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Things to do in the garden at Castle Ward

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.
The Sunken Garden at Castle Ward in spring | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Famed for its eccentric mansion house with its contrasting architecture and interiors, Castle Ward’s garden also features two very distinctive designed landscapes. Stroll through one of the best examples of a Victorian garden in Ireland and explore the 17th- and 18th-century pleasure grounds to see the historic Pinetum, rockery and Palladian water temple.

Explore the Victorian garden

Explore the formal terraced garden, dominated by the sunken parterre with its elaborate bedding designs and discover the Victorian passion for plant collecting and colour. Planted with over 4,000 bulbs in 61 beds as part of a recent restoration project, the garden is a kaleidoscope of colour in the warmer months.

Originally designed as a showpiece to show off to visiting guests, today the garden is one of the best examples of a Victorian garden in Ireland.

View of the Temple overlooking Temple Water at Castle Ward, County Down
View of the Temple at Castle Ward, County Down | © National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

Stroll around the pleasure grounds

A pinetum and Lady Anne's temple

Venture out into the 17th- and 18th-century pleasure grounds to see the historic Pinetum which was built to house exotic trees and shrubs from around the world, and see Lady Anne’s Temple which overlooks Temple Water canal.

Follow the path up to the temple with its Doric columns providing dramatic views over the landscape or take a stroll along the water’s edge.

Explore the avenue of trees

A second canal used to run at a right angle to this. It was replanted in the 1970s with an avenue of young limes and is now called the Lime Tree Walk.

This beautiful walk can be accessed from the farmyard and takes you around the Temple Water and past Lady Anne’s Temple providing spectacular views along the way.

The Lime Tree Walk in autumn at Castle Ward, County Down
The Lime Tree Walk in autumn at Castle Ward | © National Trust Images/Sarah Burch
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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