Enniskerry is a tiny town with a few restaurants, a market, a pharmacy and an old Guinness brewery building - it’s charming to say the least. After an hour here and a small meal from the fresh fruit market, it was time to head about 4 miles south to the famous Powerscourt House & Gardens.
History in a Nutshell
Where Powerscourt House stands today there was once a 13th century medieval castle, owned by the Le Power Family from which ‘Powerscourt’ takes its name. Powerful Irish families, including the O’Tooles and the Fitzgeralds, battled for possession of the castle and its lands over the succeeding centuries. In 1603 a new era began at Powerscourt, when Richard Wingfield was granted Powerscourt Castle and its lands as a reward for his military achievements by Queen Elizabeth. The story goes that Marshall Wingfield visited Queen Elizabeth after battle to pay his respects. The Queen said to him: “Well Sir Richard, what is to be your reward?” He bowed, and said “The scarf that Your Majesty wears will be sufficient reward for me.” Upon which the Queen placed the scarf over his shoulder. In addition to the scarf, Richard was knighted and received Powerscourt Estate as his reward. His descendants were to remain at Powerscourt for over 350 years.
(cited from the history of Powerscourt House http://www.powerscourt.ie, 2012)
Walking up to the Powerscourt House brought me feelings of wonder and humbling - but once I stepped through the white double doors to the right of the drive, I was visually assaulted by grandeurs of quaintness. Inside, past the initial patio, I routed through narrow hallways and vintage shops. I came to the front desk in an open-windowed atrium. I carried on through one more room and I was whisked away into the highest point of the gardens. I’ve visited my fair share of parks, gardens and nature reserves - Powerscourt House & Gardens belongs in with the best of the best.
Directly outside exiting the house, I was greeted with a gate-lined courtyard with two sets of stairs leading down to an ascending staircase. Following the stairs down the hill lead me to the pond and fountain. I made sure to look outward toward the Wicklow mountains. I walked around the pond, snapping photographs and admiring the element this place had brought forth within me. Further paths lead me to the Walled Gardens, an impressive Japanese Garden and the petite Pepperpot Castle tower.
If you’re visiting Dublin or even central Ireland, making a trip to the Wicklow National Park is a must - and of course, DO NOT miss the chance to stroll around the Powerscourt House & Gardens. Even if it’s a likely rainy or shadowed day in Ireland, a day spent here is worth it’s weight in gold - with splendid memories.
The Powerscourt estate has been featured in many movies over the past 60+ years - such as the Count of Monte Cristo, Black Beauty, Ella Enchanted and King Arthur.
Best time to visit - May to September
Prices - Adults €8.50, Student/OAP €7.50, Child (U12) €5.00, Child (U5) Free, Family €25.00 (2 adults & up to 3 children)
Hours - 9:30a to 5:30p
More travel information - http://www.powerscourt.ie/garden-location
Website - http://www.powerscourt.ie
My recommendation - I definitely recommend setting some time aside to visit Powerscourt and all of the splendor it has to offer - it's pretty legit, awesome!