Gardens of Northern Ireland
Gentle mists of rain and sudden bursts of sun have endowed Ireland with a unique and welcome habitat for extraordinary flora and fauna. From the tropical climes of Belfast Botanic Gardens to the wilds of forest parks the gardens on this Northern Ireland trail will lead you to fine country homes, wild open spaces split by meandering rivers, lakes and streams, to refined topiary with at manicurists’ touch. Enjoy and do please smell the roses.
This is a looped/circular route to get you from either of the two airports in Belfast City, or from Belfast Port. It’s not a long trip, but to really appreciate the horticultural gems you’ll be visiting.
Perfect Time To Go
April - September
Number Of Nights
On this tour you will visit the following gardens:
Belfast City, County Antrim
First established in 1828, these city gardens designed by Charles Lanyon, are enjoyed both as a gardener’s delight and as a public park. Its extensive rose garden and long herbaceous borders signify the finer details of the Botanic Gardens.
Glenarm Castle Walled Garden, County Antrim
Heading north along the shoreline, next stop is Glenarm Castle’s Walled Garden. One of the island’s oldest, its original mission was to supply the castle occupants with a fresh supply of fruit and vegetables.
Benvarden, County Antrim
Up on the north coast by pretty Ballycastle is Benvarden, and its 19th century gardens. The Walled Garden, though, has been on the estate’s map since 1788. Described by Terence Reeve Smith in his Guide to Irish Gardens as ‘undoubtedly the best in private hands and ranges from beautiful rose beds to well-stocked kitchen garden’.
Glenveagh, County Donegal
One of six National Parks, this is where you see the contrast between what tender loving hands give to cultivated gardens, and what nature can display when left to its own devices. And there are 16,000 hectares to take in, no less.
Florence Court, County Fermanagh
This exquisite 18th century property was the former home of the Earls of Enniskillen, at the heart of the lakelands. One of the most important houses in Northern Ireland, Florence Court is surrounded by views of the Benaughlin and Cuilcagh Mountains.
Lisburn Castle Gardens, County Antrim
You’ve almost done full circle, but there’s still lots to see. Just outside Belfast and the former site of Lisburn Castle, you’ll find the Castle Gardens. Historic is an understatement here, with archaeological excavations uncovering many garden artefacts and features from the 17th century, including a double flight staircase and gazebo.
Seaforde Gardens and Butterfly House, County Antrim
This is a beauty by any standards. The Walled Garden of Seaforde dates from the 18th century. It now also houses the wonderful Tropical Butterfly House, which contains hundreds of free-flying exotic butterflies, parrots and reptiles.
Mount Stewart House and Gardens, County Down
If you think you’ve seen all the horticultural gems you could squeeze into a gardener’s almanac, think again: introducing Mount Stewart. Its magnificent series of ‘outdoor rooms’ and vibrant parterres are home to various rare plants that seem to thrive in the mild conditions provided by the Ards Peninsula.
We will custom build this tour to suit your needs and budget.
Our package includes the following:
- 5 nights hotel accommodation in 4 star hotels
- Breakfast daily
- Hire of self-drive rental car OR travel with your own car from the UK and include return fare on Stena Line routes (please ask us for prices)
- VAT at 20%