Mount Stewart has fairly extensive grounds to the south of the house and gardens. It was a pleasant day so we decided to take a walk around the grounds. The NT have set out three marked trails. We decided to take the red route which is just short of a mile and a half in length.
We passed through some pleasant woodland and then climbing a hill we reached the Temple of the Winds, an octagonal building the 1st Marquess had constructed and which was inspired by Classical building he’d seen during the Grand Tour he took in his youth, like many wealthy young aristocrats.
The National Trust rent it out as wedding venue and it wasn’t open during our visit. We stopped for a while, though, as there’s a good view over Strangford Lough.
We carried on through woodlands and fields
Diverting off the route slightly to take a look of the ruined folly
Carrying on back on the route we passed sunflowers in the verges. They must have been cultivated in the fields at one time and seeds have drifted and germinated along the side of the paths.
Back into woodland, some woodcarvers have been creating sculptures using chainsaws. They’d finished for the day by the time we arrived, but we saw the evidence of their handywork..