Garnish Island In West Cork Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale

By Kiara Keane

July 14, 2019 at 1:01pm

Garnish Island In West Cork Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale

This is by far one of the most unique places to spend an afternoon in Ireland.

Garnish Island, located 1.5km off the coast of Glengariff in Bantry Bay, Co Cork, is a 37-acre island filled with beautiful flowers thanks to its unique micro-climate, as well as stunning architecture.

The beautiful gardens are the result of a creative partnership that took place 80 years ago between Annan and Violet Bryce - the owners of the island at the time - and acclaimed architect and garden designer Harold Peto.

How amazing does this place look?

Annan and Violet’s son Roland gifted the island to the Irish nation in 1953 and it has been maintained by the Office of Public Works ever since.

To get here, you’ll need to take a 10 to 15-minute ferry that departs from Glengariff Pier every 30 minutes – and also includes a visit to the nearby Seal Island.

As you explore the island, you’ll come across a number of fascinating garden buildings, including the Grecian temple, the clock tower, an original Martello Tower and the casita.

Also known as Garinish Island or Ilnacullin, the island has seen famous Irish writers George Bernard Shaw and George William Russell visit here over the years.

You can also take a tour of the original family residence known as Bryce House, which is presented as it was during their lifetime, as well as the beautiful rainbow-coloured landscaped gardens surrounding it.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to take a break and have a bite to eat, there’s a small coffee shop on the island that serves light snacks and refreshments.

You’ll probably only need about two hours for a full tour of the house and gardens but you could happily spend a lot longer taking in the beautiful sights on this one of a kind island.

During July and August, you can visit the island between 9.30am and 5.30pm on weekdays and Sundays, and 9.30am to 6pm on Saturdays and admission is €5. You can find more information about getting there on the Garnish Island website here.

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