Friday, May 31, 2019

Visiting Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens, Co. Cork ♥

On Wednesday morning we visited a place we've never been to before, the beautiful Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens in Shanagarry, East Cork.

I'm not sure how I discovered this place, but our new 'thing' for the summer is finding new and beautiful places around Ireland to visit, explore and photograph and I stumbled across Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens somewhere along the way of researching places to visit close to home.

I'd never even heard of the cookery school gardens before, but how glad am I that I discovered them and that we went on a little trip there because they are beautiful!

The gardens are €6 per adult and €3 for kids to visit and you can walk around and explore at your own leisure. Everything is open to explore and take in and it's such a beautiful spot. 

There are many parts to the gardens, from the pleasure garden with it's pond and fountain surrounded by lillies and yellow flowers, to the herb garden, the wildflower meadow and everything else in between. Beau was very taken with the pond and it's fountain, the boy just loves water and what a beautiful, peaceful place it was to sit and gather your thoughts.

Everywhere around the gardens are charming little spots to sit and enjoy the beauty and quiet surrounding you. I loved the old metal benches that were hidden under boughs, such lovely features and I really appreciate simple little things like this in gardens.

These little features were made all the more beautiful with the blossom trees and carpets of daisies all over the garden. Don't you just love summertime?

The herb garden is absolutely gorgeous! It has a little potting shed of sorts that I was quite taken with and lots of gorgeous flowers in bloom.

The gardens also have a little tree house where you can go up to get a great look at the gardens. Underneath the treehouse is an old summer house with a mosaic tiled floor with the date 1912 on it. You're asked not to step on this because it's so old, but how pretty is it to look at?

If you're a flower lover like me then you'll love the gardens. There are so many beautiful flower varieties growing there and the sweetest smelling roses! I also spotted some raindrops on yellow flowers that looked like real life crystal gems. It was so amazing to see all the gorgeous flowers in blooms and to photograph them - we all know I love photographing the flowers!

For us, the best thing about the gardens and a real hidden-gem is the shell house. The shell house key is given to you on a whisk head - a nice touch with it being part of a cookery school garden and all! This is how the shell house looks on the inside and I was not prepared for the beauty that was hiding inside it.

The whole of the inside is covered in shells and it is stunning! I shared some pictures on Instagram and people couldn't get over how beautiful it was. It was such a pleasure to see 'in real life' and what's even better is that we got to enjoy it on our own - the gardens were quite quiet when we visited which was great.

Beau was quite taken with the shell house too and it's little water feature in the middle of the floor. I think it would be a perfect place to have wedding pictures taken because it's such a beautiful backdrop with all those metallic and pearl-like shells.

The shell house has actually inspired me to begin a new hashtag community on Instagram called #fairytale Ireland because we keep stumbling across these little hidden gems that really wouldn't be amiss in a fairytale.

The gardens also feature a life-size chess set which Beau was quite taken with. The gardens seem like a lovely place to enjoy some leisure time on the sunny days - the cookery school students are so lucky to see it and enjoy it every day.

The little cottages in Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens are so beautiful! I think these are the cottages where some of the cookery school students stay when at the school - and how lucky are they to live in such pretty places!

Everywhere you go in Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens there is beauty and if you're into food and growing your own produce then you will love seeing the urban garden, the farm holdings and the vegetable patches.

We loved our visit to the gardens and will definitely be back one day. They're child friendly and perfect if you want to stroll around a beautiful place at your own pace.

Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens are well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in East Cork. They're not expensive to visit, are suitable for all the family and are beautiful beyond imagination.



  1. Wow looks great! On my list now! Amazing photos too! How do u get them so good?

    1. It's a beautiful place, definitely visit! Thank you so much, I'm so glad you like my photos. I use a Nikon D3200 and spend a lot of time editing. I have my own collection of presets.

  2. Thank you for sharing this—I'm planning a visit to Ballymaloe and had so many questions about the gardens!


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