Dermot O’ Neill, with us each year by popular demand since the start of the Carlow Garden Festival back in 2002, visits Huntington Castle for a garden tour taking in the many delights of this attraction, from the 17th century parterres to the ancient Yew Walk, the “Wilderness” woodland, the kitchen gardens, the Greenhouse and the recently restored Rose Gardens.
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. The castle features a fascinating guided tour which explains its 17th century history. The tour also features the world famous Temple of the Goddess located in the old castle dungeons. The castle offers a fabulous woodland playground, as well as a charming tearoom and giftshop.
The gardens are well worth a visit in their own right and 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 as well as the formal lawns to the side of the house, fish ponds on either side of the centre walk and the yew tree walk. Huntington possesses a number of Irish Champion trees including four varieties of hickory, a cut leaved oak, a Siberian crab and buckeye chestnut
Facilities include a children’s adventure playground, coach and car park, guided castle tours, refurbished tea room, gift shop, toilets, woodland walks and rose gardens. Wheelchair access is limited to certain areas of the gardens only.