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Mount Stewart House and Gardens (Down)

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A short distance from Greyabbey is Mount Stewart owned by the National Trust. This impressive eighteenth century mansion housing works of art collected from around the world is complemented with one of the greatest gardens in the British Isles.

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      10.06.2010 10:24
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      Nice to spend a half day in, on a good weather day.

      Located just a few miles from Newtownards, Mount Stewart House and Gardens is a very famous Northern Irish home, once occupied by the Vane-Tempest-Stewarts - a wealthy and influential family in many aspects of life, both in Northern Ireland and further afield. The home is stately, and the grounds no less impressive. What's more, they are now (and have been for a good while) open to the general public for viewing, walks, picnics, or any gentle activity they choose. Prices are currently £7.80 for adults, £3.90 for children, and £19.30 for families. These vary however, depending on whether you want "gift aid" admission, regular admission, or want to enter both the gardens and house, or just the gardens. More coherent details can be found on their website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-mountstewart/ My opinion is that these prices are slightly high, and so I think the best idea is to visit on a pleasant day (weather wise), or on a day when it is open to the public for free, in conjunction with the National Trust. These are normally advertised if you are a local in Northern Ireland, or publisised on the website if you are not. Just remember that on an open day, it will be more crowded. Even so, because of the size of the gardens (and also the house), it will never feel claustrophobic. First the house: There is only a portion of it that you can gain access to. The rest is closed off. What you can see if a very opulent hall and some extremely well kept, rich looking side rooms. Photography is allowed, and for those interested in upper class residency, then this might be your thing. Otherwise, it's still nice to have a look around. Outside, the gardens are extensive, stretching for what feels like miles around the back and out to the side. There are many odd looking outdoor sculptures on show, and a very nice wide open lake. Altogether it's great to have a wander around on a sunny day. Just be weary of spending large sums in getting your whole family in. It's nice, sure, but hardly worth £20-30.

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