Monday, 12 July 2010

Castle Ward Sunday

I spent about five hours at Castle Ward, County Down, yesterday and most relaxing it was, too. I made myself a round of corned-beef and salad-cream sandwiches (nursery food!) beforehand. Parking at the main car-park, I walked to the former Gamekeeper's Cottage, thence past the ponds and on to the Colonel's Walk.

At Ballyculter Gate Lodge, I strolled over to the Church Walk which took me directly to Castle Ward House.

Having munched my sandwiches at the car, I enjoyed another walk to Downpatrick Gate Lodge, which is now available to rent as a country cottage; indeed there were people reading their newspapers outside in the sunshine as I passed by.

Later, I ambled over to the stable-yard. It was one of those European Heritage days and entry to the House was free for all, which did not make any difference to me since I am a Life Member of the National Trust. Nevertheless, since I hadn't taken a tour of the house for many years, I decided to go ahead. I feel I'd like to revisit Castle Ward House again, because the tour merely included the ground floor, excellent as our guide most certainly was.

The Barn has been transformed into a sort of interactive children's play area, with toy tractors, straw and tracks outside; quite a change from the erstwhile Countryside Centre.

On my way home in the car, I made a detour to Ballyculter Parish Church and the Bangor family graves. The 5th Viscount was the last Lord Bangor to be interred there.

1 comment :

Sandy said...

I was sailing in the Narrows Regattas at the time of your visit. Must have been a splendid sight at the start of racing from the House.
Castleward has some of my favourite walks, anywhere.