I am a regular visitor of County Carlow, the past three or so years. Little did I know what was right beside me!
Having seen what I thought was the extent of County Carlow, I was very fond of this small, but mighty county. The locals are lovely and you’re bound to bump into a famous person or two. From our very own Oscar Nominee, Saoirse Ronan to Ireland Rugby International, Sean O’Brien – The tiny town has produced its fair share of stars!
On Easter Monday, I decided to shy away from the crowds that would grace Dublin’s Fair City and opt for a quainter, and more relaxed approach to celebrate the 1916 Centenary. I decided to take a short drive to the Altamont Gardens which to be quite frank, I had not heard a whole lot about…
The Gardens themselves are over 50 years old and transport you to a place in time where you feel like you’re the only person to discover this remote and quite simply, stunning location. The Gardens themselves remind me of “Alice in Wonderland” or the “Secret Garden” which were firm favourites of mine, as a child. Situated on the River Slaney, no matter where on the 40 acres you are, you can hear water which to me, is bliss!
The Altamont Gardens are owned and loved by the Office of Public Works (OPW) who restore and maintain all features throughout the year for all visitors to come and see… How kind! This site is also free to visit!
My favourite part of our experience was the “Hundred Steps”. This is a trail of literally, 100 steps which looks like a fairy trail! While the steps are thoroughly enjoyable, they are quite steep and uneven so I would advise to keep that in mind! However, for those brave enough, they are an excellent source of cardio while taking in the fresh air.
Paul Cutler, the Head Gardner at Altamont says each person who enters through the threshold develops a very different and personal experience than those before them which I think makes this attraction so special. It’s the perfect place for a romantic picnic or maybe even to pop the question!
I would highly recommend this site at any time of year.
Katie McNally is an Authentic Ireland Travel Agent into all things quirky and quaint. If it’s unspoiled and picturesque you’re looking for then it’s right up her street. Her love of all things “Gaeilge” makes for an unforgettable trip you’ll talk about for 10 years! Having spent 5 Summer in Gaeltacht’s around Ireland, she can definitely give you a few words of wisdom to make your Ireland experience all the more enjoyable. You can email her directly at [email protected]