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The Best Gardens in Northern Ireland

The Best Gardens in Northern Ireland

As April blooms, so does national gardening month, and what better way is there to celebrate than by visiting the best gardens and parks near our holiday lodges? This blog guides you through some of Northern Ireland’s best, from the magical grounds of Greba Gardens to the beautiful flowers of Palm House. So, if you’re interested in discovering more, keep reading. 

Greba Gardens 

Less than a 10-minute drive from Ballywalter lies this enchanting 3-acre garden built in a reclaimed quarry. Meandering pathways lead visitors through natural woodland, past ponds and over small bridges all surrounded by vibrant flowers and foliage. Let your worries drift away in this fairy tale setting, leaving only tranquillity as you experience its’ calming atmosphere. The garden can be enjoyed by appointment from March to November. Contact details can be found on the garden’s website.

Bangor Castle Walled Gardens 

These stunning walled gardens were designed in the 1840s, but only opened to the public in April 2009. Filled with a variety of flowers, plants, vegetables, spectacular sculptures and just an 8-minute drive from Groomsport, it’s perfect for all who enjoy spending time outdoors, surrounded by nature. For history lovers, this is the perfect place to step back in time! Entry is free and there is even a lovely café on site. 

The Palm House Botanic Garden 

Another beautiful and extensive garden can be found in the heart of Belfast is The Palm House. This location is slightly further out than others but well worth the visit and great for cloudier days as there is lots to explore inside as well as out. Explore this oasis in the city and learn about conservation through their interactive and digital exhibits.

Kiltonga Nature Reserve 

Located just a 20-minute drive away from both Ballywalter and Groomsport is this stunning nature reserve. It’s home to a variety of birds and other wildlife emerging from hibernation this spring. With a pathway giving visitors a front row seat to the lake, you won’t want to forget your camera!

Castle Hill

This is the perfect place to enjoy a brisk spring walk, amazing views and even a bit of history! Only a 10-minute drive from Cloughey Bay Beach, Castle Hill has an amazing view out over Strangford Lough, lots of open space for a scenic walk and the picturesque St Mary’s Church. It’s a beautiful walk and a lovely spot for a picnic on a sunny day. 

Nugent’s Wood

Overlooking Strangford Lough, this National Trust location is, as you’d expect, nothing less than spectacular. You can enjoy a short walk of around an hour in this dog friendly park whilst looking out for red squirrels and bluebells in the spring. It’s also less than a 15-minute drive from Cloughey Bay Beach, so perfect for enjoying the lighter mornings and evenings.

The Ark Open Farm

Although not specifically a garden, The Ark Open Farm is a great place to see nature thrive as we move into the warmer months. Just outside of Bangor and Newtownards, this award-winning farm is a great attraction that the whole family can enjoy. There’s so much to explore with approximately 200 hundred animals, of all kinds, milling around 40-acres of countryside. You can even take part in up close animal handling sessions or a variety of other outdoor activities such as Jumping Pillow. 

Castle Espie

Another beautiful green space overlooking Strangford Lough is Castle Espie, home to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic birds. With both woodland and shore-view walks, a magical sensory garden, gift shop and café, there’s something for everyone! 


As the chill of winter lifts, now is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy everything Northern Ireland has to offer. From stunning natural views to perfect gardens, you’ll never be short of things to explore! So, to see the very best of Northern Ireland on your own schedule, why not consider one of our holiday lodges? With the perfect mix of rural coastal charm and great locations, they’re the perfect base for all of your adventures! To find out more, visit our website or contact our experienced team.