Stunning County Down garden to open its gates for charity

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Here’s an opportunity to explore the private and magnificent gardens of Grey Abbey House, set against the backdrop of Strangford Lough on the Ards Peninsula.

Saturday 8 September – from 2 to 5pm – is the date for the garden lover’s diary, and the invitation comes from owners William and Daphne Montgomery.

Visitors, for one day only, can enjoy the grounds of this 17 th century demesne, with every penny of the entrance fee supporting the work of conservation charity the Woodland Trust.

The formal gardens are breath-taking – while the mature parkland, lake, and remains of a Cistercian abbey add to an unmissable afternoon.

Glorious flowers and trees from around the world are waiting to impress. A ‘Southern Hemisphere garden’ contains a collection of plants from New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia, Argentina, Chile and South Africa. Other attractions are the walled garden, vegetable garden, late summer border, and shrub rose border. Two orchards boast an enviable collection of Victorian fruit trees and recently planted Irish apple trees.

Patrick Cregg is the director of the Woodland Trust and says: “The extensive grounds of Grey Abbey House are truly out of this world. They provided the venue for the recent drama series Woman in White, so those who have already had a glimpse will definitely want to join us.

“Usually only open to organised groups, this is a refreshing opportunity for members of the public to feast their eyes upon acres of stunning gardens. We’re very grateful to Mr and Mrs Montgomery for supporting our work in this way.”

Afternoon tea will be available in the Granary.

Admission is £5 per adult. Booking is recommended, though not essential. Find out more and book a place at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/events or telephone 0330 333 5302 (lines open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm). Grey Abbey House sits in the village of Greyabbey, County Down, BT22 2QA.