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“Flowers from all over the world”

Lismore Castle Gardens & Gallery
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Lismore
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Owner description: Lismore Castle Gardens and Gallery are situated on the edge of the heritage town of Lismore, the proud winner of numerous Tidiest Town awards. Visitors are invited to wander in the historic gardens, arranged over seven acres within the 17th century outer defensive walls of Lismore Castle. The gardens are said to be the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland and they offer spectacular views of both Lismore castle and the surrounding countryside of the Blackwater valley. Featuring a wide variety of beautifully maintained plants and trees, as well as a permanent sculpture collection, Lismore Castle Gardens is one of the highlights of The Waterford Garden Trail, which includes fifteen gardens around Co. Waterford. Please note the castle itself is a private residence and is therefore not open to visitors. Entry to the garden includes access to the contemporary art gallery, Lismore Castle Arts, which hosts exhibitions of Irish and international artists. There is also a small refreshment counter and a reading room, plus art materials available for children. Visitors might also enjoy other attractions located within walking distance of the gardens. These include Lismore Cathedral, the Heritage Centre and Lady Louisa's walk, as well as a number of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. Please note due to the historic nature of the gardens and the naturally steep terrain of the ground, there are some unavoidable limitations on access for visitors who use a wheelchair or are less mobile. The gallery, Lismore Castle Arts, is occasionally closed for installation of temporary exhibitions, please contact us for full details.
Cork,
Level Contributor
130 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Flowers from all over the world”
Reviewed August 27, 2013

There are two separate gardens; the lower garden which has trees and shrubs from all over the world, some very rare and many are very old and have been there for a long time. The upper garden is literaly up one story and has many colorful flowers, some are rather unusual as well.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A nice couple of hours but they could definitely capitalise more on what they have”
Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

€8 entrance to the gallery and upper & lower gardens.
The gallery is a bit of a stretch with 4/5 copper installations, a handful of architectural drawings which seemed to be stuck to the wall with blu-tac and a light feature using bathroom globe-lights... With so many wonderful Irish artists, and many wonderful local artists, I cannot understand why they even bother with such a half-hearted effort.
The "tearoom" is also a stretch; it being a tiny room with a small selection of Cadbury Snack bars and tea/coffee from canteen-style pumps. They could really do so much more with this and provide some outdoor tables so people could have tea & scones etc in a beautiful location.
The gardens, however, are really lovely. Even on a lovely Saturday afternoon in August, it was not busy so we enjoyed a peaceful couple of hours wandering the kitchen gardens and the lower gardens. Again, I would imagine they could make a lot more of the gardens by promoting the sale of their vegetables, home-made fruit & vegetable products and they could even have a plant nursery selling seedlings etc... But they don't.
It's a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a fine day. Don't expect too much for your money. Don't expect to enjoy home-made refreshments after a potter about the gardens. Don't expect to take home any fresh produce (although it's plentiful in it's availability) or any herbs or flowering plants... There appears to be little of no business acumen behind the scenes here although I would imagine the cost of upkeep of the castle to be crippling. Also, don't imagine that the gallery (in the west wing of the castle) would give you so much as a glimpse of how the main castle might look... The walls and ceilings are hidden behind white plaster-board sheets, making the setting as generic as any prefab unit.
Not a bad place to visit but don't get too excited

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank N_alde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LismoreDirector, Manager at Lismore Castle Gardens & Gallery, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Thank you for visiting Lismore Castle Gardens and Gallery, we were delighted to hear you enjoyed the peacefulness of the gardens, it is something about which we receive many favourable comments, in person and in our visitor's book, and it is an aim we actively pursue.

Thank you also for your comments on the gallery. Contemporary art will always divide opinion, we accept and welcome that, but please rest assured that nothing we do is "half-hearted". The dedication and commitment of our team ensures that every aspect of every exhibition in our continually changing programme of Irish and international artists is considered with a great deal of thought and effort. We hope to welcome you back soon.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Nice gardens”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

The castle is stunning and the view coming into Lismore from the east is really impressive. We only went to the gardens and they were really nice. Their is a cool playground and some interesting things to keep the kids happy.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank MichaelDuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilkenny
Level Contributor
106 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Ok”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Was disappointed that the tour was just for the gardens but we continued any way .Gardens are nice but I have seen better maintained and I feel their best display is probably springtime .there was nothing much to see in the gallery and the tea room was virtually non existent .Muckross house in Killarney would be miles ahead ,felt it was a bit pricey .

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank coupleskilkenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“We enjoyed it - but it could have been better”
Reviewed July 17, 2013

We drove 50 miles from Wexford for this visit, largely encouraged by the enthusiastic reviews on Tripadvisor. Sadly, our own experience was not quite so positive as some reported here. Yes, it was great to see the variety of trees and shrubs, and it is particularly helpful that many of them are labelled. The vegetable gardens - which were getting a lot of attention from the staff - were luscious. But much of the rest of the formal flower gardens and lawns were looking decidedly dowdy, although to be fair it had been hot and dry for the two weeks prior to our visit. The best was perhaps the show of sweet peas in flower, filling the air with gorgeous scent. OK, it was worth the drive (which in itself was very pleasant) for just that.
A charming young man in the tea room made us two cups of tea - in plastic cups. There was little else by way of refreshments. There were no tables, but we took our cups outside and sat on a shady seat, amused by a blackbird having a field day in a patch of wild strawberries.
We are enthusiastic visitors of art galleries, mainly in London, but also in California, Japan and throughout Europe. But we were not much impressed by what was on show in the gardens (sculptures) and in the gallery - a series of exhibits that looked as though they had come of the drawing board of a civil engineer. We aren't totally ignorant on matters of contemporary art and have been enthusiastic visitors in the past to the Museum of Modern Art in Madrid and the Tate Modern in London.
We shall return, but not to the castle, I think: Lismore is so beautifully situated on the River Suir that it seems worth exploring for its own sake.
My photo is of the sweet peas - as a bit of a change from castle turrets.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Tomtiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LismoreDirector, Manager at Lismore Castle Gardens & Gallery, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
I am delighted to hear you enjoyed your visit. The recent spell of dry, hot weather has taken its toll on our lawns and our gardening team are working very hard to reduce this impact. I am happy to hear that you received good service during your visit and have passed your comments onto the team. It is a shame, however, that you did not enjoy our current exhibition. Lismore Castle Arts prides itself on the international exhibition programme it delivers each year bringing cutting edge contemporary art to South East Ireland.
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