Spring walks at Castle Ward

There’s no better time to take a walk at Castle Ward than exploring the estate during spring.

The nights get longer and there’s a buzz in the air as birds and other wildlife begin to return for the season.

 Beautiful aroma’s also return as flowers begin to blossom be it in the manicured Sunken Garden or wild on the estate. Wild garlic can be seen sprouting just off pathways and Daffodils and Blue bells come and go.

Spring is also the best time to spot the Irish Hare. On your drive into Castle Ward look around as his tend to be the best place the spot them. Try not to blink as they’re that quick you’ll miss them.

To help you decide what path to take we’ve put together some of our favourite walks below.

Temple Water

If you haven’t been to Temple Water recently you’ll be shocked at the changes as the Temple Water Project is in full swing. A walk around will show just how great those changes have been and we look to return it to the landscape that it once was when the Ward’s lived here. You can read more about the project here.

It’s also bustling with wildlife this time of year. The Swans are back and many other birds use the area for nesting and to bring up their young.

Spot brightly coloured dragonflies as they hover across Ireland’s largest architectural water feature.

In a nutshell: The area is not only stunningly beautiful but it’s also a rich habitat for fauna and flora that must be explored.

Boundary Trail

In a nutshell: An opportunity to explore Castle Ward to the maximum in true tranquillity.

The Boundary trail sounds daunting… a 13km circular trail that frames the entire Castle Ward demesne. However it really a hidden gem at Castle Ward with some stunning views along the way.

Some parts that must be explored are the Mallard Plantation, Tullyratty and Mountain Wood. It’s also worth checking the viewing points out around the Mountain Wood area which have stunning views of the Mournes. Sometimes it’s also a great spot to see a murmuration of starlings.

We also had a reported sighting of the rare green woodpecker in this area last year.

The trail is an even surface throughout and is suitable for competent walks.

Loughshore walk

In a nutshell: This walk explores the waterside, a ruined castle, woodland, an ornamental lake and follies.

Visit in spring to visit the Old Castle farmyard animals and wildflower meadow.

Start in the old Farmyard where the Tower House ascends into the sky. Now infamous for its connection to HBO’s Game of Thrones, it was actually the Ward’s first home on the estate built in 1610.

After exiting the Farmyard area you will take the meandering path along the Loughshore. Enjoy beautiful views across the lough to Portaferry.

There’s a couple of stunning buildings you will come across along the way. The boat house is a stunning looking building that sits out on its own little peninsula. The walls and wooden doors look rustic as they have been battered over time by the wind and rain. You will then come across a 16th-century Audley's Castle. Climb to the top for a great panorama across the estate and Castle Ward Bay.