It’s that time of the year when you start bringing out of your wardrobe those nice, comfy and warm clothes. After all we are in Northern Ireland and the temperatures have started to drop; 2 days ago the thermometer registered 2 degrees Celsius🙄in the morning.
Since I moved to Northern Ireland in 2012 I had the chance to discover absolutely amazing places where you can admire this exceptional season in all its splendour. Enchanted gardens, inviting mysterious forests, beautiful lakes, just to mention some. So you don’t have an excuse to stay at home. Let’s go. Grab a nice coat and some comfortable shoes and lets explore some of those places.
National Trust offers you plenty of choices to pick from. During this season my recommendations would be going to Mount Stewart and Rowallane Garden, both in County Down and Florence Court, in County Fermanagh. No matter which one you choose you will find a lot of activities to do.
You can visit some of the splendid houses so well preserved and learn more about their story and those who used to live there and historical facts of those times. My favourite is a house that belonged to Lady Londonderry in Mount Stewart with its stunning decorated rooms. I could see myself in that cosy living room, seated on that inviting sofa close to the fireplace reading one of the many books they have in there.
In all of these places you have coffee houses where you can have a hot drink and a tasty cake that will warm you up.
But what I really like is to come in contact with nature and the surroundings those properties offer. Beautiful gardens cared with love, enchanted and mysterious forests with ancient trees that make you wonder when will you come across one of those small creatures that are a part of your imagination since you were a child, and sometimes you will cross paths with the gorgeous squirrels.
Sometimes, on Saturday mornings, I like to ride my bike and there are 2 places I really enjoy, particularly during Autumn: Lurgan Park and Newry Canal. Both places are free of charge and they offer amazing views.
Lurgan Park is Northern Ireland’s largest urban park and the second largest public park in Ireland. It was here where I first met the squirrels. It’s a very enjoyable walk.
Newry Canal runs between Portadown and Newry and it has an extension of 20 miles (I have to confess that I haven’t done the full route but that’s one of my goals) I love the feeling of freedom you get when riding a bike, the cool air on your face, the feeling that you are also part of that scenery. During part of the trail you have the Bann River at your side, you can also enjoy the wildlife and admire the colours of the trees and vegetation in the surrounding area (and of course, wherever you look you will have the company of cows).
Bellow you can also find some useful links:
National Trust NI: Mount Stewart
National Trust NI: Florence Court
National Trust: Rowallane Gardens