Gardens of the South East


Gardens of the South East: Two-Day Tour

Start: Wicklow  Finish: Carlow

Recommended Length: 2 days

Total distance:  167 km / 105mls

Day One: County Wicklow

Distance: 27 km, 17 mls

1  Start things off with one of the most glorious gardens in Ireland with the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow. Seated at the foot of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain, Powerscourt contains one of the greatest collections of ornamental trees and flowers in Europe. Giant Sequoias, dwarf copper chestnuts and a bewildering array of shrubs jostle for space amongst azaleas, magnolia and rhododendrons. The “big house”, where Princess Grace famously danced the night away, overlooks the delightfully manicured lawns.

2  The nearby Mount Usher Gardens at Ashford boasts exotic flowers, trees and shrubs from all parts of the globe, planted alongside and amongst wild woodland.

Day Two: County Wicklow-County Carlow

Distance: 140 km, 88 mls

1  Continue your tour in the second smallest county in Ireland, Carlow, with its huge variety of flowers. To experience this array of colour at first hand head to Altamont Gardens, near the village of Ballon. This horticultural spectacle is the product of 250 years of work and is a fascinating collection of ornamental gardens and lakeside walks.

2  Next head south towards the village of Clonegal and the splendour of Huntington Castle. Huntington is packed full of peculiarities. Just look the palm trees that appear at the end of a long yew tree avenue, flanking a baroque statue, which give off an ambience of a Moorish palace rather than an Irish fortress. 


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