Free Open Day at the National Trust
Spring is the ideal time of year to get out and discover new places and the National Trust, Northern Ireland’s leading conservation charity, is opening up many of its special places across Northern Ireland on Saturday 11 March.
Come out of winter hibernation and embrace the energy of spring with a visit to a glorious garden, magical landscape or historic house.
The free days offer an opportunity to explore the many special places cared for by the National Trust including some of Northern Ireland’s leading visitor attractions - the Giant’s Causeway, Mount Stewart and Castle Ward by opening the doors to nature, mansions and hidden gems for all to enjoy.
Free days out across Northern Ireland
Explore on the 11 March with a visit to the award-winning gardens at Mount Stewart in County Down, take a tour of the house and let imaginations run wild in the new natural play area. Mount Stewart is one of the most inspiring and unusual gardens in the National Trust's ownership. Take an engaging tour of the opulent house where fascinating heritage and historic world-famous artefacts and artwork are revealed.
Nearby is another wonderful garden, Rowallane Garden in Saintfield where the formal and informal gardens captivate with their dazzling array of exotic and rare species from around the world. Created in the mid 1860s by the Reverend John Moore, this informal plantsman's garden reflects the beautiful natural landscape of the surrounding area. There are spectacular displays of shrubs, including a large collection of rhododendron species and several areas managed as wildflower meadows.
On the shores of Strangford Lough is Castle Ward. A film location for Game of Thrones, this estate features an 18th-century house, miles of walking and cycling trails, and stunning views across Strangford Lough. Full of personality, Castle Ward is situated in a 820 acre walled demesne you will find an exotic sunken garden and paths that wind their way through woodland and suddenly open onto the quiet shores of the Lough.
The Giant's Causeway
Head north for an exhilarating visit to the Causeway Coast where you can follow in the footsteps of giants at the Giant’s Causeway, a magnificent, mysterious geological formation on the North East coast of County Antrim steeped in myth and legend. Take the rope bridge challenge at Carrick-a-Rede, extending around 100ft above sea level, originally constructed around 350 years ago by salmon fishermen.
There’s plenty to see in Mid Ulster too where a tour of The Argory reveals the story of this Neo-classical house and its hidden treasures which remain unchanged since 1900. An atmospheric Irish gentry house and wooded riverside estate, The Argory was built in the 1820s and the eclectic interior still evokes the family's tastes and interests.
Discover more National Trust properties
Visit the farmyard at the charming 17th-century Ardress House or discover the charms of Springhill in Moneymore, home to a celebrated collection of costumes, woodland trails and a children’s play area. Or, for a flavour of our industrial heritage visit Wellbrook Beetling Mill near Cookstown. Take a trip to the coast and visit the stunning Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne or escape the crowds for a stroll along Portstewart Strand and White Park Bay.
For more information on places to visit and opportunities to support the National Trust in Northern Ireland visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ni.