When Mitchell Henry and his wife Margaret travelled to Connemara in the 1850s they fell in love with the region. Mitchell returned in the 1860s and purchased the estate of Kylemore and built a splendid castle as an elaborate gift for his wife. Kylemore was changed from a barren, rugged landscape to lush woodland with a wonderful 6 acre Victorian Walled Garden, and every innovation of the Victorian age.
Home to the Benedictine Nuns since 1920, Kylemore has been renowned as a place of spirituality and education ever since. Visiting Kylemore you will learn of the tales of tragedy and romance, engineering initiatives, model farms and Royal visits. Enjoy the Victorian atmosphere in the Abbey before visiting the beautiful Gothic Church. Explore the magical Victorian Walled Garden, along with extensive lakeside walks and tree-lined avenues.
The Victorian Walled Garden is an oasis of ordered splendour in the wild Connemara countryside. One of the last great walled gardens built during the Victorian period in Ireland, it was so advanced for the time that it was compared in magnificence with Kew Gardens in London.
As the years passed the garden fell into decline and became completely overgrown, with brambles and trees hiding all traces of its former glory. The Benedictine nuns began an extensive programme of restoration in 1995 and in the year 2000 the Garden was opened to the public. The Garden restoration project won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award in 2001 and now attracts garden lovers from all over the world.
Comprising approximately 6 acres, the Garden is divided in two by a beautiful mountain stream. The eastern half includes the formal flower garden, glass houses, the head gardener’s house and the garden bothy. The western part of the garden includes the vegetable garden, herbaceous border, fruit trees, and a rockery and herb garden. The Garden also contains a shaded fernery, an important feature of any Victorian Garden. The Garden forms part of your visit to the Kylemore estate which also includes the majestic Abbey and the beautiful neo-Gothic Church and extensive woodland and lakeshore walks.
Today, Kylemore is a Heritage Garden heritage displaying only plant varieties from the Victorian era. The bedding is changed twice a year, for Spring and Summer and its colours change throughout the year.
Kylemore Craft and Design Shop stocks the best of Irish fashion, jewellery and gifts as well as beautiful Kylemore Abbey Pottery made in the on-site Pottery Studio. You can also buy chocolates, soaps and skincare products handmade by the Benedictine nuns at Kylemore.
Sit back and relax in the award winning Mitchell’s café or the beautifully located Garden Tea House. Home baking is a specialty with traditional scones; fruit pies and crumbles always ready to delight!
Spring bedding including a wide variety of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, etc from late march to early April. Summer bed from May to the end of September. A great variety of colour into late autumn depending on the weather.
Open Year Round
November to March: Daily 10:00 to 16:30
April to July: Daily 9:00 to 18:00
July & late August: Daily 9:00 to 19:00
September to October: Daily 9:30 to 17:30
Bank Holidays will operate as normal working hours
Closed: December 24, 25 and 26
Last admission: 60 minutes before closing
Approx. visit duration: Please allow at least 90 minutes for your visit but you may spend much longer, and please allow time to enjoy the Café and Craft and Design Shop.
Please note that our opening times change periodically so it is advisable to check current opening hours before your visit.
Kylemore regularly have events (see their website). These include:
Easter Sunday Family Fun with fun and creative quiz trails through the Walled Garden and collect a chocolate prize a the end. Lots of huggable Easter bunnies will be on hand to help out!
Halloween Family Celebration: A traditional Halloween celebration with an emphasis on creativity, crafts, myths and folklore with role play, traditional music and foods and a fabulous bonfire!
Admission Prices 2020
Senior (aged 65+): €10.50
Student (18+ with valid ID): €10.50
Child (aged 11-17): €9.00
Child (under 11): Free
Family #2 (2 adults & up to 6 children aged 0-17): €40.00
LANGUAGES: Self-guiding brochure available in nine languages, English, Irish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and mandarin Chinese. Audio visual presentation in English, French and German.
DINING/REFRESHMENTS: Dine at Mitchell’s Café all year round. Delicious home cooking in a modern self-service restaurant with a focus on fresh, locally sourced produce. Home made soups, salads, breads, café style sandwiches and hot dishes. Baking is a specialty with a mouth-watering variety of cakes, tarts and scones. Vegetarian and gluten free options available.
Enjoy a light lunch or delicious tea coffee and cakes in the stunning garden Tea House open from Easter to Halloween. In the summer months, fill your basket at the Express café or enjoy freshly made sweet and savoury crepes, barista coffee and soft scoop ice cream.
PICNICS: There are plenty of outdoor picnic areas and a small number of indoor picnic tables available. During the summer months you can fill your picnic basket at Henry’s Express café.
SHOPPING: Enjoy shopping and pick up the perfect gift in the Craft and design shop. Pick up handmade products such as award winning chocolates, natural skincare products and Fuchsia pottery, exclusive to Kylemore Abbey. A wide range of gifts from stylish handbags and fashions to luxury candles, jewellery, artisan foods, books and a wide range of trinkets and souvenirs.
CHILDREN: Books and colouring pages are available and Mitchell’s Café has a small play area. Half portions of most items are available for children. Baby changing stations located in Mitchell’s café and at the garden Tea House.
GUIDED TOURS: Private Garden tours with our Head Gardener or a senior member of the Garden team can be booked at any time of year. Cost €50 for a maximum of twenty people. Free garden tours take place in the Summer months, please check our website for further details.
GROUPS: Group rates available (minimum 10 people). Pre-booking required, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARKING: Free car and coach parking on-site.
ACCESSIBILITY: The Kylemore Estate is partially accessible for wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility. The restaurant, Cafés and Visitor Centre are fully accessible while the historic buildings have limited access. There is also limited access in the Victorian Garden. The shuttle buses to the Garden are accessible and a small number of mobility scooters are available to hire. A reduction of 50% on the regular entry fee is offered to wheelchair users. Dogs on a lead are welcome at Kylemore, but will not be allowed on the shuttle bus or in the buildings.
ACCOLADES & AWARDS: Winner of the prestigious Europa Nostra Gardens of Europe Awards 2001
10km from Clifden town, 50km from Westport, and 80km from Galway City.