Keeping fit at Mount Stewart

Take advantage of the sun, pack a picnic and enjoy a family day out © National Trust / Mount Stewart

Take advantage of the sun, pack a picnic and enjoy a family day out

We can't guarantee you'll do as well as the footman Arthur Inch, whose uniform is on display in the coach house. Working for a party, he once walked 18 miles without leaving the house once.

But there's still plenty of walking to be done. The Lake Walk is approximately one mile, and will take you about 2,400 steps. Add in a house tour (600 steps), a stroll round the formal gardens and Lily Wood (1,700 steps), and a walk up to the Temple of the Winds and back (3,000 steps), and you can enjoy that cappuccino in the Bay Restaurant guilt-free.

Fun ways to increase your workout:

  • Borrow a tracker pack at reception for some fun outdoor activities, or try our Squirrel Trail.
  • Try going around the Lake Walk twice, once in each direction. You'll be surprised at how many new things you notice that you didn't see before. Or take as many detours as possible, via the Rhododendron Hill, Tir na nOg, and the Woodland Walk.
  • Take turns carrying a well-filled picnic bag - if you've forgotten to bring one, pre-filled picnic boxes including a piece of healthy fruit are available from the restaurant.
  • Bring a ball or frisbee and play some games. Just not in the formal gardens or right by the house, please.
  • Agree on a forfeit for each member of the family. For example, maybe Dad has to do five press-ups every time you see a squirrel, and Mum has to do a star jump for every duck you meet on the way.
  • Invest in a pedometer to count your steps - basic models are available for less than £10 - and compete for a high score.
  • Park at the far end of the car park and walk up - you'll have time to take in the view of Strangford Lough and spot a few bunnies and squirrels on the way, too.