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Public can visit more than 300 properties for free for European Heritage Open Day 2017

Mount Stewart in Co Down is among the more than 300 historic and modern properties opening their doors to the public for free this Saturday as part of European Heritage Open Day 2017
Marie Louise McConville

MORE than 300 historic and modern properties around Northern Ireland will open their doors to the public for free this weekend as part of European Heritage Open Day 2017.

Now in its 20th year, the Europe-wide event is held annually to promote interest in special buildings, and this year's theme is heritage and nature.

As a conservation charity, the National Trust plays a huge role in the protection and preservation of coast, countryside, mansions and gardens in Northern Ireland and the EHOD event gives everyone the chance to visit these locations.

Among the properties taking part in this year's event, which takes place on Saturday, is Florence Court in Co Fermanagh. Set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains and forests, families can explore the 18th-century Georgian house as well as the lakeside setting of Crom on Upper Lough Erne.

In Co Down, the public can explore Mount Stewart on the shores of Strangford, Rowallane Garden in Saintfield or Castle Ward near Strangford.

In Mid-Ulster, there will be plenty to see at The Argory in Dungannon, Springhill in Moneymore, Wellbrook Beetling Mill near Cookstown and Gray's Printing Press in Strabane.

Around the north coast, the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede, Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House will be open to explore although, advanced booking is required for the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede.

In addition, around Belfast, visitors can take a guided tour of Patterson’s Spade Mill in Templepatrick.

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