Enniskerry, County Wicklow
|Life size horse sculpture, one of a pair by the Triton Lake|
Spectatular views all around at the Powerscourt Estate last Thursday, the blue sky a bonus as we strolled through the various gardens, every now and then stopping and turning to look back at the restored house on the hill.
The Estate, there is also a waterfall nearby, is just an hour or so from Dublin but now, with the improved motorways, it is just two and a half from Cork. Use M8, M7, M50, M11 (to Wexford) and that will leave you with just a few miles of country road to reach your destination.
|Don't forget to look behind you every now and then!|
The gardens here have been voted number three in the world by National Geographic. The house itself was burned down in 1974 and was still a wreck when I last visited but by 1997 it had been restored and opened to the public. One of Ireland's most popular destinations, it is thriving today. There is also a large and well stocked garden centre, a golf course and a five star hotel on the grounds.
We were mainly interested in the walk through the many gardens, the views out to the Sugar Loaf mountains, and the views back to the house. From the house itself you stroll down through the Italian Garden and on towards the Triton Lake and its high water spout, with huge trees on both sides. Keep an eye too for the signs to the Japanese gardens created in 1908.
|In the Japanese Garden|
As you go around the lake, take the Rhododendron Walk and then head for the Pets Cemetery, one of Ireland's largest. This is the resting place of many of the family pets, including dogs, horses and cows!
On your way to the Walled Garden, do take in the Dolphin Pond, bought in Paris in the late 19th century. Watch out for the intricate ironwork of the English Gate and indeed other gates nearby. The Walled Garden, in between Spring and Summer, wasn't really at its best the other day but will soon be in full bloom.
The ground floor of the house is a base for Avoca. Here they have Tea Rooms and a shop. And part of the shop is a marvellous food hall, with many Irish products on display. We were on our way to dinner but still couldn't resist some sweet things, including Aine’s Chocolates and DP Connolly’s old fashioned boiled sweets (Rhubarb and Custard for me). And I also helped myself to a tin of Gentleman's Relish!
- The adult ticket price is €8.50 and you’ll get a family ticket for €25.00. More info here