Immediately to the eastern side of the castle is the formal garden with Yew, manicured lawns and a fountain. There is a strategically placed seat under the bows of a weeping ash tree from where you may allow your imagination to wonder and reminisce a little.
From here, you join the main path that that travels down the center of the garden. Immediately to the east (your left) of this pathway there is the Yew Tree Walk, which may be accessed from the formal garden directly, thought to have been laid over 500 years ago, provides a naturally covered walkway under the overhanging Yew Tree branches. A cool haven!
I then wondered into the “Wilderness Woodland Garden” area developed in the 17th Century. The floor was covered in blankets od Bluebells, the undergrowth easily accessible and wondered among magnificent Heritage trees. A cluster of 150 year old Red Cedar and Japanese Cedars in the Druids Grove, towering 50 or 60 feet I’m guessing. Then the 17th Century stew Ponds, water fed directly from the river Derry, and more woodland. Stew Ponds were a medieval name for a fish pond used to store fish alive ready to be caught when needed. At the end of the path is the Lake, and beyond the lake is the River Derry.
I followed the path around the lake. A perfect habitat for the water hens and coots. I can only imagine in the summer months, the insects and the hovering dragonflies. Toward the end of the lake was a small hut, now in ruin with some machinery in in it. When I enquired about it, it turns out this was the electricity generator for the castle, a water turbine installed in 1888., and driven from water from the river. Near the Turbine Hut, in an area called “The Inch”, is a Giant Fir, Yew, champion Cypress and Hemlock trees.