This elegant 18th century house and its world famous gardens have a remarkable history, one stretching back to the co-founding father of the Ulster-Scots, Sir Hugh Montgomery. The site became part of his vast territory in 1606, later being bought by Scot Sir Robert Colville, who founded an estate called Mount Pleasant here. In 1744 the estate was bought by Alexander Stewart, whose family later became Marquesses of Londonderry. The Stewarts originally came from Scotland, changing their name from MacGregor when that clan was outlawed. The influential British politician Robert Stewart, later Viscount Castlereagh, spent his childhood at Mount Stewart.
The mild climate of Strangford Lough and the vision and expertise of successive generations of gardeners have made the gardens, which contain plants from all over the world, of international importance. The house tour features stories of the celebrated visitors, including monarchs and leading politicians. Mount Stewart is owned by the National Trust.
Good, parking. Call 028 4278 8387 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart for more information.