Kells Bay Garden
If you are interested in gardens, then you must go and see Kells Bay Garden on the Ring of Kerry which has been open to visitors since the autumn of 2006 and is one of Ireland’s foremost Victorian gardens. The gardens contain one of the best collections of Southern Hemisphere plants in Europe, imported from Australia originally but more recently from New Zealand and South America.
The Kells estate was purchased by Tralee man Rowland Blennerhasset in 1837. The current owner is Billy Alexander. Billy’s obsession has caused him to spend considerable sums of money collecting plants from Chile and the forests of South Africa and Japan, among other places.
The first time I visited the Garden, I remember driving in through these big old gates and seeing all these tree ferns and a huge waterfall – it immediately reminded me of Jurassic Park. I wouldn’t have been surprised if a dinosaur crossed the road in front of me!
The Gardens consist of 40 acres.
Things to look out for:
- Ireland’s largest palm tree, imported from Chile, stands at 7.5m
- 3 km of walks and trails, including Primeval Forest, Bamboo Glade, Ladies
- Garden Centre if you’d like to buy some plants
- Tea Rooms overlooking Dingle Bay
Opening Times: 9am – until dusk, 7 days – all year round.
Please check seasonal hours during November to March.
Admission: Adults €6.50 / Children €5.00 / Family €20 (2 adults / 2 children)
Tel: +353 87 777 6666
How to get there:
From Killarney – Drive towards Killorglin, following the brown tourism signs for the ‘Ring of Kerry’. Continue through Killorglin on the N70 heading in the direction of Glenbeigh and Caherciveen. Approximately 13km after Glenbeigh is a right turn, sign posted Kells Bay House & Gardens. Take this turn. Follow this road for 2 km till you reach a junction, take the right turn also signposted Kells Bay House & Gardens. 1 km down this road on the right hand side are the entrance gates for Kells Bay Gardens.
From Caherciveen: Head towards Glenbeigh and Killorglin, approximately 9 km from Caherciveen is a left turn signed Kells, take this road. Approximately 4 km down this road is a left turn, signposted Kells Bay House & Gardens, take this road. 1 km down this road on the right hand side are the entrance gates for Kells Bay Gardens.