Thanks to its long growing season and mild climate, the Carlow/Kilkenny region is rich in gardens of all kinds, from the stately to the quaintly domestic. The journey to most of them – along leafy back roads or shaded avenues – is as enjoyable as the visit itself and some, such as the splendid Altamont Gardens, also sell plants, trees and shrubs.
Altamont House and Gardens
Now managed by The Office of Public Works, these extensive Gardens were first laid down almost two hundred years ago. A delightful formal garden, adjacent to the house, leads to the lake area which is a gem in itself. This in turn leads to the rough or Wild Garden which contains many rare and interesting shrubs and trees collected by succeeding generations of the Watson family. Finally the dramatic Ice Age Glen overlooks the River Slaney with its delightful river-side walk.
Altamont Gardens, Tullow, County Carlow.
tel:+353 (0)59 9159444 or +353 (0)59 9159510
Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum
Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum are located in the beautiful village of Inistioge on the banks of the River Nore. The gardens were once regarded as one of the great treasures of Ireland and Kilkenny County Council has embarked on an ambitious scheme of restoration. Interesting features include the Flower Terraces, the Winter Garden, the Monkey Puzzle Walk, the Noble Fir Walk, and the Arboretum with a rare collection of trees from all over the world. The dovecote and the curious Grotto provide an interesting focal point. Woodstock House, built in 1745, was destroyed by fire in 1922 and subsequently became unstable. Access to the gardens is through the car park .5 km from the main gates.
Woodstock Estate, Inistioge, County Kilkenny
tel: +353 (0)56 7758797 or +353 (0)87 8549785
fax: +353 (0)56 7794004
Huntington Castle & Gardens
Home of the Durdin-Robertson family, Huntington Castle has been continuously occupied since the original tower house was built in 1625 by the first Lord Esmonde. The present castellated house is the result of additions and alterations of many periods, its nucleus being the tower house. There is also an ancient
vine in the conservatory and a Temple to the Goddess Isis in the basement.
Huntington Castle & Gardens, Clonegal, County Carlow.
tel: +353 (0)53 9377552
fax: +353 (0)53 9377160
Kilfane Glen & Waterfall
Kilfane is a pristine example of a Romantic era garden dating from the 1790’s. Untouched for 200 years, it is a picturesque paradise with a 30-foot waterfall tumbling its way to a rushing stream and woodland paths leading to a cottage orné. The top part of the garden is comprised of open areas and woods with interconnecting paths. Works of art by artists such as David Nash, James Turrell Bill Woodrow, and William Pye are on display. Near the house you can enjoy the white garden, lily pond and orchard.
Kilfane, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
tel: +353 (0)56 7724558
fax: +353 (0)56 7727491
Ducketts Grove was designed in a Castellated Gothic revival style by Thomas A. Cobden for John Davidson Duckett circa 1825. The gardens are undergoing restoration.
Ducketts Grove, Rainstown, Carlow, County Carlow
tel: +353 059 9131554