Cycle Northern Ireland -

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.

Nearest TownStrangford
Distance8.1 miles
OS Map21
Route TypeCoastal, Forest, Parkland and Grassland, Woodland
Route ShapeCircular
Public RoadsOff Public Road
AONBStrangford Lough
Grid Ref (Start)J575497
Grid Ref (End)J575497


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.

Point of Interest

Historical built heritage including the Farm Yard, Audley's Castle & Castle Ward House.
Natural heritage including Strangford Lough, areas of farmland and 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 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.


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.


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

Information for People with a Disability

This route has accessible toilet facilities.

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 Publication

Castle Ward Trail Guide (s) and Map

Available from Castle Ward - various information points

This information is provided by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland, The Stableyard, Barnett's Demesne, Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 5PB.

Tel: 028 9030 3930
Fax: 028 9062 6248

Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the information. We cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions but where such are brought to our attention, the information will be amended accordingly.