Wild Atlantic Coast
Hunting Brook Gardens
The Bay Garden
Bantry House and Gardens
Hunting Brook Gardens
The Bay Garden
A Garden Lover’s Tour of Ireland’s Coast & Country
Sunday 21st – Sunday 28th June 2020 (7 nights)
Where the Gulf Stream finds Europe, there is a verdant island, bursting with the most incredible collection of gardens. Our fabulous new 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 story tellers 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 Garnish Island
- Private lunch overlooking the gardens of Bantry House with views over Bantry Bay
- Experience the private gardens of Ireland’s best known gardeners including Helen Dillon, Frances McDonald, 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: Discover Ireland – Kinsale, Powerscourt, Bantry House & Gardens, Garnish Island. Other images supplied by Lismore Castle, Hunting Brook Garden, The Bay Garden, Mount Usher or copyright Sisley Garden Tours.
After our morning pick-up at Dublin Airport, we make our way south-west towards Cork, stopping en-route for lunch (included). We visit Burtown House, an early Georgian villa, surrounded by lush flower, vegetable and woodland gardens with beautiful park.
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).
Monday 22nd June 2020
Today we have a leisurely start and enjoy a walking tour of the vibrant city of Cork – Ireland’s ‘second city’. It is a lively cultural hub with an opera house, independent art galleries, museums and theatres. There will be time for lunch (independent) and shopping in Cork.
In the afternoon we make a visit to the picturesque yachting harbour of Kinsale. There will be time to explore the narrow, winding streets lined with galleries and gift shops, lively bars and handsome natural harbour filled with yachts and guarded by a huge 17th-century fortress. We will have dinner (included) in a restaurant overlooking the bay.
Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Today we make an early start and drive to Ireland’s stunning south-western corner and the coastal village of Glengarriff. From here we take a small boat to Garnish 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 continue around the bay to Bantry House & Gardens. Here we will meet the owners and enjoy a private lunch in the house over looking the gardens and Bantry Bay beyond. 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. We return to Cork where your evening is at leisure.
Wednesday 24th June 2020
Today we see two very different gardens. Firstly we stop at Lismore Castle, the Irish residence of the Dukes of Devonshire (Chatsworth being their English seat). The historic gardens of Lismore Castle are essentially two distinct gardens. Both are set within the castle walls compromising of 7 acres with spectacular views of the Castle and surrounding countryside. Here we have a guided garden tour followed by free time in Lismore for lunch (independent).
In the afternoon we visit a small, domestic garden, Coosheen Garden, owned by the renowned plantswoman, Hester Forde. Situated on the estuary of Cork harbour ‘Coosheen’ houses a unique collection of plants which provide year round interest. We return to the hotel for dinner (included).
Thursday 25th June 2020
Today we make an early start and en-route to our first garden, we make a short stop at Waterford Crystal. We then visit another of Ireland’s best private gardens, The Bay Garden in Camolin, home of Frances and Iain Macdonald. We will have morning coffee and an introductory talk from Frances with time to explore her lovely garden creation.
In the afternoon we head north to Wicklow and stop at Mount Usher. We will have time for lunch (independent) in the delicious Avoca cafe before being taken on a guided tour of the gardens. Mount Usher is one of the finest examples of an authentic ‘Robinsonian’ style garden combining a distinguished collection of trees and shrubs with informal floral planting schemes in a sheltered valley setting. We then check into the 5-star Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow, and have dinner (included).
Friday 26th June 2020
This morning is yours to enjoy at leisure in the hotel and make a visit to Powerscourt Gardens (included) at a time to suit you. You can stroll to the gardens from our hotel. Powerscourt Gardens are a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks, and walled gardens, with over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs. Set against the backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain, the extensive grounds are over 47 acres in size. The house, which was renovated after a fire in 1996 houses many delightful shops selling local produce and a café.
In the afternoon we visit the charming cottage gardens of Warblebank situated on a secluded hillside with lovely views. We continue into Bray where we have an evening meal (included) over-looking the Irish Sea.
Saturday 27th June 2020
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).
Sunday 28th June 2020
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 a traditional Sunday 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.
Our hotels are 4-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
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.
Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow
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.
|Tour cost per person (sharing twin or double room)||Single Supplement (for single occupancy of a double room)|
|£3,850 (GBP)||£700 (GBP)|
PRICES INCLUDE: Accommodation at 4 and 5-star hotels with en-suite facilities based on twin/double room share; buffet breakfast daily; 4 lunches and 6 dinners; admissions to gardens; deluxe coach travel with professional driver; guided tours as described in an information pack provided at the start of the tour; services of your Sisley tour director throughout; arrival transfers are included only if you are joining the tour at Dublin Airport on the first morning of the tour.
PRICES EXCLUDE: Airfares; passport and/or visa fees; beverages; laundry; telephone calls; lunches and dinners (except where included in the itinerary); gratuities; souvenirs and items of a personal nature.
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 conversation rates include fees and will generally differ from these rates.
We are delighted you’ve decided to join a Sisley Garden Tour. There are several ways to book:
- You can book directly through Sisley Garden Tours
- You can book through our appointed agents in the USA, Worldwide Traveler and pay in $USD
- You can ask your local travel agent to contact us and book on your behalf
- We can also offer Bespoke Tours for small groups (minimum 12). Please contact us with your requirements.
We very much look forward to welcoming you.