Gardens of South West Scotland
- 15 Aug
- 15 Aug
Uncover some of the finest gardens in Kerry with us and enjoy a short break in ‘The Kingdom.’ On this 3-night garden holiday, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Muckross House & Gardens where we’ll learn more about the extensive landscaping that was carried out by the Herbert family for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Other highlights of our trip to Kerry include Kells Bay Garden, which is locally known as the ‘Jewel on the Ring’, it overlooks Dingle Bay and has a large collection of subtropical plants. We’ll visit Derrynane House & Garden, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, a revered political leader of the 19th century who played a significant role in the Catholic emancipation. Discover Dhu Varren Garden, which has been aptly named ‘Kerry’s Botanical Garden’ as it contains the largest and most diverse plant collections of any private garden in Ireland. This tour provides the perfect opportunity to visit some of the best-known gardens in Kerry.
At 1400hrs this afternoon we meet with our guide, Iain Mac Donald, in Killarney Train Station and depart by coach for Muckross House & Gardens.
Our holiday begins with a visit to Killarney National Park for a guided visit of Muckross House & Gardens. The estate dates back to the 17th century with the present day house completed in 1843. The gardens are mainly informal in style with highlights that include the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and the Stream Garden.
Following our visit we travel to our nearby hotel in Killarney town in the late afternoon.
Following a leisurely breakfast we depart our hotel for a visit to Kells Bay Garden, one of Europe’s premier horticultural experiences, containing a renowned collection of tree ferns and other exotic plants growing in its unique microclimate created by the Gulf Stream. It is also the home of ‘The Skywalk’ – Ireland’s longest rope bridge!
Our day continues along the magnificent Ring of Kerry with a visit to Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell. The plantations and garden walks around the house were laid out in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the main areas of the gardens can be reached under the road which adds to their charm! Winters here are mild, enabling frost-sensitive trees and shrubs to flourish and the gardens have a plant collection of endangered plants from South America established as part of the National Botanical.
We return to our hotel this afternoon.
This morning we start our day with a visit to a beautiful 19th century woodland garden set on a peninsula and surrounded by the Caha Mountains. Derreen is famous for its collection of rhododendrons and the labyrinth of paths within the garden passes through groves of bamboo, tree ferns, towering eucalyptus and the twisted trunks of old oak trees from which Derreen (little oak wood) takes its name.
Our afternoon will be spent exploring a four acre contemporary garden close to Kenmare on the Wild Atlantic Way. Created over 25 years by the artist gardener, Charlotte Verbeek, the naturalistic planting blends seamlessly into wild areas with extensive use of grasses and perennials. The Gallery exhibits jewellery and paintings, many of which are inspired by the garden.
We return to our hotel this afternoon and enjoy our final evening meal together.
After checking out of our hotel we will depart for a morning visit to Dhu Varren Garden, home to one of the largest and most diverse plant collections of any private garden in Ireland. Features of this botanic garden include two landscaped glasshouses, water gardens and an arboretum.
Early this afternoon we transfer to Killarney Train Station where you are free to depart at your own leisure, by train or private arrangements, as we bid farewell to ‘The Kingdom’.
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