney Vikings at Ulfreksfjord in 1018. This was later anglicised as Wulfrickford, Wulfrichford and Wulvricheford. Other Norse-derived names for Larne Lough and the surrounding area are found in various records. They include Woking's Fyrth, Wolderfirth, Wolverflete and Olderfleet. The only one that survives is Olderfleet. The ending -fleet comes from the Norse fljot, meaning "inlet". Older- may come from the Norse oldu, meaning "wave". However, P.W. Joyce in his Irish Names of Places suggests that it comes from Ollarbha, the Irish name for the river.
In the 13th Century the Scots-Irish Bissett family built Olderfleet Castle at Curran Point. In 1315 Edward the Bruce of Scotland (brother of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland) landed at Larne with his 6000 strong army en route to conquer Ireland, where Olderfleet Castle was of strategic importance. Edward saw Ireland as another front in the ongoing war against Norman England.
In 1569 Queen Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland, appointed Sir Moyses Hill as the governor of Olderfleet Castle. It was seen as strategically important for any Tudor conquest of Ulster. Following the 17th century Union of the Crowns of Scotland, England and Ireland under James VI & I many more settlers would have arrived to Ulster via Larne during the Plantation of Ulster. The area around County Antrim itself, however, was not part of the official 17th century Plantation; instead many Scottish settlers arrived in the area through private settlement in the 17th century (as they had also been doing for centuries before).
During the 18th century many Irish emigrated to America from the port of Larne. A monument in the Curran Park commemorates the Friends Goodwill, the first emigrant ship to sail from Larne in May 1717, heading for Boston, New England in the modern United States. Boston's long standing Irish roots can be traced to Larne. The town is documented as being the first in county Antrim to be taken by United Irishmen during the ill-fated rebellion of 1798. The rebels from this area (almost entirely Presbyterian) filled Larne and engaged the government forces around 2am on the morning of the 7th of June. This surprise attack drove the garrison to flee the town, at which point the rebel force marched off to join up with McCracken and fight in the Battle of Antrim.
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