WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre



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Our View

Home to the largest collection of native and exotic water-birds in Ireland. Comfortable hides enable you to watch the splendour of migratory waders and wildfowl. Beautiful landscaped gardens and fine paintings by local artists can also be seen. Thousands of birds migrate to the reserve in winter and birdwatch mornings are held on the last Thursday of every month. The Centre's effluent is treated in a reed bed filtration system which can be seen on one walk. Check website for details of various events throughout the year.

WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre
Ballydrain Road, COMBER, Co Down, BT23 6EA


  • Suitable for children of all ages
  • Parking onsite
  • Cafe
  • Fully accessible
  • Facilities: Hides have wheelchair platforms, wheelchairs & mobilty scooters for hire
  • Accessible toilets
Opening times
  • Open all year
  • Opening Times: Open daily Nov-Jan, 10-4.30; Feb-Jun & Sep-Oct 10-5; Jul-Aug 10-5. Closed 24-25 Dec

About the area

Discover County Down

Geographically, County Down seems to put a long arm around Strangford Lough, over 70 square miles of water. The arm is the Ards Peninsula, the most easterly part of Ireland.

Strangford Lough is a ria (a drowned estuary), caused by rising sea levels at the end of the Ice Age It is dotted with some 70 small islands, actually the highest points of drowned drumlins (small rounded hills) formed of material left behind by glaciers. The Lough is home to large flocks of wintering wildfowl that congregate on the mudflats surrounding its shores. About 9 square miles of the lough are a designated reserve for this reason.

Bangor is at the top of the peninsula, and with its picturesque seafront promenades, a charming marina and many shops and restaurants, it is regularly voted the most desirable place to live in Northern Ireland. Much of the town dates from the Victorian era with some historic buildings as well as some more modern development, and one of the largest open-air markets in Northern Ireland.

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