Lismore Castle Gardens

Top choice in County Waterford

Although Lismore Castle itself is not open to the public, the 3 hectares of ornate and manicured gardens are well worth a visit. Thought to be the oldest landscaped gardens in Ireland, they are divided into the walled Jacobean upper garden and the less formal lower garden, the latter dotted with modern sculpture, including two chunks of the Berlin Wall. Highlights include a splendid yew walk, where Edmund Spenser is said to have written The Faerie Queen.

There's a contemporary art gallery beside the upper garden. The gardens are used as an opera venue during the annual Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Waterford attractions

1. Lismore Heritage Centre

0.08 MILES

A 30-minute audiovisual presentation at the town's heritage centre takes you from the arrival of St Carthage in AD 636 to the present day, via the…

2. St Carthage's Cathedral

0.17 MILES

William Thackeray commented on the prettiness of the edifice of Lismore's 17th-century cathedral in 1842 after visiting, and that was before the addition…

3. Ballysaggartmore Towers

1.59 MILES

One of Ireland's most striking architectural follies sits 3.5km northwest of Lismore in woodland that was once the demesne of Arthur Keily-Ussher, a harsh…

4. Cappoquin House & Gardens

3.56 MILES

This magnificent 1779 Georgian mansion with formal gardens overlooking the River Blackwater is the private residence of the Keane family, who have lived…

5. Dromana Gate

3.92 MILES

The Dromana Drive from Cappoquin to Villierstown, 9km to the south, follows the Blackwater valley through the Dromana Estate. At a bridge over the River…

6. Mt Melleray Cistercian Abbey

4.64 MILES

The beautiful Mt Melleray Cistercian Abbey is a fully functioning monastery with 28 Trappist monks, and it welcomes visitors looking for quiet…

7. Tynte's Castle

13.09 MILES

A 15th-century tower houses Tynte’s Castle, which originally had a defensive riverfront position. When the Blackwater River silted up and changed course…

8. Dungarvan Brewing Company

13.15 MILES

Dungarvan's craft brewery turns out the lipsmackingly hoppy Helvick gold blonde ale, the sweeter, fruitier Copper Coast red ale, and the Waterford…