Ardgillian Castle and Demesne, one of Ireland’s hidden gems situated in north county Dublin. A magnificent castle built in 1738 with the west and east wings added in the late 1800’s. The castle has since been restored and is open to daily guided tours but today we popped along after recommendations from parents in my Adventures of Eire group. It’s playground, panoramic views and gardens are said to be one of the best in Ireland…
There is so much to see and do at Ardgillian Castle and Demesne, it’s taken me by surprise. We explored the gardens first. There’s a beautiful and educational fairy trail situated around the woodlands, the area around the walled gardens. You can get your map and quiz at the reception in Ardgillian Castle and it’s completely free.
There are lots of tree’s to climb and explore, the kids can pull the castle bell with a bit of help and you can even bring your little pooch along as they have a dog-friendly cafe just behind the rose garden. The gardens are also wheelchair friendly.
The rose, walled and ornamental gardens are a must see. Spectacular.
The rose garden was by far my favourite. Now I know I’ve only just got engaged and I did say we would not be planning anything for two to three years but I have just fallen in love with the place in a few short hours. I can actually see us getting married here. It’s breathtaking.
And finally the playground. The one that has everyone talking. Is it as amazing as all the parenting websites have been claiming the past month? Yep, it’s actually a thousand times better and it’s over looking the Irish Sea. The playground is state of the art and has something for all ages. They had pirate ships, submarines and a castle climbing frames that the younger three loved. There are also toilets in the playground and a little hut just outside it selling sweet treats and ice pops. There is a HUGE field just out front, perfect for a picnic, that’s where we had ours today. Unfortunately, I can’t publish any of the photo’s of the playground as there were too many children around. But I will say the photo’s that have been published by the media the past month don’t do the playground any justice. Two of mine howled when I told them it was time to leave.
Ardgillian is a truly magnificent castle and a must see playground and gardens this summer and do you know what the best bit is, it’s free. Pack a picnic, the sun cream or wellies and load the kids into the car as I promise you this is one day you won’t forget. It’s one of Ireland’s hidden gems and we will 100% be back!
For more recommendations or reviews on places to visit in Ireland check out my blog series Adventures of Eire or why not join my Facebook group?