Monday, July 24, 2017

Lismore Castle Gardens, Co. Waterford ♥

Yesterday we travelled to somewhere we've never been before - the beautiful Lismore Castle Gardens in Co. Waterford.

I had decided I wanted to visit there when I had passed the sign on the way to Ardmore during the week, where we had visited Ardmore Open Farm and enjoyed lots of salty air and ice-creams in Ardmore village itself.

So yesterday, as Jacek had the day off work, we bundled everyone into the car and off we went. It took about an hour to get to Lismore itself and we faffed around for a bit trying to find out where to park the car. There's no signage to leave you know where to park if you're visiting the castle - none that we could see anyway, so we parked in a public carpark (we thankfully had free parking) which is right next to the castle and right next to a lovely playground which the boys really enjoyed. Travelling with young kids it's always important that there's a play area in/or by the places we visit.

The castle itself is closed off to the public, but that was fine as it was a lovely sunny day and I was in search of some gorgeous flowers anyway, but just bare that in mind if you're wanting to visit an actual castle (Blarney Castle is one I'd recommend if you're wanting to actually go inside a castle).

There are two parts to the castle gardens - the lower gardens which offer lots of grassy areas, trees, the lily pond, play area and a rope swing by a yew tree avenue and the upper gardens which have an apple orchard, fruit gardens, lots of gorgeous flowerbeds and areas which you can walk through as well as the gallery bathrooms and refreshments.

Whilst the castle gardens are mostly accessible for buggies, the upper gardens can only be reached by going up a flight of stairs - so take this into account if you're visiting. Luckily Jacek and myself were able to lift the buggy up the stairs (albeit with things falling out of the basket underneath it!) and the steps which are also in various parts of the upper gardens.

The gardens are absolutely beautiful and with the castle overlooking them, it makes for a very picturesque setting. They're laid out beautifully too, with pathways to walk along and things to look at all around.

Our first stop were the lower gardens, where Tyler swiftly found the rope swing. This was gorgeous in itself, tied to a tree under the branches of other trees which draped down to the ground.

It was also right next to an avenue of yew trees and it was all very beautiful.

I let go of all my inhibitions and couldn't resist having a go on the swing, with both of my boys on my lap too. I think you can see from the picture above that we all loved it!

We were all sad to leave the swing, but off we went along the path, we passed a little door on the way which we told Tyler fairies lived in. He knocked on the door but sadly no fairies were home...

From there we went on to the lily pond, which was lovely surrounded by pink daisies. The boys stopped by it to look for fish in the water.

Jacek and the boys then went to the play area whilst I photographed some of the flowers in the garden. I was told that there was a rope swing down there and Tyler was mad to go on it - I don't blame him after the fun of the rope swing!

We made our way up the stairs to the upper gardens and I'm glad the buggy mishap didn't put us off because they were so worth the trouble - they are stunning!

We walked through the apple orchard, both our apple loving boys slightly disappointed that the apples weren't quite ready to eat yet.

I loved all the tall grass there and Beau had a great time sitting amongst it playing peekaboo. I have to admit, at this point Tyler was getting bored. He kept wanting to go back down to the play area in the lower gardens, but with promises that we'd go to the playground before we went home he struggled on.

Tyler and Jacek went off for a look around whilst Beau and I stayed by the flower beds. These are done really nicely with stepping stones to walk through them. Beau had a great time crawling through them all and squeezing past the flowers - who knew it could be so fun!

When I saw the poppy meadow I was in Heaven. I love poppies and for me they're such a symbol of summer. So we spent a lot of time sitting by them and I couldn't help but take lots of pictures of them. Tyler and Beau had great fun crawling around and doing roly polys on the grass strip between the poppies and with the view of the castle in the background, it was just a perfect place to be.

The upper gardens are perfect for flower lovers like me, with lots of roses, hydrangea bushes and other gorgeous blooms to look at.

The church steeple and the castle in the background make for such a lovely view too and there's lots of grassy areas for the kids to enjoy.

There are refreshments available from the gallery café and this is where the toilets are too - with baby changing facilities in the ladies toilets. We had brought a picnic with us and it was lovely to see a basket of picnic blankets on offer for people to use. This was such a great thing to see and we enjoyed our picnic with one of the big blankets - never remembering to bring our own!

There's lots of little areas to explore, sit and discover in the upper gardens, which makes it a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

The highlights of our visit were -
The rope swing
The poppy meadow
Picnic blankets for us to borrow for our picnic

It was a shame about -
The stairs to get to the upper gardens. It would have been fine if we had Beau in a carrier or with older children of walking age though.

Our visit to Lismore Castle Gardens was €20 for a family ticket (Beau was free), which I think is actually quite a lot to visit a garden - take into account that Fota Gardens are free entry with only €3 to pay for parking. However, I do think Lismore Castle Gardens are well worth the visit if like me, you love flowers and your family are outdoor lovers too.

I'm so glad we went to Lismore, our visit to the castle gardens were well worth the drive and I'm already looking forward to going back next summer.


  1. It looks so beautiful there!!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

  2. Wow, these photos are amazing - Look like you had a fantastic day out as a family!

  3. Beautiful photos and location! :)

  4. What a beautiful place! The gardens look stunning I really do love getting lost in gardens like these with my family.

  5. Aww I love all of your photos - it looks like an incredible place to visit. I love old houses/castles paired with beautiful gardens for a family day out :)

  6. What gorgeous gardens. Your children are beautiful. They must have had fun exploring a castle.

  7. That place looks gorgeous! I love to explore places I've never been to because usually you can find a whole lot of beauty that no one else is found. Your kids are gorgeous and these pictures are just beautiful.

  8. It looks a stunning place to visit! Gorgeous photos. I love the fairy door :) x

  9. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful! I love the gardens and the castle looks amazing. What a great place to visit.

  10. What a gorgoeus looking place shame about the stairs I love your photos.

  11. The flowers are in a gorgeous bloom! It must have smelled wonderful while having an adventure. Your family is beautiful.

  12. What a dream!! My kids love castles and talk of fairies. By the way, I'm a photographer too and your first photo gripped me. I love the color and the focus on the little one. Gorgeous.

  13. The Lismore Castle Gardens look so beautiful! I love all your pictures too, they came out great!

  14. These are fantastic photos. I really like the one with all of you on the swing. I would love to go to Lismore Castle Gardens. The castle would be so fun to explore.

  15. What fun and gorgeous pictures! I love the very first one with the kids in the flowers. That one is definitely a keeper. The picture with the little fairy house is really cute, too. :) Beautiful family.

  16. You always find the best places of natural beauty, I loved the photo of you guys on the rope swing. It looks straight out of a fairytale x

  17. What a beautiful place, your photos are stunning Fiona :) It looks magical here, I would love to visit.

  18. Such a beautiful place to take the family to. I love your photos! Your kids are so adorable and they did seem to enjoy themselves playing among the flowers.

  19. What a beautiful castle to visit! I hope to take my kids to a castle one day. Your photos are gorgeous.

  20. It is so stunning! Wow what a great place to visit with family. Reminds me so much of Austria. I love Castles.

  21. Wow, that castle and the grounds are absolutely stunning! I would LOVE to visit a castle, I have a huge thing for them.

  22. I love these scenes! We have family traveling through England Ireland and Scotland right now and I'm so jealous!

  23. Lovey pictures! This castle is beautiful. The place is just great for photography.

  24. Wow. In addition to a fun day, you got some amazing photos! I love the photo of you on the swing with the kids. Maybe you can come back another time for the upper garden?

  25. Wow how enchanting. I am happy it was free for the baby but this is a whimiscal place.

  26. Amazing photos, the flower colours are so vivid! Looks like a beautiful place to visit

  27. What a stunning castle, lovely pictures of the boys too. I so need to visit Ireland

  28. This place looks like a place out of a dream! It is absolutely lovely. Adding it to my bucket list.

  29. Oh wow what an absolutely gorgeous place for a family adventure, so many things to see and do and explore. Your photography is wonderful by the way

    Laura x

  30. Fiona this is absolutely gorgeous and you've captured some truly magnificent pictures. Love you guys has fun as a family especially on that swing


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