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 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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.