Skip to content

Multi-use trails at Castle Ward

A family of four cycling along the loughside trail at Castle Ward, County Down
A family cycling on the loughside trail at Castle Ward, County Down | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

With 21 miles of trails criss-crossing the Castle Ward estate, there are plenty of ways to see more of the landscape around the mansion. Whether you’re walking, using a wheelchair, cycling or horse riding, explore the multi-use trails at Castle Ward to discover more of the estate.

What can I see?

Follow the network of trails to take a trip to Strangford Lough and meander through the sheltered woodland and rolling meadows down to the shoreline.

Download the trails map to plan your adventure.

Who can use the trails?

The trails at Castle Ward are multi-use, meaning that walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists, horse riders and dogs can all enjoy the scenic paths. With tracks to suit all abilities, the routes are perfect for little legs and older ones too.

Safety on the trails

Because people enjoying the trails will be moving at different speeds, there are some simple rules to follow to keep everyone safe:

  • Follow the waymarkers showing the direction of travel according to how you’re exploring.
  • Cyclists and walkers travel anti-clockwise on the trails, while horse riders travel in a clockwise direction.
  • There are designated 'slow zones' where trails meet. Please keep your speed low and be aware there could be a range of other trail users.
  • When you’re passing other people, keep to the left if possible.
  • If a trail is closed for livestock grazing, follow the diversion in place.
Visitors exploring the shore of Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland
Visitors walking the trail alongside Strangford Lough | © ational Trust Images/John Miller

Cyclists and horse-riders

Visitors on bikes or on horseback should take extra care on the Shore Trail, which is all a slow zone and will have families exploring the Secret Shore Nature Trail.

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.

You might also be interested in


Castle Ward multi-purpose trails 

See a map of the trails on the Castle Ward estate that are suitable for visitors including horse riders, cyclists, walkers and people with limited mobility.

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.

A family  of three walking their dog in the grounds of Castle Ward, County Down, with the Classical front of the house in the background.

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.

View of the Palladian-style side of Castle Ward house, with Strangford Lough and rolling hills beyond.

History of Castle Ward 

Unique and unusual, this eccentric 18th-century house is famed for having been built with two completely different architectural styles, both inside and out. Find out why.

Walkers climbing the path to Pen yr Ole Wen, Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd

Top tips for summer walking 

Find out how to make the most of your summer walking adventures with these top tips from our official outdoor partner, Cotswold Outdoor, plus details of our partnership discount.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

Visitors exploring the rocks in the Owler Tor area of Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

Outdoor activities 

Searching for a new outdoor activity to try? Discover the best places in our care for outdoor activities, including off-road cycle tracks, walking trails and lakes and coastlines for water sports.