With Europe’s largest collection of tree ferns and Ireland’s largest palm tree at 14m, Kells Bay Gardens is a must for nature lovers.
The gardens themselves cover just over 17 hectares with a large collection of sub-tropical plants. You’d be very tempted to pop on your explorer’s hat.
The Primeval Forest towards the beginning of the red walk is particularly spectacular. Many of the ferns were planted in the mid-19thcentury after being brought over from Australia.
With tree trunks carved into dinosaur figures, it has also gained the nickname of being Ireland’s Jurassic Park. Quite fitting as you go further in and feel more like you’re in the jungle.
There are many options to take good photographs and many winding routes to take (make sure you get a shot near the waterfall!)
The dinosaurs are novel enough to keep young ones interested for a spell, but you won’t be too long wandering through the gardens unless you’re a keen plant-lover.
There are plenty of places to take a rest and after you’ve done the walks, you can take a tea or coffee break in the café.
We felt that Gleninchaquin Park was better in terms of value for money. There’s no OAP or student fee into Kells Bay Gardens and that you could easily spend at least 7+ hours in Gleninchaquin. That being said, it is worth seeing if you’re in the area, especially if you have a particular interest in botany.
Adults cost €6.50, children are €5 each and a family costs €20 (two adults and two children).
Nearby Kells Bay also offer a great spot if you’re looking to have a break on the beach!
How to get there:
Travelling from Killarney, take the N70 in the direction of Caherciveen. When you reach Glenbeigh, head right through it an about 13km after the village you’ll see a right-hand turnoff sign for Kells. Take it and keep going down the winding road and eventually you’ll see a sign for the gardens on the right.