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Group visits to Castle Ward

Staff and visitors looking at exhibits inside the house at Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Staff and visitors looking at exhibits in the house at Castle Ward | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Whether you're planning to visit for the whole day or just a couple of hours, your group is welcome at Castle Ward. Find out how to book a group visit to this unique 18th-century mansion and discover the guided tours and additional benefits available when you book as a group.

Group activities and benefits

We look forward to welcoming you and your group to Castle Ward. The average length of group visits is two hours but we’re very happy to discuss your individual requirements. We aim to make your experience the best it can be by working with you to meet your needs wherever possible.

Some benefits of group visits:

  • Guided tour included
  • Coach parking in main car park
  • Drop-off point 100 yards from entrance
  • Introductory talk and out-of-hours tours available (additional charge)

Choosing a guided tour

Arrange a guided tour of the mansion for highlights of both architectural styles of the house and an insight into the Ward family’s life.

Garden tours will guide your group through the exotic Sunken Garden and explain the many historical garden features and abundance of blooms.

You can also arrange a special interest tour to take a closer look at the untold life and stories behind Castle Ward's exterior.

Please note that we can accommodate a maximum of two groups per day during opening hours.

A staff member helps a visitor to use an audio guide in entrance hall at Castle Ward, County Down.
A staff member helping a visitor at Castle Ward | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Free familiarisation visits for group leaders

If you're planning a group visit you can request our free Travel Trade Pass and you and a friend or colleague will gain free entry to over 300 of our places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for 12 months. There’s nothing quite like seeing or experiencing somewhere for yourself to help you plan a successful visit. To receive your pass, call 0344 800 2329 or email us at

Who is eligible for free entry?

Registered tourist board guides (on production of a valid badge), coach drivers and tour leaders escorting groups of 15 or more. National Trust members also receive free entry, so it is at your discretion whether to refund the entrance fee to members if you have included it in your package – this is not refunded by the National Trust.

Members must bring their current membership cards with them to avoid paying the full group rate. If any of your group would like to join the National Trust please direct them to our Membership page or call 0344 800 1895.

Taking a break on your visit

Take a break in the tea-room during or after your visit to Castle Ward. Your group can choose from the menu of light refreshments including scones, soup and sandwiches.

Your group can take time to browse the gift shop, which is stocked with items made by talented local craftspeople. You can also stop by the second-hand bookshop, run by a group of knowledgeable volunteers.

How to book

Advance booking is required for all group visits to Castle Ward. To book a group visit, or to discuss any special requirements you have, please call 028 4488 1204 or email

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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Things to do in Castle Ward house 

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

A view looking down on the Sunken Garden at Castle Ward, County Down in spring. The garden has several individual ornamental flower beds laid out in a circular pattern and planted with colourful tulips.

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.

A family exploring the gardens at Castle Ward, Co Down, Northern Ireland, in summer

Exploring the estate at Castle Ward 

Explore miles of trails, soak up coastal views and stroll through atmospheric woodland scenes. Tune into the seasons and see where Game of Thrones was filmed.

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Education Group Access Pass 

If you’re planning educational group visits to National Trust places, then you could benefit from an Education Group Access Pass, which gives you free admission for a year.

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Touring Pass 

If you're travelling to the UK from overseas this year, buy a National Trust Touring Pass for entry to more than 300 places in our care. With 7-day and 14-day options available, the pass can be tailored to fit your trip. Discover where you can visit with the Touring Pass and how to buy yours.

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Group visits frequently asked questions 

Visiting us with a group? Then our answers to your frequently asked questions might help with any question you may have.