Winter at Castle Ward

Seals basking on Strangford Lough near Castle Ward

A new year always brings a sense of excitement for possibilities of a clean slate for the year ahead, and a renewed drive to get active and enjoy new experiences.

Winter is a great time to explore the estate at Castle Ward, as the trees shedding their leaves reveal new views and new favourite spots to discover.  Feel refreshed on a misty morning stroll through Mountain Wood, or head to the loughshore to keep an eye on our winter visitors. After an adventure through the Secret Shore Trail, discover the Bird Hide where you can take a rest and spot the Brent Geese which make their home in Strangford Lough from Autumn to Spring. Over 75% of the world's population venture to our shores, so you're be sure to spot a few, along with terns and possibly a few seals out basking on the rocks.

Every autumn thousands of Brent geese arrive at Strangford Lough
Brent geese at Strangford Lough
Every autumn thousands of Brent geese arrive at Strangford Lough

After a season of indulgence, Castle Ward provides the perfect spot to enjoy some time outdoors. Head out on on some of our 34km of trails, or take it easy with family and enjoy the adventure play parks. Cosy hats, scarves and gloves are a must! Paths can be icy when temperatures fall, so ensure you have sturdy footwear if you're heading off on the trails.

If the cold weather is starting to take it's toll, try and spot the coming signs of spring like the carpets of snowdrops which have already begun to appear along Laurel Walk. Listen out for the mistle thrush, a bird that typically starts marking its territory for the nesting season before most.

Snowdrops arrive late January
Winter at Castle Ward
Snowdrops arrive late January


After (or before!) an adventure around the grounds, get warmed up with a hot drink from the tea-room, or choose one of our hot food options to keep you going on a brisk wintry day.

Call into the Stableyard tea-room for lunches and treats
A family at the Stableyard Tea-room at Castle Ward
Call into the Stableyard tea-room for lunches and treats
Fantastic views can be seen from Audley's Castle across the Lough before the trail meanders into the woodlands..

Winter walks at Castle Ward

Wrap up warm and take a walk around the stunning landscape at Castle Ward this winter.