Mount Stewart Announces Return of Conversations Festival for 2018

Mount Stewart Conversations Festival is set to return to the shores of Strangford Lough on 1st and 2nd September 2018. This year’s festival will build on the success of two previous events, featuring the very best conversationalists from Ian Hislop to Kate Adie, and offer an unparalleled programme of arts and entertainment.

To celebrate the return of this unique festival, the National Trust, the UK’s largest conservation charity, is announcing that Mount Stewart will throw open its doors and offer free entry to the grounds all weekend*.

This unmissable weekend festival which celebrates the arts, literature, music and big ideas will centre on the theme of Women in Power in this, the year in which we celebrate 100 years since women were granted the right to vote.

The Festival highlights Mount Stewart’s history as a historical nucleus of creativity, individuality and influence. Here, Edith, Lady Londonderry welcomed leading political and literary guests as the famous house and gardens played host to magical debates and discussions.

Once again Mount Stewart Conversations has teamed up with two cutting edge arts partners: Seedhead Arts and Beyond Skin, in order to offer a stellar line-up of acclaimed guests who will engage visitors in debates, performances and talks on a vast array of emotive and inspirational subjects. The programme, which will be announced in the coming weeks, promises a jam-packed schedule of activities taking place around the family home and world-renowned gardens. 

Adam Turkington, Seedhead Arts, Programmer, commented, “This festival is an opportunity for people of all ages to join the debate and talk about the things that really matter to us. Now, more than ever, we need conversations to be universal and we need people to come and listen but most of all, to contribute. Mount Stewart is the perfect location for this event and we are excited to encourage guests to debate, challenge and rethink their conversations.”

Jon Kerr, General Manager, Mount Stewart, commented, “With a diverse mix of cultural acts and performances that resonate with Mount Stewart’s place in history as a melting pot of minds, we are delighted to invite visitors from near and far to this wonderful festival.

“Last year’s festival was a roaring success where we welcomed TV personalities, journalists, academics and performers to name but a few. The ensuing conversations and debates were dynamic, topical and entertaining and we are very much looking forward to hosting the 2018 festival this September.”

More details on the fascinating line up of speakers, the exciting programme of events and tickets will be available soon. Visit to find out more.

Access to Mount Stewart will be free. Selected talks will be ticketed and will be available to book in advance. 

As a conservation charity, the National Trust is bolstered by the support of volunteers. Our team turns great events into amazing experiences with the help of volunteers. If you would like to get involved by volunteering at Mount Stewart Conversations, visit

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