Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden
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Originally built by Mitchell Henry in 1867 as a romantic gift for his beloved wife and now home to the Benedictine Order of nuns, Kylemore Abbey is the ideal destination for a day out. Located just an hour’s drive from Galway city and surrounded by stunning Connemara scenery, this 1000 acre estate has much to offer visitors all year round.
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is the ideal destination for a day out in majestic Connemara at any time of year. Located about an hour’s drive from Galway City, a visit to Kylemore will rank as an unforgettable memory.
The dramatic landscape and iconic image of a gothic castle reflected in a Connemara lake has made Kylemore Abbey world-famous and it is now the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland.
The Benedictine nuns invite visitors to experience the Victorian atmosphere of the Abbey's restored rooms, miniature gothic church, head gardener’s house and garden boy’s house. Learn of the tales of tragedy and romance, the engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits and the Abbey's former role as a girls boarding school.
The Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore was created along with the Abbey in the late 1860’s one of the last great gardens of the period. Originally the Gardens held 21 heated glass houses producing all kinds of exotic fruit and vegetables and were laid out in lavish style. Over the years as the Abbey changed hands the gardens gradually fell into decline until eventually the walls stood guard over nothing more than brambles and weeds. Today however the splendor of the gardens has returned. Restored and opened to the public in the year 2000, the Walled Gardens at Kylemore are a must see on any visit to Connemara. Two glass houses have been put back in place, along with the head gardeners house and the workers bothy. Stroll through the beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, fern walk, tree nursery and elegant herbaceous border. As Kylemore is a Heritage garden all seed varieties used date back to the 1800’s and you can even buy a pack to create a Victorian garden at home!
Mitchell’s café and the tea house offers home-cooked food made from recipes perfected by the Benedictine nuns and using fresh vegetables and herbs from the walled garden.
The craft shop has a wide selection of design-focused Irish giftware including artisan food products, knitwear, pottery, art and handcrafts made by the Benedictine nuns at Kylemore.
Choirs travel from around the world to Kylemore Abbey to sing in the Gothic church with its superb acoustics. All are welcome to attend the choral performances and admittance is included in the Kylemore entry fee.