Among the green Irish hills, waterfalls and valleys created by mother nature, a man-made miracle appears, the gardens of Powerscourt Manor. NatGeo ranks them as the third best piece of landscape art in the world. Powerscourt Gardens perfectly combines the harsh northern character, brought up by the winds, and true noble beauty.
You can book a day trip from Dublin to Powerscourt using this link.
How to get to the Powerscourt Gardens from Dublin?
Powerscourt estate is located near the village of Enniskerry in County Wicklow. You can get there by the following ways:
- By DublinBus. Route number 44 leaves Dublin every hour, travel time is about 20 minutes, and another 20 minutes by foot to the estate.
- By train along the coast to Bray Station, this way is longer and therefore less preferred.
- By car you can take the M50, then the M11, or turn a little earlier to Enniskerry Road (R117). On this site you can rent a car to travel around Ireland.
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Information for visiting the Powerscourt Estate
Powerscourt gardens open 7 days a week.
March to October — 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
November to February — 9.30 a.m. to sunset
Powerscourt garden pavilion open 7 days a week 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
May to August — 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
September to April — 10.30 a.m. to sunset
Adult: € 11.50
Students: € 8.50
Children under 16: € 5.00
Children under 5 years old have free admission.
There is a family discount: parents with three children can visit Powerscourt Gardens for € 26.
Adult: € 6.50
Students: € 5.50
Children under 16: € 3.50
Children under 5 have free admission.
Distillery and Warehouse Tour: € 25 (book here)
And you can book a whiskey and foodpairing tour here.
When to visit Powerscourt
Temperatures around Dublin rarely drop below 0°C, even in winter. Snow falls infrequently, which allows you to admire the greenery of the park all year round. Only on Christmas Day (December 25 and 26) the garden is closed to the public.
When was the Powerscourt estate built?
Once in the 13th century, a huge castle stood on the site of a residential estate. It was so powerful and impregnable that even the name eventually acquired a suitable one: Powerscourt. But the castle is not the most convenient place to live, so in the 18th century it was completely rebuilt. It turned out to be a comfortable manor, and two towers along the edges and walls of gray stone are slightly reminiscent of the past. The royal families of Great Britain regularly visited Powerscourt, and its owners were proud of the magnificent park and the beautiful furnishing of the house.
Now there is no trace of the former interiors: Powerscourt House rents out premises for furniture and clothing shops and other designer items. Only the ballroom is open to the public on Sundays.
However, the guide will tell you much more about the rich history of the estate. You can book a tour using this link.
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What to see at the Powerscourt Gardens?
Walking in Powerscourt Park, the feeling of noble antiquity remains all the time. It is even more surprising to learn that this entire landscape was redesigned at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The young viscount, who inherited the estate, dreamed of creating a copy of the magnificent southern gardens he had seen during his travels in Europe in windy Ireland. The redevelopment and arrangement of green terraces and stairs lasted more than 20 years.
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The main estate is built on a hill, the view from which is unbeatable in the area. The foothills of the Wilklow stretch as far as the eye can see on the horizon, and the terraces of the park go down. Smooth planes and descents set the perfect geometric shape. The symmetry of statues, vases, flower beds, evenly trimmed trees and shrubs, all this is reminiscent of European parks in a regular style, so popular in the Baroque era.
The central staircase deserves special mention. The upper part of the terrace is paved with smooth river stone. These are actually small pebbles laid on the base in strict accordance with the picture! It took thousands, if not millions of stones, to lay out this amazing mosaic.
At the bottom, the staircase rests on a round lake with a Triton fountain in the middle and two stone Pegasuses. In summer, it is overgrown with aquatic plants, but earlier people used to ride boats here. Go down the stairs to the water, in the niche and you will see a kind of «garage».
Japanese bridge, stone lanterns, small pavilion-pagoda, you are kinda in Japan. Walk among the reeds and wild plums, admire the red foliage of the Japanese maple and Chinese palm trees, a symbol of good luck. The Japanese garden looks best in early spring, when azaleas bloom with delight fragrance!
Famous Pepper Tower was built in honor of the visit of the Prince of Wales. Members of the viscount’s family could not decide for a long time how the new landmark should look like. In the end, the viscountess ordered to use an ordinary pepper box as a model.
More than a century has passed since then: the tower has become overgrown with ivy and got even more beautiful and mysterious.
The owners of the Powerscourt estate loved their pets so much that for a long time they buried not only dogs, but also several generations of ponies, and even their beloved cows on the slopes of the garden. It is very touching to read their nicknames on the commemorative plates and to understand what mark these animals left in the hearts of their owners.
In the western part of the garden, after the Dolphin pond, a wall suddenly rises in front of visitors. Walled Gardens are behind it, gardens with plants that can’t stand the piercing Irish winds. In summer, there is a real burst of flowers: roses, lavender, hydrangeas bloom luxuriantly and brightly, as if in France or Italy.
After walking around the gardens, take a look at the estate itself. Here you can visit the distillery with a tour and, of course, taste local drinks. You can reserve your spot for this event following this link.
» READ MORE – Irish whiskey: where to try it in Dublin
Sights near the Powerscourt estate
Powerscourt Falls, the highest and most picturesque waterfall in Ireland, is located 6 km from the estate. There are no pedestrian roads to the waterfall, so it is better to get there by car. There is a beautiful forest, mountains, and if you walk along the paths further away, you can even see wild animals and birds.
There is a picnic area, playground and toilets nearby falls. The entrance to the waterfall is open all year round, except for the two-week Christmas holidays.
The pride of the estate, Powerscourt Golf Club, offers to practice on one of the two courses or try to learn this aristocratic game with the help of an experienced instructor.
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Where to stay when visiting Powerscourt estate?
The best place in the area to enjoy peace and relaxation, delicious food and classic afternoon tea is the five-star Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection. The only possible drawback is the price per room: it is rarely less than € 230. You can book a hotel room using this link.
If you are traveling by car, we suggest staying at the much more affordable Knockree Hostel with excellent views and an outdoor dining area. There are both private rooms and beds in a dormitory at a price of 18 €. You can book a preferred hotel room here.Book a hotel in Enniskerry
A glorious monument of history and landscape art attracts more than 500 thousand visitors annually. Visiting Powerscourt is a great way to spend a day in nature without having to travel far from Dublin.
Have a great trip!