Perhaps the most magical setting a garden can have is to be on an island bathed in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.
Ilnacullin, or Garinish Island, renowned as a unique island garden of rare beauty, is nestled into the sheltered coastal harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay. The gardens were set out in the arts and crafts style in Edwardian times and contain classical formal gardens and architecture set within natural, Robinsonian style, surroundings.
Visitors can discover a wealth of unique architectural & horticultural gems, including an Italianate garden with formal pond, pavilion, Casita and lawns; walled kitchen garden with herbaceous borders, fruit, roses & climbers; Martello tower with fine panoramic views; and the Happy Valley with its Grecian Temple, shrubberies and rare trees.
Bryce House (a short walk from the walled garden) is a fitting memorial to the visionary creators and custodians of this unique place. Built c1912 in an Edwardian picturesque style, Bryce House became the residence of Violet, her son Roland, their housekeeper Margaret O’Sullivan and head gardener Murdo MacKenzie.
- Internationally significant collection of rare, beautiful southern hemisphere plants
- Formal gardens
- Happy Valley with temple, shrubberies & rare trees
- Walled garden with herbaceous borders, fruit, roses & climbers
- Martello tower with fine panoramic views
- Restored Bryce House, with unique collection of artefacts, guided tours (when restrictions allow)
Admission charges to all fee-paying open OPW heritage sites in Cork are being waived in line with the Government’s recovery and reopening plan outlined in The Path Ahead.
As such there is no entrance fee to Garinish Island for the 2021 season. This includes Bryce House which is open for escorted self-guided visits from 21st May.
A separate charge is imposed by boat operators.
Please note credit cards are not accepted on the island.
Eircode P75 X567
Travel from Glengarriff village via a delightful ten-minute boat trip across the bay:
- Harbour Queen Ferry – 027 – 63116, www.harbourqueenferry.com
- Blue Pool Ferry – 027 – 63333, www.bluepoolferry.ie
- Ellen’s Rock Boat Service – 027 – 63110
Last ferry landing 1 hour before closing. Ferry operators impose a separate charge.