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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 175 Hotels near Castle Ward
£69
Fiddlers B&B

Fiddlers B&B

10 Church Street, Portaferry
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Portaferry, this eco-friendly bed & breakfast is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Exploris Aquarium and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Castle Ward. Kearney Beach and Kilclief Castle are also within 6 mi (10 km).

£80
Bellas Bistro & Rooms

Bellas Bistro & Rooms

66 Main Street, Portaferry
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this inn is within 9 mi (15 km) of Grey Abbey, Mount Stewart House and Gardens, and Mount Stewart. Exploris Aquarium and Kearney Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).

£75
Anna's House B&B

Anna's House B&B

35 Lisbarnett Road, Newtownards
4.7
of 5, from 3 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

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

£67
The Old Schoolhouse Inn

The Old Schoolhouse Inn

100 Ballydrain Road, Newtownards
4.0
of 5, from 2 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

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

£79
Millbrook Lodge Hotel

Millbrook Lodge Hotel

5 Drumaness Road, Ballynahinch
4.3
of 5, from 10 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Ballynahinch, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Inch Abbey, Down County Museum, and Down Cathedral. St. Patrick Centre and Hillsborough Castle are also within 12 mi (20 km).

Edenvale House

Edenvale House

130 Portaferry Road, Newtownards
4.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Newtownards, this bed & breakfast is 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Mount Stewart and 2.3 mi (3.8 km) from Mount Stewart House and Gardens. Somme Heritage Centre and Grey Abbey are also within 6 mi (10 km).

£125
Slieve Donard Resort and Spa

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa

Downs Road, Newcastle
4.5
of 5, from 163 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Royal County Down Golf Course and Newcastle Beach. Slieve Donard and Dundrum Castle are also within 6 mi (10 km).

£85
La Mon Hotel And Country Club

La Mon Hotel And Country Club

41 Gransha Road, Belfast
4.3
of 5, from 75 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Tucked away in the Belfast Hills, this family-owned hotel is within 6.5 mi (10.5 km) of the Grand Opera House, Victoria Square, the waterfront, and other attractions in Belfast's city center.