Visiting Downhill Demesne: What you need to know

Downhill Demesne garden project - Bishops gate

Our grounds and garden are now open for pre-booking. Your visit will include car parking and toilet facilities. To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities, we've reduced the number of people we can welcome at one time and you’ll need to book your visit in advance. 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 

The grounds and toilets at Downhill Demesne is open but you’ll need to book your tickets by 3pm the day before your visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We'll be releasing tickets every Friday. Please note we’ll be turning people away who arrive and haven't booked. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.

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. Sadly, if you’re more than 10 minutes late for your slot, then entry will be at the discretion of the property team.


The grounds and gardens are open for you to enjoy. Car parking and toilets with access is also available. You'll find bottles of hand sanitizer and sinks for hand washing. 

Sadly, we’re not able to open everything at once. We’re sorry but Hezlett house, cafe, shop and play area remains closed.

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 for many weeks 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.

You are welcome to pack a picnic. Picnic tables are available appropriately spaced. 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.

Help support key workers

To say thank you to our nation's key workers and all they have done for us, we're encouraging visitors to keep the first and last slots of each day free for key workers to use. While we are unable to 'reserve' these slots exclusively for key workers, we hope you will join us in thanking them by leaving these times free. If you or someone in your group are a key worker, please take the opportunity to book these early and late timeslots.

Upcoming events

Timed entry to Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House (3 August - 9 August

Sat 08 Aug 2020
Book your timed entry to visit Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House

Timed entry to Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House (10 August - 16 August)

Mon 10 Aug 2020
Book your timed entry to visit Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House.
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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.