National Trust announces free open days

Giant's Causeway artwardphotography_SHT1275
Giant's Causeway artwardphotography_SHT1275

The National Trust, Northern Ireland’s leading conservation charity, is opening up its special places in Fermanagh for free on 3rd and 4th March and many of its other places across Northern Ireland on Saturday 10th March.

With longer, warmer days ahead, get ready to kick-start the new season with an energising day out at a blossoming garden, sparking beach or historic house.

Mussenden Temple, Downhill National Trust Bernie Brown

Mussenden Temple, Downhill National Trust Bernie Brown

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, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Florence Court, Mount Stewart and Castle Ward.

Heather McLachlan, regional director for Northern Ireland, said: "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.
"We had a really busy year looking after the special places in our care and the free open days provide an ideal opportunity for visitors to learn more about the work that we do.

"Come and discover the central hall floor at Mount Stewart restored to its 1840s glory; take a trip to Florence Court and see the progress that’s been made to restore the Kitchen Garden to its 1930s arrangement or visit the newly opened rooms at The Argory.

Castle Coole 52285 - National Trust Matthew Antrobus

Castle Coole 52285 - National Trust Matthew Antrobus

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

Free days out across Northern Ireland

There’s something for all the family to enjoy in Co Fermanagh on 3rd and 4th March. Set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains and forests the eighteenth 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 10th 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.

Murlough NNR Joe Cornish 972928

Murlough NNR Joe Cornish 972928

On the shores of Strangford Lough is Castle Ward. A film location for Game of Thrones, this estate features an eighteenth century house, miles of walking and cycling trails, and stunning views across Strangford Lough.

Head north for an exhilarating visit to the Causeway Coast where you can follow in the footsteps of giants at the Giant’s Causeway, enjoy a free fishery tour at Carrick-a-Rede (normal admission applies for the bridge),visit the stunning Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne or escape the crowds for a stroll alongPortstewart 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 seventeenth 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.

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

Castle Coole, Florence Court and Crom are open for free on 3rd and 4th 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..