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Things to do at Minnowburn

Visitors at Minnowburn, County Down, Northern Ireland
Visitors at Minnowburn | © National Trust Images/John Miller

From the majestic Minnowburn Beeches to the peaceful Terrace Hill Garden, Minnowburn is a haven just outside the city. Take a look at what you might find on your next visit.

Minnowburn Beeches

There are not many stands of trees in the greater Belfast area that have ever received the honour of being given a name by the citizens.

This majestic body of trees tower over the Ballylesson road, the silvery grey bark of the huge stems take on a haunted look in the mists of winter. In spring and summer, they cast shade and are great to walk amongst.

In autumn the trees are at their best, as the leaves turn a crisp golden brown and an interesting array of fungi appears on the woodland floor. At this time of year, a great place to view them is from Terrace Hill rose garden just across the valley.

Terrace Hill Garden

After Terrace Hill Garden was purchased by the National Trust in 1952, generations of visitors from Belfast and beyond have explored Minnowburn’s ‘secret garden’ on Terrace Hill.

Cloudwatching at Minnowburn, Northern Ireland
Cloudwatching at Minnowburn | © National Trust Images/Paul Moan

In the past decade, views have been opened up, walls and fences have been repaired and rebuilt, paths uncovered, and the beds and walls replanted with a mix of woody and herbaceous species, all done by volunteers.

The latest addition to the garden is seating, refashioned and recycled from the old decking of the Lagan weir bridge, where you can take in the sights and smells of the garden, or enjoy probably the best view in the Lagan valley beyond.

The River Lagan at Minnowburn, County Down, Northern Ireland

Discover more at Minnowburn

Find out how to get to Minnowburn, where to park, things to see and do and more.

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Bridge over River Lagan, Minnowburn, Northern Ireland

The history of Minnowburn 

We first became involved at Minnowburn in June 1945. The Minnowburn Beeches were under threat from felling when a permit application was submitted to allow building in the area.

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Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

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Countryside areas in Northern Ireland 

Whether you're looking for a heart-raising hike up Northern Ireland's highest mountain or a ramble by the river at The Argory, there are many countryside and woodland places to experience in Northern Ireland. Enjoy woodland respite at Minnowburn with the forest bathing beds or escape to the wild landscape of County Fermanagh with the countryside adventures at Florence Court, Castle Coole and Crom.