On the plus side, there's a free car park at Sainsbury's next door. There's a cinema there, and I liked the food at Josh Mac's Grill. There's an attended public toilet, which is handy. If you're an artist (I am) then you can walk around the arms of the harbour to see views of Carrickfergus Castle. Where else can you do that? Dunluce is a ruin up on a cliff, so its a different vibe entirely. Here you have boats and life and a free gaggle of seagulls perched on the railings.
That being said, there's not much to do, and I kind of use it just as a place to park before going into Carrick town proper. Yes, the subway tunnels under the main road can be smelly; take the crossing above. Still, I say it's an attractive asset to the town. Oh, with the added bit of history that William of Orange landed here. His statue is oddly short. Personally I'm more taken with the tale that King John, yes THE King John from the Robin Hood tales, was once here!
One BIG complaint. From the north is a great view of the castle standing out strong into Belfast Lough. (I'm sure the locals would like to turn back time to the older name, Kragfergus Lough!) For 8 centuries everyone would see that silhouette, with the outlines of Cave Hill and the other mountains around the head of the Lough beyond. So WHY did anyone allow the building of those horrible high-rise apartments just south of the castle? Looking from the north, 800 years of outstanding history now has a bag of blasted rooftops added behind. What a mistake!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.