Garinish (Ilnacullin) Island
Garinish (Ilnacullin) Island information
Subtropical plants flourish in the rich soil and warm climate of the magical Italianate garden on Garinish Island, with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons providing a seasonal blaze of colour. There are good views from a Grecian temple at the end of a cypress avenue, and a spectacular panorama from the top of the 19th-century Martello tower , built to watch out for a possible Napoleonic invasion.
This little miracle of a place was created in the early 20th century, when the island's owner, Annan Bryce, commissioned the English architect Harold Peto to design a garden on the then-barren outcrop.
The 10-minute boat trip to the island passes colonies of basking seals – try to time your trip for early morning when you're most likely to spot them. Ferry companies Blue Pool Ferry , departing from a little cover near the Glengarriff village centre, and Harbour Queen Ferries , departing opposite Eccles Hotel, leave every 20 to 30 minutes when the garden is open. The return boat fare (adult/child €10/5) doesn't include entry to the gardens.