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 and a fun day out for the family can definitely be had! Many of the ferns were planted in the mid-19thcentury after being brought over from Australia and are thriving today.
With tree trunks carved into dinosaur figures, it has also gained the nickname of ‘Ireland’s Jurassic Park’ which is quite fitting as you adventure further in to where it feels more like a 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 rest of 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 but the family package is pretty decent! 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.
All children in prams, buggies, etc.: Free
Family: €25.00 (2 Adults and 3 children, up to 17 years of age)
Nearby Kells Bay also offers 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.