Official tourism website for Northern Ireland

WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre


  • Four Star Quality Assurance
Four Star Quality Assurance
Castle Espie, 78 Ballydrain Road, Comber, County Down, BT23 6EA
Three children walking with a woman towards the Limekiln Observatory - a glass building on a hill.

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WWT Castle Espie is an extraordinary day out for the whole family. Escape the everyday, reconnect with nature, and experience the wonder of wetlands on the picturesque shores of Strangford Lough.

Visit Castle Espie all year round and discover new trails, activities and wildlife highlights every time!

Get up close to Ireland's largest collection of native and exotic birds, ducks and geese in our World Wetland Aviary. Join our keepers for daily Diving Duck Talks and Handfeeding Sessions too.

Explore the nature reserve with walking paths through both the wetlands and woodlands. With bird hides and viewpoints throughout the trails, be sure to pause and look out for our seasonal wildlife highlights. Don’t miss willow warblers, terns, and butterflies in summer, and huge numbers of Brent geese, wigeon, and shelduck in winter.

Add to that our magical sensory garden, Graffan Gallery, gift shop and Kingfisher Cafe and you’re left with an unforgettable day out for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for an action-packed family adventure or a relaxing day immersed in nature, there’s a world of wetland wildlife waiting to be discovered by you at WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre.

WWT is the charity for wetlands and wildlife. We’re on a mission to restore wetlands because they are a wondrous solution to the problems our world faces. Together we will unlock their power – and help nature burst back to life. Because when wetlands flourish, all life will flourish.

Your visit to WWT Castle Espie supports our vital conservation work around Strangford Lough, across the UK, and around the world.

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  • Guide dogs permitted
  • Toilets for disabled visitors

Attraction Facilities

  • Gift Shop
  • Open Evenings
  • Open Mondays
  • Open Sundays


  • Cater for vegetarians
  • Local Produce
  • Picnic Area
  • Serve breakfast
  • Serve lunch
  • Tea-room/Cafe onsite

Children & Infants

  • Accept children (Minimum age)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Child seat available
  • Children's Menu Available
  • Children's outdoor play area
  • Children's Parties
  • Children's play area
  • Facilities for children
  • Highchairs Available

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Accommodation nearby
  • Cater for Corporate events
  • Cater for individuals
  • Cater for school groups
  • Conference facilities
  • Event venue
  • Family Fun
  • Fitness level required - low
  • Groups catered for
  • Online Booking
  • Route maps available
  • Shop
  • Talks
  • Toilets
  • Wi-fi available

Leisure Facilities

  • Wifi

Parking & Transport

  • Coach parking
  • Parking (free)
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors

Payment Methods

  • All major credit/debit cards accepted

Provider Preferences

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Individuals
  • In countryside
  • Of historic, literary or architectural interest
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Unique venue
  • Waterfront

Specialist Features

  • Marketed as green/environmentally friendly

Guide Prices

See website for up to date prices


Saturday, 22nd June 2024 - Saturday, 22nd June 2024

Two green apples with a butterfly perched on one.Guided Garden Tour with Castle Espie ice creamDiscover the wonders of the Sensory Garden at Castle Espie with a guided tour. Plus enjoy a free sample of our signature ice cream!
more info

Friday, 28th June 2024 - Sunday, 1st September 2024

Children running across a bridge in the summer sun at the wetlands.Summer Postcard TrailCan you find the lost postcards, discover who wrote them, and work out where the world's animals are spending their summer holidays?
more info

Monday, 15th July 2024 - Sunday, 28th July 2024

Monday, 12th August 2024 - Friday, 16th August 2024

Mother and child looking at flowers.Teddy Bear's PicnicBring along your favourite teddy bear, a picnic blanket, and your favourite treats and enjoy an afternoon of nature-themed adventures.
more info

Monday, 15th July 2024 - Friday, 19th July 2024

Monday, 22nd July 2024 - Friday, 26th July 2024

Monday, 12th August 2024 - Friday, 16th August 2024

Monday, 19th August 2024 - Friday, 23rd August 2024

Child examining a flower up close using a magnifying glass.Great Uncle Arthur's Astonishing AdventuresAdventure into the hidden world of wildlife with the help of Uncle Arthur's mysterious journal and unusual inventions. And get ready to experience nature in a whole new way!
more info

Monday, 26th August 2024 - Monday, 26th August 2024

Collage bird made from card, tissue paper, feathers and other craft materials.Wee Birds Art WorkshopFamilies will be welcomed by Marianne from Boom Studios, based in Bangor, who will lead a "Wee Birds" art session. This is a mixed media session using collage to create birds inspired by the Castle Espie wildlife and landscape. This creative experience will allow little ones to use nature as their…
more info

Wednesday, 30th October 2024 - Wednesday, 30th October 2024

Two swans gliding on the water. Mrs Maker's Spooky MasqueradeJoin local artist Kerrie, aka Mrs Maker, and get into the Halloween spirit by creating masks of your favourite animals or your crazy imaginary creatures!
more info

Tripadvisor Traveller Rating

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Tel+44 (0) 28 9187 4146

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year

* The Centre is open daily 10:00 - 17:00 except Christmas Eve 24th December & Christmas Day 25th December.
Kingfisher Cafe is open daily 10:00 - 16:00.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

Directions: Take A2 from Newtownards to Comber. At the second Roundabout, take the Killyleagh/Downpatrick road A21 to the left. Turn first left at Ballydrain road.

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