Northern Ireland is actually worth a visit. You should put it on your bucket it list and never settle down until you take it off. Among the amazing sites that you can visit there is the Stormont Estate. This site is one of the main government buildings in Northern Ireland. Around it, you will find parkland and fascinating woods. Right now, it is actually home for the Stormont Parkrun. An amazing site where you can get into for free and run for about five kilometers.
ABOUT THE STORMONT ESTATE
Stormont Estate lies at the eastern end of Belfast. The estate’s large entrance is about 5 miles away from the center of the city. Furthermore, it is in the townland of Ballymiscaw and the name came after a popular district in Perthshire. In fact, the name actually derives from the Gaelic version Stoirmhonadh. The literal meaning was “a place for crossing mountains”. Some sources claim that the estate formerly belonged to Reverend John Cleland.
Facilities of the Stormont Estate
The site has more than a few facilities for all the visitors to enjoy. This actually includes BBQ facilities and picnic areas along with a children’s play park and Dogs Park. Thus, it makes a perfect area for family outings and outdoor hanging outs. Aside from the magnificent gardens that provide picturesque scenes, it is a place for fitness gurus. There, you can find the Stormont trails, including fitness and walks trails. Above and beyond, there is an outdoor gym equipment to enjoy working out at. Interestingly enough, it also has historic buildings and several points of interest around.
Receiving the Green Flag Award
In case you are not aware of what this is, it is a national measure of quality. Actually, it is the most accepted measure and is used for the improvement of public places in terms of operation and management. In 2014, the Stormont Estate received that award and kept doing so for five years in a row.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND THE STORMONT ESTATE
We have already mentioned among the facilities that the area actually has historic buildings and statues, right? Well, we guess it is a perfect timing to learn about the places you can visit around the Stormont Estate.
It is quite anticipated to find the name given to the surrounding structures. Thus, we have here Stormont Castle. It is actually home to the Executive of Northern Ireland. Usually, the castle doesn’t allow visitors to get in for a tour. However, for once every year, this actually does happen. The castle opens it’s on the weekend of the European Heritage Open Day. It is quite enjoyable since there is a program for the events that take place in those couple of days. On the Discover Northern Ireland website, you can find the program available for several weeks from the occurrence of the event.
The Lord Carson Statue
This statue is found around the area of Stormont Estate. You should totally check it out during your visit to Northern Ireland. The statue is a 12-feet figure that stands on a granite platform. Apparently, granite was so popular and versatile during the old times. Furthermore, the statue displays some images of Lord Carson. They show some events of his political life.
Sculptures and statues are everywhere to be found around the Stormont area. The Gleaner is actually a sculpture by John Knox. It portrays a woman bending on her knees with an inscription that reads “Thrift is the gleaner behind all human effort”. In fact, the sculpture used to be part in the exhibition of the Festival of Britain back in 1951.
The Somme Memorial
The Somme is actually the name of a battle that once came to pass. In that battle, a lot of lives were lost. It is usually common to keep the memory of those who die fighting for what they believe in. Thus, here comes the role of the Somme memorial. It is actually a granite stone that sits in the center of a group of cedar trees. Moreover, those trees were planted in memory of the martyrs of the Battle of the Somme.
A magnificent sculpture that portrays the dignity of human. It is a newer version of the ‘Reunion’ sculpture that Josefina de Vasconcellos made in 1977. Reconciliation is the Belfast version of the old figure. It displays a woman and a man intertwined in an embrace with a barbed wire coming across them. Besides, there is an inscription that reads “These sculptures remind us that human dignity and love will triumph over disaster and bring us together in respect and peace.”
Those buildings actually lie around Stormont Estate. You can actually pass by them upon visiting Stormont. In fact, the Parliament Buildings is home to the Assembly of Northern Ireland. The buildings have been around since the early 2000’s. They were built as the judicial structure of Northern Ireland under the Belfast Agreement that took place in 1998- the Good Friday Agreement. You can pay a visit to those buildings. It welcomes visitors throughout the year.