Blarney House and Gardens
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Blarney, Cork, Republic of Ireland
Located just steps from the famous castle in Blarney, County Cork, Blarney House dates back to 1874. It is surrounded by an expanse of parkland with rare trees, formal gardens, manicured lawns, rose beds and more.
Blarney House is a Scottish Baronial mansion designed by John Lanyon and is now open to the public in the summer months. The house sits in the middle of the parklands situated less than 200m south of the great castle itself. Built in 1874, it has now been restored to its former glory. The house is situated overlooking Blarney Lake and features a splendid interior that is well worth a visit while in County Cork.
The house is set in hectares of parkland filled with rare and unusual trees including many maples, southern beech and giant western red cedars. There are formal gardens around the house with manicured lawns, rose beds and mixed shrub beds. Many different gardens are to be found around the estate, and exploration will be rewarded. There is a fern garden with the atmosphere of a tropical jungle to be found deep in the woods. The Poison Garden, adjacent to the battlements, contains an interesting and educational collection of deadly and dangerous plants from around the world, including caged specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy.
The Rock Close is a mystical place where majestic yew and oak trees grow around an ancient druidic settlement. Follow the trail through giant Gunnera leaves and bamboo and you will find such features as a dolmen, wishing steps and a witch's kitchen. A water garden with waterfalls adds the soothing sound of water to the visitor's experience.
Below the castle are mysterious caves. There are pleasant walks along the riverbanks where you can sit and contemplate the reflections of the castle. In springtime the castle grounds are filled with thousands of bulbs and the ‘Belgian beds’, full of hybrid azaleas are in full flower. In autumn the whole place glows as the leaves turn red, amber and gold.
Features: Restored Stable Yard and Cafe, Two souvenir shops, Bureau de Change, refreshments, Blarney Lake and wildlife, arboretums, pinetum, Irish Garden, Herbaceous Borders, Rose pergola, rhododendron beds, woodlands walks, fern garden, river bank walk, ice-house, lime kiln and caves.