Bangor Castle Walled Garden Crowned Best Garden In Northern Ireland

Thursday 13th September 2018

The Walled Garden at Bangor Castle has been chosen as the Best Garden in Northern Ireland and 2nd overall in the UK by the readers of the Garden News Magazine.

The Mayor with members of the gardening team in Bangor Castle's Walled Garden

Garden News ran a UK wide competition throughout May and June this year, asking its reader’s to vote for their Top 100 gardens. Winners were decided by public vote at both a local and national level with Barnsdale Gardens, Rutland taking the top spot across the UK.

The Walled Garden, designed by the Ward family in the 1840s, has become one of the Borough’s top free visitor attractions. Throughout the years, the council has carefully maintained and developed this beautiful space so that it can be enjoyed by all who visit.

Today, the garden is divided into four spaces divided by beautiful herbaceous borders and rose arches. Each section has its very own horticultural personality and includes the Wild Flower Orchard, Victorian Flower Garden, Damp Garden and Kitchen Garden. The Kitchen Garden produces an array of fruit and vegetables which is then made available to visitors at the Saturday market at North Down Museum with proceeds raised going towards the Mayors charities for the year, Cancer Focus NI and National Autistic Society.

It is not the first accolade that the Walled Garden has received. In 2009, the garden won the Royal Horticultural Society Award for Permanent Landscaping and most recently, it received the Green Flag award, the national standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Richard Smart enthused “I am delighted to hear that our very own Walled Garden has been voted No.1 in Northern Ireland and No.2 for the entire UK.

“A special word of thanks must be made to the team of gardeners who, come rain, wind or shine, work tirelessly throughout the year to maintain this beautiful space that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.”

Speaking about this recent success, Head Gardener Nikki Kerr said: “We are elated to have won the Best Garden in the regional vote against tough competition from other gardens across Northern Ireland and the greater UK. It is the icing on the cake to be ranked second overall in the national vote, narrowly missing out on the top spot by only a handful of votes to Barnsdale Gardens.

She continued; “The Council’s gardening team works hard to offer gardens that balance inspiration, quiet space and practicality so it is wonderful to have our efforts recognised in this way I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us.”

To find out more about the Walled Garden and visitor opening times, visit