Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. The site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park today. It’s home to the Palm House, the Ulster Museum and The Tropical Ravine which is receiving a 3.8 million restoration, expected to be completed by early 2017, which will house many tropical and native plants in the unique, listed building nestled in the heart of Botanic Gardens.
Malone House and Barnett Demesne
Malone House and the surrounding Barnett Demesne offers walking, jogging or picnics, free exhibition in the Higgin Gallery and several pieces of public art in the manicured gardens. Surrounded by acres of majestic parkland, and within easy reach of nearby Shaw’s Bridge and the Lagan towpath, you can enjoy a wide range of activities, including canoeing and kayaking. Park features include an arboretum, ecotrail, orienteering routes and children’s playground (near Shaw’s Bridge). Refreshments are available in the Barnett Restaurant in nearby Malone House.
Cavehill Country Park
Visitors to Cave Hill Country Park can enjoy panoramic views across Belfast from vantage points on the hillside. The park features include Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, archaeological sites, Cave Hill Visitor Centre, an ecotrail, gardens, orienteering routes, refreshments in Belfast Castle, scenic views and waymarked walking trails suitable for casual walkers or serious ramblers.
Redburn Country Park
Redburn Country Park is set on an escarpment above Belfast Lough, featuring 7km of pathways and running trails. Scrub and grassland cover the top of the hill. There are pleasant walks in all seasons, but spring is the best season to see the spectacular woodland carpet of bluebells, wood sorrel and anemones.The woods are home to birds such as tits and finches and in the summertime, willow warbler and blackcaps can be found in the scrub and gorse at the top of the hill. In the open glades, rabbits are plentiful and, if lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the park’s shyest resident, the red squirrel.
Jordanstown Loughshore Park
On the edge of Belfast Lough, Jordanstown Loughshore Park is the first stop along the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. Kick back and enjoy the wildlife and scenery around Belfast Lough, get active in the play park and outdoor gym, explore the cycle path and art trail which goes to Belfast and beyond, or recharge in the onsite cafe.
Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House
Antrim Castle Gardens is an historical gem, with nothing like these 400 year old gardens anywhere else in Northern Ireland. The gardens are a complex living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage. Within the heart of the 60 acre gardens is a unique visitor experience, Clotworthy House. Visit the Garden Heritage Exhibition where you can read about the history of the gardens or the Oriel Gallery art exhibitions.
Florence Court enjoys a peaceful setting in west Fermanagh, with a dramatic backdrop of mountains and forests. Explore the extensive estate through landscaped grounds, forest trails and the well-kept Walled Garden. Take a guided house tour of the Georgian mansion at the heart of the estate to hear stories about the Cole family and staff that lived there for over 250 years.
This impressive building was built for the Hon Robert Edward Ward and his family in 1852. The building is situated in the grounds of Castle Park alongside the North Down Museum and is just a short walk from Bangor Castle Walled Garden.Tours of the building are available by appointment only. The grounds are always accessible to visitors.
Millisle Beach Park
Millisle Beach Park is a rural beach off the Ballywalter Road on the Ards Peninsula. The park provides a small sandy beach, play and picnic facilities, a jetty and two slip ways. Car parking and public toilets are provided and there is also disabled access. Also situated nearby is a children’s playground which includes interactive equipment, the first of its kind in the Ards Borough.