Lush and Lovely: Mount Stewart Gardens, Northern Ireland

Equal parts heritage estate and natural beauty

By Shubhra Krishan

Located 15 miles south-east of Belfast, Mount Stewart Gardens are no hidden beauty. All of Ireland loves them. It is inspiring and amazing to see how dedicatedly the staff maintain the estate.

What shall I call it? A garden within a mansion or a mansion within a garden? The structure does not matter, now that I am looking back at my Mount Stewart Gardens stopover and letting the memories jot themselves down here. I remember the flowers. Their scent is suddenly around me, sweet and delicate perfume in the cool spring air. And I remember the wide open lawns, the profusion of trees, herbs, shrubs, flowers and ponds…

Mount Stewart has an elaborate website, where you will learn that the property belongs to the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry and her family in the early 20th century.

But details aside, what really matters is that the Gardens, very thoughtfully, house a second-hand bookshop and plenty of trees under which you can read those books. There is a restaurant, too, which sources its ingredients locally.

On your next trip to Northern Ireland, do stop by the mansion. The gardens will offer you the kind of pleasure and peace one rarely gets to enjoy.

My jetlag and sleep vanished—vazoom!—within seconds of entering Mount Stewart. A deep sense of serenity and joy took their place and stayed with me for the rest of my trip. Each time I think back to that verdant afternoon, I feel the same joy bubble up in my heart.

Visitors walking their dog on a lead in the formal garden at Mount Stewart with a view of the house in the background
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