Killashee House Hotel itself is situated on 280 acres of gardens and parklands, and is surrounded by featured gardens in Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin. Killashee is the ideal base from which to tour the Historic Houses, Castles and Gardens of Ireland. Ireland has a vast array of Gardens and the East Coast hosts some of the most notable. You can enjoy three days of Garden and Historic House visits in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.
Journey through the tapestry of Irish history, cultural heritage and rich tradition, see Irish architecture at its finest, great Georgian buildings of the 18th century, Palladian-style houses, country manors, gothic revival houses of the Victorian era. Explore the mystery of early barbican towers and castle strongholds. Discover their hidden secrets. Experience the glory of internationally renowned gardens and indulge your senses in rare and beautiful botanical treasures. Stroll amongst formal 17th century gardens, landscape parkland of the 18th century, kitchen gardens and 20th century cottage gardens .Enjoy the river and forest walks, majestic arboreta and rustic wilderness.
Your first stop should be to enjoy both Malahide Castle and Talbot Botanic Gardens. Malahide Castle is one of the oldest and most historic Castles in Ireland dating from 1185. This amazing Castle was owned by the Talbot Family for over 790 years until 1975.
Within the Malahide Castle Demense you will find the Talbot Botanic Gardens which contain almost 5,000 plant species. Emphasis has been placed on Southern Hemisphere plants, particularly Australasian and Chilean species. The gardens were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot between 1948 and 1973 and cover an area of 6.6ha of shrubbery.
Lovers of flowers should also visit the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin where the restored Turner Conservatory hosts the palm houses. In 1790, the Irish Parliament, granted funds to the Dublin Society (now the Royal Dublin Society), to establish a public botanic garden. In 1795, the Gardens were founded on lands at Glasnevin.
Other gardens of interest in the city are Marlay House and Demense. The 4.5 acre Walled Garden is near the main house and consists of restored regency ornamental and kitchen gardens. The ornamental garden boasts an extensive display of period plants, ranging from herbaceous borders to shrub beds. The Head Gardener's house, orangery, arbor and water features combine to create a distinctive atmosphere. Located just over the wall, the kitchen garden houses a fine collection of Regency fruit trees, vegetables and associated bothys.
The ideal first garden visit in Wicklow can start in one of two places, Killruddery House and Gardens or Powerscourt House and Gardens. Both are located within close proximity of each other and if you are on a tight timetable you could visit both in the one day.
Kilruddery is situated on Dublin’s doorstep, home to the Brabazon Family (the Earls of Meath) since 1618 and currently the home of the 15th Earl of Meath. Killruddery Gardens are unique in that they are the oldest in Ireland still surviving in their original 17th century style together with 18th and 19th century additions. The Gardens were designed for the entertainment of a large number of people and therefore the scale is comparable to that of a park. The Gardens should be regarded as mainly the work of the 4th and 6th Earls.
A house and garden of world renown, Powerscourt is a sublime blend of parkland, terraces, statuary, walled enclosures, rambling walks and ornamental lakes. Blending formal gardens, statuary and ornamental lakes together with secret nooks, walks, walled gardens and over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs.
Travelling just 30 minute south by car you reach the Mount Usher Gardens. Laid out along the banks of the River Vartry, Mount Usher includes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants have been introduced from all parts of the world. Like all most Gardens in Ireland, Mount Usher offers variety throughout the seasons. Rhododendrons in Spring, Summer colours and the wistful tints of Autumn.
From Mount Usher travel to Glendalough National Park, not a garden but due to its spectaular natural beauty, it should not be missed on any journey through Wicklow.
Leaving Glendalough cross the Wicklow mountains and pay a visit to Russborough House. Russborough welcomes visitors to the demesne (estate) to explore the grounds and walks, explore the rich heritage and the lovely rooms, learn about the Sir Alfred Beit Art Collection, enjoy the Maze, relax and discuss the history of Russborough over a cup of tea or coffee. You can begin with a leisurely walk around the grounds in front of the house, and view the magnificent mansion from the far side of the lake. Why not try the Maze and see how far you can get?
Kildare Garden Tours including Killashee itself is an ideal destination from which to enjoy Kildare's Gardens. The Japanese Gardens at Tully were created between the years 1906-1910. Devised by Colonel William Hall-Walker (later Lord Wavertree), a wealthy Scotsman of a famous brewery family and laid out by the Japanese Eida and his son Minoru. In 1999 the Irish National Stud created a commemorative garden to St. Fiachra, Patron Saint of Gardeners, to celebrate the Millennium. These award winning gardens are a must on a garden lovers’ list.
Castletown is Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house. Built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland. Using the landscape outside the house, one can explore the wildflower meadow, cross a ha-ha or sunken fence on their way to the garden temple or, time permitting (about 15 mins walk each way from the house) make their way to the river Liffey at the bottom of the meadow. A Nature Trail booklet including a landscape map, wildflower pictures and descriptions to help you find them along with information on trees and water courses is available at Castletown House.
Donadea Forest Park is situated in northwest Kildare, less than 30 miles from Dublin, and is approximately 640 acres in size. It has been a forest park since 1981, where the local community, and those from further afield in Kildare and Dublin have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, the diversity of habitats, the walled stream, the lake, the castle, and the church, to mention a few. The Park is a designated National Heritage Area.