Fodor's Expert Review Ilnacullin

Glengarriff Garden/Arboretum Fodor's Choice

Many visitors head to Glengarriff because of that Irish Eden, Ilnacullin. On Garnish Island, offshore from Glengarriff and beyond islets populated by comical-looking basking seals, you can find one of the country's horticultural wonders. In 1910 a Belfast businessman, John Annan Bryce, purchased this rocky isle, and, with the help of famed English architect Howard Peto and Scottish plantsman Murdo Mackenzie, transformed it into a botanical wonderland. The main showpiece is a wisteria-covered "Casita"—a roofed-over viewing point that overlooks a sunken Italian garden and pool. The modest Bryce family home is open to visitors, presented as it would have been in the early 20th century.

You get to Ilnacullin by taking a Blue Pool ferry (10 minutes), which departs for the island from Glengarriff. George Bernard Shaw found Ilnacullin peaceful enough to allow him to begin his St. Joan here; maybe you'll find Garnish inspiring, too. Credit cards are not accepted on island.

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Many visitors head to Glengarriff because of that Irish Eden, Ilnacullin. On Garnish Island, offshore from Glengarriff and beyond islets populated by comical-looking basking seals, you can find one of the country's horticultural wonders. In 1910 a Belfast businessman, John Annan Bryce, purchased this rocky isle, and, with the help of famed English architect Howard Peto and Scottish plantsman Murdo Mackenzie, transformed it into a botanical wonderland. The main showpiece is a wisteria-covered "Casita"—a roofed-over viewing point that overlooks a sunken Italian garden and pool. The modest Bryce family home is open to visitors, presented as it would have been in the early 20th century.

You get to Ilnacullin by taking a Blue Pool ferry (10 minutes), which departs for the island from Glengarriff. George Bernard Shaw found Ilnacullin peaceful enough to allow him to begin his St. Joan here; maybe you'll find Garnish inspiring, too. Credit cards are not accepted on island.

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Garden/Arboretum Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Garnish Island, Co. Cork  Ireland

027-63040

www.garinishisland.ie

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Gardens €5, ferry €10 round-trip, Closed Nov.–Mar.

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