As we have been blessed with absolutely stunning weather of late we decided to head to Rowallane Gardens in Saintfield, Co. Down for a leisurely walk with our dog Bailey. This was our first time visiting the gardens, although we had been planning to visit for a while now, and we were amazed by how beautiful it was.
The gardens started over a hundred years ago when Reverend John Moore planted trees and built a walled garden. The stones he used came from the Bloody Bridge in Newcastle, Co. Down which is only a couple of minutes from our house along the coast. Moore’s nephew introduced plants from across the world several years later when he inherited the garden. The gardens also have a tea house where you can relax and unwind after taking time to walk around the stunning grounds.
Rowallane gardens are now owned by The National Trust and feature a mix of formal and informal areas spanning over 50 acres. The trees and plants originate from all over the world so create a fabulous display no matter what time of year.
There are several stones features within the gardens, especially as you drive through the premises. There is also a lovely cafe in the old farm stables, a courtyard for crafts and a small shop with Rowallane Pottery. The gardens features various areas including a formal walled garden, a natural rock garden wood, a paddock, and several woodland walks.
The Walled Garden
The walled gardens are a beautiful formal area with a large central lawn and a selection of plants from all over the world. It also features a pretty salad and herb area with topiary hedging.
Outer walled Garden
The outer walled garden features a pond and a barn area which houses the beautiful Rowallane Pottery which is available to buy.
There are lots of woodland walks within the grounds. If you’re lucky with the weather (like we were), you can take time wandering from garden to garden enjoying mother nature and the great scenery around the gardens. Rowallane Gardens really is a Co Down gem, and somewhere we highly recommend taking a day to get to know.
- November – February: 10am – 4pm
- March – October: 10am – 6pm
- May – August: 10am – 8pm
- Closed 25th and 26th December
- Adults: £5.80
- Children: £2.90
- Family: £14.50
If you are a National Trust member you can enter the gardens free. With almost 30 National Trust sites across Northern Ireland including The Giant’s Causeway, The Mournes and Florence Court, membership of National Trust will get you free entry to all of these amazing places, as well as National Trust locations in England and Wales.
With individual membership starting at £63 for adults and £105 for two adults, it certainly does appear to be good value for money, although you would need to ensure you are planning on visiting National Trust premises. It’s something we are certainly going to look into ourselves.
Here’s a quick video of our day exploring Rowallane Gardens
You can find out more about Northern Ireland’s National Trust properties by visiting www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/northern-ireland.