As well as exploring the gorgeous coastline around Dunluce Castle, our second day in Northern Ireland also took us to the stunning Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne- located further along the coast at Castlerock. Overlooking the sea, the demesne takes in a wonderful sprawling walk, as well as a selection of beautiful buildings, and was perfect location to spend a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon, soaking up the fresh sea air and finding out more about the history of the area. The house and surrounding land was settled towards the end of the 18th century by the Bishop of Derry, and although it’s no longer a functioning estate it’s still a formidable, awe-inspiring feat of design:
Perhaps the most striking part of the demesne is Mussenden Temple, which sits at the cliff edge and overlooks the stunning Downhill Beach. Once home to the Earl Bishop’s library, it’s a slice of heaven if ever you needed one- quiet and contemplative with a view which is by far and away one of the most stunning I’ve encountered, with an outlook across to Donegal on one side and Portrush on the other. The tranquillity continues as you walk around the grounds- and when we visited we were fortunate enough to have an afternoon of glorious sunshine which made the trip all the more special.
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)