Huntington Castle, voted one of Ireland’s top 20 Hidden Gems by The Guardian in March 2015 is set in over 160 acres of gardens, woodland and farmland. Thee castle features a fascinating guided tour which explains it’s 17th century history. The tour also features the world famous Temple of Isis located in the old castle dungeons. Huntington offers a fabulous woodland playground, as well as a charming tearoom and giftshop.
The gardens were mainly laid out in the 17th century by the Esmondes who built Huntington Castle in 1625.They include the French limes on the Avenue, the “parterre” or lawns to the side of the house, the fish ponds on either side of the centre walk through the wilderness and the majority of Yew trees which comprise the Yew Walk. Larger plantings have resulted in Huntington possessing a number of great Irish trees, including four varieties of hickory, a cut leaved oak, Siberian crab and buckeye chestnut.
Explore the kitchen gardens, with the Greenhouse and the recently restored Rose Gardens.Then stroll through the enchanting Italian Gardens and the ruins of the old Abbey before walking through to the ‘Wilderness’ woodland where formal walks and pathways will guide you past shrubs, flora and bamboo to the old turbine house which supplied electricity to Huntington as early as 1888. The bottom of the wilderness is marked by the delightful River Derry which flows as the boundary between County Carlow and Wexford. Then head back to the castle and experience the fascinating guided tour or simply take a well earned break in the tearooms. There is always something to discover at Huntington with new features every year – current projects include garden restoration and significant planting projects.
Children’s adventure playground, coach and car park, toilets, wheelchair access to gardens only, guided tours of Huntington Castle.
Refurbished tea room, gift shop, woodland walks and rose gardens.
HOW TO FIND US:
Entrance to the avenue is in the picturesque village of Clonegal, 5km from N80 turn off (signposted). Approx. 17.5km south of junction 5 on M9.
Ten minute drive from Tullow town via Ardattin village.
GPS: 52.690404, -6.649131
May – September 2 p.m. – 6 p.m daily. House 2 – 5 p.m. weekends in May and September and daily June – August.
For special events outside these times see website, ie. Easter, Halloween and Christmas at the Castle. Open at other times by arrangement.
Gardens: adults €5, U12 €2.50. Usual concessions. House and gardens adults €9, children U7 no extra charge. Family and group discounts.
Address: Clonegal, Co Carlow