We’ve missed many things since March when it felt like the entire country closed down but one of the things I have missed most has been the magnificent grounds of Blarney Castle estate. When you’re isolating in a village as beautiful as Blarney, and you have over 60 acres of sprawling parklands including gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways on your doorstep it’s hard to complain.
Unfortunately Blarney Castle estate had to close down six weeks ago and has been sorely missed by visitors and it’s many local season tickets holders alike. Luckily for us the grounds are re-opening on Monday May 18th, and I for one just can’t wait!
For those of you not familiar with this incredible local resource you’re really missing out as there is so much more than meets the eye and every day gifts a new walk, an emerging flower, a hidden pathway, new cygnets on the lake or a conversation with the two resident donkeys.
Different times of year yield different joys, at the moment I’m missing the Belgian beds with their incredible dazzling array of azaleas, the herbaceous border with it’s highly scented wisteria and proud tulips, and the rose beds that carpet as far as the eye can see.
The bluebell wood is another source of joy and the cultivated bee garden is an education to watch, we could learn an awful lot from these clever insects and their orderly and productive lives that harm no one and add so much to the planet.
Much of the ground at this time of year is carpeted with wild garlic which lightly scents the air, as do the limes on lime avenue. Like so much of the estate this gives joy to not only the eyes but awakens all your senses.
Different people have different sweet spots, my personal favourite is the fern garden, there is something very magical about this place of rare beauty, for others it is the poison garden, the Himalayan walk, the Vietnamese garden, or the magnificent lakeside walk.
You can wander at will, or choose one of the many walks including the woodland walk, a quiet secluded area that circuits the twenty one acre Blarney lake, the lake walk or the riverside walk which offers the chance of seeing the otters and kingfishers that call the estate home.
And when your walk is over, and it’s not hard to lose yourself for several hours, you can enjoy a take away cup of coffee and a snack from the cafe at the entrance and a chat, there is plenty of room to safely socialise, and that’s something we’ve all been really missing.
One thing is for sure is that whatever season and whatever day you choose to visit the gardens the magnificence of this constantly changing and evolving estate means that every day in the gardens is a good day!
To purchase an annual or six month ticket you can download and fill in the form available on https://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/annual-membershipand present it to the ticket office on arrival.
No dogs are permitted at Blarney Castle with the exception of registered guide and assistance dogs
Children under 8 are free
Members can buy reduced entry passes for guests, one guest can accompany one member, at €10 per ticket which can be offset against a member’s pass should the guest subsequently decide to join on the day.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 4385252