Uncork the Color

Celebrating a Creative, Joy-filled Life

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Gorgeous Gardens of Garnish Island and Breathtaking Bantry House!

On Day 13, we were off for County Cork.  Our original plan was to drive the Ring of Beara which is a driving route around the Beara Peninsula, similar to the Ring of Kerry but less touristy.  However, driving on narrow, curvy roads was beginning to wear on me a bit, we weren’t quite sure how long the drive would take, and we wanted to be sure we had time to tour Bantry House before it closed.  So, we opted for a more relaxed day and headed for Garnish Island near the town of Glengarriff.   Garnish Island is a relatively small island in Glengarriff Harbour in Bantry Bay that has been landscapes with various types of gardens containing some rare plants along beautiful walks.

Our route to Glengarriff took us over the Caha mountain pass with gorgeous views of the mountains and even over Bantry Bay.

As we arrived in Glengarriff, we bought tickets for the ferry out to the island and walked a short, scenic trail to the pier where we met a lovely couple from Holland who had just gotten engaged!  They asked us to take their picture and then offered to take one of Mom and I in return.

On the brief ferry ride out to Garnish Island, we saw views of Irish actress Maureen O’Hara’s former home, the ruins of Glengarriff Castle, and came very near to a colony of seals who seemed to love posing for the camera.

As we arrived on Garnish Island, we walked along a trail that took us to the house on Garnish Island which could be toured.  Then we headed to the Victorian walled garden where we enjoyed all of the beautiful types of flowers, many of which were new to us.  We took a break on a shaded bench on the other side of the Victorian Garden where I had a little robin land on my knee and hang out with us for a bit.  I think he was hoping for part of the granola bar I was eating!  There’s a video of him below.  (Sorry my camera didn’t focus very well.)

Next we took a side path and walked through part of the Jungle garden, and then headed back toward the Victorian garden and on to the Italian Garden.  I loved all of the wisteria flowers draping from the Italian building!  So pretty!

After the Italian garden, we decided that we’d better head back and catch the next ferry so that we could make our way on to Bantry House.

Bantry House and Garden is a stately home with panoramic views of Bantry Bay and the Caha Mountains.  It’s home to an important private collection of furniture and art much of which was collected by the 2nd Earl of Bantry, including tapestries once owned by Marie Antoinette .  It has been home to the White family since 1739.  The main part of the house is open to the public for tours.  The east wing serves as a B&B, with members of the White family living in the west wing.

We were soooo glad that we had opted to reserve a room in the east wing because Bantry House is AMAZING!!!!  Like Pax House on the Dingle peninsula, I could have stayed at Bantry House for months and never grown tired of it!!  The house, the gardens, and the views are all stunning!!

Since we were B&B guests, we had the opportunity to photograph the interior of the main house as we toured.  We also had access to the library in the main house after it closed for the day which also provided wonderful views of the garden behind the house.

Here’s a slideshow of all the photos of the breathtaking Bantry House and Garden.

Check back for Day 14 – the last day of our Ireland Adventure with a visit to the Rock of Cashel and the Glen of Aherlow.

God’s Blessings & Joy Be To You,

PS – Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you might have about our trip!

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