A conversation piece
Take in an exciting programme of talks and events at Mount Stewart
Mount Stewart will come to life next weekend with an exciting programme of arts and animation. Located on the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down, Mount Stewart is one of Northern Ireland’s best loved historical houses.
Cared for by the National Trust, the 19th-century property has recently undergone a three-year £8 million restoration programme, making it a must-see attraction.
Mount Stewart Conversations Festival 2017 is taking place on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15, promising an exciting weekend for little and big kids alike.
Challenge your minds in the Garden of Thought Experiments where the world-famous gardens will come to life and you will meet an array of characters who will challenge, amaze and engross you in the world of philosophy and introduce the young and old to new ways to expand your mind.
Or drop into the Lakeside Clip Show and spend some time in the world of children’s entertainment. Explore it all from The Magic Roundabout to Ren and Stimpy with classic favourites.
Test your circus skills at the circus school or learn about street art in an interactive workshop. Try a Grime rap and production workshop, or leave your mark on the interactive Conversations art wall. While you are there, take time to visit the natural play area in Mount Stewart’s woodlands, with its unique mix of climbing frames and walkways inspired by the story of the Magic Inkpot written by Edith, Lady Londonderry in 1928.
Wildlife fans should walk the one-mile red squirrel trail, which takes in the path around the lake and gardens. Mount Stewart and the Ards Peninsula has one of the few surviving populations of red squirrels in Northern Ireland. And, lastly, step inside The Lookout, a wildlife interpretative centre showcasing the wildlife on Strangford Lough. Telescopes and remote-controlled cameras allow close-up views of basking seals and breeding seabird colonies.
Turn your visit into a County Down short break, and stay at one of the family-friendly hotels nearby.
The 3* Strangford Arms Hotel is ideally located in Newtownards, only a 15-minute drive to Belfast city centre and 10-minute journey to Bangor’s lively town centre and marina. Relax in one of the en suite bedrooms or unwind with drinks and dinner in Le Winters’ Bistro, Bar and Restaurant. Alternatively, head to the coast at 4* Pier 36 Guest House, overlooking Donaghadee Harbour and lighthouse. It has nautically-themed rooms, with sea views and a superb breakfast.
LIVING HISTORY: The formal gardens and manor house at Mount Stewart, take an autumn walk in its woodland which is home to red squirrels (inset left) and take in the views of Strangford Lough and Scrabo Tower beyond