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Visitor Reviews - Castlewellan Forest Park

Campsite Search > UK > Northern Ireland > N Ireland > County Down > Castlewellan Forest Park Reviews

Castlewellan Forest Park
The Grange
County Down
N Ireland   (Browse area)
BT31 9BU
Tel: 028 43778664
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Open: Open All Year

Rating: Average Review Score: 7/10 from 15 Reviews
                7/10 from 15 Reviews

 Tent Pitches   Caravan Pitches   Motorhome Pitches   No Glamping Units 
 No Statics for Hire   No Statics on Sale   No Seasonal Pitches   No Caravan Storage 
 Electric Hookups   Hardstanding Pitches   No Fully Serviced Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Families Welcome   Not Members Only   Rallies Welcome   Not Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome   Motorbikers Welcome 
 Toilet Facilities   No Showers   No Washing Up Area   No Bathroom 
 No Baby Changing   Laundry On Site   Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 Chemical Disposal   No Battery Charging   No Gas Exchange   No Recycling Facilities 
 No Kitchen Facilities   No Freezer / Fridge   No Motorhome Point 
 No Shop   No Bar   No Restaurant   No Wifi Access 
 No Playground   No TV Room   No Games Room   No Evening Ents 
 Fishing On Site   No Wild Swimming   No Indoor Pool   No Outdoor Pool 
 No Horse Riding   No Cycle Hire   No Golf   No Tennis 
 No Beach   No Watersports   No Boat Launch 
Other Features
 No Sea Views   Not Working Farm   No Campfires Allowed   Open All Year 
 No Waterside Pitches   Public Transport   No Dog Walk 

Reviews:  15 in total, now showing 1 to 10                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: May 2018 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: LauraKeenan 1 review from this member

Campsite/pitches generally seemed pretty good, making the most of the lovely setting.

Toilet & showers were okay, functional but could do with a spruce up as some doors didn't lock and the whole place was a wee bit grubby.

We were frustrated by the lack of action from security towards disruptive campers and cut our trip short at 5.30am after a night of badly broken sleep due to loud music, singing, shouting, engine revving and lights being randomly turned on throughout the night. It had been reassuring to see security drive round a few times as it got dark, but other than advising on making sure bbqs were put out there was no intervention when required.

Date of Visit: September 2017 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: SterlingMan 1 review from this member

Excellent campsite in a fantastic location. Interesting grounds, forest, lakes, gardens and lots of activities.

It was quite difficult to book as the Forest Ranger does not man the phones. It is best to ring from 9. 30am to 11. 30am.

The pitches are very narrow surrounding by very soft ground. Its impossible not to drive on the soft grass due to the narrow pitches an narrow roads.

The fellow caravanners were all quiet and respectful.

There is also a courtyard area which is great during wet periods as its a hard tarmacked surface. Lots of motorhomes use this area.

Nice flat routes for cycling for young kids as well as hillier routes for walking.

The Peace Maze is an excellent challenge and took us almost an hour to solve.

The kids park is fantastic with sculpted wooden climbing frames, shapes, animals etc.

The facilities are good with clean (but old) block. Cafe on site. Good local stores nearby.

The pitches are not fully serviced as water and wastewater points are shared.

Every pitch has a EHU though as you would expect.

To conclude, an excellent site with incredible grounds in a interesting town. Well worth a visit.

Date of Visit: April 2016 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: Baddon 6 reviews from this member

Just back from first visit to Castlewellan.

We booked three more weekends before the summer holidays mainly due to the services on offer.

Positives:- Good site, well laid out in little circles with green areas in middle, plenty of trees to give shelter for the awnings if wind picks up.

Walking trails of various lengths and grades.

Mountain bike trails of varying difficulty from suitable for all kids/families on the main walk round lake to black sections. (we did 3 different trails over the weekend)

Canoe, Sit on top Kayak, mountain bike electric mountain bikes, Tow behind bikes & buggies for kids all available to hire.

Other activities payable locally are Archery & Climbing (tower wall for kids)

Great lake with Castle, fantastic walled gardens and arboretum, well worth a dander round.

Massive peace maze (took us well over half an hour from going in to getting back out)

Younger kids play area, very cleverly done with a forest theme.

Many picnic areas and tables

Proximity to local village with its usual services (massive NISA at exit to park) and a few chippies, pubs and other eateries. Can we recommend The Oaks for chippy food, its on main street about top of hill near lights. Try their onion rings. YUM YUM

EHU is 16Amp so plenty for most. But bring a decent length cable as not all plots have their own post.

Water ans waste water are in various spots round site.

Friendly staff who were able to fill us in on the what to do's, and what not to do's as well as try this try info.

Down sides:-

Ground was still very soft, it is N. Ireland and its been wet for about last 4 months.

Tarmac pitches were VERY narrow (JUST. The width of caravan)

It was near impossible to reverse on or tow off the van without marking the grass with wheels of van or stearing wheels.

SHOWERS & TOILET block. 5 out of ten. Needs attention as per other posts.

Booking system. Its a throw back from another era. No deposit so if someone is not coming after managing to make a booking then there is no penalty for not cancelling. As such wardens were telling me on any BOOKED UP weekend or week there are usually up to 5 pitches left free. They will turn many away on phone as booked up.

Getting a booking by phone. Good luck- as they only answer the phone for two hrs a day, I think 9:30-10:30 & 2:30 -3:30. At all other times it just rings out.

For us, this weekend, it was just the two of us, it was a total joy to de-stress in such stunning surroundings with so many outdoor options to enjoy.

With the 3 kids (10, 5 & 2) they will have a ball on all the activities available.

So looking forward to getting back again soon.


They also have a massive field for camping in as well.

A stoned courtyard with EHU for Camper vans/caravans BUT there is no awnings allowed in this area, its next toilet block, so good for older people or ones with very young kids as will be quieter.

Date of Visit: July 2014 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Perry44 3 reviews from this member

We returned to Castlewellan, as mentioned in our previous review, and we did indeed stay in the central section of the campsite, which was actually rather good.

We had plenty of space around us, and we pitched our tent in a nice position with generous views of the castle. We even took a windbreak, which allowed us to extend our pitch (top tip).

The ablutions facilities still require a lick of paint, but we still were able to comfortably avail of all the facilities therein.

We took our Barbecue and although one person did comment on the amount of smoke it produced, it was a tremendous success.

Further into our stay (we stayed for a little over a week), more and more campers arrived, each creating their own 'community' jovial celebrations ensued, but as they had children with them, the noise did die down fairly early, about 22:00 infact.

We purchased a Halfords plastic folding picnic table which was good, until it collapsed during a game of Monopoly, many of our fellow campers may have heard a grown man fall flat on his backside during that, so apologies if you did.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, with the children saying things like, 'Thank you daddy, when can we come back?' and 'We had a super time'

We will return here I fancy next year. I can't recommend this site enough.

Date of Visit: August 2013 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Perry44 3 reviews from this member

Decided to choose Castlewellan for our first camping holiday.

The camping section of the park was well laid out, with a large central section, a gravel road around, with additional pitches on the other side of the road.

We pitched under some trees in a quiet corner, the pegs went in the ground well, however due to heavy rainfall, the ground became saturated, but it did not dampen our spirits!

There are 2 toilet blocks, one older than the other, we used the newer one, as it seemed cleaner.

There is a 'cafe' which just about serves a decent breakfast, however a dog walked through the dining area as we were about to enjoy our lunch.

We have booked the site for a holiday in July 2014, and will most likely use the central section this time. The kids will be taking their mountain bikes, as they will enjoy the many mountain bike trails.

Date of Visit: August 2013 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Flossi 3 reviews from this member

Had a one night stay.


- stunning natural forest & lake

- hours of fun for kids climbing and running up and down banks

- has a flat well maintained path around lake for prams etc

- lots of mountain bike paths

- on site cafe for breakfast snacks

- ten mins walk to large garage / supermarket stocked with most stuff.

- 15 min walk or 2 min drive to chip shop, pizza shop cafes, pubs.

- tent area seems to be mostly very flat and huge. Just pitch where you like.

- it was quite noisy with dance music and chatting. But was fine as it did get quiet by midnight. I didn't hear any noise the rest of the night which surprised me as it was a Saturday.

- other people have remarked about safety which made me nervous. But I felt completely safe, I saw a van which I presume was security at the entrance to the site at 9pm. They also drive around a couple of times. Don't know if they stay the whole night.


- ehu area seems quite dark with lots of trees. Also quite tight together

- biggest problem for me is shower block. Looked as well cleaned as it could be but was just very tired with lots of back mould.

- fair bit of rubbish left behind by others but this was lifted first thing in the morning.

- I know it's a forest and therefore a bit rougher than a commercial site but I just wasn't really fussed overall. It was just all a bit too grubby for me.

Overall it's probably somewhere I will keep for day trips for the lake and walks. It really is stunning but I don't think I would particularly choose here again for camping.

Date of Visit: August 2012 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: MONTFORD 7 reviews from this member

Just back from a 3 night stay in the caravan site.

Good points:

Washroom facilities, very clean, (dated but good) though hand soap would be nice!

Park well laid out, plenty of space.

Forest park great walks.

Cafe very good.

Bad points:

The most un-level hard stands I have ever come accross! Not even the level chock would do, had to use the jack from the car to get a nearly level van!

Site has suffered from the rain, like a mud bath if your off the tarmac, muddy ruts from cars getting stuck, awnings have left bare patches. No attempt to repair any damage done.

Just felt and looked very tired!

No Children facilities.

With a little investment, this site could easily be much much better!

Hasn't put us off, but would not be on the top of the list!

Date of Visit: June 2011 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Krross 2 reviews from this member


Castlewellan is a lovely place to camp. It has beautiful scenery--a small lake and charming castle. It takes about an hour to walk around the little lake.

Close to towns but with the feeling that you are remote from it all.

You can choose where to set up your tent in a big field.

The wardens were very nice and checked in to make sure things were okay.

Not too noisy when we were there.

There is a little cafe where you can get breakfast or a little lunch.

Absolutely a great spot!

Date of Visit: April 2011 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Victoria1 8 reviews from this member

There is an electric hook up (EHU) section of the campsite at Castlewellan and a non EHU section, which broadly means that there is are mostly caravans and motorhomes in the EHU section and mostly tents in the non-ehu section. Both are separated by a short road which has a centrally placed amenity block to one side of the road way. It's a great arrangement, it really is on the face of it a good site. The non-ehu section has an uninterrupted view of the Scottish Baronial style castle, and from the caravan section there are glimpses of the castle through the mature trees. The Amenity block is a little dated but in good order. The forest park is a popular area for day time visitors who make extensive use of the forest and lakeside walks, the maze and the formal gardens.

This park would greatly benefit from some night time security, there is none at all, the gates are left open and on my visit there was a rave in the corner of the camping field. After speaking to regular users of the park (dog walkers) I believe this is a regular occurrence. The following morning the party was still in full swing, and I witnessed a car being driven at speed, and a hand brake turn performed which was just a few inches from colliding with a family tent.

I myself was subjected to a torrent of abuse when I asked my neighbours to keep the noise down, and was threatened personally. Until they start providing a night time warden, or even an on call number to ring, then it will continue to be a problem.

Date of Visit: August 2009 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Dmull 1 review from this member

Lovely place and enjoyed my stay. The site is well set out with lovely walks around the lake,castle and walled gardens

the toilet/showers are pretty clean considering the usage they get with plenty of hot water. Hair drying and washing block opened in the morning by the ranger. Nice family orientated site with a five minute stroll into Castlewellan town and 15minute drive to Newcastle.

Dogs are allowed and must be kept on leads which is understandable.The peace maze is a nice way to spend 15 minutes depending on your sense of direction with the backdrop of the Mourne mountains in the distance.

There was one instance of loud music being played after hours but the forest ranger moved the culprits on early the next morning. Would recommend this site and will be returning shorty when its not booked out

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