Hidden in Farmleigh Park and accessible from Phoenix Park – Farmleigh House was a huge discovery for me. A little bit of history: the house was built in the late 18th century and for over 150 years was owned by the Guinness family, which was one of the richest families in Ireland. Some remarkable architectural elements and famous pieces of art are to be found inside, along with suites made for kings and queens visiting Ireland after the House became property of the Irish Government. I won’t tell you more about it as you have to see it with your own eyes. Free guided tours available every day (currently outside only, and you need to book ahead), although I recommend checking the website in case anything changes. If tours are fully booked, you can come and wander around by yourselves anyway.
I made a mistake when I took a bus 38 going from town, which brought me to the northern side of Farmleigh Park. After wandering around for nearly 45 minutes (I thought I could get in at one of the gates along the road) I rang the reception and understood that I have to go all the way back to Phoenix Park as you can only enter the territory from there. Well, now you know and won’t repeat my mistake!
There are two beautiful gardens near the Farmleigh House – The Walled Garden – with roses even in winter – and the Dutch-Style Sunken Garden that is a little hidden behind the trees.