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Eating and shopping at Castle Ward

The Stableyard tearoom at Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland
Family enjoying lunch at Castle Ward, County Down | © Annapurna Mellor/National Trust Images

Tuck into a seasonal menu, including cakes and bakes, in the Stableyard Tea-room at Castle Ward and treat yourself or someone special in the shops. Stop by the second-hand bookshop and pick up a page turner to help Castle Ward’s story continue for generations to come.


The Stableyard Tea-room

In the old stables at Castle Ward you can pull up a chair, tuck into a tasty meal and soak up the atmosphere of this unique setting. The stables would once have been a bustling hive of activity with horses coming and going and the sound of hooves filling the air.

Choose from a seasonal menu of hot food, sandwiches, cakes and bakes as well as a range of cold refreshments, hot drinks and the locally made Glastry Farm ice cream.

Vegan options

Whether you're vegan, testing out a more plant-based diet, or just curious, there’s a range of options in the Stableyard Tea-room to suit your appetite. Choose from a menu of cakes, bakes, scones, soups and sausage rolls. Oat and soya milk is also available. Our team will do their best to accommodate any dietary requirements – just let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Allergen information

Most of the food and drink served is prepared on site in our kitchen, using a wide range of ingredients. As a result, we can’t guarantee that any of our food and drink products are completely allergen free.

If you have an allergy or intolerance and would like ingredient information about the food and drink served, please ask the staff, who will be happy to help.

Always check when you visit

Visited before? We sometimes change our recipes to improve quality and flavour, including the ingredients. When you visit, please speak to one of our team to check the current allergen information for your favourite dish.

Thank you

Every cuppa or tasty treat you buy helps us to continue looking after places for everyone to enjoy.

Picnic blankets, reusable cups and colourful backpacks
The stableyard gift shop at Christmas | © National Trust Images/James Dobson


The Stableyard Gift Shop

Treat yourself or someone special to something from the Stableyard Gift Shop, which stocks a range of homeware, books, children’s games, tasty treats and garden must-haves.

Something for every home

The range of homeware changes regularly and includes luxurious rugs and blankets, home fragrances and ornaments. You can browse the bookshelves to find novels by local authors, recipe books, foraging guides and more, or shop from the outdoor ranges and pick up garden essentials. Whatever your gardening plans may be, there’s something to help you get the job done, from tools to seeds, plants to pots and even books stuffed full of tips.

An eco-friendly range

If you’re looking to go green, check out the eco-friendly range to help you become more environmentally friendly day to day, including reusable straws, beeswax wraps and our own range of natural cleaning products.

The artist’s studio

Watch skilled artists in action, peruse their work and take home an original artwork. Tucked away in the farmyard, the artist's studio is where you can see resident artists at work and shop their hand-made items.

Artists Ann and Paola bring the historic area to life with their paintings and stained-glass art, and are always happy to chat about their work and inspirations.

Second-hand bookshop at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Second-hand books for sale at Castle Ward, Downpatrick. | © National Trust Images/Emily Roe

The second-hand bookshop

Pick up a page turner and help Castle Ward’s story continue for generations to come. Every year the proceeds from the sales of second-hand books help to fund vital conservation work at Castle Ward and look after thousands of historic objects and acres of parkland, from woodland to the shores of Strangford Lough.

Thanks to generous donations from visitors, the bookshop is full of interesting titles. Pick up a novel to enjoy by the fire, get inspired by a travel guide, find new recipes in the cookery section and take home some new bedtime stories for the family.

All books are priced in pencil on the first page. Please use the honesty box provided or pay by card in the shop.

Donating your second-hand books

Book donations can be made on weekends between 10am and 12 noon. Please bring no more than two boxes of books to allow us to store and sort books for display. Mention at the gate that you are donating books then head to the accessible car park to the side of the office where a duty manager will meet you.

Currently, we are not looking for encyclopaedias, DVDs, sheet music or pamphlets, unless they're of significance. Thank you for your support.

Thank you

It is through your purchases and support that we are able to continue to care for nature, beauty and history for everyone, for ever.

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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Wander through the Georgian rooms of this eccentric mansion, famed for its contrasting architecture and interiors, and explore the servants' world below stairs.

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Things to do in the garden at Castle Ward 

Discover one of the best examples of a Victorian garden in Ireland. Explore the 17th- and 18th-century pleasure grounds, stroll by the lake and see an important piece of history.

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Visiting Castle Ward with your dog 

Castle Ward is a three pawprint rated place. Discover Castle Ward with your dog. With miles of trails to explore there's plenty of space for them to bound, sniff, jump and splash.

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Places to eat 

Discover some of the best cafés, restaurants and tea-rooms located at National Trust places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Second-hand bookshops 

Pick up a book from a second-hand bookshop to keep or share. Every purchase will raise funds for conservation projects at the places in our care.

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Treat yourself 

Looking for the perfect gift or perhaps you're in need of some retail therapy? You can browse our full range via our online shop.

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Places to eat in Northern Ireland 

Tuck into a great day out with our places to eat and drink across Northern Ireland. Enjoy classic scones in traditional tearooms and seasonal soups in courtyard cafes. With indoor and outdoor seating, dine in the doorway to nature, beauty and history.