National Trust announces free open days

The Argory
The Argory
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The National Trust, Northern Ireland’s leading conservation charity, is opening up its special places in Fermanagh for free on 4 and 5 March and many of its other 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.

Rowallane Garden

Rowallane Garden

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, Florence Court and Castle Ward.

Heather McLachlan, regional director for Northern Ireland, said: “This is a unique opportunity to enjoy free access to many of our special places. During our free open days in Fermanagh on 4 and 5 March, and at other places around Northern Ireland on 11 March, we are opening the doors to nature, mansions and hidden gems for all to enjoy. Spring is the ideal time of year to get out and discover new places.

“We’re encouraging everyone to get outdoors, breathe in the spring air and take inspiration from the unique stories of our many special places. Come along and discover the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes conserving collections and caring for spectacular landscapes and beautiful gardens.

“By visiting National Trust places you’re helping us to protect Northern Ireland’s natural and built heritage for future generations to enjoy.”

This is a unique opportunity to enjoy free access to many of our special places. During our free open days in Fermanagh on 4 and 5 March, and at other places around Northern Ireland on 11 March, we are opening the doors to nature, mansions and hidden gems for all to enjoy.

Heather McLachlan, National Trust regional director for Northern Ireland

Free days out across Northern Ireland

There’s something for all the family to enjoy in Co Fermanagh on 4 and 5 March. Set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains and forests the 18th-century Florence Court estate has much to explore, both inside the Georgian house and out. Sitting majestically amidst wooded parklands Castle Coole offers grand interiors and fine architecture. Or escape to the tranquil lakeside setting of Crom on Upper Lough Erne and discover wildlife and nature.

Explore further afield on the 11 March with a visit to the award-winning gardens at Mount Stewart in Co Down; take a tour of the house and let imaginations run wild in the new natural play area. 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.

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.

Crom

Crom

Head north for an exhilarating visit to the Causeway Coast where you can follow in the footsteps of giants at the Giant’s Causeway, take the rope bridge challenge at Carrick-a-Rede, visit the stunning Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne or escape the crowds for a stroll along Portstewart Strand and White Park Bay.

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. 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.

Please note:

Derrymore - open for walks only. Treaty Room closed.

Castle Coole

Castle Coole

Patterson’s Spade Mill and Gray’s Printing Press – closed.

Castle Coole, Florence Court and Crom are open for free on 4 and 5 March only

For more information on places to visit and opportunities to support the National Trust in Northern Ireland visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ni.