Watch out for the White Walkers

Game of Thrones Winterfell

Visitors to Winterfell Festival at Castle Ward are warned to be wary following sightings of White Walkers in Westeros.

Winterfell Festival returns to Castle Ward on Sunday 16 September 2018, transforming this historic estate, cared for by the National Trust, into Winterfell, home of the Stark family for one day only.

Having gained global recognition as the filming location for Winterfell, House of Stark, in series one of the popular HBO programme, Castle Ward is now the location for Ireland’s only Game of Thrones inspired festival. Day tickets for Winterfell Festival cost £25 with access to a full programme of events and entertainment including theatrical performances, live jousting, falconry, archery, a medieval village and Dire Wolves (yes, you can meet the actual dogs who played Summer and Grey Wind in the TV show!).

Last year’s event drew thousands of people to the shore of Strangford Lough and this year’s festival has even bigger appeal with a gripping event story line that sees the residents of Winterfell living under a cloud of fear as White Walker’s approach the wall.

Through theatrical re-enactments, ticket holders will experience a Winterfell where tensions are high as tales of ancient peoples, once thought extinct, rattle the residents. Throughout the day actors will play the roles of central Game of Throne characters, recreating scenes from George R. R. Martin’s novels at various locations around the estate. Meet The Hound and learn how to wield a sword; see if you can solve Kimmick, Bard to Lord Stark’s riddles; watch Maester Luwin perform a medical demonstrations; hear King Robert regale tales of the Nights’ Watch and follow Jon Snow to Castle Black, avoiding White Walkers as you go.

The White Walkers may not be far away but that hasn’t stopped the entertainment! Visitors can join the crowds and soak up the atmosphere at the King’s Tournament Games where skilled horse riders will perform enthralling film-set stunts and tricks fit for entertaining royalty. Full contact jousting, sword fighting and falconry will add to the atmosphere, creating an unforgettable event.

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a medieval village and watch skilled blacksmiths, silversmiths, weavers and armourers at work. Visitors have the chance to meet Armourer Boyd Rankin (Mikken in Game of Thrones) who will be showcasing a selection of the swords he forged for Game of Thrones.

Two of the original Stark family Dire Wolf dogs will also be making a special appearance.  The Stark’s Grey Wind and Summer are known as Odin and Thor in the real world and are the closest thing to real wolves you’ll ever meet!

Festival goers who purchase an additional ‘meet the actor’ ticket, will have the opportunity to join an intimate audience with stars from the Game of Thrones TV series. Details of the actors and the tickets for this additional element of the festival will be announced later this summer.

Supported by Tourism Northern Ireland and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the festival, promises an immersive Game of Thrones styled experience unlike any other, in an authentic filming location.

Tickets for Winterfell 2018 are now on sale – £25 adult, children £10 (5-16), under 5s free. Family ticket £65 (2 adults and 2 children).

Tickets to meet the actors will be sold separately and go on sale later in the summer.

For more information and to book festival tickets visit

This event is independently operated by the National Trust and is not sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with Game of Thrones.

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