Ballyfin Demesne

Europe Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
Ballyfin Demesne - Ireland
11 October 2021

Discover a 5-Star luxury country house hotel in the heart of Ireland. Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the centre of Ireland, Ballyfin is a place of history and romance, of tranquility and great natural beauty.

The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

With only twenty bedrooms, and a private one bedroom Gardeners Cottage, for the 614 acre estate, this 5 star luxury hotel is the perfect place for a break from the stresses of the modern world and provides discretion and privacy like few other destinations.

It is also the ideal place to book exclusively for a very special celebration. Come and enjoy life in 5 star luxury in one of the greatest country houses in Ireland. Welcome to Ireland. Welcome to Ballyfin.

Reception Rooms
Irish country houses were created as places for entertainment. The restoration was aimed at returning Ballyfin as closely as possible to how it functioned when it was originally built.

Relax & Unwind
Conceived on a generous scale for receiving guests, Ballyfin combines magnificence and intimacy in its reception rooms. The decoration of these interiors has long been acclaimed as among the finest of the Neoclassical and Empire periods in Ireland.

From the enormous Saloon at the heart of the house, to the eighty-foot Library which runs the length of its south façade, the reception rooms make for a glorious backdrop to a stay in the house. The Library is perfect for whiling away a few hours with plenty of quiet corners for conversation.

French Inspired
Alternatively, guests may enjoy the elegance of the Gold Drawing Room, with its French-inspired decoration and beautiful ceiling of rich stucco work, the grandeur of the Saloon, or the informality of the sun-filled Conservatory, reached through a secret door hidden in a bookshelf of the Library.

At Ballyfin formality is blended with ease and enjoyment. Guests are invited to enjoy these splendid interiors, decorated with Irish art and antiques from around the world, in the same spirit of refined elegance as visitors to the house did in the 1820s when Ballyfin was built.

Steeped in Irish history, the site of Ballyfin has been settled from ancient times and was ancestral home in succession to the O’Mores, the Crosbys, the Poles, the Wellesley-Poles (the family of the Duke of Wellington) and later the Cootes.

Built in the 1820’s
The Coote family was descended from Sir Charles Coote, an Elizabethan adventurer who came to Ireland in 1601. The Coote coat-of-arms is prominently displayed above the entrance to Ballyfin.

The house itself was built in the 1820s for another Sir Charles Coote to designs by the great Irish architects Sir Richard and William Morrison.

The Cootes enjoyed the house for exactly one hundred years employing a large team of servants to preserve the life of refined leisure that is documented in Edwardian photographs showing tea on the terrace or skating in the walled garden.

As the political situation changed with the dawning of the Irish Independence, the Cootes sold the estate to the Patrician Brothers who, for much of the twentieth century, ran a much-loved school at Ballyfin. After many years of restoration Ballyfin reopened its doors in May 2011.

The Estate
The estate is fabled for its natural and man-made beauties and as the demense is open to residents only, Ballyfin offers a perfect opportunity for rest, tranquility and outdoor activities.

At Ballyfin, stone walls enclose 614 acres of parkland, a lake and ancient woods, delightful garden buildings, follies and grottoes.

The landscape, laid out in the mid-eighteenth century, is among the finest examples in Ireland of the natural style of gardening inspired by ‘Capability’ Brown. There are many highlights that will keep garden lovers and outdoor enthusiasts exploring for days.

These include the medieval-style tower, built as a folly in the 1860’s, the walled garden with its formal borders and kitchen gardens, the abundant wildlife to be seen on early morning walks and the restored Edwardian rock garden.

All rooms in the house are beautifully appointed, yet all individually designed to mirror the unique style of the original house. Our marble bathrooms are equipped to the highest standard with walk in shower, bath, double basin and luxurious toiletries.

The rooms walls are upholstered with a serene green and terracotta French toile which recall Beaufort’s descent from French Hugenots. Daniel Augustus was an 18th century parson -scholar and spent much time at Ballyfin as a guest of the Pole family while he was Rector of the nearby town of Mountrath.

His son Admiral Francis Beaufort gave his name to the Beaufort Windscale and to the Beaufort Sea indicating the widespread connections with this quiet corner of Ireland in times past.

A charming suit of armour in miniature gives this room its name. It lies at the centre of the east front, set behind the entrance portico, the crisply carved capitals of which can be appreciated at close quarters.

The room enjoys stunning views over the lake while inside, the elegant decoration, with various effects of green, is painted to imitate oak paneling. The Regency chimneypiece in white marble was moved here from the former Billiard Room.

Named after Sarah, the daughter of the Earl of Drogheda, who married William Pole in 1748. With views out over the Pleasure Grounds and the Cascade, this delightful room on the mezzanine floor is appropriately named after Sarah, the daughter of the Earl of Drogheda, who married William Pole in 1748.

Lady Sarah Pole’s dedication to the gardens at Ballyfin contributed so much to its great renown in Georgian Ireland. The room retains its corner fireplace with an attractively carved rosette and the original grate.

Over this is hung a touching late-Georgian portrait of a lady by the eighteenth-century Irish artist Thomas Hickey.

All suites in the house are beautifully appointed, yet all individually designed to mirror the unique style of the original house. Our marble bathrooms are equipped to the highest standard with walk in shower, bath, double basin and luxurious toiletries.

This sumptuous suite, with its large sitting room, is the largest bedroom in the house. Today it acknowledges Sir Christopher Coote, 15th Baronet and the senior member of the Coote family, who has taken a close personal interest in the restoration of the house built for his great-great-great grandparents.

Today, the suite enjoys a handsome sitting room, its curved windows looking out to beautiful views over the fountain and the Pleasure Grounds.

The decorative theme of the suite is determined by a series of eighteenth-century Chinese wallpaper panels, formerly in the collection of the Prince of Hanover at Schloss Marienburg. Many of the furnishings are complementary in the style of Chinese Chippendale.

Set in the corner of the walled garden, just a stone throw from the main house. This comfortable two-story house set in such close proximity to the landlord’s residence is indicative of the crucial role the Head Gardeners played in the economy of the estate over several hundred years.

This charming and comfortable cottage has been refurbished and enhanced to provide an extensive suite for guests, with views over the parkland and the lake to one side and to the productive vegetable garden and flower borders on the other.

A spacious living room with two fireplaces gives access to a private patio. Adjoining is a small kitchen and a cloak room; upstairs, there are two bathrooms and a large airy bedroom. Off the bedroom, a balcony overlooks the walled garden and a stairway leads to a hot tub on the private terrace.

The Restaurant
It’s all about the flavour – at breakfast, lunch and dinner, simple, elegant and really tasty dishes are created from exceptional produce by our Chef and his team.

The Food
Our inspiration starts in the grounds. Eight acres of walled garden, full year-round with a rich variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs all expertly grown and tended to by our team of gardeners.

The six hundred and fourteen acres of grounds bring a diverse collection of wild foods throughout the year. In Spring the woodlands are filled with ramsons leaf wild garlic and wood sorrel’s delicate white flowers.

Then in Autumn, the forest floor is littered with hedgehog mushrooms, giroles and sometimes, in just a few secret corners of the estate, the King of the forest floor appears, the magnificent Cep(s).

Hidden away near the picnic house live Ballyfin’s Bees, a Buckfast hybrid, Irish born and bred. They make us honey, honeycomb and wax from Spring until Autumn.

Bern, our bee man, tends to the hives checking on the bees weekly, collecting the comb and then extracting the honey a little further up the Slieve Bloom Mountains, only 5 kms from us here at Ballyfin (as the bee flies).

A hop over the wall and you will find our producers who supply us with exceptional ingredients. Our Butcher, Mick Keegan, rears beef, pork and lamb for his shop 8 kms away in Mountrath.

Patricia Butler produces chicken in her farm in County Kilkenny. The seeded sour dough comes from bakery and coffee shop Mueller & O’Connell in nearby Abbeyleix.

Travelling out of Laois, our fish is landed and then delivered daily by The Duncannon Fish Company out of Kilmore Quay, and SSI sea foods out of Dublin. The butter on the tables is from Glenilen Farm in County Cork.

Our Menus are a team effort with the Kitchen, Sommelier and Restaurant all working together to produce a seamlessly enjoyable evening. Dishes are simple in delivery, focusing on bold flavours and balance – food that is meant to be enjoyed!

Dining Options
Guests hiking, biking or simply relaxing may opt to take with them a traditional gourmet picnic hamper to enjoy in any location across the grounds, or select an al fresco meal on the terrace of the main house. Alternatively, enjoy the panoramic views from the picnic house (additional cost applies).

The cocktail hour is back at Ballyfin, ushering in dinner where you will enjoy the grandeur of the State Dining Room and the Van Der Hagen Room. Downstairs the Cellar Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere and informal setting and provides residents with the opportunity to enjoy a more casual dinner experience.

Private dining can be arranged in the Porcelain Room lined with the famous ‘Flora Danica’ set of china or in the atmospheric Wine Cellar. Pre-booking 24 hours in advance required for private dining and additional cost applies.

At Ballyfin the architectural splendour of the rooms and their historical resonances combine with the food to make for truly memorable dining experiences. Guests dine at individual tables unless a preference is expressed to dine with other guests.

The Chef – Sam Moody
“Ballyfin is like no other hotel or restaurant I have been to, the house and grounds are breathtakingly beautiful, the team are friendly and care so much about the guests, I feel truly lucky to be part of the team.

The dishes we will create are simple, with a focus on big flavours, balance and detail. I will work hard to create a synergy between the Restaurant and Garden. The produce grown in Ballyfin’s 8 acre Kitchen Garden is incredible and will be an essential part in creating exceptional dining experiences for our guests.”

Sam has been working at the very top end of the hotel industry for the past 17 years. He won and then maintained 1 star Michelin at the Bath Priory for 5 years, and has a Hotel Catey to his name.

He has always focussed on developing and training his team and holds them key to his success, Outside of his day Job he loves to teach at local colleges helping to inspire the next generation of chefs. He is a keen fisherman, enjoys walking and the countryside, he loves food and restaurants

The Cellar Bar
Discreetly hidden away in the former Servants’ Hall downstairs, the Cellar Bar is the perfect place to enjoy the convivial hospitality for which Ireland is famed.

While the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a quiet drink the informal setting provides residents with an opportunity to enjoy an alternative dinner experience.

Here the night time menu is a simpler affair – grill style but making excellent use of Ballyfin garden produce as well as fish, fowl and meats from local suppliers.

The change in style from the main floor of the house is reflected in the décor and here there is a chance to admire some of Ballyfin’s collection of contemporary Irish art which includes a major work by Michael Farrell (1940-2000) showing Vincent Van Gogh painting at Arles and a vividly expressionist piece above the bar by Brian Maguire (b. 1951) which contrast with the gentle lyricism of a series of flower pieces by the young Irish artist Michael Canning (b. 1971).

Here you will also find a superb collection of the best of Irish whiskies including single cask Middleton 1996; Inish Turk Beg, only 2,888 bottles produced; twelve-year old Red Breast and seventeen-year old Connemara, single cask.

On a summer’s day the bar opens out onto the former Kitchen Yard, which is now laid out as a courtyard garden.

Whiskey Tastings
Whiskey tastings are regular events at Ballyfin. We aim to provide an insight into the world of whiskey making, focusing mostly on our superb range of Irish whiskeys.

The Cellar
A highlight for many guests is a trip to Ballyfin’s well-stocked Cellar, just around the corner from the Bar. Guided by our expert sommelier, you can personally select your wine so that it is perfectly decanted and ready for you at dinner.

With its elaborate vaults, limestone columns and series of distinctive arched storage bins arranged like over-sized nest boxes, the cellar is a wonderfully atmospheric venue for wine tasting and private dining.

Among the highlights of the cellar is a group of wines from French chateaux with distinctly Irish names like Lynch.

The Irish ‘Wine Geese’ winemakers of Bordeaux, who fled persecution at home, were among the most innovative viticulture pioneers of the eighteenth century and in honour of this Irish contribution to France, wines have been carefully selected for the cellar at Ballyfin from fourteen vineyards established by Irish exiles.

Romance is part of the scenery, Ballyfin has been a byword for grace and luxury since the eighteenth century. For further details and rates on organising a wedding at Ballyfin please complete our wedding enquiry form below.

Wedding venue in the heart of Ireland
‘Happily ever after’ begins with a wedding at Ballyfin Demesne. Ballyfin Demesne is an exclusive 5 star wedding venue where there are no interruptions or distractions – just you surrounded by the people you love on your special day.

The beautiful and relaxing surroundings, the privacy, the luxuriously comfortable accommodation, and the fine food and wine that will be provided by our superb chefs and our sommelier, make Ballyfin the perfect place for your perfect day.

Dream Settings
Choose from a selection of beautiful spaces, with flexibility for any event: an impressive ballroom ideal for wedding receptions accommodating up to 130 guests and our stunning State Dining Room with views over the water cascade accommodating up to 70 guests, inviting rooms for more intimate pre-wedding celebrations, dinners or parties and vibrant outdoor terraces or garden spaces for afternoon tea and photographs.

House parties
It was built for gracious hospitality and entertaining and resonates to the sound of laughter and enjoyment. With its 614 acres providing complete privacy, Ballyfin is a perfect venue for house parties and family celebrations of all kinds.

Specialist expertise and catering is offered for occasions where every detail must be perfect and appear effortless. You will find a versatile combination of magnificence and intimacy throughout the house.

The reception rooms make for a glorious backdrop to a stay in the house and are perfect for every type of event. From small family dinners to spectacular parties to exceptional corporate gatherings and with all of the public rooms opening into each other it is ideal for a larger cocktail party.

Up to 50 guests may be seated comfortably for dinner in the State Dining Room or for larger parties the Ballroom is a wonderful venue. The selection of reception rooms cater for every mood and requirement.

The Library is a lovely room for whiling away a few hours with plenty of quiet corners for conversation, and there are plenty of more grand rooms for entertaining or just enjoying the opulence of the House. And for a good Irish sing-a-long enjoy the intimate Ballyfin Bar with its upright piano.

There are lots of activities available from the active outdoors to wine tasting in the cellar.

Memorable food arrangements are all part of the catering at Ballyfin, from picnics in the grotto, barbeques in the courtyard, and lunches in the sunny conservatory and gala dinners in the State Dining Room – each mealtime will be an experience.

You can add period drama to the event by selecting costumes from our costume department.

Conference & meetings at Ballyfin
At Ballyfin, business can be combined with pleasure in a location that is private, distinctive and easy-to-reach. For private and corporate entertaining to high level business meetings, Ballyfin offers the perfect retreat.

It is an ideal venue to entertain clients, to work on strategy or celebrate a professional milestone. From a board meeting to an afternoon of activities, our world-class staff, including a designated liaison assigned to your group, and our very discreet and private setting, support your professional and business goals.

The perfect environment for custom team building programs
At Ballyfin, fresh air, open skies and the spirit and beauty of nature and the house are the luxurious backdrop for productive and energetic meetings.

Team-building experiences include archery, clay pigeon shooting, treasure hunts, road rallies over the Slieve Bloom Mountains in classic cars or on bicycles, cookery class and blind wine tasting challenges among others.

Meeting spaces in varying sizes and locations offer the ability to create the perfect setting for each gathering. The members of Ballyfin’s team are experienced in creating environments that suit individual needs, from appropriate seating arrangements to technical support.

Dining at Ballyfin features excellent cuisine prepared by our culinary team with fresh-from-the-garden ingredients. Menus may be designed to suit working lunches, casual gatherings in our wine cellar or bar to formal evening meals.

Meeting adjourned! Close your notebooks. It’s time to have fun.
Natural beauty and an array of sporting alternatives make the enjoyment of physical activity a way of life at Ballyfin. Colleagues may break from meetings for croquet, horse-riding, fishing, archery, clay pigeon shooting, falconry, tennis, swimming, hiking, bicycling or a work-out in the fitness centre.

Or, arrange a private group session of Pilates, stretch aerobics, yoga, tai chi outdoors in the demesne’s beautiful natural setting.

Treatment and Fitness Rooms
The gym is fully equipped with the latest cardio vascular machines, audiovisual equipment and free weights. A personal training service is available on request (additional cost).

The treatment rooms provide an ideal place to unwind, restore and to invigorate the body and mind. Our highly trained therapists will ensure you leave feeling revitalised and refreshed.

We hope you will feel free to discuss your treatment choices with our reservations team – they will know and understand the treatments and will advise on which experience would best suit your needs.

Alternatively you can reserve an amount of time and upon arrival and consultation, your therapist will select treatments for you. We request that you book in advance of arrival to ensure we will have the availability of our therapists and treatment times required.

Indoor Pool
Whether you feel like swimming some laps, enjoying some water exercises or simply relaxing, our 14m heated indoor pool, overlooking the courtyard garden, is a beautiful space for invigoration and wellbeing.

Vitality Pool and Sauna
The vitality pool is equipped with a mixture of air and water based features. It includes a large feature seat with a combination of fine air bubbles and powerful water jets.

The air pad in the centre of the pool floor offers an invigorating air massage while wall mounted hydro jets add vigorous leg and back massage to your experience. All features are available on demand and the water is kept at 40’C for your comfort while the low level lighting adds to the ambience.

Ballyfin houses an outstanding collection of paintings which traces the development of Irish art from the mid-seventeenth century to today.

Works by many of the leading figures of Irish Art, as well as paintings and drawings of Irish subject matter by continental and American artists provide for a fascinating exploration of Ireland’s art, history, topography and social life, reflecting both the splendour of the Great House and also the humble life of the cottage.

The family portraits showing generations of the Cootes were reinstalled, having left the house some ninety years ago and make for a sensational display on the grand staircase. The works on show in the reception rooms and bedrooms give an account of Irish painting focusing on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Downstairs meanwhile, the bar and treatment rooms are filled with more modern works ranging from twentieth-century Irish masters such as Mainie Jellett and Louis le Brocquy, to young artists at the beginning of their careers including Michael Canning and Blaise Drummond; throughout the house the creative spirit of Ireland is made dazzlingly evident.

Estate Activities
Amongst the outdoor activities offered at Ballyfin are clay pigeon shooting, archery, horse riding and falconry.

Clay Pigeon Shooting*
Clay Pigeon shooting is a thrilling experience. Whether you are a beginner or expert you will enjoy this sport. Perfect your aim, time your shots and let the competitive streak in you shine.

Air Rifle Target Shooting
Using the most advanced pre-charged air rifles on our 50m range, your instructor will guide you in the skill of precision shooting.

Despite its medieval origins, archery has now been developed into a high-tech and highly competitive sport. Using the very latest equipment guests are taught the skills required to strike gold on the competition shoot.

Horse Riding
With 614 acres to explore, horse riding around the demesne is a wonderful experience. Our experienced instructors will guide you around the demesne, trekking by the tower and lake, deep into the demesne. Horse riding lessons in the paddock can also be arranged with our experienced instructors. (pre-booking in advance required).

Horse & Carriage
Step back in time and take a guided tour on a horse & carriage which awaits you at the front door. The tour will take you around the pathways of the demesne with your guide highlighting the history of the demesne (pre-booking in advance is required).

Experience the beauty and elegance of these majestic birds of prey, get close and be captivated by eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. (Please note that pre-booking in advance of arrival is required).

Picnic House
Arrange a Ballyfin picnic in a place of your choice on the demesne. You are spoilt for choice with some excellent locations to choose from, the grotto, temple, by the water cascade, top of the tower, by the lake. The Picnic House can also be pre-booked and cost applies.

Coarse fishing on the lake
A morning or afternoon of fishing on the lake for Pike and Roach. We can arrange a ghillie and lessons* if required.

Boating on the lake
Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the 28 acre lake or why not let our Butler take you out while you relax and enjoy the scenery*. Arrange a Ballyfin picnic and this will be ready for you at a beautiful private location close to the lake.

Bicycles and Buggys
Within the demesne there are several miles of hard surfaced paths as well as miles of mown grass paths offering a gentle stroll or the exhilaration of mountain biking. The gardens and park lands are a delight to explore and picnics are offered to enjoy in the grounds.

Ballyfin Demesne is full of wildlife, so much to look out for while exploring the demesne. Wild birds to name a few that can be seen are Kestrels, Sparrow hawks, Hen Harriers, Buzzards, long eared Owl, Cuckoo, Pheasants, Kingfishers, Swans, Cootes and Moorhens.

Catch a glimpse of a Fox, Deer, Red Squirrel, Mink and Pine Marten.

House Activities
Modelled on the tradition of the Irish country house, Ballyfin is designed for the most discerning guests who want to enjoy a few days of absolute tranquility and to experience the noble tradition of Irish hospitality.

Guests are encouraged to enjoy Ballyfin in their own fashion; it is a place of urbane leisure and refined relaxation. There are six reception rooms including an 80 foot library with roaring log fires and collections of rare books.

Wine and whiskey tastings, music recitals and art and architectural tours of the house are among the activities offered but we can also provide tailor-made activities to suit our guests’ requirements.

The Costume Experience
Have you dreamed in starring in your own period drama? With the backdrop of Ballyfin (long admired as one of the most lavish regency mansions in Ireland) and a stunning collection of period costumes (from the Lyric Opera Company in Chicago – one of the best opera companies in the world) – you now have the opportunity.

This is especially suitable for groups where guests can visit the specially designed costume room to try on and choose their costumes. With all guests dressed up, the group is now ready to enjoy a splendid evening with a fine banquet and entertainment to make the most of the occasion.

The Library
The 80ft library is perfect for whiling away a few hours, relaxing by the open fire reading from a choice of over 5,000 volumes of books.

History Tour
Ballyfin house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel like no other.

Take a guided tour of the house and learn of the history of the families that lived at Ballyfin, the restoration period and enjoy hearing of the history of each room and the antiques and art.

Championship golf is nearby with some of the finest golf courses in Ireland within driving distance of Ballyfin.

The K Club (81 KMS)
Designed by Arnold Palmer, The Palmer Ryder Cup Course is ranked regularly in the top three parkland golf courses in Ireland.

This Palmer designed golf haven is a must-play ‘badge of honour’ that has hosted the top golf players in the world. The Ryder Cup in 2006 and 11 European Opens testify to the importance of The Palmer Ryder Cup Course to European Golf.

Mount Juliet (78 KMS)
The beautiful and challenging Mount Juliet golf course has established itself as a premier golfing venue for professionals and leisure golfers worldwide.

Chosen as the first and only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Ireland, the par 72, 7,300 yard layout boasts rolling fairways, many featuring water hazards and contoured greens, all superbly blended into the spectacular setting of this famous old Irish estate.

The Heritage (30 KMS)
A 72 par Championship golf course designed by Seve Ballesteros and Jeff Howes is located nearby in County Laois, with the Slieve Bloom Mountains as a backdrop.

Five lakes and a stream meander through the course and bring water into play on ten holes. 98 beautifully shaped bunkers and 7,000 trees adorn the landscape, which is very gently undulating without any climbing involved.

Birr Castle & Gardens
The gardens at Birr are set in a landscape of 50 hectares and contain some of the largest and rarest tree species found in Ireland. The gardens have a rich history attached to them.

They were originally landscaped around the lake in the eighteenth century by Sir William Parsons, and over the generations of the Parsons family the demesne has increased in beauty and interest.

The demesne is also home to Ireland’s historic Science centre, where visitors may travel back to the time to when Birr Castle was a hub of scientific discovery and innovation. Private visits to the castle, hosted by Lord & Lady Rosse can be arranged for groups.

Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle stands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing on the River Nore and dominates the ‘High Town’ of Kilkenny City.

Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles.

Emo Court 
Emo Court was designed by the architect James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington and is a magnificent example of the neoclassical style. During the middle of this century it was owned by the Jesuits, it was then acquired and extensively restored by Mr. Cholmeley-Harrison in the 1960s.

The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland which were first laid out in the eighteenth century and contain formal lawns, a lake and woodland walks with many fine trees and shrubs. The house and gardens were taken into State ownership in 1994.

Heywood Gardens
Colonel William Hutchinson Poe commissioned the leading architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, to plan the gardens at Heywood. Known as ‘The Italian Gardens,’ they are the only example of Lutyens’ work outside of Dublin. The gardens were completed in 1912.

They consist of formal gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural features, such as Gothic gates and artificial ruins, embellished with medieval pieces such as the window taken from Aghaboe Abbey. The gardens in Heywood remained as structurally intact as they were when they were completed at the turn of the century.

National Stud and Japanese Gardens, Kildare
Nowhere better symbolizes all that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry, than the stud, a unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty that is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world.

From horses to horticulture, the Irish National Stud & gardens offers you a unique experience.

Slieve Bloom Mountains
The area is made up of forests, blanket bog of a type unique to Ireland, interspersed with hidden valleys of great character, and interest to the nature lover. The natural colours of the landscape are remarkable in any season.

Much of the higher reaches of the mountains have been designated as an Environmentally Protected Area for special preservation as an amenity for generations to come.

Our Butlers will be happy to recommend suitable walks, print maps and provide information on local areas for you during your stay. It is said that you can see half the counties in Ireland from the top of the Slieve Blooms.

Alternatively wander around the foothills of the mountains, visiting the quaint villages, taking your time to stop along the way. These are places where people will take the time to talk to you, where tourists are not so common and where the locals will have a genuine interest in you.

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a hill walkers paradise. The mountains are not so high as to be dangerous, yet are not so low that they can still provide a challenge to every grade of walker. There is a wide choice of looped walks and long distance way-marked walks to help you to explore and enjoy this beautiful area.

The quiet roads and forestry trails and the range of gentle and challenging slopes of the Slieve Blooms also make the mountains a cyclists paradise.

Family friendly Ballyfin
Ballyfin house has 20 bedrooms accommodating 39 guests. Additional accommodation can also be found in Ballyfin Gate Lodge, with three beautifully appointed bedrooms which can accommodate 5 guests.

The Gate Lodge is perfect for the children’s nanny or for use as additional accommodation. We welcome children of all ages when the house is reserved by one group for exclusive use. For individual reservations we welcome children over the age of 9 years.

Rooms: 20
Price: from 700 EUR per night


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