Castle Ward Boundary Trail

(2 reviews)

The longest walking trail within Castle Ward, this trail incorporates sections of multi use trail with sections of narrow singletrack. Expect a range of users on the multi use sections including cyclists and horses. Expect numerous cyclists on the singletrack trails. This trail leads through fields where there may be livestock.

Follow the RED waymarker disks with the words ‘Boundary Trail’ around the edge.

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Castle Ward Boundary Trail

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  • Great walk in a beautiful area. The trail is well signposted with views of Strangford Lough and the surrounding countryside. The track follows the shore for a short distance before turning inland through meadows and forest. It is designed ‘shared use’ but we only met some dog walkers and two cyclists. There is currently a minor detour not far from the end due to livestock in a field. The trail starts and finishes at the lower car park. Standard National Trust admission charges apply. The cafe is open until 4pm. A useful map of all available trails is provided upon entry. A real gem of a walk!

    Leslie Irwin at 9:17 pm
  • Superb walk. Marvelous and varied surroundings.

    Well maintained

    Always enjoy it

    Great resource

    Frank E Murray at 3:39 pm
  • County Down

    Distance 8.2 miles

    OS Map 21

    Terrain Off road trails narrow in places

    Nearest Town Strangford

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J575497

    Route Type Coastal, Parkland & Grassland, Woodland

    Route Description

    Starting in the Shore Car Park, this circular trail leads along the shore of Strangford Lough and then around Audley’s Castle through the surrounding woodland.

    After crossing the Audleystown Road, looking out for traffic coming in both directions, the trail leads firstly through some woodland before leading through West Park – an area of historic farmland. Back into the woodland at Mallard Plantation, the trail narrows and branches left. Look out for cyclists on singletrack sections such as this.

    After crossing Downpatrick Ave and a short 100m section on road, the trail leads left into Tullyratty an area of farmland designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), due to the species rich grassland. Back into the woodland of Mountain Wood, follow the singletrack trail to Base Camp. After crossing the bridge continue on more singletrack meandering through woods and fields to reach the main entrance to the property. Cross with caution and look out for vehicles travelling in both directions.

    Continue on through the historic grounds of Windmill Plantation and cross Church Walk with a view of Castle Ward house to the left. The trail then leads down through the Deer Park on the final singletrack descent to Strangford Avenue and the Shore Car Park. Again look out for other users and vehicles where you join Strangford Ave.

    The trail is suitable for competent cyclists and walkers – expect other users on the trails – cyclists on the singletrack sections and horses and cyclists on the wider multi use sections.

    This trail has an even surface throughout and is narrow in places, with some steeper gradients and numerous gates to open and close.

    Please ensure all gates are closed after passing through. Many of these enclose livestock.

    Users MUST follow the direction of travel as indicated by the waymarkers – this will enable you to see oncoming users, especially horses (where trails are multi use)


    * Please note that National Trust entrance pricing applies for this walk. Please see the link below for details *

    Point of Interest

    Built & natural heritage including Farm Yard, Audley’s Castle, Castle Ward House and Strangford Lough and its wildlife.

    Getting to the start

    Parking for walkers is in the Shore Car Park within Castle Ward Demesne. The car park is clearly signed from the main entrance drive. There is an information panel and map in the Shore Car Park.

    Public transport

    Translink –

    Dog Policy

    Keep dogs on a lead or under control at all times


    Car park, toilets, gift shop, tea room, bike hire. The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility: – Café (wheelchair accessible) – Disabled parking – Disabled toilets.

    Accessibility Grade

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.