Take a Walk: Powerscourt Gardens, County Wicklow

This week, we’re taking a stroll around the gardens at Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, County Wicklow. The gardens provide the perfect snapshot of County Wicklow, with acres of land complemented by the backdrop of the Sugar Loaf.

There are plenty of areas to explore in the gardens, with pristine lawns, peaceful lakes and plenty of flora throughout. Head out for a solitary stroll, a family day out or a romantic walk this week.

After being owned by the Wingfield family for 350 years, the estate was bought in 1961 by the Slazenger family, who still inhabit the land today. Alex Slazenger is the Head Gardener at Powerscourt, devoting his time to keeping the land he was lucky enough to grow up on.

Alex Slazenger, Head Gardener. Photo by Powerscourt Estate.

The Italian Garden

Wander through the spectacular Italian terraces, offering a stunning view of the gardens and all that lies beyond. From the vast lawns to the Triton Lake –watched over by the statues of two life-sized winged horses– the Italian garden is kept perfectly picturesque all year round.

The series of terraces linking the house to the lake took 12 years to complete with over one hundred labourers required to finish it. The design of the upper stone terrace nearest the house was influenced by Villa Butera in Sicily.

The Walled Garden

Explore one of the oldest parts of the gardens, featuring a huge variety of plants. Once known as ‘The Kitchen Garden’, the walled garden used to grow fruit and vegetable trees to keep the family kitchen stocked. Today, you’ll find some apple trees growing during the autumn season.

It was Lady Powerscourt, wife of the seventh Viscount, who was responsible for the original selection of plants and shrubs along the garden’s herbaceous border. The garden has been in use ever since and is now home to a reflective pond built in memory of Lady Powerscourt called ‘Julia’s Memorial’.

Walled Garden. Photo by Powerscourt Estate.

The Pets Cemetery

Visit the resting place of the much loved pets of Powerscourt’s Wingfield and Slazenger families. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the gardens, the cemetery is surrounded by Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Roses.

The Japanese Garden

The Japanese garden is a spot perfect for finding serenity, with plenty of corners to hide away among the stone steps, tiny Japanese bridges and trickling streams. Visit the garden’s Pagoda for a rest and admire the varied species of plants surrounding it. Some of the flowers you can see here include stunning Azaleas and a ring of Chinese Fortune Palms, which have been cultivated in China and Japan for thousands of years.

Japanese Garden. Photo by Powerscourt Estate.

The Tower Valley

Just beyond the Japanese Gardens is the Tower Valley, surrounded by a stunning variety of trees. Explore the Pepperpot Tower, modelled on a pepperpot from Lord Powerscourt’s own dining table. The tower is a great spot for playing make-believe and a favourite among younger visitors. Climb the tower’s spiral steps and enjoy the view across the gardens from the top.

The Pepperpot Tower. Photo by Powerscourt Estate.

Avoca Terrace Café and Shop

Head to the Avoca Terrace Café for a refreshment and a bite to eat during your day out. Here you can gaze over the spectacular gardens as you enjoy a delicious lunch or a hot beverage to keep you toasty.

The Avoca Shop offers a variety of gifts, clothes and Avoca’s own food products, so you can take a piece of your day home with you.

Ava Farrelly
Ava Farrelly is a travel journalist for travel2ireland, ITTN and TravelTimes. With a background in arts, culture and lifestyle, Ava has a keen eye for the most visit-worthy destinations and all their attractions.

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