Widely respected as the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown, Altamont Gardens are an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens with riverside walks covering over 40 acres (16 hectares). Recognised as one of the most beautiful gardens of Ireland, the estate gains much of its character from the many mature trees, natives in the avenues and woodland areas, and exotic specimens throughout the gardens. Lawns bisected by sculpted yews slope down to a lake surrounded by rare trees and rhododendrons and lead in turn to a very different garden featuring exotic shrubs and trees.A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks and huge stone outcrops lead the visitor to the River Slaney. When Corona North, who lovingly cared for the gardens for over 50 years died in 1999, the gardens were left to the State at her request. Ongoing restoration and maintenance continue under the stewardship of the Office of Public Works (OPW).
“Every visitor says it has a special atmosphere, that’s why so many people come back. Every element you want from a great garden is here, from lovely lawns, floral beds and beautiful woodland going down to the river, to a walled garden and really superb collections, such as the snowdrops, rhododendrons and the fabulous oaks in the arboretum” Paul Cutler, head gardener at Altamont Gardens.
FACILITIES: Toilets, outdoor picnic tables, large car and coach park, restricted wheelchair access. No dogs allowed except guide dogs.
HOW TO FIND US: From Dublin/Waterford exit the M9 at junction 5 for N80 Rosslare. Continue along the N80 through the village of Ballon and N80/N81 junction. Continue for 2km, turn left at next crossroad junction signed Altamont Gardens.From Carlow town, follow the N80 Rosslare road and continue as above.
GPS: 52.735129, -6.720966
January 1st to 31st, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7 days per week.
February 1st to 28th, 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. 7 days per week.
March 1st to 31st, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days per week.
April 1st to September 30th, 9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. 7 days per week.
October 1st to 31st, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days per week.
November 1st to 30th, 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. 7 days per week.
December 1st to 31st, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7 days per week.
Closed Christmas Day and in adverse weather conditions.
ADMISSION CHARGES: Free individual admission. Guided tours available for groups by prior appointment. Adults €3.