At Ireland Luxury Tours we often travel the Ards Peninsula with clients on our tours of Ireland , and take in various sights including Mount Stewart House ......
The house itself is a richly furnished 18th-century mansion, stuffed with interesting objects, including magnificent painting by Stubbs, and marble statues and political memorabilia. It was built as the home of the Marquess of Londonderry, Viscount Castlereagh, the politician who signed the Act of Union of 1801 linking Ireland with Britain, was actually born here in 1769, and nearly drowned in the lough as a teenager.
The gardens are the outstanding feature at Mount Stewart, and were created by the Edith, wife of the 7th Marquis of Londonderry, during the 1920s. The mild microclimate engendered by neighbouring Strangford Lough enables many rare and tender plants to flourish here, and there's lots to explore, including lakes and woods. The gardens are now in the care of the National Trust. James Stuart's graceful octagonal Classical folly overlooking the lough, called the Temple of the Winds, echoes a similar structure in Athens.