Garinish (Ilnacullin) Island

sights / Parks & gardens

Garinish (Ilnacullin) Island information

Glengarriff , Ireland
+353 27 63040
More information
adult/senior & child €4/2
Opening hours
9.30am-6.30pm Mon-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun Jul & Aug, shorter hrs Apr-Jun & Sep-Oct, closed Nov-Mar, last admission 1hr before closing
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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.