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Garnish Island

Powerscourt

Hunting Brook Gardens

Lismore Castle

Bantry House and Gardens

Garnish Island

Mount Usher

Hunting Brook Gardens

Powerscourt

Kinsale

Japanese Garden at the Irish National Stud

A Garden Lover’s Tour of Ireland’s Coast & Country

Saturday 11th June – Saturday 18th June 2022 (7 nights) and
Saturday 9th July – Saturday 16th July 2022 (7 nights)

Tour highlights:

Where the Gulf Stream finds Europe, there is a verdant island, bursting with the most incredible collection of gardens. Our fabulous garden tour features the very best Irish gardens – from the intimate private sanctuaries of Ireland’s best gardeners, to the grand estates of the past and their plant hunting collections. Enjoy the lush green landscapes and meet the best storytellers in the world.

  • Superb hotels, one on the River Lee in the city of Cork and one in the grounds of Powerscourt – overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain
  • A boat trip to the Italianate garden on Garinish Island
  • Private lunch overlooking the gardens of Bantry House
  • Experience the private gardens of Ireland’s best known gardeners including Helen Dillon, June Blake, Hester Forde and Jimi Blake
  • Visit to the famous ‘Robinsonian’ Garden at Mount Usher
  • Attractive scenery through Ireland’s Ancient East to the Wild Atlantic Coast
  • Walking tour of the colourful city of Cork and a visit to Kinsale – one of Ireland’s most attractive coastal towns

Photo credits: Images courtesy of Tourism Ireland, June Blake and Jimi Blake.

 

The Bay Garden

Saturday 11th June/Saturday 9th July

After our morning pick-up at Dublin Airport, we make our way south-west towards Cork, stopping en-route at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Garden. The world-famous Japanese garden was laid out over 100 years ago and symbolises the ‘Life of Man’. We will take a tour of the stud farm and have time to explore the garden and have some lunch (independent).

We arrive, late afternoon, at our hotel, the wonderfully situated 4-star River Lee Hotel, Cork. Set on a picturesque bend in the river, just a short walk from Cork city centre, the River Lee Hotel is smart, spacious and an oasis of tranquility. Join your tour director and the rest of the group for dinner (included).

Sunday 12th June/Sunday 10th July

Today we visit the small, but densely planted Coosheen Garden, owned by renowned plantswoman, Hester Forde. We continue on to the picturesque town of Kinsale with its winding streets and natural harbour, guarded by a 17th century fortress. We will have Sunday lunch (included) overlooking the bay.

Later we enjoy a short walking tour of Cork followed by time at leisure in the evening.

Monday 13th June/Monday 11th July

Today we make an early start and drive to Ireland’s stunning south-western corner to visit Bantry House & Gardens. Here we will meet the owners for a garden tour and enjoy a private lunch in the house. Bantry House dates from the 1730’s has been home to the White family since. The gardens, as we see them today, have gone from creation in the 1800’s, through neglect in the mid-20th century to restoration which began in 1997. The views over Bantry Bay are spectacular.

In the afternoon we go to the coastal village of Glengarriff. From here we take a small boat to Garinish Island, sometimes known as Ilnacullin. The garden island of 37 acres owes its existence to the creative partnership, some eighty years ago, of Annan and Violet Bryce, then owners of the island, and Harold Peto, acclaimed architect and garden designer. Pathways wind around the landscape, leading to a number of fascinating garden buildings, such as the Grecian temple, the clock tower, the casita, and an original Martello Tower.

We return to Cork for dinner in the hotel (included).

Tuesday 14th June/Tuesday 12th July

Our first stop of the day is at Lismore Castle, the Irish residence of the Dukes of Devonshire (Chatsworth being their English seat). Here we have a guided garden tour followed by time to look in the gallery. We have a picnic lunch in the gardens (included).

We then make a visit to the world-famous Blarney Castle, where we’ll meet one of the gardening team for an introductory talk. There is free time to explore the gardens and visit the castle. We return to Cork where your evening is at leisure with the opportunity to sample Cork’s traditional pubs

Wednesday 15th June/Wednesday 13th July

After checking out of the hotel, we head north into Ireland’s Ancient East. We make a short stop at Waterford Crystal, where there will be time for a comfort break and a look in the enticing shop. Next, we arrive at Mount Usher for lunch (included), following which we will be taken on a guided tour of the gardens. Mount Usher is one of the finest examples of an authentic ‘Robinsonian’ style garden. We then check into the 5-star Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow, where your evening is at leisure (dinner independent).

Thursday 16th June/Thursday 14th July

This morning is yours to enjoy, at leisure, in the hotel and stroll across to Powerscourt Gardens – a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes (entry included). If you wish to join a tour of the gardens, we have arranged for a guide to show us around.

In the afternoon, we visit a charming private garden and meet the owner who has developed the gardens during the last 30 years, from a stony field into a garden full of beautiful shrubs and herbaceous borders. We continue to the wonderful Avoca Nursery for dinner in the Fern House (included).

Friday 17th June/Friday 15th July

For our final day, we traverse the Wicklow Mountains and visit two neighbouring gardens owned by siblings. We begin at the delightful and contemporary June Blake’s Garden – a rare fusion of inspired design and painterly planting. We enjoy a guided tour around the gardens with June, followed by a private lunch (included) in one of the garden buildings.

After lunch, we meet Jimi Blake, and explore his fascinating, exuberant garden at Hunting Brook. This is one of Ireland’s largest private collections of plants and, surrounding his home, are many examples of colourful and theatrically large-scale planting combinations for which Jimi is well-known. We return to the hotel for our final night dinner (included).

Saturday 18th June/Saturday 16th July

We check-out in the morning and head back towards Dublin Airport. En-route we make a stop at Helen Dillon’s private Dublin Garden. Here we have a morning coffee and explore this small, but delightful garden. We continue into Dublin for a short driving tour of the city, highlighting the key sights and attractions of the capital. We end with lunch (included) at a pub in Dublin. We can arrange taxis from here for anyone staying on in Dublin. For those heading home, we will make a drop off at Dublin Airport mid-afternoon. We can advise on departure planning.

Please read our Tour Joining and Departure Arrangements here. To download a printable version of this itinerary, please click here.

Garnish IslandPowerscourt GardenHunting Brook Gardens Lismore CastleBantry House The Bay GardenOverview of KinsaleMount-Usher-GardensHunting Brook Gardens Garnish Island

Our Hotels

Our hotels are 4 and 5-star and are selected for their high standards of comfort and service. All rooms are en-suite and offer free wi-fi access.

The River Lee Hotel, Cork (4 nights)

Set on a picturesque bend in the river, just a short walk from Cork’s historic city centre, The River Lee hotel is an oasis of tranquillity. The recently refurbished hotel has a designer vibe with smart, spacious accommodation and impressive leisure facilities. The historic St Finbarr’s Cathedral, pleasant Mardyke river walk, with the Cork Public Museum, and award-winning Lewis Glucksman Gallery are all within strolling distance of the hotel.

River Lee Hotel Cork
Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow (3 nights)  

Set amidst one of the country’s most scenic and historic estates, Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection is a 5-star, 200-room hotel with Palladian-style architecture and luxury amenities. Rooms are comfortably appointed and the spa offers a calm retreat. Views from the hotel are towards Sugarloaf Mountain and you can stroll through the grounds, to Powerscourt Gardens.

Powerscourt hotel terrace

TOUR PRICES: Prices are per person, based on twin/double room share, with single supplement (solo occupancy of a double room) shown separately. Tours are priced in £GBP.

 Tour cost per person (sharing twin or double room) Single Supplement (for single occupancy of a double room)
£4,050 (GBP) £700 (GBP)

PRICES INCLUDE:

  • 7 nights’ accommodation at 4-star and 5-star hotels with en-suite facilities.
  • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 4 dinners.
  • All garden visits including tours with garden owners and head gardeners.
  • All tour gratuities (driver, tour director and hotels).
  • Deluxe coach travel with professional driver.
  • Transfers to and from the hotel to Dublin Airport at the start and end of the tour.
  • Gift information pack with detailed information about the gardens we will be visiting.
  • Services of your Sisley tour director throughout

PRICES EXCLUDE:

  • Airfares.
  • Passport and/or visa fees if applicable.
  • Meals not included in the tour, drinks, laundry, and telephone calls.

TOUR PAYMENT: A 10% deposit is requested at the time of booking to secure your place on the tour.  Your tour balance payment is due 90 days prior to tour departure.

EXCHANGE RATE INFORMATION: You can get an idea of the cost of the tour in your local currency by using a currency converter. Conversion rates are based on institutional or inter-bank daily rates. Retail conversion rates include fees and will generally differ from these rates.

Powerscourt Trudder GrangeGarden view of Bantry House; CorkJune Blake's Garden

Online booking form: To reserve your tour place(s) please complete our online booking form by clicking the Book Now button below. As soon as we receive your booking form, we will confirm availability on the tour of your choice and arrange collection of your deposit to secure your booking.

The booking form includes three choices of how to book and pay for your tour:

With your own travel agent: You can book a Sisley Garden Tour in your local currency through your own travel agent. Just provide us with their contact details in your booking form and we will take care of the rest.

With Worldwide Traveler in the USA: You can book a Sisley Garden Tour in USD$ with our partners at Worldwide Traveler – a full-service travel agent who can assist you with all aspects of your trip to the UK. Payment accepted by cheque or credit card.

With Sisley Garden Tours: All clients are welcome to book a tour directly with us. We can accept payment in GBP£ by bank transfer or by credit/ debit card via PayPal.

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Full details of our booking Terms & Conditions can be found at here. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section for further information.

We very much look forward to welcoming you, but please email tours@sisley.co.uk if you have any queries.

If you would like to book a place on this tour directly with Sisley Garden Tours or through one of our on-territory agents in USA and Canada, please click the Book Now button.
Please contact us if you have any queries about the tour or would like to arrange for us to call you back.
To download a PDF of the tour itinerary to print out or send to friends, please choose the Print Itinerary button.
Read through our Frequently Asked Question section to find out more about our tours, dress code, average day, tips etc.
To assist you in pre and post tour planning, you might wish to read our tour Joining and Departure Arrangements. Click opposite for further details.
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