Official tourism website for Northern Ireland

Mount Stewart - Red Trail

Newtownards, Co Down
Mount Stewart - Red Trail

Book Tickets Online


Welcome to the Red Trail on the Mount Stewart estate. Mount Stewart gardens were acquired by National Trust in 1957, with the house following in 1977; the wider estate was acquired in 2014, bringing the total area to just under 1000 acres. The first areas that have been opened to visitors incorporates the Red, Blue, and Yellow Trails. The Red trail is the main circular walk, and loops through a mixture of woodland and farmland. There are a number of points of interest along the walk, including working farmland, the ruins of a folly, and water features. Red squirrels may be seen in the trees, or running along the ground to get into a tree. The best times to walk the red trail are early in the morning or late afternoon, especially in Autumn.

Start Point:

Finish Point:

Starting at the Trail Head (Grid Reference: J556694), walk until the path forks in two. A finger post will show two possible Red Trails. To go up to the Temple of the Winds, take the left-hand stone trail route; this is a steep 470m hill climb to the Temple, and a steep descent on the other side. The view from the top is worth the climb. In spring, there are small clusters of bluebells on the top of the hill; there are blue, white and pink varieties present there. To stay on a level path, take the right-most grassed route; you will be avoiding the Temple of the Winds on this route. This 400m long route has a wide array of plants, including primroses. Both routes will converge at the bottom of the hill, and will continue to a small stone bridge. On both routes, red squirrels may be seen in the trees, or running along the ground to get into a tree. Common spotted orchids are present in a patch of grass beside a blue gate before the stone bridge. As indicated on finger post, continue on the stone trail to the left and continue on the trail until the meadow for approx. 500m. Along this trail, you will be walking through woodland, with an open glade part way along. During summer months, the glade and along the sunny edge of the burn (stream) is alive with butterflies. As you pass out of the woodland and through the gateway, follow the cut grass path through the meadow until you come to a wooden gate. During summer, you may see butterflies, such as Ringlets, Small Whites, and Meadow Browns, flying around the flowers. Other invertebrates, like moths, bees and beetles, may also be seen in this area. Buzzards may be seen flying over the hills year-round, along with various different bird species during the year. After passing through the wooden gate follow the farm lane which turns to the left. (At this point you can take an optional side path to the right into the Glen woodland and up to the ruins of a folly building as indicated on finger posts). Continue on the farm lane for about 500m, until you get to a wooden pedestrian gate and an agricultural gate with the old piggery buildings on your right. As indicated on the fingerposts, go through the wooden gate, and follow the woodchip trail for approx. 100m to the top of the hill. This is moderately steep and the path winds its way up into ‘New Hill’, there are two steps. In May/June, the hill is covered in Bluebells. At the top of the hill, turn right on the wood chip trail and continue down the hill for approx. 350m. The hill is very gradual, and becomes very steep just before re-joining the main stone trail just above the trail head. Turn right when you join the stone trail, and continue for 100m until you reach the Trail Head (end of the trail.)  A short 0.7 mile yellow trail and longer 2.2 mile blue trail are also sign posted should you wish to take an alternative route.  Please note trails are uneven and steep in places; they may be muddy at certain times of the year. Further information and trail maps are available at the trail head booth.

1.6 miles

woodland floor and gravel

Point of interest:
Temple of the Winds. working farmland, the ruins of a folly and water features

Toilets located in the reception area, courtyard, and car park. Gift shop, wi-fi, ice cream shop, tea room, garden shop and baby-changing facilities available.

Nearest town:

OS map:

Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. Mount Stewart is a stunning estate in the beautiful scenic area of Strangford Lough. The…

    0.55 miles away
  2. The Lookout is a wildlife interpretative centre, showcasing the wildlife around the…

    0.55 miles away
  3. Grey Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey church and its living quarters were founded in 1193 by…

    1.78 miles away
  1. The gallery seeks to promote quality irish art in a relaxed atmosphere and displays a…

    3.35 miles away
  2. This ruined Tower House commands a position at the north end of Mahee Island in…

    3.98 miles away
  3. Nendrum is thought to have been set up by St Machaoi in the 5th Century and also has…

    3.98 miles away
  4. Ireland's largest collection of ducks, geese and swans. Viewing from hides, waterfowl…

    4.19 miles away
  5. This 7 1/4" gauge miniature railway has about 2km of track with a variety of routes…

    4.3 miles away
  6. A long sandy beach which offers enjoyment for all.

    4.45 miles away
  7. Movilla Abbey, Methodist and Church of Ireland.

    As important as Bangor, Movilla was…

    4.45 miles away
  8. Millisle Beach Park is an area of 150 metres of golden sand and a relatively safe bathing…

    4.58 miles away
  9. Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church was built on a site donated by James Andrews…

    4.64 miles away
  10. Late 18th-century tower mill in use until 1915 and still in working order. Take a virtual…

    4.67 miles away
  11. Sketrick Castle is located on Sketrick Island which is reached by a causeway on the west…

    4.8 miles away
  12. At the south east edge of Newtownards these substantial remains of a Dominican (Black)…

    4.82 miles away
  13. At the east of High Street in Newtownards the Market Cross was built in 1636 but was…

    5.01 miles away
Previous Next

Map & Directions

Brochure Image
View Maps and Visitor Guides
View what Northern Ireland has to offer and some of the best things to see and do during a visit.
E-newsletter Image
E-newsletter sign up
Sign up for the Discover Northern Ireland newsletter for inspiration and travel tips.
Back to Top

Tourism Northern Ireland

Don't Miss