National Trust Free Weekend on April 20 – 21

More than 200 historic properties, gardens and industrial heritage sites across the UK open their doors for free on April 20 – 21

The National Trust, the nationwide conservation charity dedicated to protecting historic places and green spaces, is opening its houses, gardens and industrial heritage sites across Northern Ireland for free for an entire weekend on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.

The Free Weekend provides an opportunity to reconnect with the great outdoors, step back in time at an historic mansion, such as Downpatrick's Castle Ward, see and hear our industrial heritage at work or just relax and enjoy some tasty refreshments or a spot of retail therapy.

Heather Thompson, National Trust Director for Northern Ireland, said: 'Our free weekend is the perfect chance to escape the stresses of our busy lives and get outdoors to breathe in the springtime fresh air or take inspiration from the beauty and unique stories associated with many of our special places. We hope many of you will visit us and discover that we really have something for everyone.'

Visit the National Trust website for the full list of Free Weekend properties and to download a free voucher for the location of your choice. Visit the National Trust NI website to explore all Northern Irish National Trust properties. To enter a property all you need to do is show your Free Weekend voucher which can be downloaded from the website.

The National Trust is also encouraging everyone to share memories of their special places on a new innovative Facebook app to be in with a chance to win a professional photoshoot and a stay at a National Trust holiday cottage.

The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 710 miles of coastline and hundreds of historic places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. More than 200 properties are taking part across the UK, in addition to the swathes of countryside spaces the National Trust cares for which are always free access.