Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden, Kylemore

4.3
#1 of 157 in Sightseeing in Province of Connacht
Garden Historic Site
Founded by Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium during World War I, Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden occupy the estate of a 19th century castle, built to house the family of a wealthy London doctor. Although large sections of the property remain closed to visitors, you can take a guided tour of its Gothic chapel, main hall, and walled garden, one of the last built in Ireland during the Victorian period. Intersected by walkways and manicured flowerbeds, the garden contains a series of greenhouses, two of which have been restored to their full Victorian glory. The estate also features a gift shop and three dining venues, including a traditional teahouse using nuns' recipes for cakes and scones, baked fresh daily. Put Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden and other Kylemore attractions into our Kylemore vacation planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
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  • This was the home of Margaret and Mitchell Henry. It then was acquired by the Benedictine Nuns and became an Abbey. Then it became a boarding and day school for girls.  more »
  • Originally a private home built around 1860 then an Abbey and finally a girls' school Kylemore is still residence to a religious order of nuns.  more »
  • We visited the abbey and gardens on a drive through Connemara really intrigued by the gorgeous photos we'd seen. We arrived around 4 p.m. so missed loads of crowds. We first took the shuttle to see th...  more »
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  • Kylemore Abbey admission was pretty expensive (I think it was around $13-15 Euro per adult). However, there is a lot to see and do, and it's worth it if you have the time to check it all out. There is a free shuttle to take you to the gardens, which are gorgeous. They are not too expansive (for instance, if you've gone to or plan to go to the Mount Congreve Gardens in Waterford, THOSE are expansive....holy buckets!), and most parts of are super well-maintained and gorgeous. We took the shuttle out to the gardens and walked the route back to the Abbey; it took only about 15 minutes. It was a really nice walk/lots to see that you miss on the shuttle. From there, we toured the inside of the Abbey. You can't see everything, but you get a good taste of what the house was like "back in the day." The history behind it is very interesting, too. After that, we walked to the gorgeous chapel, mausoleum, and finally made a wish (as instructed in the brochure!) at the ironing stone/giant's hand. Again, there is a lot to see, and it's a very gorgeous place. I was disappointed that the abbey itself had a ton of scaffolding--as of early July 2017, they are still working on renovations--but oh well. Still a beautiful area worth seeing.
  • Save by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time. Wear comfortable shoes (that are appropriate for walking in puddles), a poncho and an umbrella. Visit the abbey and watch a (free) brief video for interesting history on the abbey and grounds. Walk to the chapel and mausoleum. Take the shuttle bus to the Victorian Garden and enjoy the beautiful garden scenery. Picturesque. Worth the drive. We were there in July 2016.
  • Gorgeous castle/abbey on the water with great photo opportunities. Self-guided tour - don't miss the mini cathedral memorial to the owner's wife. Had a nice lunch and found a couple of gifts in the shop. The rain that day did not dampen our joy at this great stop on the Connemara loop.
  • Huge Victorian style garden with a beautiful abbey inside. You'll find a bus that will drive you til the gardens in case it's raining, but all still really close inside. I would recommend you to spend around 2h30 on the whole visit. Spot: you cannot miss the gardens, the abbey, either the magic fingers sculpture!
  • I'm not a big fan of paying high entry fees to access places. I've avoided the gardens at Kylemore for years because of this. I swallowed my pride and paid up on my recent visit and I wasn't disappointed. It's a national treasure. Pay the fee and enjoy, you won't be disappointed. Try and pick a semi sunny day, it stunning. There is also a lovely cafe up at the gardens to refuel. I went for the scones with cream and jam. Lovely atmosphere. Get the bus up if your lazy, but if you like taking photographs, walk back or you'll miss out.

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