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Castle Ward Boundary Trail

The longest cycling trail at Castle Ward, this trail combines sections of multi use trail (expect a range of walkers and horses on these) with sections of swooping singletrack (expect walkers on these). This trail leads through fields where there may be livestock.

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

County

Down

Nearest Town

Strangford

Route Type

Coastal

AONB

Strangford Lough

Grid Ref (Start)

J575497

Distance

8.1 miles

OS Map

21

Route Shape

Circular

On/Off Road

Off Public road

Grid Ref (End)

J575497

terrain

The trail has an even surface throughout. A mix of wide, flat paths and narrow, twisting singletrack. Two road crossings and a short 100m (max.) section on public road.

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 vehicles travelling 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 branches left on a great section of singletrack descent.

After crossing Downpatrick Ave and a short 100m section on road (again look out for vehicles) 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 - walkers on the singletrack sections and horses and walkers 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.

Please do not take dogs with you while cycling as this may disturb or upset 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).

getting to the start

Parking for cyclists 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.

traffic

There is a road crossing on the minor Audleystown Road after leaving Audleys Castle. There is a short 100m road section on Downpatrick Ave after leaving Mallard Plantation. The final ares where traffic may be encountered in at the crossing of the main entrance drive at Ballyculter Gate Lodge.

facilities

Car park, toilets, gift shop, tea room, bike hire, book shop

information for People with a Disability

This trail is designed for competent walkers and cyclists. The trail is narrow up to 90cm wide in places with tight bends and some steep ascents and descents. There are numerous gates to be opened and closed.

available publications

Castle Ward Trail Guide (s) and Map

Available from Castle Ward - various information points

Cycle hire

Clearsky Adventure Centre
Castle Ward Estate, Old Farmyard, Strangford, Downpatrick
Email: fun@clearsky-adventure.com
Phone: +44(0)28 43 723 933
Web: www.clearsky-adventure.com

Links

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Recent comments

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One of the best MTB trails i have been on. Good for all abilities.

Davy Robb
 

We hired bikes at castle ward and cycle the 3 routes .. Would recommend this and were only beginners.

carol patterson
Funders Outdoor Recreation NI Leave No Trace NIEA DoE HPA
Funders
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