Sunday, 5 May 2019

Montalto Visit

The Mansion House

I've been meaning to pay Montalto a visit since the estate opened to visitors in 2018.

This wooded demesne is in the townland of Ballymaglave North, partly in the barony of Lower Iveagh, but mainly in that of Kinelarty.

Montalto Estate itself, adjacent to Ballynahinch, County Down, is a large and pleasant demesne, and was formerly the principal residence of the Earls of Moira.

Since that era, it has had several owners, including the Kers of Portavo and the Earls of Clanwilliam.

The Ballynahinch River flows through the estate.

The Playground

Montalto used to host the County Down Staghounds.

Having enjoyed a beaker of coffee in the café, I spent about three hours ambling through the estate, walking the three trails, viz. the Woodland Trail, the Lake Walk, and the Garden Walk.

This is a delightful place, certainly a "must-see" attraction for visitors to County Down.

To my mind it's now one of the finest private estates in Northern Ireland.

By the way, you'll save a bit of money by ordering your tickets online (I stopped the car at the side of the drive and purchased a ticket on my iPhone).

The Witch's Cottage

The grounds contain a number of captivating features, including the Witch's Cottage, the Summer House, an impressive children's play-ground in the woods, and the picturesque little lake close to the mansion house.

The Summer-house

The summer-house affords a fine prospect of the mansion house and lake.

Following my walk I revisited the café, where I had the soup of the day with a small slice of home-made wheaten bread and butter.

What I saw of the meals and grub looked attractive and delicious.

Perhaps I shall revisit Montalto at some future time for a guided tour of the house.

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