6 gorgeous gardens

Step into paradise and explore the luscious gardens of Ireland's Ancient East

Japanese Gardens, County Kildare

From wild woodland trails to elegant garden gems, history and heritage bloom and flourish in these lush nature havens

1 Powerscourt Gardens

In the wild Wicklow countryside you'll find 47 acres of sweeping gardens so stunning that they have been voted the third best in the world by National Geographic. As ornate as the Palladian mansion at its centre, the grounds of Powerscourt House encompass walled gardens, Japanese gardens, ornamental lakes and a pet cemetery. Get lost in secret hollows and wooded valleys, culminating in a climb to the top of Pepperpot Tower for a view so breathtaking you’ll remember it for years to come.

2 Ballyin Gardens

Welcome to Ballyin Gardens, six acres of lush paradise spanning the north bank of the Blackwater river, just upstream from Lismore Castle in County Waterford. Meander through this 18th century haven, rooted in its historic past through old specimen rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Bursts of colour are framed by mature trees, including the Montery Cypress, a towering protector which has stood the test of time.

3 Borris House Gardens

In the beautiful Barrow Valley in County Carlow, Borris Gardens sit amidst wooded Victorian splendour with a majestic backdrop of Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains. Explore the Lace Garden, inspired by the colour and designs of the world-famous Borris Lace and envisage life as a laundry maid in the restored Victorian Laundry. Get lost in the parkland of stunning specimen trees and fragrant flora as you explore this natural wonder.

4 Lough Derg Garden Trail

Traipse through a collection of eight beautiful gardens on the Lough Derg Garden Trail. Following the lake from Portumna to Ballina-Killaloe, expect a symphony of roaming wildlife and manicured landscapes in the midst of castles, houses and even bird aviaries. From the quaint and colourful spread at the Woodland Cottage Garden in Birr, County Offaly, to the soft sounds of the Little Brosna river flowing through Fancroft Mill in County Tipperary, you’re sure to find the garden of your dreams.

5 Altamont Gardens

An enchanting blend of native trees and exotic plants, Altamont Gardens in County Carlow offers an idyllic riverside ramble perfumed with the scent of flourishing flora. Lawns adorned by sculpted yew trees slope down to a lake surrounded by rhododendrons and lead on to exotic shrubs and an arboretum of ancient oaks. Ecosystems exist side by side, with a Bog Garden and an Ice Age Glen key features in this 16-hectare garden.

6 Japanese Gardens

Designed by Colonel William Hall Walker with the expertise of master horticulturalist, Tassa Eida, the National Stud's Japanese Gardens in Tully, County Kildare, are said to be the finest of their kind in Europe. Tracing the ‘Life of Man’ from birth through to the afterlife, the gardens boast plants, stone lanterns and elegant Scots Pines as well as cherry trees, tunnelled pathways and an ancient fir tree, symbolising knowledge. Discover a narrative pathway like no other at this thought-provoking and exquisitely executed haven from a busy world.

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