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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.