Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
July 20, 2007
This house and gardens is now a National Trust property. The 18th century house is pleasant and interesting, with guided tours available, but the incredible gardens which were created by Marchioness of Londonderry in 1920 are of particular note. The gardens are of two types - formal gardens and informal and both are beautiful. In spring especially the area around the lake is alive with colour as rhododendrons and azaleas burst into bloom. The lake is a tranquil setting with a path winding around it, scattered with plenty of benches, with a great variety of plants. I loved coming here as a child as there seemed endless places to explore, but as an adult it is simply a calming place to be.
The formal gardens at the other side of the house are pleasant, with several small fountains and luscious flowerbeds. One unusual flowerbed design is the red-hand of Ulster. My favourite part is several animal sculptures and a Noah's ark, I especially love the dodos that top the pillars. Entrance costs are £6 adult, and £3 child there is a slightly lower rate for the gardens only. Opening times depend on the season and it's best to check what will be open outside the summer season. There is a cafe on site as well as a small shop. Further details can be found on the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-mountstewart.htm
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