Whenever someone tells me they’re going to Ireland, I get really excited. Not just because I spent a glorious four weeks studying abroad there, but because the country truly is beautiful.
A Quick Summary
I always suggest to my soon-to-be Ireland travel-goers Powerscourt Estates, located roughly 20 minutes outside of Dublin, a 13th century castle with over 45 acres of landscaped gardens (and a pet cemetery. What? That’s not weird…)
After a fire in 1974 that left only a shell of the castle, the Estates were renovated in 1996 to include a golf course, The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt Hotel, and an Avoca Handweavers restaurant. The first floor and parts of the second floor are also home to retail stores and restaurants – the castle itself is a little too touristy for my taste, but if you venture into the gardens, it really is something special. We spent quite a few hours roaming the 45+ acres, taking photos, and enjoying the lush landscape.
The Gardens, Ponds, and Cemetery
There’s a few awesome things to check out on the grounds:
- Italian Garden
- Walled Garden
- Dolphin Pond
- Pet Cemetery
- Japanese Garden
- Tower Valley (which I happened to miss. Boo.)
If you’re pressed for time, although I don’t recommend rushing through, definitely check out the Japanese Garden and The Italian Garden, which are located close enough to the castle, so you won’t have far to walk to experience them.
From Powerscourt Estates, there is access to Ireland’s tallest waterfall at 121 meters. Unfortunately, regular bus service was discontinued in 2005, but apparently during high season there are intermittent buses available. Walking is also an option since it’s only about 7km away; however, it is not recommended as the road is narrow and can be dangerous. If you make the trek, there is a separate fee to see the waterfall that can range from €3.50 to €5.
Hours of and Cost of Admission
Lucky for you, Powerscourt Estates is open 7 days a week from 9:30-5:30pm, so you’ve got no excuse if you don’t make it there!
According to the website, Adults are €8.50 and student/OAP are €7.50. Children(U12) are €5.00 and Childrend (U5) are free.
If you’re traveling with up to 3 kids and another adult, a family ticket is right up your alley at €25.00.
Check out their website about how to get to the gardens if you need more options.
Interesting (and Random) Facts About Powercourt Thanks To Wikipedia
- The house was used as a filming location most famously in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, which was filmed there before the 1974 fire.
- The estate was used as a backdrop and ancestral home of the “Artist” and Moll Flanders love interest in the film Moll Flanders.
- The 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo was filmed there.
- David Copperfield was filmed there in 2000.
- Where’s Jack? was filmed there in 1969.
- The gardens were used to record Celtic Woman‘s Songs from the Heart DVD and TV special.
Have you been to Powerscourt? What was your favorite part? If you haven’t been, which garden seems the most interesting?