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Explore Fota House and Gardens

If you’re a lover of history, architecture, flora and fauna or anything in between, a visit to the Fota House and Gardens will not disappoint. Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens sit majestically in all their grandeur on Fota Island, amidst lush green surroundings, about 6 km away from Cobh. Once the home of the Smith Barry family, the 800-acre land is the perfect representation of Irish heritage.


The elegantly photogenic mansion that catches your eye right away is the Fota House. It gained full museum accreditation in 2016 for its perfect preservation and maintenance. The house, exquisitely designed by the Irish architects Richard Morrison and William Morrison, offers you a lot to appreciate from the exterior of the building to the ornate details of interior and Regency style architecture.


Guided Fota House tours are available and a tour lasts for approximately 50 minutes. The tour will take you through perfectly preserved rooms covering the Grand Hallway, Dining Room, Drawing Room, the Service Wing and Kitchens. Make sure to pay close attention to the guides as they unfold the stories of the generations of the Fota House and its inhabitants. The stories will allow you to go back in time to experience what it was like to live in Fota House. Also, spare some time exploring its incredible collection of paintings. 


The Gardens are definitely going to take your breath away. The Gardens encompass pleasure gardens, walled gardens, an Italian garden, terraced lawns, fernery, a sun temple, orangery, a pond, a Victorian Working Garden and the Arboretum. 


Located at the back of the property, the award-winning Victorian Working Garden is definitely worth a visit. A tour around the garden allows you to explore its three Victorian glasshouses, pit houses, orchard and bothy buildings. You can even buy plants from the Victorian Working Garden.


Do not miss your chance to explore the world-class Arboretum, which houses very rare and exotic fauna and flora brought down from South America, the Orient and the Pacific coast of northwest America, including a variety of conifers. A number of educational, activity-based tours and trails invite you to get engaged and get a little adventurous.


Spending time in the Gardens is a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle and to enjoy some peace and quiet. You can easily find a spot to enjoy a picnic if you are up for setting one or just to relax and enjoy the green surroundings.


If you feel like grabbing a snack you can do so from the Bakestone Cafe. We are sure that you and your kids will love everything about the Fota House and Gardens, especially its adventurous tours! It will be a one-of-a-kind experience and a memorable visit without a doubt.

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