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“Highlight of our stop in Bantry” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bantry House & Garden

Bantry House & Garden
Bantry, Ireland
353-27-50047
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Ranked #2 of 18 Attractions in Bantry
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens, Outdoors
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Owner description: Bantry House and Garden is a stately home in southwest Ireland situated right on Bantry Bay with panoramic views of the bay and the caha mountains. The estate is owned by Egerton and Brigitte Shelswell-White and is managed by their daughter Sophie and her partner Josh. It has been in the family since the 1700s. The house contains original furniture and objects d'art. The garden is laid out over 7 terraces with a fountain, large wisteria circle and 100 steps leading up to the woodland. The house, garden and tearoom is open to the public daily from easter to october. The estate hosts weddings, music festivals and fairs. We have a separate review page for our B&B accommodation.
Ireland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Highlight of our stop in Bantry”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

The house is just beautiful. I loved that we could walk around at our own pace and take it all in rather than go on a group tour. They provided guidebooks with info about each room - would have loved to hear a little bit more about the family who own it especially as its been in the family for hundreds of years!

The gardens are lovely, the 100 steps are well worth the climb for the breathtaking view. Equally lovely is the view back of the house from the front garden. It was a lovely time of year to visit as the gardens were in full bloom and so colourful. The conservatory is a fab spot for a cuppa and a slice while taking in the view of bantry bay and the gardens and a bit of sunshine!

Visited July 2014
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SophieSW, General Manager at Bantry House & Garden, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
thank you for your review and for visiting us. Great to read that you liked the way we do things, always room for improvement as well and I hope to implement some new innovative ideas for 2015. Watch this space!
Regards Sophie Shelswell-White
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Lytham St Annes
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Visit this house as soon as you can.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

This was a very good house in a spectacular location overlooking Bantry Bay, but is sadly in a very very poor state of repair. Internally the decoration is original and there are some very nice tapestries that are, I understand,to be sold soon; so if you want to see them do so before they are lost (presumably for a song in the present antiques market)
Externally there is considerable deterioration, including the burned and derelict West stables.
Additionally the grounds away from the immediate house have been neglected and there is absolutely no reason to walk to the walled grade, except for the exercise.
The sunken garden, fountain and parterre as well as the great lawn and the round beds have been maintained in a good condition.
There is a tea room which has a good selection of home made cakes etc and there is covered area with conservatory style seating on which to enjoy these.
Part of the house is in use as guest accommodation, this must provide some much needed income and hopefully this can help the financial situation.
There are members of the family in evidence and one must feel sorry for their fate as there seems little prospect of there being any likelihood of them being able to turn the situation around.

Visited July 2014
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SophieSW, General Manager at Bantry House & Garden, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to visit and write a review.
I am glad you enjoyed your day with us. Just to clarify the west stables were never burned out but of course were neglected. We recently did some work on them so at least now our visitors can walk through them to get a feel for the space. Yes there is a lot of work to do all over the estate but please do not feel sorry for us.
Regards, Sophie Shelswell-White
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Charleston, South Carolina
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11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

traveled a great distance to see this based on other reviews. the house is dilapidated and in disrepair. the portions of the house available for touring are limited and poorly appointed. no live tours are available - just self guided. grounds are likewise variably kept up, with weeds overgrowing the steps and other shortfallings. the stables were basically storage for junk, with dirty tub and other refuse clearly visible through the windows. i question whether portions of this site are safe for children. view was nice, but that's all of ireland, so...

oh, and it was exorbitantly prices as well.

Visited July 2014
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SophieSW, General Manager at Bantry House & Garden, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
Dear GlobeHopscotcher,

A shame you did not see anything you liked when you visited our home. It will probably not surprise you then to learn we are to sell much of the content in the Autumn in the hope that we can do the repair and restoration the whole estate needs.

Saying that I still get a most wonderful feeling when I look around the house and the garden and think about my ancestor who built it, the work that has been put into during my families long life here and the future ahead for us. I know there are weeds and the house is not pristine ( I don't think an estate like ours ever would be) but I'm sad you couldn't see the beautiful flowers, trees and plants we have on the estate, the layout of the rooms, the friendly staff willing to answer questions or taste the yummy cakes in the tearoom.

Just to note as well that the estate is safe for children :I have a 3 year old son, we live in the house and I can assure you the house and garden is safe for children to visit.

I could suggest you come back to see our progress but I doubt you would want to.
Regards, Sophie Shelswell-White
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Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
232 reviews 232 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
461 helpful votes 461 helpful votes
“Wonderful - what a gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

I believe that Bantry House is to sell all it's beautiful contents in October 2014 (approx). This is to fund further developments at the house. If this is the case, then I URGE you to visit this wonderful place before October. After this, it will not be possible to take in this very important part of Irish heritage, unless you are a guest at one of its formal functions. It's gorgeous, and we are so lucky to have such a gem in our midst. We paid €11 each for a self guided tour of the house and gardens. This is great value because you can spend as much time as you like ogling the 'innards' and the 'outards' of this gem. My favourite room has to be the Library, WOW, and to get to it you must go 'upstairs', quite unheard of in many similar heritage homes.

I loved the self guided option. When you enter the house, you are presented with a detailed folder in your own language of the rooms you will visit. This allows you to spend time on the elements of the house that you are most interested in. Photographs are not permitted and rightly so. Having said that, I HAD to sneak a few quick (no flash) snaps of this beautiful space.

Whatever you think of the inside of the house, it will be equally matched by the gardens, and the stable buildings outdoors. The walled garden, sadly not restored yet, is still worth the 10minute walk from the house where you can imagine how this incredible walled-in space was used in the 18th and 19th centuries. Apple and fig trees still exist there, and the greenery in spring and summer is just mind boggling. There is a lovely woodland walk on the grounds which young children will particularly enjoy.

We did go into the Tea rooms which are housed in the old kitchen. However the tea rooms were not that inviting so we did not stay after doing a quick reckkie of the old kitchen and this is recommended by the management.

Staff at the house are very friendly and helpful. We had a few questions that were not answered in the self guide folder, however the nice ladies at the little hut in the car park and in the main hall of the house were very helpful. Weatherwise it was a miserable day, but Bantry House lifted our spirits - and then some. Well worth a visit for sure.

Visited July 2014
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sophiemanager, General Manager at Bantry House & Garden, responded to this review, July 20, 2014
Dear Bryno

thanks for your detailed and interesting review. Its lovely to think you took in nearly every aspect of the estate. I'll forgive you sneaking in a few photos! Next time let one of us know and I am sure we would oblige!
Sorry you didn't find the tearoom inviting - what a shame. Perhaps you might get in touch if you have the time to let me know why not at sophie@bantryhouse.com.

Best wishes, Sophie Shelswell-White
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Dublin
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A Nice way tospend an afternoon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

Spent a lovely afternoon in Bantry House and Gardens during visit to West Cork in June. €11 entry fee but worth it. The tour of the house but could do with updated guide sheets. Lots of furniture in rooms other than those on the information sheets and information is limited. The gardens (100 steps) are fantastic - worth the climb for the view. Went to the walled garden which is not great but the walk back via the woodland path was very nice. The gardens are not huge but really well laid out and enjoyable to just sit and watch the bees at work. There was, what looked like,a naval exhibition in the stables but this was not open - which was disappointing. Nice restaurant - a bit pricey but good quality. Very friendly service at all times.You can take your meal/break in the veranda or, if the weather is nice, in the gardens.

Visited June 2014
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sophiemanager, General Manager at Bantry House & Garden, responded to this review, July 20, 2014
Dear Larry C
thanks for visiting us in June. Glad you enjoyed your time in West Cork and so much of the house and garden. I know the guide book needs some work and sorry this has not been done yet. We will be making some significant changes over the next year and hope to deal with the guidebooks then (along with much more!)
best wishes, Sophie Shelswell-White
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