We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“It was good but then...” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mussenden Temple

Mussenden Temple
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Luxury Day Tour of Ireland's Causeway Coast
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Part of "Downhill Demesne & Hezlett House" See main listing for full details.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It was good but then...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

Visited this on several occasions last summer & it was always a great occasion. However on my last visit I was told by a rather ignorant member of staff from the national trust that there is now a fee for visiting the site. When I queried why the fee was introduced the response I got back was basically pay the fee or go somewhere else. I was disappointed as my friend & I where out for a run (no wallet) & he was looking forward to seeing the sight.

While I respect the work that the national trust do, especially along the north coast, I fear charging high prices for every single site in the area is driving tourists/guests away from the area. This in turn has a damaging affect on businesses in the area such as hotels, pubs, shops & restaurants. Poor performance by the national trust!

Thank Eunan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DownhillHezlett107, Manager at Mussenden Temple, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Hi there Eunan,

Sorry to hear your visit was disappointing. Charges to enter and use the estate have been in place since 2006 and apply when the facility's and temple are open (10am - 5pm) Remember this charge also cover Hezlett House too. These charges are vital to ensuring the future of the estate and the other places and spaces we look after. Of course for National Trust Members entry is free to all NT places and represents great value for the year especially if you like to visit and use these places often. It also covers some or our events too like the Kite Festival.

I'm glad you recognise the importance of the work we do and to put this into perspective... For example in 2012 we carried out some work on on the west side of the main house. The repair of a 5mtr x 6mtr section of the west wall. This cost £22,000. That amount is more than we collect in normal pay admissions in a year. So you can understand that places like this run at a large deficit. As a Conservation Charity we need to be smart with out finances and this means running like a business to do what we do, caring for the coast, countryside and built heritage around Northern Ireland, England and Wales so that everyone can experience them in the future. That is why membership is so important for us.

With rearguards to other businesses - we work very closely with local businesses so we all benefit from NI's main industry of tourism. The majority of our suppliers (from cleaning to equipment, printing, etc all come from withing a 20mile radius of the estate. Local buisnes like Crucoes Coffee Shop are used for our catering and are partners with our Weddings packages. Exorna Filling station are our sundries and fuel suppliers.
Our team works with the Castlerock community association supporting them in their activities in the village and vice versa.

Everything I've talked about is replicated at all our places. It is core to what we do and I hope that is a little insight into the behind the scenes workings. Perhaps you would like to join our Ranger on one of the guided walks this spring where we talk and show all this work. - Follow and interact with what we do on our Facebook Page

ps You mentioned you where out for a run... We team up with Springwell running club for a trail race around the estate every August, Fancy giving it a go?
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

207 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“lovely views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

well worth going to lovely views great place to get your wedding pictures took on a nice day and even a nice family day out with the kids

Visited June 2013
Thank lesleyp2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DownhillHezlett107, Manager at Mussenden Temple, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
So glad you have a great visit :) - Indeed Wedding Photography and Weddings + receptions can be held here at Downhill Demesne. - For anyone wanting to know more about our venue hire packages which all help to care for this special place, please contact us at downhilldemesne@nationaltrust.org.uk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastic Views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2013

This is a really good way to have a nice long walk and see stunning views.
Great for photos and quite romantic too. The beach below at Downhill is also great for a walk and you can drive along this beach too.

Visited November 2013
Thank Michelle J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Isolated, Curious & Beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

As a native of the north coast of Ireland, I have had the pleasure of seeing Mussenden Temple almost every day throughout my childhood, perched perilously atop the cliffs at Downhill. I've heard a number of people refer to it as an 'oddity', but I disagree, and if you pay a visit yourself, you'll understand why. The instigator of the project - Frederick Augustus Hervey, the 4th Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry - had Mussenden Temple built as a library. Of course, many wealthy people had libraries within their homes, though I would wager that not many had them located at the bottom of their garden. I would also wager that there aren't many places - let alone libraries - that afford such spectacular views. If the purpose was to provide a secluded spot in which to read, learn and ponder whatever Earls and Bishops ponder, then where better to build it than on that very spot?

The books and the shelves upon which they sat are gone, and all that remains is the bare masonry and brick work which gives the places an eerie echo when you speak. But, it's not difficult to imagine what it would've been like all those years ago. Today, the Temple is open to the public, but is occasionally booked for wedding ceremonies, and has also hosted a number of music recitals too. These are often private functions, but it's worth enquiring at the Tourist Information bureau if such an event is occurring during your visit.

What strikes everyone who visits Mussenden Temple, are the views from both inside and the surrounding area: to the east, the strands of the North Coast, the mount of the river Bann, and all the way round to Portrush and to the west, a magnificent vista of beaches, mountains and sky. It is particularly spectacular at sunrise and sunset.

If you'd like to make your visit extra special, drive or take the train to Castlerock, and go all the way to the west of the village until you come to a pathway that is signposted for 'Black Glen': if you are relatively mobile, and you don't mind climbing a substantial number of steps (it'll do you good!), then you can enjoy a beautiful and spectacular 'alternative' route to Mussenden Temple. There is a hollow between two hills, along the bottom of which runs the train tracks, and the Temple sits upon the hill on the left as you look towards the sea - this in itself is well worth a visit, if you fancy a secluded spot for some peace and quiet.


Visited November 2012
4 Thank Cowandspoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
78 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

I had wanted to visit mussenden temple for some time so while we where staying in Antrim area we did it is truly beautiful views from the temple are spectacular and inside the temple is lovely with views of the sea through all of the windows. The walk to the temple is delightful and entrance fee reasonable with the added benefit included in the price of then being able to visit hezlett house further down the road is also very interesting. take your time hear to really appreciate the views and bring a picnic.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Ruby K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mussenden Temple also viewed

Portrush, County Antrim
Bushmills, County Antrim
Ballymoney, County Antrim

Been to Mussenden Temple? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing