The award-winning Antrim Castle Gardens can now offer much more to visitors as further services are restored. Crowned Tourism Northern Irelands Best Site Authentic Experience in 2019 and awarded a four-star excellent quality grading earlier this year, this visitor attraction is ready to welcome visitors from across Northern Ireland and beyond.
Antrim Castle Gardens was a safe haven for local residents during lockdown with the grounds accessible for daily exercise, bringing benefits to physical and mental wellbeing. As restrictions have gradually relaxed the Gardens has welcomed many returning visitors, both local and from further afield.
Early July saw the opening of the Garden Coffee Shop, Clotworthy Courtyard and toilet facilities and now additional attractions including the Parterre Garden and Garden Heritage Space will reopen from Saturday 1 August. The overflow car park and gift shop will reopen from Monday 3 August.
The Oriel Gallery will showcase the work of local artist Sorrell Wills, a past President of the Ulster Society of Women’s Artists, whose exhibition featuring many well-loved local scenes, opens on Saturday 8 August. Sorrell herself will be in residence throughout much of the exhibition demonstrating her creativity and skill.
Small outdoor Weddings made a welcome return in June and Clotworthy House meeting spaces are now also available to book, accommodating for now a maximum of six people, to meet with appropriate social distancing.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Jim Montgomery said “Nestled beside our town centre Antrim Castle Gardens is often described as the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Antrim Town’. During the lockdown period the Gardens were a haven as many locals flocked to this beautiful setting for calm amongst the chaos whilst making the most of the beautiful weather. As restrictions are lifted, visitor numbers continue to grow and I am pleased we are able to offer our full services again making the visitor experience much more appealing.”
With the promotion of ‘Staycations’, encouraging people to holiday at home this year, it is expected that Antrim Castle Gardens will prove to be a very popular visitor attraction for the months ahead in turn providing welcome economic support to the Borough.
If you have yet to visit these Majestic Gardens make a date now as it is a great day out for all ages to enjoy.