Discover CS Lewis’s Narnia in Northern Ireland

Together, the magical landscapes of County Antrim and County Down inspired one of the most fantastical worlds in English literature: Narnia

Dunluce Castlem County Antrim, Northern Ireland, CS Leiws, Narnia, Cair Paravel

Dunluce Castle in County Antrim may have been the original Cair Paravel. Credit: Brian Jannsen/Alamy

His preternatural land of Narnia, first introduced to the world with the publication in 1950 of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, fired the imaginations of generations of children. What child didn’t read CS Lewis’s series of seven fantasy novels, The Chronicles of Narnia, and wish they too could step into a wardrobe and out into another realm – one where talking animals led them on adventures to rid the world of evil, and they were rewarded by being crowned kings and queens? In Narnia, anything could happen and it often did.

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast in 1898 and though he spent much of his life in England, he never forgot his homeland, which provided inspiration for his fictional world.

Scroll through these photos for a taste of the dramatic landscapes that fired his imagination and the legacy his stories have left.

Mountains of Mourne, Mourne Mountains, County Down, Narnia, CS Lewis

View to the Mourne Mountains from Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland. Credit: National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

In a letter to his brother, CS Lewis said that Rostrevor and its surrounds played a part in his vision of Narnia. credit: NITB Photographic Library

In a letter to his brother, CS Lewis said that Rostrevor and its surrounds played a part in his vision of Narnia. credit: NITB Photographic Library

Cair Paravel, Dunluce Castle, Westeros, Narnia, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Visitors may also recognise Dunluce Castle from Game of Thrones. Credit: NITB Tourist Board

CS Lewis Reading Room, Narnia, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

At Queen’s University the CS Lewis Reading Room includes engraved quotes from the writer and it also holds a collection of his private letters. Credit: NITB Photographic Library

Aslan statue, CS Lewis Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland, CS Lewis, Narnia trail

This statue of Aslan, the pivotal character in the novels, delights visitors to CS Lewis Square in Belfast. Credit: NITB Photographic Library

White Witch, snow queen, Jadis, Narnia, statue, CS Lewis Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Narnia

Statue of the White Witch – the epitome of evil in the novels – in CS Lewis Square. Credit: NITB Photographic Library

For the full feature on the real Narnia see the Mar/Apr 2017 (May 2017 in the US) issue of BRITAIN.

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Written by Sally Coffey // 1st February 2017