Historic Houses of Northern Ireland
Hillsborough Castle, HM The Queen’s official residence in Northern Ireland, is undergoing a £16m restoration programme which has breathed new life into this historic building. We will be among the first to see the extensively redecorated interior spaces, including the elegant State Rooms, still used by the Royal Family, and spend time here discovering tales of celebration and diplomacy. We will also see the Walled Garden, which is enjoying a major makeover.
Our tour begins at Carrickfergus Castle, one of the most important Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland, dating back to 1180. Following our visit to Hillsborough we move on to Montalto Estate, nestled beautifully in the heart of the Co. Down countryside, a privately-owned demesne which dates back to the early 1600s and has only recently opened to the public.
A trio of historic properties follows as we visit Grey Abbey House, which is considered to be one of the finest Georgian country houses in Ireland and has remained in the possession of the Montgomery family since 1607; Mount Stewart, perhaps better known for its dazzling garden but also a treasure trove of a house; and Ballywalter Park, a classic example of an early Victorian Country House built in the Italianate Palazzo style.
We round of our tour with a specially arranged visit to the historic estate of Benvarden, one of the finest in Northern Ireland and home to the Montgomery family since 1798.
Our tour manager is popular garden designer, writer & broadcaster (and native of Carrickfergus) Trevor Edwards.
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary