Best gardens in Northern Ireland

Mount Stewart house overlooking the Italian Garden

From ornamental gardens to kitchen gardens, landscaped lawns to wildflower walks, we care for the best gardens to visit in Northern Ireland. Wander into a wild cliff-top garden in the ruins of Downhill House, step through the Sunken Garden at Castle Ward or marvel at the magnificence of Mount Stewart, voted one of the top ten gardens in the world by UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

The gardens at Mount Stewart, voted one of the top 10 in the world

Mount Stewart, County Down 

With a Sunken Garden, Shamrock Garden, Spanish Garden and Italian Garden, the gardens at Mount Stewart have been voted in the top ten gardens in the world. The world-class gardens reflect a rich tapestry of design and planting artistry including a picturesque lake walk. A place of imagination, each of the formal gardens exudes a distinct character and appeal. The Formal Garden surrounding the house is themed with exotic plants from around the world and contain many rare plants which thrive in the mild climate of the Ards Peninsula.

The newly restored Windsor Garden at Castle Ward

Castle Ward, County Down 

Famed for its eccentric two-faced mansion house, Castle Ward’s impressive estate also features two very distinctively designed garden landscapes; a 17th and 18th century Temple Water and the 19th century Windsor Garden. Recently restored to its original Victorian design with elaborate parterre flowerbeds, the Windsor Garden blooms with over 7,000 bulbs creating a riot of colour across the former Sunken Garden. With Irish Yew trees, a Rock Garden and an early 18th century formal canal, the gardens at Castle Ward are a great day out.

The Argory features a rose garden with dwarf roses

The Argory, County Armagh 

Nestled in this wooded estate beside the River Blackwater are sweeping lawns with two formal gardens. Stroll through the small charming rose garden with dwarf rose bushes in box-edged beds surrounding the striking sundial. The second larger Pleasure Ground has a terrace overlooking the river. The mixed borders carry a wealth of plants, many of them scented.

The period gardens of Florence Court

Florence Court, County Fermanagh 

The magnificent Florence Court gardens are overlooked by the dramatic outline of the Cuilcagh Mountain. Florence Court is well known as the home of the original Irish Yew. With fantastic forest park trails to suit all fitness levels, the estate is also home to an impressive Kitchen Garden. Step within its walls and discover the vibrant vegetables and flourishing fruits that fill its herbaceous borders. Pick up the perfumed scents of roses, paeonies, penstemon, dahlia and clematis as you relax on one of its beautiful benches.

Rowallane Garden is a riot of colour in the summer

Rowallane Garden, County Down 

With one of Ireland’s premier plant collections, Rowallane Garden is a true treasure trove for gardening fans. Carved from the County Down landscape, it’s unusual plants colours and sculptures create a feast for the eyes and nose in one of the most beautiful gardens in Northern Ireland. Enjoy its many unusual vistas in its mix of formal and informal spaces. The Spring Garden is filled with Azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias while the Walled Garden, once the kitchen garden for the ‘big house’ showcases meconopsis, paeonies and penstemon.

Downhill Demesne

Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry 

Perched on the wild headland of the North Coast, Downhill Demesne offers dramatic views over the Atlantic ocean. This coastal garden includes one of Northern Ireland's most iconic buildings, the famous Mussenden Temple. This ruined palace of the eccentric Earl Bishop of Derry includes an appealing ornamental garden at its Bishop's Gate entrance. Wander into the Bog Garden with its riot of primulas and shrub borders.