In the heart of picturesque County Wicklow, otherwise known as the Garden of Ireland
Over the May bank holiday weekend hubby and I visited the Powerscourt Estate and Gardens in Enniskerry, County Wicklow. It is absolutely stunning and is only a 30 minute drive from Dublin.
The estate and gardens stretch over 47 acres and has really stunning views of the surrounding Irish countryside. In fact, Powerscourt Gardens is placed No 3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens according to the National Geographic. It costs €10 entry fee.
The house was once a beautiful grand mansion built in 1741 that had 68 rooms and was one of the Country’s most beautiful mansions.
Unfortunately a fire in 1974 destroyed the house and left it as a shell. Today, the grand rooms are gone and it houses Irish design gifts such as clothes and furniture, a cafe and is home to a beautiful doll’s palace called Tara’s palace. The detail in this doll’s house is amazing, from the miniature furniture to the art work on its walls.
Even though the stately home is no more, Powerscourt House has been voted as one of the top ten houses and mansions worldwide by the Lonely Planet Guide.
The gardens are stunning. There is the Italian garden and the Japanese Garden, not to mention wonderful trails through woodlands. There is even a Pet Cemetery!
The Italian Garden
This is linked to the house with grand terraces that took 12 years to build and has views of the lake and the Sugarloaf Mountain.
The lake is lovely and there are two large life sized winged horses on the large terrace which watch over it. In the middle of the large lake is a fountain which is based on the Piazza Barberini in Rome.
Just under this terrace is a small boathouse.
The Japanese Garden
So colourful and there are hidden grottos, a pagoda and pretty little Japanese bridges that go over streams and lead on to winding paths around the garden.
Gorgeous flowers were out for Spring, even the bee is enjoying the bloom!
Follow the walking trails and it will lead you to a stone tower, the Pepper-pot tower. It is a well preserved tower that has canons placed around it.
It was built in 1911 from the stones of the church on the grounds. Lord Powerscourt had built a new church in Enniskerry and decided to use the stones from the old church that was on his estate to build a tower fashioned on his favourite pepper-pot!
The Pets Cemetery
I had never been to a cemetery where pets were buried and it was endearing to see the headstones describing the favourite pets of the children of the house who once loved them. It was interesting to read the inscriptions and their names. A beloved pony was simply called ‘Mrs Mare’.
I loved reading the headstones and the quirky names. I thought it would be just cats and dogs, but there are pet cows and ponies buried there. One of my favourites was ‘Eugenie’ the Jersey cow who had 17 calves and produced over 100,000 gallons of milk! This is in a quiet part of the grounds, a serene and calm place. After her life’s work, I feel Eugenie thoroughly deserved to rest in such peaceful surroundings!
I can only describe this as spectacular, it is the highest waterfall in Ireland comprising of 121 metres of cascading water. This is a place to have picnics and enjoy walking around the trails. This is a bit away from the gardens and costs €6, but it is well worth visiting.
We were blessed with beautiful weather, which of course makes everything look even more beautiful.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our visit and decided to retreat to Powerscourt Hotel for some food..
…and a well deserved G&T. Cheers!