Mount Stewart is a neo-classical family home with some of the most unique gardens in the world
gardens, national trust, top 10 gardens, lady edith, estate, walks, walking, tours, estate
With new, tighter restrictions in place from Saturday 26 December, please continue to check individual providers websites and adhere to the latest guidelines. Please check the Mount Stewart website for the latest updates.
Voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world, Mount Stewart reflects a rich tapestry of design and planting artistry bearing the hallmark of its creator. Edith, Lady Londonderry’s passion for bold planting schemes coupled with the mild climate of Strangford Lough allows rare and tender plants from across the globe to thrive in this celebrated garden.
Each of the formal gardens exudes a distinct character and appeal and further afield visitors can enjoy the beautifully landscaped and informal grounds surrounding the picturesque lake walk. Visitors can stroll through the gardens in their own time or avail of one of our guided garden tours (with one of our knowledgeable gardening team) to the formal gardens and beyond.
Come and see how the £7 million restoration has transformed the house including new rooms on show, the opportunity to see nationally and internationally significant family portraits, stunning silver collections and other family treasures.
In the meantime, the formal and lakeside gardens, restaurant and shop are open to the public as normal. See the Information tab for details of Mount Stewart opening times.
For the first time four brand new, never before seen rooms will be accessible to the public. All existing rooms within the house will also be re-presented and interpreted, with textiles, carpets and curtains. There will be new collections featuring paintings and artefacts on show for the first time and there will be one of the most significant silver displays in the Trust’s care exhibited.
Visitors can enjoy and explore the house at their leisure through free flow tours. Throughout their journey the story of Edith, Lady Londonderry and the Londonderry family will be interpreted and visitors can view a unique exhibition revealing the story of the Restoration Project and its legacy. There is also an exciting repeat visitor offer as new rooms will be opened periodically over the coming years to reveal more of the Londonderry family story.
If you are a keen walker, why not browse the National Trust 'Walks Near You' Guide.
At Mount Stewart in Co Down, three miles of new walking trails have recently been launched (Summer 2016), opening up previously unseen parts of the demesne – which remain largely unchanged and are one of the best surviving examples of an 18th century Irish country estate.
For further information on walks, download the National Trust 'Little Book of Great Walks Near You: Northern Ireland (PDF)
Formal and lakeside gardens, restaurant and shop closed 25 and 26 December.
Great Wars Trail
The historic Mount Stewart House played a part in both Wars as a military hospital. In the Second World War the Headquarters Company of the Royal Engineers were based there too but it also has some connections you may not have thought likely.
In the lead up to the Second World War some more “unusual” visits connected to Mount Stewart took place. Lord Londonderry, cousin of Winston Churchill and a former Secretary of State for Air, flew to Berlin in 1936 attempting, in vain, to reason with Hitler and other senior Nazis. Later in the year Lord Londonderry welcomed to his home German ambassador Joachim Von Ribbentrop, who landed at Newtownards along with several SS soldiers. A striking 18 inch Meissen statue of a helmeted SS stormtrooper holding a flag is a reminder of the visit. Whilst not a Nazi sympathiser, Londonderry’s futile crusade meant that he was ever afterwards classified as an appeaser and he lost favour with Churchill.
In the grounds of the estate, some of the trees bear carvings that appear to have been made by soldiers and airmen stationed in the grounds during the Second World War. One carving looks to have been by a Royal Air Force airman in 1940, while another reads ‘Victory is Ours, RAF’.