Attractions include the St. Patrick's Way, Killard Nature Reserve, Kilclief Castle (open July & August) and the National Trust's Castle Ward Estate which offers a range of activities, including 34km of all-ability walks and events based within the historic House, Stableyard and Estate. From Easter Week (14-23rd April 2017) to Sunday Music (July & August), Strangford Boat Trips, Craft Fairs (August & November), cycle and canoe hire and a variety of activities on the Lough with ClearSkies there is a wealth of things to see and do.

Castle Ward is also home to the Stark Family of Winterfell from Series 1 of the hit series Game of Thrones. Wander around the historic Farm Yard with the Clock Tower from the series and Basement Display of iconic images or book a Game of Thrones Archery experience, complete with authentic costumes and bows, with Winterfell Tours (02843 723933).

Added to this are the delights of Strangford and Portaferry, both Conservation Villages linked by the famous ferry service which operates all year (except for Christmas Day). Both villages offer a range of hostelries and eateries, local crafts and well stocked food stores open 7 days a week. Portaferry is home to the NI Aquarium Exploris and the Portico Arts & Cultural Centre (as seen on Channel 4’s Great British Buildings 2017).

golf in the lecale and adjoining districts

"Love the cottage and beautiful garden. So relaxing."

Carleen & Rita, USA

"Really enjoyed our stay in this lovely part of County Down. Outstanding hospitality."

J & C, Carrickfergus

"Just what the doctor ordered. A beautiful cottage nestled by Strangford Lough. Just gorgeous."

Jenny, Dublin

"We'll be back."

Jim & Carmel, Devon

county down

Golf in Northern Ireland is dominated, when advertised, by the Giant Links Courses of Royal County Down and Royal Portrush.  Rightly so, as they challenge golfers of all ability to the extreme.  However when staying at The Old School House in Kilclief, Co. Down, the options are substantially greater than most people know about. Royal County Down is reachable within thirty minutes driving and so much more is available at a fraction of the cost and distance to travel.
Where do we start and what are the jewels in the crown of Lecale and district?  Why not visit the ancient Baronial home of the FitzGerald family at Ardglass Golf Club.  The castle is now the clubhouse but do not fear, whilst mildly imposing, it is in fact a very friendly place with a relaxed ambience (It is also a great place to drop into for a spot of lunch).  The oft-used term for golf courses, “A hidden gem”, does not do justice to this wonderful layout, set on the most wonderful, panoramic coastline setting.  The Irish Sea is stunning in any weather and Ardglass is a beautiful place to play even if the sun is not shining but be warned, with the wind blowing it has some truly spectacular and very daunting holes to play.  The Irish Sea does sometimes cut in creating visually scary golf shots.

Play it and be thoroughly enchanted!