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Parks & Gardens

Donegal is a County blessed with such a diverse range of public and private parks and gardens. From carefully tended intimate cottage gardens to public parks and woodlands, Donegal has a wealth of peaceful havens for lovers of flowers and trees. Donegal Garden Trail promotes garden visiting as a collective effort in County Donegal, encouraging garden visiting as an educational and leisure activity.

Donegal Garden Trail: Rathmullan House

The walled kitchen garden where a broad range of soft fruit, vegetables, salad crops and herbs are cultivated for the award winning hotel kitchens. Adjacent to the Restaurant is a recently made tranquillity garden with a contemporary sculpture by Zara Cunningham-Bell. There is no charge for admission to our gardens and they are open: Easter to October 10am-4pm Daily. Closed November to Easter. …

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Donegal Garden Trail: Browns Farm

This garden surrounds a small house with flower borders, grassy paths and many seats each with a special view. Children are very welcome and there are maps for exploring paths and woodland passage ways. There are places for picnics or sheltering from raindrops. Admission: €5 to charity Directions: Take N56 from the centre of Glenties (direction Portnoo) for approx 8km. Take left turn on to …

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Donegal Garden Trail: Mrs Jessie Mahaffys Garden

Established in 1972 by Mrs Jessie Mahaffy, a relative of William Robinson and a granddaughter of the forester at Lissadell, Co Sligo, Blackrock is a garden constructed completely upon rock. A charming rockery sits above the farmhouse. A grassy corridor winds between a shrubbery and a shady border to a small cottage garden where perennials are interspersed with free-seeding aquilegias, foxgloves …

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Donegal Garden Trail: Cluain na dTor Seaside Garden

This is Donegal’s tropical garden, inspirational and boldly experimental! This garden also specialises in plants tolerant of seaside conditions. ‘Cluain na dTor’ meaning “meadow of the shrubs” - an apt place-name - shrubs as shelter and as ornamentals populate this garden with surrounding natural wildflower meadows. Twenty years in the making, a wonderfully eclectic mix of individual specimens ar…

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Salthill Gardens

Salthill House is an intact early 18th Century house overlooking Donegal Bay, complete with the original enclosed yard and walled garden. Since 1985 the one acre kitchen garden has been transformed into a series of lovely mixed flower borders with a wide selection of new and interesting plants.

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Donegal Garden Trail: Backleas

A new garden combined with old natural woodland. The garden is of some historic significance in that the remains of an aqueduct dug during the famine as a relief project to convey water to a corn mill two miles away is still visible. Indeed stone mill wheels, a famine pot and lots of bog oak also feature. The entrance to the house is built with stone in the same manner as an ancient fort on the…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Ros Ban

A garden to relax in with a Celtic Theme, given over to wildlife friendly activities, but plenty for the garden enthusiast to enjoy. There is a display of medicinal plants and educational posters of native flora and fauna. A well-established Laburnum Arch is just one of many intriguing features. This 1.5 acre garden is of educational interest to children of all ages. You are sure to learn som…

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Rathmullan House Gardens

Just relax and chill out wandering in the seven acres of the beautiful Rathmullan House wooded gardens, with their lovely lawns and rose gardens, and the waterfall, sculpture, trees and flowers of the soothing, sunken Tranquillity Garden where, to quote Yeats, \peace comes dropping slow\.

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Donegal Garden Trail

Founded in 2006, and opening our gates for the first time in the spring of 2007, we are an association of Public and Private Gardens. In 2019 we will have 22 member gardens spread throughout County Donegal from Innishown to Kilcar. Many private gardens proudly collect donations for local charities. Our membership includes long established historic gardens as well as newly made gardens. We are …

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Glenalla House

he country estate garden of Glenalla is a hidden world surrounded by native woods and moorland. Established in the late 18th century with extensive landscaping by the Franklin family since 1913. Beyond the house and walled kitchen garden are the formal elements of the rockery, rose beds, arbour and stone edged lily pond. There are collections of rhododendrons together with summer and autumn flowe…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Carrablagh House

Carrablagh is an outstanding example of a well established country garden dating back to the mid 19th century. Set on the eastern cliffs of the Fanad peninsula where Lough Swilly meets the North Atlantic Ocean. Surrounding woodlands protect the specimen plantings within. This most intimate, classic Irish Robinsonian garden has a magical atmosphere, sheltering its botanical treasures in a series of…

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Dunmore Gardens

Dunmore Gardens is a beautiful secretive walled garden, which lies just outside the pretty village of Carrigans on the western banks of Lough Foyle in Co. Donegal. The McFarland family have lived at Dunmore for four generations and have opened their doors to many weddings, celebrations and garden parties. They are always open to new visitors looking for an occasion or simply to relax in the sanctu…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Salthill Garden

Salthill is well illustrated in “The Irish Garden” (2015) by Jane Powers with photographs by Jonathon Hession. She aptly describes the space “The 0.5 hectare enclosure has that delightful feeling of privacy and mystery that is particular to old walled gardens”. So, come and witness the “great gatherings of herbaceous plants amid mature shrubs and noteworthy trees”. Admission: €5 Adults, €2 …

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Donegal Gardens

This contemporary garden, within 200 yards of the sea, whispers stories of walled gardens of the past. Today it stands independent of trends and restorative themes. The walls have stood for over 100 years and were well maintained. Since 1985 the lawn and cultivated perimeter have been gradually transformed by Elizabeth Temple to the present individually styled garden. The evolution continues se…

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Donegal Garden Trail: St Columbs

Built in the early 19th century for the Church of Ireland Rector, St. Columb’s overlooks the shores of Lough Gartan. The house and grounds were transformed into a haven of artistic beauty by the late Derek Hill who planted many rare and unusual trees and shrubs. Hill was assisted by James Russell of Sunningdale Nurseries “ Russell and myself aimed to accentuate simply the natural formation of …

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Donegal Garden Trail: Summy

Close to the coast in scenic west Donegal and surrounding a traditional farmhouse, this garden was established in 1979 in a valley on a rocky hillside surrounded by four acres of native hazel woodland with blackthorn, juniper, burnet rose, ash and oak. Native primroses, bluebells, orchids and varied ferns abound. Emphasis has been placed on the blending of nurture with nature and the provision o…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Noras Rose Garden

A gem of a rose garden on a modern housing development. Featuring a huge range of varieties (Climbers, Hybrid Tea and Floribunda) in every colour and with fragrances that will knock your socks off. Admission: €5 to charity and garden maintenance Directions: From N15 in the centre of Ballybofey turn on to R252 (Glenfin Road) passing Jackson’s Hotel on the right. Blue Cedars is on the left a…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Glenalla House

The country estate garden of Glenalla is a hidden world surrounded by native woods and moorland. Established in the late 18th century with extensive landscaping by the Franklin family since 1913. Beyond the house and walled kitchen garden are the formal elements of the rockery, rose beds, arbour and stone edged lily pond. There are collections of rhododendrons together with summer and autumn flow…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Cranny Garden

Set on two acres with amazing views of the Eany river. A mixture of woodland bordering a pond with bluebells in the spring, a fernery in a natural cave, a long mixed border, a wild flower meadow with an abundance of wild orchids. Some whimsical features! Admission: €5 to charity and upkeep of garden Directions: Take N56 Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal Town direction Killybegs. After 8km take l…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Cille

First established over 30 years ago in an exposed coastal location overlooking Donegal Bay. The garden falls away from the house in a series of hidden terraces with an extensive range of plants, many unusual species suited to the coastal location. Imaginative use of grasses, rich exotic planting and high quality stone-work all feature. Big pots and containers planted with specimen plants are espe…

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