Posted by: Our Kerry | June 2, 2013

Muckross House & Gardens

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Muckross House

On a recent trip to Killarney with a friend we drove out to Muckross House and Gardens. When we got to the house I suggested that we be tourists for the day and take the guided tour. It had been over 30 years since I’d last set foot inside the house and my sole memory was of  the “Children’s Room”.

The adult tour price is a reasonably modest €7.50. Armed with our tickets we were dispatched to the waiting area, which contains a display of about 7 backdrops all detailing the visit of Queen Victoria to Killarney in the 1800s and is printed in both English and as gaeilge.   There were approximately 40 people in our group with many countries and languages represented. We were asked not to take any photographs or video in the house so you will have to visit for the visuals!

The guide was quite informative though I did feel that after the initial gathering in the main foyer of the house the rest of the tour was a bit rushed and she didn’t always wait until everyone was gathered in a common area before she gave the account of what we were about to see so I felt that we may have missed some of the details. Also if you are hard of hearing or not a fluent english speaker you may find it difficult to follow.  It’s worth checking out if they have audio in other languages and if it’s possible to visit on your own without the english speaking guide.

With over 60 rooms the house is impressive and you do get a feel for how they might have lived in times past.   Naturally in the interest of preservation and the comfort of the visitor modern day climate control systems, storage heating and electric lighting are all necessary additions to the interior. Conservation work is currently being carried out to the windows.  The Children’s Room was not as impressive as I had remembered though in truth I expect that it has not changed at all but just seemed different viewed though adult eyes.  And although you are asked not to touch any of the furniture or fittings you can go up close to take a good look! The room I was most intrigued by was the kitchen – it was here that I felt a real sense of history – perhaps I was a kitchen hand or scullery maid in a former life!

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Colourful Cafe Flowerbed

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Vibrant Garden Colour

If you are making a trip to Muckross then a guided tour of the house is a nice and interesting way to pass an hour which is approximately how long it takes to see the tour through.  I recommend visiting early in the day when the guide is fresh and you are not too conscious of the main gates closing.  You can also follow up with a stroll around the extensive and very beautifully kept gardens and woodlands.  There is also a nice restaurant and cafe with the option of out side seating in the gardens, weather permitting.

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