From charming castle gardens to huge national parks, there is a reason why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle! If Ireland’s on the cards for you next year, why not venture down south and visit some of the country’s most breath-taking gardens. Check out our top 5 below!
Huntington Castle and Gardens
Laid out in the 17th century by the Esmonde family, the Huntington Gardens feature impressive formal plantings, an avenue of French lime trees, a rose garden and fishponds on either side of the centre walk through the wilderness. You will feel like you are in a completely different era when you visit the grounds of Huntington as it treasures historical architecture and objects. The castle itself was originally built as a defensive garrison, but after its soldiers relocated it became a family estate to the Esmondes, who reconstructed the castle to something unique and interesting.
Lisselan House sits on the banks of the Argideen River near Clonakilty County Cork, a French Chateau Style building built in the 1800s by William Bence-Jones. 30 acres of gardens surround the house, taking advantage of the natural features and contours the valley and Argideen river offer. Lisselan Gardens remain almost untouched and just how they were in their Edwardian days with many beautiful features like an azalea garden, rockery, Japanese Maple and a water garden, to name a few. But we could never forget about the golf course that twists through the gardens!
Killarney National Park
If you’re visiting the south of Ireland, you cannot miss a visit to its oldest National Park, Killarney. Not only is Killarney National Park the oldest one in Ireland, it’s also home to Ireland’s highest mountain range, McGillycuddy’s Reeks. The extent of the Killarney is really quite outstanding, with over 26,000 acres that feature lakes, woods and waterfalls. In 1981, the park was deemed a UNESCO Biosphere reserve due to the quality and high ecological diversity, extensive habitats and range of species that are found in the park.
Curraghmore House and Gardens
There is no better place in Ireland to get lost than amongst the winding paths, trees and shurbs of Curraghmore Gardens. With around 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields, Curraghmore House Gardens is the largest private demesne in Ireland. The grounds provide a perfect example of an eighteenth-century romantic landscape with the house as its centrepiece. Access to the public has now closed for winter, but they grounds are expected reopen for tours and visits again in May 2020.
Kildare Japanese Gardens
There is nowhere else in Ireland quite like the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud in Kildare. The Japanese Gardens were laid out between 1906 and 1910 by Japanese mater horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru who aimed to symbolise the ‘Life of Man’ through trees, plants, flowers, rocks and water. Now, 150,000 visitors visit the gardens each year to embrace the peace and comfort found here.
You can visit some of these magnificent gardens in South Ireland through our South of Ireland Garden Tour package. Find out more about this package here, or do not hesitate to contact us for further information or bookings.