Explore the Garden

Dating from the 18th century, the Walled Garden is situated on the grounds of Glenarm Castle, the ancestral home of the McDonnell family, Earls of Antrim.

Over the past twenty years the Walled Garden has been carefully restored by Viscount and Viscountess Dunluce, with exciting new features added every year. It continues to evolve as a centre of horticultural excellence with imaginative herbaceous borders, beautiful water features, fruit and vegetable gardens, and displays of flowers that burst with colour from spring until autumn. We hope that you will keep returning to enjoy all that it has to offer.

Our 2022 season saw the edition of our Woodland Walk area, an exciting new element to your garden visit. Enter through a doorway at the top of the Walled Garden, here you will be able to take a stroll through the calming green scenery of this attractive woodland. Enjoy the panoramic view over the garden itself as well as lovely views of Glenarm Castle’s parkland. 

“We try to ensure that the garden is constantly evolving and that there is always something to see and enjoy, from the apple blossom and tulips in spring to the brightly coloured herbaceous borders in high summer.”

Lady Antrim

Audio Guides for the Walled Garden, narrated by Sean Rafferty of BBC Radio 3, are available for a small hire fee at the Welcome Centre. Hear the history of the Walled Garden from the 18th Century till the modern day. 
*subject to availability*

The Mount
The Mount was created in 2007 as part of the Walled Garden’s restoration. From the top you can enjoy fine views not only of the garden itself but the sea to the north and Glenarm Castle’s parkland to the south.
Sculpture by Angela Sykes
Angela Sykes, later Countess of Antrim, was the present Earl’s mother and a talented artist. This sculpture of the Madonna and Child was completed when she was only 16 years old.
The Yew Circle
This circular yew hedge, which surrounds the herb garden, is one of the oldest features of the garden and dates from the 1820s.
The Herb Garden
The four capitols that sit in this wonderfully scented herb garden originally belonged to the Earl-Bishop and are thought to have come from his palace at Downhill in County Derry.
The Cascade and the Fountain
The pebbles used for the rills originally came from Glenarm beach.
The Hot Border
One of the most exciting areas of the garden, this herbaceous border is filled with bright reds, pinks and oranges throughout the season: from tulips and peonies in early summer to bright dahlias and penstemons in the early autumn.
The Apple Trees
The espaliered Discovery apple trees which line the top wall of the garden are hugely decorative in late summer and early autumn as the fruit ripens into a deep red colour.
The Kitchen Garden
While growing fruit and vegetables for the Castle household was once the main purpose of a Walled Garden, now only this section of the garden produces fruit and vegetables while the rest of the garden is now mainly ornamental.
The Glass House
The glass house, in which apricots, nectarines and grapes are grown, dates back to the 1820s. It is also used to propagate plants for the garden and shop. The structure backs onto the whitewashed bothies in the kitchen garden. Many of these contain small fireplaces and were once used to house journeymen and garden staff.
The Obelisk & Column
Recently commissioned by Viscount Dunluce, The Obelisk in the apple orchard and The Classical Column in the quince garden were sculpted from oak by local craftsman, Corin Giles.

This summer we welcomed seven rescue Hedgehogs from Loughgall Hedgehog Rescue – Jack, Trevor, Thelma, Scratchy, Maud, Rick and Nettie. 

All of the rescues have suffered severe trauma or illness and need the protection of the Walled Garden to survive. We are delighted to be highlighting their cause as Hedgehog numbers have fallen dramatically over the last 30 years due to pesticide use, habitat loss and the use of machinery, particularly grass strimmers. 

While they tend to be most active at night, visitors to the Walled Garden might be lucky and see one of them scuttling around during the day. 

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