Visitors to Mount Stewart in Co. Down can explore paths previously closed to the public after a £12 million restoration project opened a network of trails for the first time.
The National Trust restored the paths during a project to open up the historic Irish demesne again, as it would have been in the mid-18 th century when it was bought by the Stewart family. The three miles of reopened walking trails enjoy views over Strangford Lough towards the Mournes, and take in woodland, orchards and a walled garden, as well as estate rides, follies and farmland. And that’s not the end of it: over the next 10 years the National Trust plans to restore the historic ‘rides’ through the estate, totalling nearly 20 miles of trails to follow around the estate.
‘Opening up the demesne allows visitors to really immerse themselves in that history and explore parts of the estate that no-one outside of the Stewart family and their tenants has previously seen,’ said Jon Kerr, the National Trust’s manager for east Down.
National Trust Mount Stewart
The project has also restored the house and gardens, with extensive replanting and the return of the eight-acre walled kitchen garden to the main garden, including a peach house and vinery. For more details visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart.