Step into and explore the beautiful world of Montalto Estate
Step Inside: Sir John Rawdon pictured at the launch of Montalto Estate which will open its gardens, walks and trails from this Friday, to the public for the first time. Pictured with managing director David Wilson. Picture by Brian Morrison.
From Friday 21st September everyone will have the opportunity to step into and explore the magnificent world of Montalto Estate as, for the first time in its history, visitors will have access to never-before seen gardens and trails located around the historic estate.
Nestled in the picturesque Co. Down countryside, Montalto is a privately-owned demesne steeped in history dating back to the 1600s. It is famously the site of ‘The Battle of Ballynahinch,’ which took place during the Irish rebellion in 1798. It is also home to an exotic plant collection initially created by ‘The father of Irish Gardening’, Sir Arthur Rawdon.
Montalto Estate aims to reconnect visitors with nature through access to a range of captivating gardens and beautiful walks and trails. The visitor experience will include; public access to the estate’s beautiful gardens with elements including many varieties of flora and fauna along with unique and surprising garden features; historic walks and trails and an exciting play area where children can explore, learn and wonder at their natural surroundings. A purpose built centre, designed in keeping with the look and feel of the estate, includes a welcome area featuring interpretation of the estate’s history; a stylish 120 seat café offering flavoursome and beautifully presented food and a shop that offers a mix of estate produce, local craft products and many other unique and exceptionally designed items.
The beautiful gardens include an Alpine Garden, a Winter Garden, a Cutting Garden, a Walled Garden, a Formal Garden and the Orchard situated within a wildflower meadow. The Winter Garden and Alpine Garden will always be accessible whilst the other gardens will be accessible whenever possible. Four champion trees are located around the lake and the pinetum and over the past three years over 30,000 trees have been planted on the estate.
Active families will enjoy the Woodland Trail and low wood. The impressive purpose built tree house, which was handcrafted onsite, features rope bridges, monkey bars and treetop views kids of all ages will enjoy. Mini explorers can enjoy the smaller tree house and natural play area. Everything within this area has been designed to fuel the imagination through exploration and discovery.
For tranquil and picturesque walks you can enjoy the stunning views of The Lake Walk and The Garden Walk. Catch a glimpse of some of the wonderful wildlife that calls Montalto Estate their home or simply take in the beautiful seasonal displays and reconnect with nature.
As part of the visitor experience guests will discover the history and heritage of the estate through the informative interpretation in the welcome area, browse the stylish retail space or have a bite to eat in The Café at Montalto which has been lovingly designed to capture the essence of the estate as well as offering great tasting food.
Ahead of the opening David Wilson, MD for Montalto Estate, said:
“The opening of the estate to visitors marks a very special moment in our history. For the first time we are inviting people to step inside, explore our walks and trails and discover for themselves the magnificence of this beautiful site. Our dedicated team has worked hard to create a very special visitor experience and are looking forward to welcoming everyone to enjoy their time with us. We hope Montalto Estate will become the perfect complement to the Northern Ireland tourism portfolio and we look forward to sharing details of further developments at the estate in the future.”
David Wilson, added:
“By opening our estate to visitors, we are ensuring that we help to secure the preservation of Montalto’s long and fascinating history for future generations to enjoy. We hope visitors will get as much enjoyment from Montalto as our family has over the years. When visitors step inside and explore Montalto we hope that they will want to keep coming back.”
Montalto Estate opens Friday 21st September at 10am. Opening hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Access to site including car park, welcome area, café and shop is free. Gardens, Trails and Walks will be ticketed with prices starting from £7.50 (adults) and Children (age 5 – 16) £5.00 with discounted rates when you book in advance online. Children under 5 are free. Visit www.montaltoestate.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #exploremontalto.