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Blooming Brilliant Gardens

From formal, manicured flowerbeds to sprawling meadows and woods, Belfast and Northern Ireland have some fantastic gardens. Pack a picnic and enjoy a stroll at one of our blooming brilliant gardens. 

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Barnett Demesne

The park's main feature is Malone House, which commands stunning views over acres of magnificent parkland, Lagan Valley and the Belfast Hills. Barnett Demesne is also home to an arboretum, daffodil garden and a number of woodland and wildflower meadows. More than 70 species of wildflower grow in the meadows during the summer months. For those looking for a little bit more adventure, try the bike trails and Ireland's first official purpose-built jumps park. More info >>

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

Covering more than 128 acres, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park features the world-acclaimed City of Belfast International Rose Gardens. Each year, visitors can enjoy 1,000,000 blooms and a week of celebrations during Rose Week.

The park is also made up of rolling meadows, copses, woodland and gardens and is home to a wide range of plants and animals. An ideal base for exploring nearby Lagan Valley Regional Park, it contains international camellia trials, a walled garden, a Japanese-style garden with water features for quiet contemplation, children's playground and orienteering and eco trails. There's also a barbecue area and picnic tables. More info >>

Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart is one of the most inspiring and unusual gardens in the National Trust's ownership. The garden reflects a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry that was the hallmark of Edith, Lady Londonderry. The mild climate of Strangford Lough allows astonishing levels of planting experimentation. The formal areas exude a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape; the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world, ensuring something to see whatever the season. Take a tour of the house and gardens or enjoy live jazz music on the lawn during the summer months. More info >>

Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. It’s home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine.

The Palm House contains a range of tropical plants, hanging baskets, seasonal displays and birds of paradise, and is one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse made from curved iron and glass. It shows how advances in glasshouse technology allowed horticulturists to grow exotic plant species during the Victorian period. The building was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, who also helped to design parts of nearby Queen's University.

The Tropical Ravine contains some of the oldest seed plants around today, as well as banana, cinnamon, bromeliad and orchid plants. It was built in 1889 by the park's head gardener, Charles McKimm, and his staff. More info >>

Belfast Castle Estate

The estate contains landscaped gardens and mature mixed woodland, and offers superb views of the city from a variety of vantage points. It's home to many different species of wildlife, including long-eared owls, sparrowhawks and Belfast's rarest plant; the town hall clock. Look out for the nine cats depicted in the paving, sculptures and garden furniture of the Cat Garden.

Enjoy breathtaking views and stand, quite literally, on top of Belfast during a visit to Cave Hill Country Park. Explore one of Belfast’s most famous landmarks, Napoleon's Nose, which is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver's Travels. More info >>

Rowallane Gardens

Regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in Northern Ireland, Rowallane reflects the natural landscape of the surrounding area. There are spectacular displays of shrubs, including a large collection of rhododendron species, several wildflower meadows and the rock garden wood with shade-loving plants. The outstanding Walled Garden includes spectacular displays of herbaceous plants, shrubs and bulbs plus there's a café for you to relax in. More info >>

Antrim Castle Gardens

The 17th century gardens are a complex living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage. Within the heart of the 60 acre gardens is a unique visitor experience, the recently refurbished Clotworthy House. Visit the Garden Heritage Exhibition where you can read about the history of the Gardens or stop off for refreshments in the Garden Coffee Shop. More info >>

The Argory

With sweeping vistas, superb spring bulbs, scenic walks and fascinating courtyard displays, The Argory Gardens are well worth a visit. A second-hand bookshop, adventure playground and Lady Ada's award-winning tea-room provide retreats for children and adults alike. Visit the walled gardens and see the produce grown there, and learn the history of the landed gentry house and wooded estate. More info >>

Hillsborough Castle & Gardens

Hillsborough is the official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland, and is also used as the residence for the Secretary of State. Set in 96 acres of ornamental grounds, the gardens have been under development since the 18th century and there is a significant contrast of woodland, waterways, and formal and informal gardens with trimmed lawns and meadows as well as specimen trees and rare plants. Wander around the Yew Tree Walk and Lime Tree Walk, as well as through the glen and around the lake. Read more >>

Bangor Castle Walled Garden

Bangor Castle Victorian Walled Garden, located in the tranquil grounds of Castle Park, is popular with visitors of all ages. The garden is divided into four different sections, each with its own horticultural personality. It boasts two unique pieces of sculpture inspired by North Down’s maritime history. The garden won the Royal Horticultural Society Award for Permanent Landscaping in its first year of opening. Enjoy a light snack at the café as well as seasonal events. Read more >>