The Powerscourt Blog

The Enniskerry Victorian Field Day 2014 is back again!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 29, 2014 4:16:47 PM

It is nearly time to experience the magic of our traditional rural festival once again!

The Enniskerry Victorian Field Day CHARITY event will take place this year on Sunday, September 14th at Knocklinn Farm on the Ballyman Road. It’s a beautiful setting overlooking the seaside town of Bray, with the backdrop of the Majestic Sugarloaf Mountains.

We are thrilled to announce that our charity partner for 2014 is Lakers, a Sport and Recreational Club for Children and Adults with an intellectual disability. The club provides a wide range of sporting, educational and essential support services to its 350 members across Leinster. Lakers celebrate their 25th Anniversary this year.

The Enniskerry Victorian Field Day is growing in size and popularity; attracting over 4,500 people each year and has become a popular permanent fixture on the North Wicklow/South Dublin calendar.

The weekend will be kicked off with a traditional Victorian Rag Man’s Ball on the night of Friday the 12th of September 2014. 


Festival events include Steam engines at work, Vintage Car and Tractor Shows, Tug of War battles and Sheaf Pitching! Visitors can enjoy rambling through the craft stalls at the ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ Artisan Market and savor Wicklow's rich culinary delights at our Food Fair.

Other great highlights include Archery, Falconry, Horseshoe Throwing, Arm Wrestling, Nail Driving, Traditional Children's Games, Puppetry, Pony Rides, old-fashioned Carousels, live music and so much more. There are lots of fantastic prizes to be won!

This year we are excited to introduce our "Doggie Village"!! Wonder Paws Pet Dog Training at Festina Lente Bray will be the hosts welcoming all breeds, shapes and sizes to enjoy a ‘pawsome’ Doggie Day Out with full agility course, grooming salon, expert advice on dog adoption, nutrition, training and a fun Dog Show!

For extra enjoyment come along in Victorian costume and be in with a chance of winning some superb prizes in our ‘Best Dressed’ competition.

Proceeds are in aid of the Lakers and the local parishes Enniskerry. The admission is only €10 per person, €5 OAPs and kids go free!! There is free parking and the event is wheelchair accessible.

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Perfect your Pet! Train the canine in your life at Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 27, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Perfect your Pet! Train the canine in your life at Powerscourt

Join Samantha Rawson on Saturday 13th September at 2pm in Powerscourt Garden Pavilion for a demonstration on training the canine in your life! Samantha C.A.A.B. is a certified dog behaviourist and therapist who uses motivational and reward based methods. She has over twenty years of professional experience and knowledge to address almost any dog training or behaviour problem.


Samantha says "I love training dogs as all dogs are individuals and dogs and their owners are as unique as each other. Samantha's approach to training is highly motivational for both partners in the relationship! The demonstration is free of charge and no booking is required. Please leave your own canine at home for the event. Visit the website for more information.

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Topics: Powerscourt Garden Pavilion, Events

The Great Sugar Loaf Mountain

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 22, 2014 1:00:00 PM

Just up the road from us at Powerscourt is the beautiful Sugar Loaf Mountain! Why not take a walk and enjoy the marvellous Wicklow views next time you are in the area!

It’s barely 501 metres tall, but this plucky hill is one of Ireland’s most iconic peaks.

Set apart from the Wicklow Mountains, its conical shape and broody demeanour make an instant impression. Is it an extinct volcano? No, though its appearance has led many to think so. In fact, and in contrast to the granite hulks to the south and west, the Sugar Loaf is quartzite.

Its bark is worse than its bite, of course. If you’re reasonably fit, and don’t mind a bit of scrambling on the rocky final stretch, you can be up and back from the summit in little over an hour (access is to the south along the L1031). It’s a hugely popular outing for Dublin day-trippers.


On a clear day here, from a perch dusted with snow and frost in colder climes (hence the name), you can see not only Dublin City and the Wicklow Mountains, but Snowdonia in Wales.

Of course, if you’d rather not scramble on hands and knees, there are more salubrious ways of enjoying the mountain… not least the views from the Sugar Loaf Lounge of the nearby Powerscourt Hotel or the Terrace Café at Powerscourt.

The Great Sugar Loaf Mountain is near the villages of Kilmacanogue & Enniskerry.

The Great Sugar Loaf can be found on the following routes:

Enjoy your trip to the Sugar Loaf! Happy Walking :)

Content: Courtesty of Failte Ireland 

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow

Wilds of Wicklow Foraging Walk

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 9, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Wilds of Wicklow Foraging Walk

It's nearly harvest time! Would you like to discover the art of foraging wild and edible foods such as wild flowers, herbs, walnuts, berries, mushrooms and garlic? Join Niall O’Sullivan and Paul Quinn from Nádúr Collective for a guided foraging walk along Powerscourt River Walk on 14th September at 11am and again at 2pm. Usually reserved exclusively for Powerscourt annual members, the river walk offers natural, unspoilt beauty and this is a great opportunity for members of the public to visit this tranquil, hidden gem.


During this educational two hour walk through one of Wicklow's most unspoilt locations,  you will be shown edible food plants with practical advice on how best to use them at home or in a professional kitchen.  From cooking to preserving techniques; the Nádúr Collective will show you the best way to make use of nature's best ingredients – from your backyard to your dinner table in a unique and informative approach. 


With over forty combined years’ experience in professional kitchens and a passion for wild foods, Nádúr Collective’s aim is to get people back in touch with food, nature and nutrition. Niall O’Sullivan is head chef of Isabel’s restaurant on Baggot Street while Paul Quinn is co-owner of the Three Q's restaurant in Greystones. To book tickets to the event visit


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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt River Walk, Events

Walk on the Wild Side with Dale Treadwell at Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 7, 2014 11:06:00 AM

Walk on the Wild side of Wicklow, with RTÉ’s Dale Treadwell! Dale will be taking children on a guided nature trail and bio blitz of Powerscourt Gardens in Wicklow, located in one of Ireland’s most breath-taking country estates.


Kids will enjoy discovering the secret world of mini-beasts and hunting for the insects and plants that live at Powerscourt.  Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet, that we have fifteen types of ladybirds in Ireland and that Grasshoppers are able to jump up to twenty times their own length? Dale will uncover our natural Wicklow habitat for families so they can learn about bugs and beasties and the plants in which they live. There will also be outdoor eco games for everyone to enjoy.


Dale Treadwell is an Aussie with a background in Bushland Restoration living in Ireland for nearly a decade. His company ‘Naturally Wild’ educates both old and young alike with our great outdoors in a fun and informative way. You can catch Dale on ‘Albie the Why Guy’ on RTÉ. Tickets to his guided walk at Powerscourt are limited and must be booked in advance. Visit to book your place.


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Enjoy Vintage Vibes at the Powerscourt Car Rally

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 1, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Celebrate Heritage Week at Powerscourt Estate! Join the largest motor club in Ireland, the Irish Vintage and Veteran Car Club (IVVCC), for their 36th rally at Powerscourt. The event talks place on the 17th of August between 2.30pm and 5.30pm.


The star of the show will be Lord Powerscourt’s 1937 Ford Model ‘Y’ which its current owner is bringing home to the Estate for the event.  With over 150 cars expected at this year’s event, there are sure to be plenty of classics for you to enjoy! Chat with motor enthusiasts and marvel at the stylish array of vintage vehicles on display.


Everyone is welcome to come dressed to impress in their best vintage clothes! Many car owners dress up to match the age of their vehicles so expect plenty of razzle dazzle from feminine flapper dresses from the roaring 20’s to 1950's retro rock and roll frocks.  The event is free of charge and all are welcome. For more information visit  

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Events

Free Autumn Gardening Course at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 1, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Autumn is a great season for planting and is the real beginning of the new gardening year! Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in Enniskerry, County Wicklow is offering four free autumn gardening classes to its’ customers over the coming weeks.

The programme kicks off on 16th of August with a class on the autumn gardening jobs to prepare for successful growth in spring. It’s time to collect seeds from your favourite plants, harvest fruit and vegetables, deadhead plants and flowers and add some winter colour to your garden.

Lawn lovers will enjoy the lawn care class on 23rd of August. September is one of the best months to sow a lawn so if you are thinking of giving yours a revamp you can get advice on lawn care, grass seeds, feeding and weeds.


Everyone loves a vibrant and colourful spring garden! The next talk on 30th of August is an A-Z of everything you ever wanted to know about planting for early spring colour. From preparing well, timing and forcing bulbs to what to plant and what pots to use, the team at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion have some great ideas!

The final class on 6th September is perfect for those who wish to grow their own!  Learn about getting your garden ready, starting from seed, caring for your garden, crops for a speedy harvest and vegetables that will survive a frost. Autumn's mild temperatures create perfect growing conditions for late season crops such as lettuce and spinach.

Each class takes place on the dates above at 11am and is free of charge. Reap the rewards of autumn gardening and book your place today through


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Topics: Powerscourt Garden Pavilion, Events, Gardening, Wicklow

Wicklow Welcomes You!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jul 22, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Wicklow is a county with so much to offer our visitors. From it rugged coastline to its wonderful gardens and rich heritage and cultural – there truly is something for everyone. After a visit to Powerscourt, why not consider some of the other gems on our doorstep!

Natural Beauty

Wicklow’s landscape varies from the lush green fields to the deep purple and amber hues of its mountains. The scenic drive from Glendalough to Glencree or from Roundwood to Glencree via Lough Tay showcases Ireland’s natural and stunning beauty. It is home to some of Ireland’s indigenous inhabitants like the majestic Red Deer, Wild Goats, and Otters to name a few. Overlooking the beautiful lake of Lough Tay and glancing down into the valleys of Glenmacnass and Glendalough, it’s well worth the drive along its narrow and meandering roads.



Every corner of County Wicklow is steeped in History from the early Christian settlement of Glendalough to the magnificent historic houses and stately homes of Killruddery, Avondale and Russborough. Wicklow even has its own hillfort in Rathgall near Shillelagh in South Wicklow.


Glendalough has long been an area renowned for its natural beauty and history and it is one of the most visited places in Ireland. The Glendalough Valley is located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and has many attractions to entice, entertain and enthral visitors, from its world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower (pictured to the right) to its scenic lakes and valleys, as well as a selection of walks and trails in the area including The Wicklow Way. Find out more:


Killruddery House

Killruddery House is one of the most successful EIizabethan-Revival mansions in Ireland. In the 1820’s the 10th Earl engaged the fashionable architects of the day – Richard Morrison and his son William – to remodel Killruddery. In the 1950’s the house was greatly reduced to its present day proportions, but much of the Morrison’s design and architecture still remain. Find out more:


Russborough was built in 1741 by Joseph Leeson, the son of a wealthy brewer in Dublin. The architect was Richard Castle (Cassells), a great promoter of the Palladian style of architecture in 18th century Ireland. Find out more:


Avondale House

Avondale House, the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) one of the greatest political leaders of Irish history. Set in a magnificent forest park of over 500 acres with tree trails and walks. Find out more: 


Rathgall was a site of quite exceptional importance in the centuries spanning the birth of Christ, an importance that was clearly pan-European. The variety of structural information that the excavation yielded is unprecedented in the Bronze Age and the extraordinary concentration of artifactual evidence from the site has not been matched elsewhere in the country. Find out more:


Lakelands & Waterways


Blessington is the largest town in West Wicklow. The gateway to the National Park, an outdoor paradise of woods, mountains, rivers and lakes. Why not try your hand at fishing or be a little more adventurous and windsurf. Find out more:

Deep Blue Sea Kayaking

Deep Blue Sea Kayaking in Bray in North Wicklow. Not for the faint hearted! Find out more:



Glendalough House 

Glendalough House Equestrian offers 28km of trekking and trail riding through a varying array of landscapes and over an assortment of terrains. Treks are planned to cater to the rider’s requirement and ability. Trails are maintained with nature at the fore and hacking through the Glendalough House grounds is designed to leave riders feeling refreshed having escaped the stress of modern daily life. Find out more:

Clissmann Holidays

This is a holiday with a difference! Clissmann Horse Drawn Caravans offers you a holiday with a horse and a covered wagon, where up to 4 people can sleep and cook. Find out more: 


Family Activities 

For families now looking for staycations Wicklow has an abundance of activities for all ages.

Sealife Centre 

The National Sea Life Centre Bray, takes you on a journey of the deep…without getting wet! Over 30+ spectacular displays including: Rivers of the World, Nemo's Kingdom and our breathtaking Tropical Shark Lagoon. Find out more:


Wicklow's Historic Jail

Introduces the early 18th century prison life and invites to meet live actors who re- enact key characters in the history of the


So take some time to explore and discover all that Wicklow has to offer! For more visit the Wicklow Tourism website: 

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Topics: Events, Wicklow

5 Gardens to Visit in Wicklow this Summer!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jul 15, 2014 11:07:00 AM

There are so many beautiful gardens to discover in Wicklow! All are of outstanding natural beauty and diversity and each one distinctive in terms of mood and theme.  Due to the temperate climate, an unrivaled variety of trees, plants and shrubs await the visitor with many private gardens opened for this event (please check opening times).  Garden owners are only too delighted to welcome and share their experience and expertise with the visiting garden enthusiast.  A warm welcome awaits - here are our top picks!

The National Botanic Gardens Kilmacurragh


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Meet our Head Gardener Michael Byrne

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jul 9, 2014 12:21:45 PM

Meet our Head Gardener Michael Byrne!

What is the brief you have to work to as the head gardener at Powerscourt?

My brief as Head Gardener at Powerscourt Gardens is to develop and maintain the Gardens and the 1,000 acre estate to a very high standard with a lot of focus on attention to detail. I strive to preserve Powerscourt as a historical and heritage garden while creating new and exciting landscapes around those that already exist; introducing new planting and colourful schemes throughout the gardens.


How long have you been the head gardener at Powerscourt?

I have been working in Powerscourt Gardens for 7 years. It’s a very rewarding role because of its beautiful environment, scale and grandeur. Every day at Powerscourt is different and presents new challenges; whether it’s maintaining 280 year old antique gates or repairing rare and irreplaceable statues. Previous to coming here, I worked mainly in the U.K. for several organisations including Historic Scotland, the National Trust and the Forestry Commission.


How do you maintain the gardens? 

We maintain the gardens with a small team of 5 full time gardeners, and the assistance of a couple of horticultural students during the busy summer months. I assign my team different areas of the gardens to look after and we carry out a large variety of tasks. We meet on a daily basis but follow a week to week working programme. We have invested in the latest in garden machinery which helps us to maintain the gardens in a more efficient way.


How do the gardens change throughout the year?

The seasons play a very important part in Powerscourt Gardens and there is something new to see here each day. Most of my time in winter is spent planting flowers and bulbs for spring but there are plenty of perennials to enjoy in the garden and splashes of colour including Hollies, Skimmia and Witch Hazel. The gardens are ablaze with colour in spring with camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, azaleas and pink and white cherry blossom. Our annual tulip festival sees 10,000 tulips decorate the gardens. During the summer months there are hundreds of roses in bloom and the summer bedding looks beautiful. Autumn is one of the most spectacular times to visit Powerscourt. The 300 year old Beech Avenue is reminiscent of New England with its copper tones and is a beautiful place to walk.


Is summer the best time to see the gardens in their full glory?

A large part of my role as Head Gardener in Powerscourt is to provide colourful blooms year-round for our visitors to enjoy. Summertime is the best time to visit the gardens, especially if you like Roses! The herbaceous border at Powerscourt, Ireland’s largest, is at its finest in summer and features over 700 varieties of plants. It’s a must-see for gardeners.


What is your favourite area of the gardens?

As much as I love the formality, symmetry and structure of the Italian Gardens, my favourite area of the garden is the Japanese Garden. Especially in early May when the Magnolias, Azaleas and Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom. It is a place of great peace and tranquillity with its grottos, pagodas, bridges and streams hidden away in its own little valley. I also love the Rhododendron Walk as it’s one of the quietest areas to stroll through the gardens while the Pet Cemetery is fun and quirky! 

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt House, Gardening

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