In Carlow, we are fortunate to have on our doorstep a rare jewel that is Altamont Gardens. Set on approximately 100 acres with a miniature lake, the garden exudes a romantic feel with its mix of old world style and natural woodlands, making it the perfect escape for re-balancing and reviving the senses.
Mature native trees such as oak and pine along with exotic trees (e.g. the Hankerchief tree) can be found along the garden trail. There are nooks and crannies for sitting and viewing the swans gracing the lake or the bathing ducks. Little foot bridges add a sense of wonder and imagination as do also the many sculptural pieces waiting to be discovered.
A rugged path of stepping stones, crossing a tiny water fall, follows the stream to the river Slaney below. A short walk along the river bank leads to the ‘100 steps’ and that handy bench waiting at the top.
There are many aspects to the garden, with views of surrounding mountains of Wicklow, Carlow and Wexford. Different seasons bring new buds, colours and leaves and some species have special celebrations of their own, for example the snow-drop week in early spring.
The vacant period style house, overlooking the rose-bushes and manicured lawns, was once the home of the Lecky Watson family who passed the estate to their daughter Mrs. Corona North. Mrs. North had a great interest in the gardens at Altamont and it was at her bequest that the gardens were presented to the Irish State when she passed away in 1999.
Altamont Gardens is located just off the N80 between Ballon and Bunclody near the townsland of Kilbride. While entry to the gardens is free there is a minimal parking charge and arrangements can be made for guided tours. Picnic tables and toilet facilities are provided in the car park area.
For opening times and tour bookings it is best to check with Carlow Tourism for details – Check Opening Times.
Altamont Gardens provides much inspiration for photographers and artists. Local artist Caroline Cunningham has included ‘Altamont Tree’ in her collection of paintings entitled ‘The Sacred Lives of Trees’. Visit the artists site to purchase an original painting or a limited edition print.
Contact Altamont Gardens – further details
Thank you for stopping by!