Westport House & Gardens
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Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park, The Demesne, Westport,
First opened to the public in 1960, Westport House & Grounds is one of Ireland’s best loved heritage attractions.
The ultimate in old world heritage, Westport House really captures visitors’ imaginations. The beauty of the house itself and its stunning interior is complimented by its natural parkland and lakeland setting, it's proximity and connection to Westport town as well as a story, which goes back to Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connaught, and includes slave emancipators, pioneers and a family line that has survived alongside it.
Designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels, James Wyatt and Thomas Ivory in the 18th Century, it is one of Irelands’ most beautiful historic homes open to the public. It was built and is still privately owned by the Browne family who are direct descendants – in fact, 14th great grand-daughters - of the 16th century Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley.
With over 30 stunning rooms on show and 6 permanent exhibitions, thousands of original pieces of artwork, antiques and family-owned artefacts, this house will surely fascinate all culture vultures. But what makes Westport House particularly special is the fact that is more a family home than a museum and the Browne family hopes to have the opportunity to extend a warm welcome to you and yours.
Visit the Tea Rooms in the restored original kitchens serving delicious snacks, teas and coffees. Check out the Dungeons from Grace O’Malley’s 16th Century castle. Stroll around the parkland walks including a tree trail and looped riverside walk. Enjoy the lake, terraces, waterfalls and natural gardens. Take scenic photographs and use pedestrian access from Westport Town.
After taking it all in, please enjoy a cup of tea in the restored Olde Kitchen Tea Rooms or pick up a souvenir from the Pantry Gift Shop. Your visit won’t be complete until you stroll around the beautiful natural parkland gardens where you’ll find the tree trail or enjoy a 1km looped riverside walk. Be sure to visit the West Gardens to take in the Greek Sarcophagus, Spanish Armada Cannon, Famine Soup Pots, the Sun House, Lily Pond and other treasures.
Be sure to get here early to enjoy everything on offer, with extended opening hours, it’s a full day.