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Christmas at Castle Ward

Christmas at Castle Ward, County Down
Christmas at Castle Ward, County Down | © Neil Watt

This festive season, we invite you to step inside Castle Ward and experience the mansion dressed in tableau for an evocative 18th-century Christmas. Pick up a festive treat from the tea-room, or a beautiful Christmas gift from the Stable Yard shop.

Castle Ward Christmas Village

9-10 & 16-17 December

Get ready to experience the magic of our Christmas village at Castle Ward!

Take a trip to the elves workshop where little ones can make magical reindeer food in festive style. You will also have the chance to decorate gingerbread men in Mrs Claus' kitchen, the perfect treat for any Christmas gathering.

Be sure to stop off and pick up some locally crafted gifts at our mini market in the decorated farmyard. Sip warm mulled wine while you explore the stalls, finding the perfect Christmas gifts. And don't forget to toast marshmallows by the firepit.

Father Christmas himself will also be making a grand entrance by tractor to the village. Accompanied by his merry helpers, he will meet and greet all the children, spreading Christmas cheer and listening to their heartfelt wishes.

Enjoy a wide range of captivating performers, including stilt walkers gracefully gliding through the crowd, magicians creating moments of astonishment, and elf fire breathers who will dazzle you with their mesmerizing skills, igniting the night with bursts of enchanting flames. Immerse yourself in the joyous sounds of live music, filling the air with melodies that evoke the spirit of Christmas time.

Get up close and personal with charming alpacas as they make a special appearance at Castle Ward. Their fluffy coats and gentle personalities are sure to bring a smile to your face. Additionally, be sure not to miss the captivating displays of majestic hawks.

A woman carrying a little boy as they look at a market stall
Christmas Artisan Market at Castle Ward | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Christmas artisan market

1–3 December

Pick up your local crafts and gifts from the Stable Yard before heading round to the cosy mansion house where you can experience Christmas just as the Georgians did.

Join us in the theatre space and Stable Yard where you will find a handpicked selection of local designer/makers and food vendors showcasing their work and locally produced products. It's a great opportunity to pick up some handcrafted Christmas gifts.

  • 1 December, 1pm–8pm
  • 2–3 December, 11am–5pm

Christmas food and drink

Step inside the warm and cosy tea-room, which has been dressed head-to-toe in traditional Christmas décor. Why not try a delicious mince pie, or chocolate orange shortbread washed down with a flat white or gingerbread latte?

Christmas shopping

Are you ready for Christmas? Or are you a last-minute planner? Our Stable Yard shop has an array of Christmas gifts and decorations to choose from, all made with sustainable materials. Open daily, 11am–4pm.

Visitors exploring the festive interiors in the Entrance Hall at Castle Ward
Experience Christmas at Castle Ward with your family this festive season | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Georgian Christmastide at Castle Ward

1-3, 8-10 & 15-17 December

Entering the house, your senses will awaken, and you will view the cosy rooms just as the Georgians did in the dark winter evenings.

House decorations

Atmospheric lighting will accentuate the period plasterwork and panelling, and the moving shadows will add to the intrigue of the old rooms. The halls will be wreathed in colourful historical garlands, the dining table decorated with festive foods and rich wines, the air filled with the scents of Christmas, and if you listen carefully, you'll hear the sounds of mirth and jollity from centuries past.

After journeying through the grand and elegant rooms of the house, descend the Servants Stairs to the basements of Castle Ward where you'll find the preparations for Christmas well under way – a Housekeeper’s room, a bustling kitchen filled with the delicious scents of festive food, and a cellar filled with fine wines.

Step into Christmastide

The Stable Yard will be dressed in Georgian style with Christmas lights, accompanied by living history actors telling you the stories of those who called Castle Ward home during the 18th century. Come to a late-night opening on 1 December and enjoy a nighttime experience of Castle Ward lit up by the twinkling lights.

  • 1 December, 12PM - 6PM
  • 2-17 December, 11AM - 4PM (Fri-Sun)

For full listings of Christmas events at Castle Ward visit our What’s On page

Two members of National Trust staff looking up and discussing the ornate plaster ceiling in the Gothic Boudoir at Castle Ward, County Down

Discover more at Castle Ward

Find out when Castle Ward is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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