10 night Luxury Garden Tour Ireland
The ultimate garden tour where you visit private gardens and are guided by the owners
Price from $4200 per person sharing.
Includes: Accommodation in five star hotels; breakfast, dinner or lunch each day (including lunch at two of the private gardens) entrance fees, coach transport, qualified guide-driver and guide maintenance.
Day 1 Dromoland Castle County Clare
Day at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s gardens and parkland. Pre-dinner drinks and talk on Irish gardens by a well known local expert.
Day 2 Dromoland Castle County Clare
After a visit to a delightful private garden, you drive through The Burren, which is described as Ireland’s great natural garden. This lunar-like area lies south of Galway in County Clare and north of the River Shannon. The name Burren is from the Irish - bhoireann meaning a stony place. It occupies approximately 300 sq. kilometers and is of interest to botanists, archaeologists and ecologists alike. Although it looks bleak in appearance, it has sufficient soil to grow a wide variety of the most unusual and rare plants; here you will find alpine and Mediterranean species growing in harmony, in the limestone soil. On the return journey you will stop at the impressive Cliffs of Moher.
Day 3 Killarney Park Hotel Killarney
Killarney beckons today. On the drive south, you will stop at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and possibly at the Hunt Museum in Limerick.
Lunch at a magnificent stately home, as guests of the owners. On reaching Killarney you visit Muckross House and Gardens, donated to the Irish people by American Senator Arthur Vincent in 1929. The renowned Muckross Gardens, 20 hectares in extent, adjoin Muckross House and contain many features which contribute to their beauty and interest. The design of the gardens is informal and its large expanses of lawn, within a woodland setting, provides stunning vistas of lake and mountain. The rhododendrons are especially lovely in May and June.
After a light lunch you drive to Dunloe Castle which has a fine botanical collection made up of exotic species from all over the world; such as the Killarney Strawberry tree, South African lilies, Australian gum trees, New Zealand cabbage trees, cherry trees and Japanese maples.
Day 4 Killarney Park Hotel
Today an 80 minute drive across the Caha mountains will take us to Glengarriff, from where we take a short boat trip to Garnish Island, also known as Illnacullin. These wonderful Italianate gardens were laid out on this formerly barren outcrop at the turn of the century; they benefit from an exceptional micro-climate and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The gardens are at their peak during May and June when Rhododendrons and Azaleas provide a riot of colour. Hundreds of cultivars of climbing plants, herbaceous perennials and other choice shrubs dominate the midsummer period from June to August. Autumn colour, particularly on the heather bank, is rich during the early autumn months of September and October.
Continue to Bantry where we stop at Bantry House, an 18th century mansion, the home of the White family, formerly Earls of Bantry. The house has a good collection of furniture and tapestries, while the gardens provide a stunning view of Bantry Bay.
Day 5 Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Drive north to Birr Castle home of the Earl and Countess of Rosse. Our host will take us on a guided tour of these spectacular gardens. In all the demesne covers over 50 hectares and contains more than 1000 different varieties and species of trees and shrubs, many from remote parts of the world. In addition to the wonderful shrubs and trees, the park contains the remains of the giant 72 inch reflecting telescope built in 1845 and the largest in the world for almost a century. We will spend several hours here before continuing to Dublin.
Day 6 Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Today’s city tour starts with a visit to Trinity College. Among the many treasures are the 1,200 year old Book of Kells and the magnificent eighteenth century single chamber library in which it is housed. Other places of interest are Marsh’s Library, built in 1701 by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713 and thirteenth century St. Patrick’s Cathedral where Jonathan Swift - of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ fame- was Dean for 32 years.
In the afternoon we visit to the garden of Helen Dillon, the renowned plantswoman, writer, lecturer and broadcaster. This widely acclaimed garden is a mix of startling design and perfectly grown plants - many of them rare and unusual. The view of the garden from the windows of the elegant drawing room is in the lexicon of most photographed scenes in contemporary gardening. In the late afternoon we stop at a private garden which surrounds an 1820's Italianate sea side villa. The house was built in the 1820's to designs by William Farrell. In the remains of this romantic wilderness, the present owner, has designed a garden in which are interesting architectural follies salvaged from the demolition of an 1830's Tudor revival mansion.
Day 7 Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Travelling south into County Wicklow we stop at Killruddery - unique in Ireland as having the most extensive early formal gardens, still in their original 17th century style. Killruddery has been home to the Earls of Meath for nearly 400 years. The core of the gardens is a pair of canals (550 feet long) which focus on the house at one end and on an avenue of lime trees at the other. The Gardens are in the style of André Le Notre who was responsible for the layout at Versailles. The Angles, Long Ponds, Wilderness, Ornamental Dairy and Orangery are prominent features.
Lunch here before driving into the heart of County Wicklow to Mount Usher, a wild and informal garden set on the banks of a meandering river with some rare trees from the southern hemisphere.
Continue to Powerscourt Gardens where the design reflected the desire to create a garden which was part of the wider landscape. To the north formal tree plantations frame the vista from the house, while a walled garden, fish pond, cascades, grottos and terraces lay to the south. Famous for the splendid setting and its scale, Powerscourt is among the most photographed gardens in Ireland. Work started in 1740s when Richard Cassel designed a series of terraces and a circular pool to enhance the Palladian mansion he had created. A century later the 6th Viscount Powerscourt instructed his architect, Daniel Robertson, to draw up new schemes which greatly enhanced the gardens. The statuary and gates are especially fine.
Farwell hosted dinner party at private house close to the city.
Depart from Dublin Airport
Price from $4200 per person sharing, if booked
prior to end of May
Terms and conditions apply.
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