Kilkenny Castle: A Regal Encounter with History
- Ireland's Ancient East, Kilkenny, Things to do
- 22 March 2023
Downhill Estate is a stunning headland in Northern Ireland that boasts wild and dramatic views over the North Coast of Ireland.
As part of the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is a well-known icon that draws visitors from far and wide. The walk begins at Bishop's Gate entrance to the Demesne and takes you through the Bishop's Gate Gardens where you can spot the unusual bog garden. Follow the right track, a well-surfaced woodland path, and pass through a relict arboretum with many rare tree species. When you come to a fork in the path, follow signs for Mussenden Temple up a steep grass track. From there, you can explore the ruins of Downhill House or head to Mussenden Temple, perched on the cliff edge, for impressive views of Ireland's North Coast and some of the Scottish Western Isles.
For the more adventurous, head west to the dovecote and the fantasy landscape of a walled garden. On exiting the walled garden, all paths lead back to the ruins of Downhill House. To return to the starting point, veer off to the right just before the front of the house and follow a grass track that leads to the Mausoleum and back to the gardens at Bishop's Gate.
The walk is approximately 2 miles long and is mostly on gravel paths and mown grass tracks. Please note that National Trust entrance fees apply to this walk, and facilities such as toilets, picnic areas, and wardening staff are available on-site.