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Whether you are visiting Belfast or on an exploring holiday in County Down, make sure to take in the magnificent Mount Stewart Estate which lies just eight kilometres south east of Newtownards, east of Belfast City, and comprises a stunning 18th century house and beautiful gardens.
For those interested in formal gardens Mount Stewart will provide wonderful inspiration. The estate was originally the home of the Marquess of Londonderry, and the 98 acres of garden was landscaped by Lady Londonderry, wife of the seventh Marquess. The gardens are now looked after by the National Trust and are manicured perfectly with incredible flowering schemes designed to bloom all through the spring and summer seasons.
Woodlands, lakes, Spanish and Italian gardens, statues and topiary vie for attention, while the house itself is also worth a visit. The interior is lavish, having sheltered a number of influential figures over the years. This was the birthplace of Lord Castlereagh, who went on to become British foreign secretary and was largely responsible for the Act of Union which dissolved the Irish parliament. A number of valuable paintings are contained in the house, as well as elaborate furnishings and marble nudes.
Mount Stewart House and Gardens are open all summer and for restricted periods for the rest of the year.