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Castle Ward

Castle Ward is a building of two halves, the result of the ultimate marital compromise. Lord Bernard Ward wanted to live in a neoclassical mansion, but his wife Lady Anne was a big fan of Gothic architecture. So they built both.

The 18th century property, now run by the National Trust, is one of the most eccentric buildings in the UK. From the front, it appears to be a typical Palladian-style Georgian building with grand columns and round arched windows. Walk to the back and you’ll find Gothic pointed arches, battlements and spires, as if the house had been built 300 years earlier.

Castle Ward’s interior is divided in exactly the same way, with wood panelling and columns in Lord Bernard’s half and a Gothic boudoir in Lady Anne’s. Much more information about this odd couple is available at the house.

It’s not all about architecture at Castle Ward – the 820 acre grounds retain most of the buildings used to keep the Ward family in luxury, including a corn mill, sawmill, a Victorian laundry and farm buildings. The grounds have been used by the makers of the Game of Thrones TV series to depict Winterfell, and there are Westeros-themed tours available.

Castle Ward also has crafting exhibitions where artisans and experts make pottery and jewellery.

Elsewhere at Castle Ward, visitors can find a fascinating sunken garden and undisturbed woodland, which is perfect for walking and cycling. One trail goes along the shores of Strangford Lough so visitors can see ducks, swans and even rabbits.


Guide to Exploring Castle Ward


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 269 Hotels near Castle Ward
Fiddlers B&B £80
Fiddlers B&B

Fiddlers B&B

10 Church Street, Portaferry
     
    5.0
    of 5, from 4 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Portaferry, this eco-friendly bed & breakfast is close to Exploris Aquarium and Castle Ward. Area attractions also include Kearney Beach and Kilclief Castle.

    Cloughey Beach House £83
    Cloughey Beach House

    Cloughey Beach House

    68 Main Road, Portaferry
       
      5.0
      of 5, from 1 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Set on the beach in Cloughey, this holiday home is within the vicinity of Kearney Beach, Exploris Aquarium and Castle Ward. Regional attractions also include Killyleagh Castle and Kilclief Castle.

      INCH SCHOOL £495
      INCH SCHOOL

      INCH SCHOOL

      78 BELFAST ROAD, Downpatrick
         
        4.0 out of 5.0
        Annacloy Cottage - County Down Rural Retreat
        Annacloy Cottage - County Down Rural Retreat

        Annacloy Cottage - County Down Rural Retreat

        , Downpatrick
           
          0.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in a rural location, this holiday home is close to Inch Abbey, Down Cathedral and Down County Museum. Local attractions also include St. Patrick Centre and Downpatrick Racecourse.

          Bellas Bistro & Rooms £67
          Bellas Bistro & Rooms

          Bellas Bistro & Rooms

          66 Main Street, Portaferry
             
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated near the beach in Portaferry, this inn is in the same area as Grey Abbey, Nendrum Monastic Site and Mount Stewart House and Gardens. Area attractions also include Mount Stewart.

            Anna's House B&B £75
            Anna's House B&B

            Anna's House B&B

            35 Lisbarnett Road, Newtownards
               
              4.4
              of 5, from 16 reviews
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Situated in Newtownards, this bed & breakfast is within 9 miles (15 km) of Scrabo Tower, Pirates Adventure Golf and Killyleagh Castle. Waterfront Hall and Belfast Botanic Gardens are also within 12 miles (20 km).

              The Old Schoolhouse Inn £67
              The Old Schoolhouse Inn

              The Old Schoolhouse Inn

              100 Ballydrain Road, Newtownards
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 21 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in Ballydrain, this inn is within 9 miles (15 km) of Nendrum Monastic Site, Scrabo Tower and Pirates Adventure Golf. Knock Golf Club and Somme Heritage Centre are also within 9 miles (15 km).

                Luxury Bright, Spacious, Stylish Apartment With Stunning Mountain & bay Views
                Luxury Bright, Spacious, Stylish Apartment With Stunning Mountain & bay Views

                Luxury Bright, Spacious, Stylish Apartment With Stunning Mountain & bay Views

                , Dundrum
                   
                  5.0
                  of 5, from 7 reviews
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach in Newcastle, this property is close to Dundrum Castle and Royal County Down Golf Course. Area attractions also include Newcastle Beach and Castlewellan Forest Park.