The garden of Mount Stewart, produces a brilliant autumn colour from the many maples, eucryphias, myrtles and other trees surrounding the lake – a photographer’s paradise! A climb up the gentle steps to the elevated precincts of the private burial ground known as Tír Na nÓg (land of the ever young) affords views over the lake and gardens. Or a short walk through the wooded hillside to the nearby ‘Temple of the Winds’ affords stunning panoramic views over Strangford Lough to the Mountains of Mourne. Even more stunning if you happen to be there on a clear evening as the low autumn sun is setting!
A visit to the National Arboretum at Castlewellan Forest Park, will be a truly wonder filling and memorable experience as the trees begin to store the sugars in preparation for Winter! Within Castlewellan Forest Park you will also find the Peace Maze the world's longest and largest Hedge Maze.
One of the best kept secrets of the rural landscapes in Northern Ireland is 'The Ballymoney Beeches'. The 101 beech trees along Bregagh Road (near Stranocum), County Antrim are historically important and a prominent feature in the local landscape. It is thought that they were planted in the late 1700s on what was then the avenue to Gracehill House, now Gracehill Golf Club. Unfortunately they are now approaching the limit of their natural lifespan. Hopefully there is still time to visit this photographer’s dream location. Whether it is autumn, winter, spring or summer they are worth the search to find this quiet avenue of natural structure & colour! A sat nav or local knowledge may prove to be essential!