From pond-dipping, witnessing the migration of thousands of Brent geese to Strangford Lough, to close encounters with some of the world’s most endangered ducks and geese, and much more, WWT Castle Espie offers it all. With the addition of highly trained learning staff who will guide you and your pupils, this is the ideal environment to learn about the amazing world around us.
As well as taking part in a guided session there will be plenty of time for your group to explore the Centre. In order to make best use of this time, we have developed a range of self-guided resources which you can use to help extend your group’s learning.
What teachers say
"So much learning…such an action packed day. The kids absolutely love it from the moment they step in… they are so excited and it’s so well organised.’"
Lisa Thompson – Killinchy Primary School
All our prices include full access to our centre for the day, so you and your pupils can enjoy all that we have to offer.
|Session type||Pre-school||Foundation to KS2||KS3 to KS4||KS5+||Adult|
|Full day admission without a learning session (self guided visit):||£3.65||£3.80||£3.80||£5.55||£7.00|
|Full day admission with a learning session/s up to 1 hour:||£4.00||£4.40||£4.40||£6.10||£7.00|
|Full day admission with a learning session/s up to 2 hours:||£4.40||£5.00||£5.00||£6.60||£7.00|
Free adult ratios
We offer free entry to adults within the following ratios, and free entry to all essential carers.
1:5 - Pre-school to Key Stage 1
1:10 - Key Stage 2+
We'll meet you on arrival at the coach drop off point and guide you to your room for the day. There you'll have time to use the toilets and have a snack before your learning session begins.
Guided learning session: Feed the birds
For an incredible experience feed our birds by hand. Some are the most endangered in the world. With a guide on hand feed our collection birds and learn all about how they live. A 30 minute session your pupils will be raving about long after your visit.
Guided learning session: Pond dipping
With our expert guides use nets to catch the animals that live in our freshwater ponds and see them up-close using our underwater camera and state of the art water tank. Pond dipping sessions are available for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Visit the Brent Discovery Hide
Discover the varied wildlife of Strangford Lough. Pupils will be shown how to use binoculars and our colourful, pupil friendly books, ID panels and exhibits help them learn about the wild birds they’ll see. A 30 minute session.
Lunch, free time, or a shop visit
Everyone returns to their rooms for lunch or to any of the outdoor spaces available if the weather permits. The rest of your visit is yours to spend as you wish. Visit our outdoor play areas, use some of our self-guided resources, or spend some pocket money in our extensive shop.
A chance for your group to get up close and hand-feed rare endangered birds from around the world – Food for the birds will be provided as part of your admissions if you opt for a guided or self-guided session.
Cost: Included in guided or self-guided visit or 75p per bag of grain.
Watch diving ducks in action in our state of the art diving tanks and see some incredible birds in our enclosures. Baby ducklings and goslings may also be on show but contact the centre for details as this will be on a seasonal basis.
Brent Discovery Hide
Visit our hands-on hide with its very own child-sized telescope and easy to use bird identification boards, books, wall charts, and a fantastic view of all the amazing wildlife on Strangford Lough.
Visit everyone’s favourite little thatched iron age building and learn all about our ancient ancestors.
Limekiln observatory, Limestone pavilion and Castle Espie brickworks
Discover our history zone and learn about the world of the Victorians who worked here 150 years ago. Why not have a go on the fossil themed climbing wall situated at the Limekiln observatory.
Burn off some steam in our two woodland play areas at the Wild wood or Secret swamp. Try out climbing, balancing, crawling, and our zip-line and woodland xylophone.
The Wishing Tree
There are fairies in the woods. Start your adventure at their wishing tree to find all their hidden doors. How many can you discover?
Why not visit our extensive gift shop or save time and pre-order goods ready for collection on the day of your visit?
Cost: Varied (please contact us to arrange a pre-order if required)
Dedicated use of indoor classroom
All guided school trips also include the use of an indoor classroom where you can leave your belongings and have a break and lunch.
Cost: Included as part of your guided visit admission. Contact the centre if only room hire is required