Why Visit Powerscourt Gardens
- Easy access from Dublin
- Ranked 3rd best gardens in the world by National Geographic
- Almost 50 acres to explore
- Stunning setting in the Wicklow Mountains
- Ties to Hollywood
- Estate house with restaurants
Powerscourt Estate & Gardens rests on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains. Just a 45 minute drive from central Dublin, it makes for a wonderful day trip.
After our Disney TransAtlantic Cruise, we took a two day layover in Dublin. This was our first time in Ireland. We wanted to explore the Irish countryside, but were not up to long drives. A day trip with DoDublin to Powerscourt Gardens provided a wonderful introduction.
Powerscourt Gardens History
A castle stood on the site of the mansion since the 13th Century. In 1731, the 1st Viscount of Powerscourt began construction of a mansion and gardens on the site of the castle. Most of what you see today was designed in the mid 1800s.
The house and gardens have grown and evolved over the following three centuries. The estate and gardens remained in the same family’s possession until 1961, when the current owners purchased it. The families intermarried; so, it is actually still in the family. It opened to the public in 1996.
We love parks and gardens and seek them out wherever we go. National Geographic ranked Powerscourt Gardens as one of the Top 10 Gardens in the World, alongside Versailles and Butchart Gardens. How could we pass it up?
The Italian gardens spread out from the rear of the house with Sugarloaf Mountain looming in the background. The setting is brilliant. A series a stairs and overlooks provide amazing views of the lawn and geometric gardens.
Further down the hill, beyond the Italian gardens, lies Triton Lake. Taking the time to stop and stare revealed unique perspectives at each vista.
A fountain bubbles and sprays in the center of the lake. A trail circles the lake allowing wonderful views, including a look back to the house.
In the far left corner, off of the lake loop, you find the Japanese Gardens. This is my favorite part of Powerscourt.
I love Japanese Gardens and this one is amazing. Although tucked in a corner, it is surprisingly large and varied. Trees, flowers, grasses, water, sculpture, a pagoda, sun, and shade all blend to make a delightful stroll.
As with the Italian gardens, the layers unfold as you pass through. Brilliant!
The Pepperpot Tower overlooks the less formal, but no less enjoyable edge of the gardens. Trees and flowering shrubs frame views of the tower. An overlook lies at the base of the tower, or you can climb to the top for a different perspective.
The walled garden features a rose garden, pet cemetery, and the dolphin pond. Turn to the right as you exit the house to view these gardens. It is worth a look, but to me was the least interesting part of the estate.
Stairs descend from the house down to Triton Lake. While this is the most dramatic entrance, trails lead around the periphery and gently down to the lake, too. The paths are lined with colorful foliage and should not be missed. Different perspectives of the house and Italian garden are appreciated from here. The Pepperpot Tower lies off of these, too.
Through the years, Hollywood has turned to Powerscourt Estate and Gardens several times. One of our favorite films, 2002’s Count of Monte Cristo starring Jim Caviezel, was filmed here; as was Ella Enchanted with Anne Hathaway. Powerscourt has even made it on The Simpson’s in the Count of Monte Cristo spoof episode “Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times.”
Powerscourt Estate House
No one lives in the house now. It is filled with gift shops and restaurants. One of the restaurants is table service; the other is quick serve. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Both serve a large variety from which to choose.
We ate at the quick service one. They provide generous portions of tasty food. The price was steep, but two people could make a meal out of one plate, easily.
If you are traveling to Dublin, consider Powerscourt Gardens for a day trip. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon exploring the gardens at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains. Lovers of nature and gardens will be especially thrilled. DoDublin offers well priced tours that make visiting easy.