Just when you think you have discovered every gem that West Cork has to offer, you will pleasantly surprised to know that the Glenview Gardens are worth their weight in gold to visit. Children – and parents – will be enthralled by the garden which is just *bursting* with personality. Owned and lovingly tended by David and Mary Tanner of Desert, Enniskeane, the gardens are a complete credit to them for originality and charm.
Bursting with colour and beautiful objects to discover and explore at every turn, the gardens spread over 3 acres and include a fairy-house trail, Ireland’s only Hobbit House and a bird aviary full of exotic birds. It was so surreal on a warm summer afternoon to come across a beautiful wildflower meadow with the aroma of wood-smoke from the Hobbit’s fire drifting gently on the breeze.
The Hobbit House is a joy to visit and even has a tiny Hobbit bed and bedroom in a little tunnel underground. The lounge has a cheerful fire and a table with the Hobbit’s tobacco pipes and tea-sets and it does not take a huge stretch of imagination to expect Bilbo himself to walk in at any minute. We are all completely enthralled by the discovery.
Aside from the Hobbit house and the beautiful flowers which are a riot of colour and vigour, there is a beautiful sunken white garden, an Italianate canal, a bog garden, woodland area as well as a Japanese, Chinese and Mediterranean garden. There is also a walled garden with seasonal vegetables.
The Fairy trail is accessed via a beautiful Pergola walk and there are so many fairy houses to discover (as well as two small mean looking trolls).
And wonderful delights along the way – such as this bug house – which is really big enough to be a bug hotel!
We took about 500 photos of the children visiting the ponds dripping with koi, having biscuits in the Glenview Self Service Cafe (a clean, wonderful facility) and running on the huge circular lawn, but cant post them all up here. The best thing is to visit it when you are passing Enniskeane and savour the experience first hand.
Directions: From Bandon. Follow the R856 Dunmanway Road west for 10km. Turn left at Murragh. Continue for 1km until you read a crossroad. Turn right and continue to the 4th house on teh left.
From Clonakilty: Follow the N71 Bandon Road east and take the 2nd left hand turn 1km after Ballinascarthy. Continue for 7km to the 3rd crossroad. Turn left and continue to the 4th house on the left.
Opening hours: Daily 10am-5pm from May to end September.
Admission: Adults €5. Children €3 and children under 5 go free. For further information telephone 023-8847230 or visit www.facebook.com/GlenviewGardens