Discover Cobh's stunning natural beauty, sumptuous cuisine and historic sites during this exclusive home and garden visit in Cork.
Your tour begins with a panoramic overview of Cork. Once a swampy island, Cork is now an important shopping and commercial capital of the south. Along the way, photo stops will be made at some of the city's famous sites, including St. Finbarr's Cathedral, the Old Courthouse, City Hall and the renowned Bells of Shandon. You will then proceed along the gentle curves of the Lee River just outside Cork for a visit to Lakemount, a 2 1/2-acre pocket tucked into southwest Ireland that seems to blend seamlessly into its verdant landscape. Within Lakemount, owner and artist Brian Cross has created one of the Republic's flagship gardens; its quality of planting and wonderful contrasts has garnered widespread acclaim. During your exclusive tour of Lakemount, Brian will personally escort you through these splendid private gardens.
Next, you will continue on to the picturesque and historic region of the North Cork/West Waterford Blackwater Valley in Southern Ireland. Upon arrival, you will proceed for an unforgettable lunch and visit to Ballyvolane House, an award-winning Irish country house situated on an estate of idyllic landscaped gardens and magnificent parklands. Originally built in 1728, Ballyvolane House was modified 120 years later in the Italianate style. The house's sitting room, dining room and seven luxurious bedrooms offer beautiful views overlooking formal gardens, parklands and trout lakes. Hosting your visit will be owners Justin and Jenny Green who will be happy to answer any questions you may have about this fine house.
Your tour concludes with a leisurely drive through the serene and lush countryside of East Cork, then on through Cloyne, where St. Colman, the 7th-century saint, had his principal monastery. Only the 100-foot Round Tower and a firehouse remain from this ancient monastery, which was plundered five times by the Vikings between 822 and 916 A.D. The much-altered 13th-century Cloyne Cathedral was the seat of George Berkeley, the celebrated philosopher and Berkeley University namesake.
From here, you will make your way back to Cobh and your waiting ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of moderate walking - at times on uneven ground at the gardens and Ballyvolane House. The tour is available to guests who utilize a non-motorized collapsible wheelchair, can make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Weather appropriate clothing, including a windbreaker or light jacket, and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary.