Castle Ward, Strangford

Stately home with walks, gardens, activities and cafe


Castle Ward is a captivating estate located near Strangford in Northern Ireland, offering visitors a unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty. This stunning National Trust property has become a significant tourist attraction, drawing people from all over the world to explore its rich heritage and picturesque surroundings.

One of the most distinctive features of Castle Ward is its dual architectural style, showcasing both classical Palladian and Gothic Revival elements. This architectural duality is a result of a compromise between Lord Bangor and his wife, Lady Ann Bligh, who had differing preferences. The result is a visually striking mansion that stands as a testament to compromise and creativity. The classical façade, with its symmetry and order, contrasts harmoniously with the Gothic detailing, creating a building that is both elegant and unique.

The estate's location on the shores of Strangford Lough adds to its allure. The picturesque landscape includes woodlands, gardens, and open spaces that provide a peaceful retreat for visitors. Strangford Lough is the largest sea inlet in the British Isles and is renowned for its biodiversity. The combination of the historic architecture and the scenic natural surroundings makes Castle Ward a haven for those seeking a serene escape.

Tourists are particularly drawn to Castle Ward for its role as a filming location for the popular television series "Game of Thrones." The estate served as the backdrop for the fictional land of Winterfell, the ancestral home of House Stark. Fans of the show can embark on guided tours that take them through iconic locations such as the Whispering Wood and the courtyard where the Stark family welcomed King Robert Baratheon. This connection to a globally beloved series has significantly increased the estate's popularity among tourists.

Beyond its ties to "Game of Thrones," Castle Ward offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors. The estate is home to a variety of walking and cycling trails, allowing guests to explore the diverse landscapes and enjoy panoramic views of Strangford Lough. The Gardens at Castle Ward, with their mix of formal and informal design, provide a delightful space for a leisurely stroll. Additionally, the farmyard and adjoining stableyard offer an interactive experience, allowing visitors to meet animals, learn about traditional farming practices, and engage in hands-on activities.

For those interested in history, Castle Ward provides a glimpse into the past through its period rooms, exhibitions, and guided tours. The mansion's interior showcases a collection of Georgian and Victorian artifacts, offering insights into the lifestyle of the aristocracy during different eras. The estate's rich history is further brought to life by knowledgeable guides who share captivating stories about the people who lived and worked on the property over the centuries.

In conclusion, Castle Ward in Strangford is a multifaceted destination that seamlessly blends architectural marvels, natural beauty, and cultural significance. Its dual-style mansion, scenic surroundings, and ties to "Game of Thrones" make it an intriguing and appealing site for tourists. Whether exploring the historic interiors, wandering through the gardens, or immersing themselves in the landscapes that once graced the television screen, visitors to Castle Ward are sure to find a wealth of experiences that capture the essence of this remarkable estate.


Click to leave or read commemts

Report A Problem

See a mistake, want to add more information or just get in touch?

What do you think about this activity?