Just when you think you have discovered every gem that West Cork has to offer, you will be 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, 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 Baggins himself to walk in at any minute.
Aside from the Hobbit house and the beautiful flowers which are a riot of colour, there is a beautiful sunken white garden, an Italianate canal, a bog garden, a 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 mean looking trolls).
We took about 500 photos of us having fun visiting the ponds which are dripping with Koi, having our biscuits in the Glenview Self Service Cafe (a clean, wonderful facility) and running on the huge circular lawn, but cant post them all on 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 reach a crossroad. Turn right and continue to the 4th house on the 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.
Admission: Adults €6 and children €3. Children under 5 go free. For further information and for opening times phone 023-8847230 or visit their website at https://www.glenviewgardenswestcork.com/