A Visit to Mount Congreve, co. Waterford
Mount Congreve, just 20 minutes from Waterford City, is an ideal place for a day trip with kids of all ages, just bring a picnic (or visit the café instead), some comfy walking shoes and your camera – as it’s so beautiful!
The property is named after John Congreve who employed local architect John Roberts to build his home in 1760. Roberts was responsible for designing and building most of the public buildings in nearby Waterford in the 18th century – including both of the cathedrals.
The house is not open to the public but the gardens are well known for being “one of the great gardens of the world”.
They are open from Thursdays to Sundays and bank holiday Mondays from 11am to 5:30pm
I’m just like a child, if I’m annoying you the best thing is just to kick me out into the garden because it doesn’t take me long to be distracted and cheer up. I was a little bit annoyed when we arrived at Mount Congreve because we got lost and were late meeting our friends (note, use Google maps) but it only took a few seconds for me to cheer up – just long enough to walk through the first arch way to see this:
We walked along an exquisite floral bordered path iand entered the Walled Garden. The garden rises on tiers and houses an enormous Georgian glass house which runs along the length. A pond lies in the lowest tier and lawns stretch up the tiers.
From the Walled Garden going anti-clockwise (because we didn’t read our map) we entered the Riverwalk.
When meandering through this landscape we were offered a variety of vistas, open spaces, covered woodland places and quiet lawns. At every turn we discovered another shade of pink in the vast array of blossomed shrubbery.
The kids enjoyed the variety of landscapes too.
Features along the route included the diverse and unusual charms of an Oriental pagoda, a waterfall, a dell and a Grecian temple.
As it is such a huge place, our group drifted apart and we all ended up taking slightly different routes. However, we managed to locate one another, keep our eyes on various disappearing children and meet up at the house at the end.
The property also houses a café which was very busy – it’s obviously popular – however, we didn’t go in as our group was too big and the ice-cream counter beckoned!
There is a nursery at the entrance beside the carpark if you’d like to bring home some of the garden loveliness with you.
Our visit lasted four hours which included time for a picnic, the outer circular walk, with nine young children (ranging in age from 2 to 14), and a congratulatory visit to the ice-cream counter at the end. In spite of being there for four hours, we didn’t get to explore everywhere.
An added surprise was seeing the little Suir Valley Train come tooting past us along the banks of the river below. If you have enough time in your day, it would be ideal to factor in a visit to both the gardens and the train.
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