Your visit

Visitors exploring the garden in spring at Castle Ward, County Down

Here we've answered all your questions about what's available on site. Walk the trails, visit the tea-room for a hot drink and discover the sights and sounds of spring.

The boat house at Castle Ward on the shore of Strangford Lough

Filming at Castle Ward

Due to a change in the production schedule, Castle Ward will be closed to the public on Thursday 17 June for filming. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause. The estate will reopen on Friday 18 June with some minor diversions in place until 22 June. The location fee for this project will go towards vital conservation projects and help us secure the future of this historic estate for generations to come. We’d like to thank our members and visitors for your continued support.

Arriving and parking:

  • We recommend booking tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. Where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary, however if you do not book we cannot guarantee admission
  • When arriving, please give your surname to the admission staff and they will check you off the list. An electronic or printed copy of your tickets will be handy in the event you are not on the list
  • We have resumed membership card scanning, which means we need to move closer to you to scan your card. We do not need to hold your cards but please let staff know if you are not comfortable for this to take place
  • If you are more than 10 minutes early or late for your session, entry will be at the discretion of the team
  • A recommended amount of time on site is 2.5 hours
  • Parking remains as normal. The gates are locked at 6pm

Staying safe

  • We've put one way systems in place for the tea-room, gift shop and bookshop
  • Visit the archway in the Stableyard to use the hand sanitiser provided before visiting any of the outlets. The trails have all reopened. There may be occasional closures to allow for grazing. The Deer Park is currently closed due to cattle grazing the area and diversions are in place. Find maps of all our trails below.
  • The Hoof Trail has also been updated. If you are riding your horse and you don't own an annual permit, please book an additional child ticket to cover the £5 cost of your daily permit. If you wish to purchase an annual permit, please contact the office on 
  • To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. Look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site.
  • If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.


  • Toilets are open in the Stableyard and Farmyard with accessible parking available. Changing facilities are available in the Stableyard toilets.
  • The Tea-room is open daily for takeaway and seating in the courtyard between 10.30am and 4.30pm serving hot drinks, takeaway snacks, sandwiches and ice-cream using a one way system. Find out what's on the menu
  • The Stableyard Gift-shop, Secondhand Bookshop are now open daily from 11am to 4pm.
  • The Artist's Studio is open Friday - Sunday.
  • The Mansion House is currently closed and will reopen later this year pending up to date regulations. For now, find out more information about the unusual mansion house here.
  • The Slaughterhouse Shop and Trailhead Cafe remain closed.
  • Picnic tables are available throughout the estate and BBQs can be used on the appropriate metal stands. Please do not use BBQs on the grass or near any of the buildings.
Enjoy hot snacks and drinks to takeaway
Takeaway coffee at Waddesdon, A Rothschild House & Gardens in Buckinghamshire
Enjoy hot snacks and drinks to takeaway
  • The Secret Shore Nature Trail and natural play area is open for adventures.
  • The Woodland and Adventure Play Areas are open with some areas closed off.
  • There are lots of fun ideas and worksheets for family adventures available on our family hub here.


Planning your visit

You can now visit during quieter times without booking. If you visit without booking, your entry will depend on visitor numbers on that day and staff will advise you on arrival.

To avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend booking at busier times such as weekends, school holidays and bank holidays.

Entry and parking is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance when booking.

How to book:

  • Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged 5 or under as they don’t need a ticket.
  • You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit.
  • The timeslot is for your arrival time only 
  • Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.

Every Friday we'll release new bookings for visits the following week. You can book up to 3pm the day before you visit.

Upcoming events

Timed entry to Castle Ward (14 June - 20 June)

Sat 19 Jun 2021
Book your timed entry to visit Castle Ward.

Timed entry to Castle Ward (21 June - 27 June)

Mon 21 Jun 2021
Book your timed entry to visit Castle Ward.