Blarney House and Gardens in Blarney, County Cork, is a Scottish Baronial mansion designed by John Lanyon and is open to the public during the summer months. The house sits in the middle of the parklands situated less than 200m south of the great castle itself. Built in 1874, it has now been restored to its former glory. The house is situated overlooking Blarney Lake and features a magnificent interior.
Blarney House and Gardens is set in hectares of parkland filled with rare and unusual trees including many maples, southern beech and giant western red cedars. There are formal gardens around the house with manicured lawns, rose beds and mixed shrub beds. Many different gardens are to be found around the estate, and exploration will be rewarded. There is a fern garden with the atmosphere of a tropical jungle to be found deep in the woods. The Poison Garden, adjacent to the battlements, contains an interesting and educational collection of deadly and dangerous plants from around the world, including caged specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy.
The Rock Close is a mystical place where majestic yew and oak trees grow around an ancient druidic settlement. Follow the trail through giant Gunnera leaves and bamboo and you will find such features as a dolmen, wishing steps and a witch's kitchen. A water garden with waterfalls adds the soothing sound of water to the visitor's experience.
Below the castle are mysterious caves. There are pleasant walks along the riverbanks where you can sit and contemplate the reflections of the castle. In springtime the castle grounds are filled with thousands of bulbs and the ‘Belgian beds’, full of hybrid azaleas are in full flower. In autumn, the whole place glows as the leaves turn red, amber and gold.
The grounds also feature a restored stable yard and café, 2 souvenir shops, bureau de change, refreshments, Blarney Lake and wildlife, arboretums, pinetum, Irish garden, herbaceous borders, rose pergola, rhododendron beds, woodlands walks, fern garden, river bank walk, ice-house, lime kiln and caves.
- See the Scottish Baronial Mansion built in 1874.
- Enjoy a guided tour of the house during the summer months.
- Stroll through beautiful parkland walking trails filled with rare and unusual trees.
Explore more local historic sites, follow the beautiful riverside walk from Blarney Village to the 12th century Waterloo Round Tower, church and garden.