Killruddery House and Gardens came to my attention while looking for things to do in the Bray area, which is close to Dublin. My original plan was to walk the Bray to Greystones trail, but it was closed due to construction at the time (July 2021). However, after discovering Killruddery estate, I was unable to overlook it.
Instructions on How to Get to Killruddery House
Killruddery House and Gardens, located at Southern Cross in Bray, is a tranquil haven. It is a reasonable distance from Dublin, being approximately 30 kilometers from the city center. Killruddery estate, on the other hand, is located in County Wicklow, which is also known as “The Garden of Ireland.” The drive from Dublin will take approximately 45 minutes, and there will be plenty of (free) parking available just outside the entrance. As a result, it is one of the most convenient day trips from Dublin.
Alternative transportation options include taking the DART green line from Connoly station to Bray and then taking a taxi to your destination. The 184 bus will transport you to Briar Woods station from Bray station. After that, take a 10-minute walk to Killruddery estate.
Killruddery House’s Origins and Development
Known as Killruddery House, it was the ancestral home of the Brabazon Family, who were Earls of Meath for 15 generations. They continue to live on the estate and have made it their mission to preserve it while also making it accessible to the general public. They also created a bio-diverse environment on the farm and began growing fruit and vegetables that were free of chemical pesticides.
Almost every part of the estate is accessible to the public, and there is a great deal to see and learn on the grounds of the estate. It is so extensive that a single visit is not sufficient. Once you’ve gotten a taste for it, you might want to pay a visit to Killruddery Gardens on a regular basis.
So, what exactly can you see on the Killruddery estate?
Killruddery House and Gardens is a Popular Tourist Destination
A beautiful day has arrived, and you’ve been given the task of touring a large estate. Where do you start? Allow me to take you through the process.
The Grain Store Cafe is a Restaurant Located in the Grain Store Shopping Center
The Grain Store Cafe is the first building you’ll come across as you walk towards Killruddery House. In order to create an original coffee shop, they converted an old storage facility. There is also indoor seating available in the event that the weather turns, shall we say, Irish.
The majority of the food served here comes directly from Killruddery’s farm, making this one of the most “farm to table” establishments in the area. Anyway, if I were you, I’d put off going to the cafe until later. We have a couple of gardens to check out.
The Cafe is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week. Because it is located outside of the gardens, you are welcome to visit the Grain Store Cafe at any time of day without incurring an entrance fee.
There is also a Farm Market here on Saturday mornings, which features products from the surrounding area.
Killruddery Gardens is a Private Estate in Killruddery, County Kerry, Ireland
You’ll notice that the House and formal gardens are to your left as you enter the gate, while the farm and walled garden are to your right when entering the gate. First, take a left; there is a lot more to see on the left, and you can stop by the farm before leaving.
There are even more acres of land on the estate than at Malahide Castle and Gardens, which is located to the north of Dublin.
The Beech Circle is a Circle Made of Beech Trees
A lily pond is hidden within a dense beech hedge circle, just waiting to be discovered. Despite the fact that the beeches are more than 200 years old, they block the view of the pond and its French fountain from outside the circle.
The Sylvan Theater Is a Performance Space in the Heart of Downtown Sylvan
In the center of the Sylvan Theater is a circular grass stage that is surrounded by terraced banks. The Sylvan Theater has a capacity of 500 people. There aren’t many Sylvan Theaters left in the world today, but the one at Killruddery House and Gardens is still in use for special events and performances.
The Wilderness is a Place of Solitude
The Wilderness encompasses a large portion of the garden’s western side. This is the point at which the gardeners relinquish control to nature. While the formal gardens may appear to be strict, it is a pleasant place to stroll through.
The Angular Positions
The “Angles” are a series of tall hedgerows that are located on the other side of the ponds. It is less than a maze, but it has the appearance of being one. It’s fascinating to see the different perspectives of the house and the rest of the gardens from various locations within the Angles.
The Long Ponds Are a Series of Ponds That Stretch for Miles
In the Killruddery Estate’s formal gardens, the Long Ponds are the focal point of the landscape. In front of the house, there are two canals that are twins. Their mission is to reflect the foliage above them, as well as the house or the clouds in the sky above them. When viewed from the house, they amplify the view, making it more expansive and detailed.
The Ditch is a Slang Term
A water ditch runs along the perimeter of the formal gardens. It is not one of the most fashionable features, but it serves a dual purpose of being both functional and aesthetically pleasing. In order to distinguish the gardens from the rest of the estate and to prevent animals from entering the garden, a ditch was dug around them. On the other hand, because you can’t see the canal from anywhere other than a few meters away, it serves as a natural border that doesn’t obstruct the view in any way whatsoever.
It’s on the Lawn
On a sunny day, the large lawn between the house and the rock garden is the ideal place to unwind and enjoy the scenery. Bring a blanket and sit under one of the towering trees to take in the sights and sounds of the day.
Killruddery House and Gardens Tour
Only on a guided tour will you be able to see the house. May through September, tours are offered at 12:00, 1:30, and 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.
Before you go, it’s a good idea to look over the website first. On days when they are hosting private events in the house, the tours may be canceled at the discretion of the staff.
The Brabazon family resided there for approximately 400 years, so there is a great deal of history to learn about during the walking tour.
The Orangery is one of the tour’s high points, and it is well worth a visit. The Crystal Palace in London had an influence on the design of the building. The marble statues that the 11th Earl of Meath brought back from his Grand Tour of Italy in the nineteenth century are displayed in the Orangery.
The Clock Tower is a Landmark in the City
The Clock Tower, which is located at one end of Killruddery House and overlooks a gateway to the inner courtyard, is a notable architectural feature. The water clock inside the tower was designed by the 13th Earl of Meath and has been in operation for more than 80 years, displaying the current time on three faces of the tower. It has recently been restored and continues to hold the distinction of being the world’s most accurate water clock.
It’s Time for Tea in the Tea Room
The Tea Room is located in the old Dairy, which is an octagonal structure that was constructed in the nineteenth century. Upon completion, it was transformed into a charming small terrace with counter service for lunch or a cup of coffee. The ice cream, which is made with fresh farm ingredients and seasonal fruit, is particularly delicious.
The sunken gardens, also known as the parterre, in front of the Tea Room were designed by Daniel Robertson, who also worked on the Powerscourt Estate, which is located nearby.
The Walled Garden is a Beautiful Place to Visit
The formal gardens were the last thing we finished. It’s time to explore the walled garden, as well as the farm, which are both nearby. You begin your walk on the other side of the entrance, through a small apple orchard on your left. As well as serving as a picnic area, this area includes a large sandbox for the enjoyment of the little ones.
It’s a different atmosphere here because it’s a working farm where they keep hens and pigs and grow vegetables and herbs. In addition, there are numerous flowering plants within the walled gardens.
Some of their products are available for tasting in the Tea Room or Cafe. For the time being, I believe it is appropriate to pack your picnic basket and take a stroll through the Apple Orchard, taking in the scenery.
The Farmer’s Market
The farm shop, which is located inside the Grain Store Cafe, should be the final stop. A souvenir or, better yet, some fresh groceries can be purchased here to take home with you.
Flowers from the walled garden are also available for purchase, and it will be difficult to resist taking some home with you.
Hours and Prices for Tickets
The gardens are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the last entrance at 4:00 p.m. The last entrance is at 4:00 p.m. In addition to the Killruddery gardens, the House tour (which includes admission to the gardens) is available for 15.50 euros.
There are a variety of interesting membership options available (I noticed memberships are popular in Ireland). The gardens are accessible to you as many times as you want if you purchase one of the yearly memberships. Members may also bring one or more guests with them to the event. If you live in the area, it appears to be quite convenient.
Dogs are not permitted in the formal gardens, so please be aware of this before visiting. In addition, while you can spend time on the lawn, you should eat your meals in the orchard picnic area, which is located nearby.
Bray Accommodations Include Hotels, Motels, and Bed and Breakfasts
If you want to spend more time exploring the area, consider staying at The Strand Hotel, which is a fantastic place to stay in Bray. It has a view of the sea and a history that is connected to Oscar Wilde.