Seaforde Gardens

Opening times
Every day until the end September

Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm

Sunday: 1-6 pm.

Please note that at the Gardens are closed to visitors from 1st October to Easter. Visits to the Gardens during this period are by prior appointment only.

Entrance charge applies:



Gardens Only

Combined - Butterfly House and Gardens







Family* (2 Adults + 2 Children)



Group** (Adults)



Group** (Children)




* Additional children with the Family will be charged at the applicable Group child rate per child

**A Group consists of 10 + persons. We would advise any large groups to book in advance. Telephone 028 44 811 225 or email 

The walled garden at Seaforde most probably dates from the early eighteenth century. The exact age of the walled garden is unknown but it is recorded in an estate map of 1750. Seaforde Demesne has been the home of the Forde family since the early seventeenth century, so it is not inconceivable that there might have been a garden here during the latter half of the seventeenth century.

The northern half of the walled garden was formerly the kitchen garden, providing vegetables for the house and neighbourhood. It now houses the Tropical Butterfly House, tearooms and playground area.

The southern half was originally a formal ornamental flower garden. This area was resurrected from a wilderness in the 1970s. On the south facing wall (which divides the two halves)  there once stood a long facade of greenhouses, with a huge Camellia house in the middle; these alas have now gone but in their place are a good selection of plants. The site of the former Camellia house contains some large Sophora tetraptera and the original Camellia japonicas.

Further along this wall you will find the Mogul Tower, with its spiral staircase that leads to a viewing platform. This is an ideal spot from which to view the walled garden and, particularly, the maze. Other notable plants on this face are Crinodendron patagua, Olearia x 'Zennorensis', Paulownnia fargesii and Rosa forrestii.

The centrepiece of this part of the garden is the maze, which was planted in 1975 with hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) hedges. The two entrances to the maze are delineated by two pairs of stone urns which had previously been used in the Victorian formal garden. The centre of the maze is crowned by an arbour covered with Rosa mulliganii.

Across the lawns and parallel with the maze are two avenues of Eucryphias. This garden holds the National Collection of Eucryphias and there are over 20 varieties grown here.These white or pink Southern hemisphere trees are one of the glories of this garden in late summer and autumn.  

The gardens are blessed by a mild climate and many semi tender plants such as Dicksonia antartica (tree fern) are grown here together with a variety of rare plants collected in the Far East in recent years.

The outer garden, known as the Pheasantry, contains large conifers and rhododendrons, many well over 100 years old. In season many areas are carpeted with drifts of snowdrops, bluebells, camassias and primulas.  You will notice peacocks roaming throughout the garden.