Winterfell Festival 2017

Winterfell Festival comes to Castle Ward on 16 September 2018

This one day festival is not to be missed! It’s an opportunity to discover the setting of the Stark family home, see first-hand theatrical re-enactments from the fantasy TV series, meet an actor from the show, watch spectacular games unfold in a mystical landscape and enjoy lively music, local food and much more.

The festival, which is being hosted by the National Trust, invites visitors to step into the world of the Stark family at Castle Ward, the iconic filming location for Winterfell, House of Stark, in the popular HBO series.

Step into the world of the Stark family at the Winterfell Festival
A group of warriors line up at Winterfell Tower House at Castle Ward
Step into the world of the Stark family at the Winterfell Festival

Starring roles

Fans of Game of Thrones will have the opportunity to meet a Knight of the Kingsguard and a member of the Night’s Watch at the one day festival. Ian Beattie aka Meryn Trant, Knight of the Kingsguard and Michael Condron, aka Bowen Marsh, First Steward of the Knight’s Watch will be hosting a series of ‘walk and talks’. Festival goers will be able to meet the actors and learn about their experiences on set filming Game of Thrones.

Visitors will also get to see Grey Wind and Summer, two of the Direwolves raised by the Stark family. Known as Odin and Thor in the real world, these Northern inuit dogs are the closest thing to real wolves you’ll ever meet!

Thronies will also recognise armourer Boyd Rankin as Mikken, the blacksmith at Winterfell in Game of Thrones. Find him in the medieval courtyard where Boyd will be showcasing a selection of the swords and weapons he forged for the series, alongside live blacksmith demonstrations.

Immerse yourself in the mythical world of Westoros at Castle Ward
A warrior in brandishes his sword at the Winterfell Tower House at Castle Ward Co. Down
Immerse yourself in the mythical world of Westoros at Castle Ward

King's Tournament

Winterfell Festival will be an unmissable spectacle centred round the King’s Tournament Games. Historical reproduction company Irish Arms will perform a series of medieval jousting performances on horseback throughout the day.  Sword sparring, jesters and falcon flights will add to the atmosphere in the tournament ring where visitors will be able to feast on roast hog washed down with local cider.

Travellers will be encouraged to walk down the Kingsroad to the "Inn at the Crossroads" where they can pull up a pew and listen to stories from A Song of Ice and Fire being performed by actors, while dining on venison pie and ale.

The world of Westoros awaits you at Winterfell Festival
A member of Irish Arms brandishes his sword at Castle Ward, Co. Down
The world of Westoros awaits you at Winterfell Festival

Life at Winterfell

Running from 11 am until 5 pm, there’s a full line-up of interactive entertainment for all ages to enjoy. Join a skirmish to Audley’s Castle; explore inside the iconic Winterfell Tower House or watch a Game of Thrones theme Shadow Puppet show. Children especially will enjoy the ‘King’s mini tournament’ with hobby horses and jousting games.

Tickets for the festival are proving hugely popular with visitors travelling to County Down from as far as Dubai for an insight into George R. R. Martin’s mythical world of Westeros.

Winterfell Festival ticket information


Access to Castle Ward on 24 September will be exclusively for Winterfell Festival ticket holders only.  Castle Ward will be closed to non-ticket holders, including National Trust members, from 9am-6pm on 24 September.

This event is independently operated by the National Trust and is not sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with Game of Thrones.

Book your tickets

Book your tickets to Winterfell Festival 2018