Visiting Downhill Demesne: What you need to know

Downhill Demesne garden project - Bishops gate

The grounds at Downhill Demesne & Mussenden Temple are open daily for walkers. Facilities are open at weekends. We are working within NI Executive guidelines to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We're looking forward to welcoming you. In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about what's open and what to expect from your visit.

We’re really looking forward to welcoming you back. We’ve worked hard to reopen Downhill Demesne and we want to keep it open for you and everyone to enjoy. We'll need your help to do so.

How to book

Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne

Please book ahead before visiting 

Downhill Demesne is open at weekends. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We're looking forward to welcoming you.

Before setting out

We’re all in this together. If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you’ve been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

You can cancel your visit in advance by telephoning the box office on 0344 249 1895 The centre is open 9am - 5.30pm from Monday to Friday and 9am - 4pm on weekends and bank holidays. Unfortunately we cannot take or cancel bookings at the property. 


Your booking offers access by car at the time shown on your ticket. We've set up a system to check your ticket and guide you through on arrival. Please have your ticket to hand to show to staff through the car window. Members will also need to show their membership card. Arriving on time allows us to provide you and everyone with the safest possible experience. 


The grounds and gardens are open for you to enjoy. Car parking and toilets are also available. Sadly, we’re not able to open everything at once. We’re sorry but Hezlett House and Musseden Temple remain closed. Al's Coffee Hut will remain as a takeaway service.

Bishop's Gate Garden
Bishop's Gate Garden
Bishop's Gate Garden

During your visit

To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit.  We may need to make some changes to the usual routes to help keep you safe. Please look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site. Our staff will also be on hand to guide you and answer questions. Please follow their instructions.

Our grounds and gardens are looking lovely, but we’ve had a severely reduced team at the property so they may not be  as well-groomed as you might expect them to be. Please bear with us as we do what we can as soon as we can.

Please respect other visitors and staff, by using bins and taking excess litter home with you.

We're currently not able to loan wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Benches are located around the site for visitors to rest as they walk.

Children must be supervised at all times.

Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a short lead at all times.


Above all, enjoy your visit. We are delighted to welcome you back. We are so thankful for your support as we work through these unprecedented times and make this gradual transition a success, so we can get back to offering nature, beauty and history for everyone.

How to book

All visitors must book a ticket in advance, including members. Entry and parking is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance.

  • Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged 5 or under as they don’t need a ticket.
  • You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit.
  • The timeslot is for your arrival time only 
  • Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale
  • We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.

Every Friday we'll release new bookings for visits the following week. You can book up to 18 hours before a timeslot. 

Due to limited spaces, we’re asking that you only book once a week to allow others a chance to visit.

Upcoming events

The Cave Sessions

Sat 04 Jun 2022
Mussenden Temple presents The Cave Sessions: Vol 3 – Andy Rogers feat. The Stunt Double Collective

Mid Summer Concerts

Fri 17 Jun 2022
National Trust North Coast Members Association presents Midsummer Concerts in Mussenden Temple
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Summer Walks Downhill Demesne

Explore Downhill Demesne and enjoy a stunning summer walk around this historical site. Located on the North Coast, soak up the stunning coastlines and amazing views including the iconic Mussenden Temple.

Bog Garden

Summer Gardens Hezlett House & Downhill Demesne

Don't forget to explore the gardens around Hezlett House and Downhill Demesne this summer! Travel through time at the historical Hezlett House whilst walking through the orchards and gardens on display. Or why not visit Downhill Demesne's Bog Garden, Walled garden or grab a snack and a cup of coffee and rest in our more recent Secret Garden.

Bishop's Gate Garden

Downhill's Secret Gardens

An afternoon stroll with the estate Ranger to hear about our plans to restore the secret gardens of Downhill Demesne. Meet at Bishop's Gate.

Reconstructing Downhil Demesne Screenshot

Reconstructing Downhill Demesne

We worked with NRC, Ballymoney teachers & students to reconstruct parts of Downhill Demesne.

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Picnic Spots Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House

Come along to Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House for fun family days and why not have a picnic around the Mussenden Temple, Downhill House, in the Lion's Gate Walled Garden, Hezlett House gardens or in the Bishop's Gate forest or Secret Garden.