General information

WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre
Castle Espie Secret Swamp

Set on the shores of the stunning Strangford Lough where almost the entire world’s population of Brent Geese resides during the winter months. Three times award winning Castle Espie is a tranquil and friendly centre for all the family.

Hides and nature walks allow you to get close to the wild birds and collection of endangered birds from around the world. The Visitor Centre boasts the Loughshore Café, selling delicious home baked treats, and a well stocked gift shop with a selection of gifts, books and bird themed items. A picnic area, an indoor soft play area and Wildwood – The Natural Outdoor Woodland play area are also available.

Recent additions include a free to visit Sensory Garden and an arctic themed Brent Play Barn soft play room.

The Secret Swamp is a new, natural outdoor play space where children can connect with nature through active and imaginative play. Secret Swamp adventures abound with the discovery of a log den secret hide out, curious stumpery, a pixie phone musical clearing, magical toadstool glade and a tall tree house adjacent to the dazzling green secret swamp. Active play features include a clamber web, sweet track balance beams over a mucky marsh, a zip wire, tree swing, wobbly bridge and swamp stomp stepping stones.

Centre is fully accessible for people with disabilities, loop system in place at reception, disabled toilets, access to Loughshore Café and gallery. Accessible walking route (also on

In 2015 the WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre were awarded a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Opening times

Open 7 days except 24th & 25th December

Spring (March to April): Monday – Sunday 10:00 to 17:00

Summer (May to August) : Monday – Friday 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday & Sunday to 17:30

Autumn (September & October) : Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Winter (November to February): Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 16:30

Closed - Christmas Eve 24 December

Christmas Day 25 December

Re-opens 27 December Boxing Day 10:00 17:00

Price list

Free entry to Loughshore Café and Art Gallery. Program included.

Adult £9.

Child £5. (under 4's free)

OAP’s & concession £7.65

Family £23.80 (2 adults & 2 children)

All cards are accepted except Diners and AMEX.

Group rates available for 12 or more people.

Admission free for WWT members, helpers of visitors with disabilities, and children under the age of four.

Credit Cards: All cards accepted except Diners and Amex.


  • Baby Changing facilities
  • WiFi
  • Parking Available
  • Credit/Debit Cards Accepted
  • Toilets
  • Gift Shop
  • Tea-room/Cafe onsite

View all



  • Baby Changing facilities
  • WiFi
  • Parking Available
  • Credit/Debit Cards Accepted
  • Toilets
  • Gift Shop
  • Tea-room/Cafe onsite
  • Accept Groups/Coach Parties
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Contact Information

Attraction / Visitor Attractions

WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre

Castle Espie 78 Ballydrain Road
County Down
BT23 6EA
Phone number
T: (028) 9187 4146
Web Address
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