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Parks & Gardens in Donegal

Activities

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: 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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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 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: 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: Dunmore Gardens

A very remarkable traditional walled garden associated with a 1742 country house. Many wonderful gardens are to be found within one large walled area (2 acres), rich collections of ericaceous plants, early 20th century terraced rose beds and a towering Redwood stands sentinel towards the centre with paths radiating from it. Imaginative use of plants over arches, traditional fruit and vegetables…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Sea View Garden

A secluded and peaceful garden of many parts. Visitors enjoy a warm welcome from the owner and new additions surprise the regular visitor. This is a plant-lovers paradise where modern varieties of shrubs and herbaceous plants rub shoulders with old favourites and where the non-gardener may sit and be charmed by the views across Donegal Bay. Admission: €5 to Fields of Life well-drilling proje…

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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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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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: Oakfield Park

Oakfield Park is a 100 acre garden, consisting of award winning walled gardens to ponds, lakes, a lakeside Nymphaeum, a hedge maze, heritage trees and sculptures. Our crowning glory is a 4.5km narrow gauge railway with a diesel and steam train operating passenger trips daily. This is a magical way to explore the park s gardens as the train passes through flower meadows, beautiful woodlands, will…

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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: 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, which sweep down to a 2 mile sandy beach. Discover the hotels walled garden and the sunken Tranquillity Garden where, to quote Yeats, \peace comes dropping slow\.

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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: Castle Grove Country House Hotel & Gardens

Castle Grove is a four star family run Country House set in 200 acres of mature parkland. It is the perfect base to explore Donegals Wild Atlantic Way and other gardens on the Donegal Garden Trail. The house was built in 1695 and boasts a fascinating history, with gardens designed by Lancelot Capability Brown. There is a four acre Walled Garden dating back to the 1800s. Visitors are welcome t…

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Donegal Garden Trail: Greenfort

Although May and June are usually the best months with the most colour and variety, there is always something in season: from the snowdrops to the autumn colours and winter-flowering cherry. The house and garden have existed for several centuries. There are many rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, large areas of snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells and beautiful walks through young and mature bro…

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