Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens, County Cork

Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens, County Cork

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Situated north of Cobh and just beside the Fota Island Wildlife Park lies Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens. This 19th century Regency house is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and an arboretum which houses rare trees and shrubs from around the world.


The house was originally a hunting lodge, used by the Smith Barry family on their regular trips to Ireland (from Britain) for hunting, fishing and shooting. However, in the 1820s it was decided to redevelop the lodge and for the next 70 years regular amendments and additions were made to the house until 1897, until the house you see today was eventually formed. The house remains virtually unchanged from the house of the late 19th century and visitors gain a unique perspective on the architecture styles and tastes of the day. The house has 70 rooms of varying styles – from the cramped servant quarters to the large windowed rooms of the principle rooms. The house has gone under extensive restoration and a visit to this beautiful period house is a glimpse in another era. Charming, beautiful and classic – Fota House is gem.


The accompanying arboretum is one of the best collections of rare and shrubs and trees in both Ireland and Britain and is viewed as both a source of pleasure and education. The unique eco-system found on Fota Island was recognised by the Smith Barry family, who carefully cultivated and developed this arboretum, bringing back plant specimens from their worldwide travels ranging from the Orient to North and South America.


This is an interesting and relaxing visit with something for everyone – whether you are an historical or botanical buff or simply seeking a relaxing walks around some beautiful grounds, you will find it here!


Why not combine a visit to the house with a visit to the Fota Wildlife Park?!

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