VISITOR INFORMATION



VISITING THE GARDENS
Role of the Gardens
Brief History of the Gardens
Opening times and tours
Getting to the Gardens
The Visitor Centre
Education at the Gardens
Upcoming events & Calendar
Frequently asked questions

BACK TO THE HOME PAGE

Upcoming Events, Exhibitions and Talks at the Gardens
Last updated: 4th August 2014

The calendar to the right will help you navigate around the many events we have – if you hover your mouse over an orange date it will show you what events are on that day, and a further click will give you the full details.
As well as the full schedule, there are sections to show you details for:


Exhibitions

Exhibition: Kilmacurragh - Through the artist's eye
Friday 8th - Tuesday 26th August

The National Botanic Gardens Kilmacurragh, located in east County Wicklow is the centrepiece of an 18th century estate. It is famous for its towering rhododendrons and wild flower meadows. At present it is enjoying a major phase of replanting and rejuvenation, using ecological planting with drifts of plants from China to Chile.
This exhibition shows the work of six leading artists working in a variety of styles who have been inspired by the gardens and plant collections of Kilmacurragh.
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War which had a significant impact on the fate of the family and staff of the Kilmacurragh estate as many members of the family, tenants and staff lost their lives on the European battlefields. This exhibition honours the memory of those who died in World War I.
Daily in the Gallery space, Visitor Centre
Admission Free.
Sculpture in Context
Thursday 4th September - Friday 17th October

Sculpture in Context is Ireland's largest outdoor sculpture exhibition. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to view Ireland's well-established and most promising future artists. Each year an independent panel of selectors is invited to adjudicate this open exhibition, resulting in an exciting mix of mediums and styles.
The Gardens are not only a botanical haven and a quiet oasis on the outskirts of a modern European city; they are also a challenging venue, which gives the artist the rare opportunity to realise large-scale work. It also gives the public an opportunity to ramble and explore, sometimes finding sculptures in the most unusual places. The sculptures will be displayed throughout the gardens, ponds, Great Palm House, and Curvilinear Range, with the smaller works exhibited in the Gallery above the Visitor Centre.
Daily throughout the Garden and in the Gallery space, Visitor Centre
Admission Free.

Lectures, Tours & Other Events

Daily Guided Walk: Bloomin' Summer
Throughout August

Walking through the Gardens in summertime when it is in full bloom is an unforgettable experience. Join us for a guided tour viewing the Herbaceous Borders, Annual Bedding displays, the Rose Garden, and much more.
Times: Daily. Monday - Saturday 11.30am and 3.00pm,
€2 per person. Sundays 12.00pm and 2.30pm, Free
Family Days at Kilmacurragh!
Saturdays in August

Join us for our family-friendly events at Kilmacurragh every Saturday in July and August. You can take a self-guided trail around the Gardens throughout the day, or take a guided tour tailored especially for families at 12.00pm or 3.00pm. You can bring your dog but it must be kept on a lead. Picnic tables available but no barbeques allowed.
Time: 10.00am-6.00pm
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Heroes of Gardening history - The Lobbs
Saturday 2nd August

the nineteenth century plant collectors William and Thomas Lobb Arguably, both the most majestic and the most familiar of cultivated plants found in Irish gardens and landscape today were originally introduced by William Lobb. His brother Thomas, who collected in the Far East, introduced many tender plants, such as orchids and pitcher plants that thrill us still. Come and see the many Lobb introductions that flourish at Kilmacurragh, those old familiars and others very rare.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Budding Botanists - Flower Pressing Workshop
Saturday 9th August

Kids! Get great tips from the experts and you too can be a plant collector. Join us on an expedition through the Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your own flower press and starting your very own mini herbarium of dried plants.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Education & Visitor Centre.
Suitable for age 8+. Admission Free. Booking Essential.
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Trees and their Timber
Saturday 9th August

Trees have been used for an amazing variety of purposes down through the ages, from weaponry to chess pieces. Trees are valued throughout the world, not only for their timber for carpentry and building but for their many other uses also. Join us on a voyage of discovery to find out all about trees from around the world and their uses.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Discussion and Book Launch: Ireland's Generous Nature
Peter Wyse-Jackson
Friday 15th August

Dr. Peter Wyse-Jackson's Ireland's Generous Nature is the first comprehensive account of the historical and present day uses of wild plants species in Ireland. This lively and scholarly book shows how plants have been used in virtually every aspect of human life in Ireland: food, clothes, medicine, construction, drinks, veterinary medicine, human health and beauty, and even death. The book is richly illustrated with photographs, as well as botanical paintings by Irish artist Lydia Shackleton (1828-1914). Its blend of scientific and historic facts with myths, superstition and tales offers an unrivalled account of the rich heritage of Irish plants. Dr. Peter Wyse-Jackson is President of the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis.

Time: 7.00pm, Visitor Centre. Admission Free, Booking Essential.
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Medicinal plants around you
Saturday 16th August

From early folkloric remedies, to the development of physic gardens and modern medicine, plants have played a key role in how we fight disease and infection. From traditional cures to modern scientific discoveries, find out how so many of the plants we take for granted have been used to treat a variety of ailments.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Heritage Week 2014
'Family… Generations exploring heritage together.'
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st August



The Vikings
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st August

The Viking House is Open! Come inside and find out what plant materials they used for building, crafts and food, and what they grew in their gardens.
From 11.00am. Daily at the Viking House
Mediaeval Lathe Demonstration at Glasnevin
Eoin Donnelly
Saturday 23rd August

Eoin Donnelly, green-wood worker and forester, will be demonstrating the process of turning green-wood (fresh timber) on a foot operated pole-lathe. He uses traditional tools and devices that have been used for hundreds of years to produce everyday items. Eoin will be demonstrating his craft in Kilmacurragh on Sunday. See our Kilmacurragh section for further details.
Time: From 12.00pm onwards
Guided Walk: Ireland's Natural Heritage
Saturday 23rd August

A journey through Ireland's wild plants, from woodland and bog to the Burren and beyond...
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: World War One and its Impact on the Gardens of Kilmacurragh
Saturday 23rd August

100 years ago this year, members of the Acton family, then landowners of Kilmacurragh, and many of their staff left to fight in the First World War, never to return. The legacy they left behind is the wonderful garden that survives today. Now recognised as a Botanic Garden and managed under the National Botanic Gardens, it is famous for its giant flowering tree-like rhododendrons that bloom abundantly in spring, rejuvenated wildflower meadows, herbaceous borders that are at their height in summertime and many fine specimen trees and shrubs.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Mediaeval Lathe Demonstration at Kilmacurragh
Eoin Donnelly
Sunday 24th August

The pole-lathe is one of the oldest one-man operated method of woodturning, dating back to the late Bronze Age. Come along and watch Eoin Donnelly as he demonstrates the polelathe, turning green-wood timber into various useful items, using traditional tools, devices and skills. Eoin has over 30 years experience of using the pole-lathe and working with greenwood and a vast knowledge of traditional timber crafts.
Time: From 12.00pm on the Lawn
Concert - Traditional Irish music in the Gardens
Mick O'Brien and family
Sunday 24th August

The O'Briens are highly regarded in traditional music circles as both performers and teachers. Mick, Fidelma, Aoife, Ciara and Cormac have a rousing repertoire of Irish music and play a variety of instruments from uilleann pipes to banjo, long whistle and violin.
Time: From 2.30pm onwards
Guided Walk: The Roots of the World - plants and evidence of the past
Sunday 24th August

Plants alive in the Gardens today provide a link to the distant past, from the "living fossil" Ginkgo biloba, to one of the longest cultivated food-crops, rice. Other plants tell us about the movements of the Earth's crust millions of years ago and of the diet and social habits of our distant ancestors. As part of this tour we will visit the newly built replica Viking House and Garden.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Education & Visitor Centre
Guided Walk: Heritage Trees
Tuesday 26th August

What makes a tree into a heritage tree? Join us to discover some of the amazing native and non-native trees growing in the Gardens and find out some interesting facts about trees (from biodiversity to folklore to economic). This walk will be suitable for family groups.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Heritage Week Tour: 'Sharing heritage across the generations'
Wednesday 27th & Saturday 30th

Calling all grandparents, grandkids and all those in between! In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the UN International Year of the Family join us for a special family walk through the Gardens exploring our natural heritage.
Time 3.00pm. Meet at the Education & Visitor Centre
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: World War One and its Impact on the Gardens of Kilmacurragh
Saturday 30th August

100 years ago this year, members of the Acton family, then landowners of Kilmacurragh, and many of their staff left to fight in the First World War, never to return. The legacy they left behind is the wonderful garden that survives today. Now recognised as a Botanic Garden and managed under the National Botanic Gardens, it is famous for its giant flowering tree-like rhododendrons that bloom abundantly in spring, rejuvenated wildflower meadows, herbaceous borders that are at their height in summertime and many fine specimen trees and shrubs.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
At home with the Vikings
Matthew Jebb
Sunday 31st August

Meet Director Matthew Jebb and discover how the Vikings lived and gardened a thousand years ago. Discover the plants they used to build their homes and to clothe and feed themselves.
Time 2.00, 2.30, 3.00, 3.30, 4.00pm at the Viking House.
Tours last 30 minutes. Maximum 20 per tour, booking essential

Sculpture in Context
Thursday 4th September - Friday 17th October

Daily throughout the Gardens
Guided Tour: Through the Sculpture in Context
Saturday 6th September

On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, you will have a rare opportunity to join the artists for a guided tour to gain an insight into some of Ireland's most exciting and contemporary art.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Heroes of Gardening history - the Lobbs
Saturday 6th September

the nineteenth century plant collectors William and Thomas Lobb. Arguably, both the most majestic and the most familiar of cultivated plants found in Irish gardens and landscape today were originally introduced by William Lobb. His brother Thomas, who collected in the Far East, introduced many tender plants, such as orchids and pitcher plants that thrill us still. Come and see the many Lobb introductions that flourish at Kilmacurragh, those old familiars and others very rare.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Sculpture in Context Tours for Schools
Tuesday 9th September

This is your chance to explore the exciting outdoor exhibition with one of the contributing artists!
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Booking Essential
Budding Artists
Saturday 13th September

Join our 'budding' artists, a creative workshop especially for younger children taking place once a month, under the watchful eye of artist Niamh Synnott. Children are encouraged to take a closer look at the natural world all around them to inspire fun art-making activities. Suitable for 4 to 7 year olds.
Time: 11.00am-12.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Cost: €10. Booking Essential
Hardy Annuals
Saturday 13th September

Why not join us for a guided discovery of the natural world where you can observe, engage and be inspired by your surroundings. Participants in this art programme will be encouraged to use materials in fun and interesting ways while taking inspiration from the world of plants on show at Glasnevin. Suitable for 8 to 12 year olds.
Time: 2.00pm-4.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Cost: €10. Booking Essential
Guided Tour: Through the Sculpture in Context
Saturday 13th September

On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, you will have a rare opportunity to join the artists for a guided tour to gain an insight into some of Ireland's most exciting and contemporary art.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Trees and their Timber
Saturday 13th September

Trees have been used for an amazing variety of purposes down through the ages, from weaponry to chess pieces. Trees are valued throughout the world, not only for their timber for carpentry and building but for their many other uses also. Join us on a voyage of discovery to find out all about trees from around the world and their uses.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Sculpture in Context Tours for Schools
Tuesday 16th September

This is your chance to explore the exciting outdoor exhibition with one of the contributing artists!
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Booking Essential
Afternoon Lecture: Glenstal Abbey
Father Brian Murphy
Wednesday 17th September

Gardens, it is said, are a reflection of heaven on earth, and the author of a new book about Glenstal Abbey gardens would seem to emphasise such a view. Fr Brian Murphy will share some of the stories from his life's work at Glenstal, a former estate of the Barringtons which later became a Benedictine Abbey. Fr Brian Murphy began to carry out restoration work in the garden in 1986. His many tales of the Gardens over the years, before and after his arrival, will delight both garden lovers and those interested in the local history of the Limerick region.
Time: 3.00pm. Auditorium, Visitor Centre.
Lecture: An Introduction to Bird Watching
Thursday 18th September

Get an interesting insight from the experts of Birdwatch Ireland on identifying and locating birds in your neighbourhood. Topics will include: the types of bird you can expect to see, good sites for bird watching, type of equipment needed and recommendations for a good guide book.
Time: Doors open at 7.30pm. Visitor Centre
Organised with the Tolka Branch of Birdwatch Ireland
Guided Tour: Through the Sculpture in Context
Saturday 20th September

On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, you will have a rare opportunity to join the artists for a guided tour to gain an insight into some of Ireland's most exciting and contemporary art.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Medicinal plants around you
Saturday 20th September

From early folkloric remedies, to the development of physic gardens and modern medicine, plants have played a key role in fighting disease. From traditional cures to modern scientific discoveries, find out how so many of the plants we take for granted have been used to treat a variety of ailments.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Sculpture in Context Tours for Schools
Tuesday 23rd September

This is your chance to explore the exciting outdoor exhibition with one of the contributing artists!
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Booking Essential
Guided Tour: Through the Sculpture in Context
Saturday 27th September

On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, you will have a rare opportunity to join the artists for a guided tour to gain an insight into some of Ireland's most exciting and contemporary art.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Sculpture in Context Tours for Schools
Tuesday 30th September

This is your chance to explore the exciting outdoor exhibition with one of the contributing artists!
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Booking Essential

Guided Tour: Through the Sculpture in Context
Saturday 4th October

On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, you will have a rare opportunity to join the artists for a guided tour to gain an insight into some of Ireland's most exciting and contemporary art.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Sculpture in Context Tours for Schools
Tuesday 7th October

This is your chance to explore the exciting outdoor exhibition with one of the contributing artists!
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Booking Essential
Tree Day Walks at Kilmacurragh for School Groups
Thursday 9th October

In celebration of Tree Day, special tours will be available for school groups. Join our guides for an autumnal walk through the trees of Kilmacurragh, learn all about native trees such as oak and ash and trees from further afield such as the Giant Redwood from California.
Free Admission, advance booking essential (0404 48844)
Guided Tour: Through the Sculpture in Context
Saturday 11th October

On Saturdays throughout the exhibition, you will have a rare opportunity to join the artists for a guided tour to gain an insight into some of Ireland's most exciting and contemporary art.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Sculpture in Context Tours for Schools
Tuesday 14th October

This is your chance to explore the exciting outdoor exhibition with one of the contributing artists!
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Booking Essential


Events at the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh

Located in east County Wicklow, the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh is the centrepiece of an 18th century estate and is today famous for its conifers, rhododendrons and other acid-loving plants.
Kilmacurragh is located about 1 hours drive south of Dublin off the N11. For directions see map below.
Free Guided Tours will be held twice daily from April onwards until the middle of October at 12.00pm and 3.00pm.
Please check the website or locally for seasonally themed guided tours. Group tours should be pre-booked.
For all events, meet at the car park entrance to the Gardens.
Further information: 0404 48844

Family Days at Kilmacurragh!
Saturdays in August

Join us for our family-friendly events at Kilmacurragh every Saturday in July and August. You can take a self-guided trail around the Gardens throughout the day, or take a guided tour tailored especially for families at 12.00pm or 3.00pm. You can bring your dog but it must be kept on a lead. Picnic tables available but no barbeques allowed.
Time: 10.00am-6.00pm
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Heroes of Gardening history - The Lobbs
Saturday 2nd August

the nineteenth century plant collectors William and Thomas Lobb Arguably, both the most majestic and the most familiar of cultivated plants found in Irish gardens and landscape today were originally introduced by William Lobb. His brother Thomas, who collected in the Far East, introduced many tender plants, such as orchids and pitcher plants that thrill us still. Come and see the many Lobb introductions that flourish at Kilmacurragh, those old familiars and others very rare.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Trees and their Timber
Saturday 9th August

Trees have been used for an amazing variety of purposes down through the ages, from weaponry to chess pieces. Trees are valued throughout the world, not only for their timber for carpentry and building but for their many other uses also. Join us on a voyage of discovery to find out all about trees from around the world and their uses.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Medicinal plants around you
Saturday 16th August

From early folkloric remedies, to the development of physic gardens and modern medicine, plants have played a key role in how we fight disease and infection. From traditional cures to modern scientific discoveries, find out how so many of the plants we take for granted have been used to treat a variety of ailments.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Heritage Week 2014
'Family… Generations exploring heritage together.'
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st August Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: World War One and its Impact on the Gardens of Kilmacurragh
Saturday 23rd August

100 years ago this year, members of the Acton family, then landowners of Kilmacurragh, and many of their staff left to fight in the First World War, never to return. The legacy they left behind is the wonderful garden that survives today. Now recognised as a Botanic Garden and managed under the National Botanic Gardens, it is famous for its giant flowering tree-like rhododendrons that bloom abundantly in spring, rejuvenated wildflower meadows, herbaceous borders that are at their height in summertime and many fine specimen trees and shrubs.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Mediaeval Lathe Demonstration at Kilmacurragh
Eoin Donnelly
Sunday 24th August

The pole-lathe is one of the oldest one-man operated method of woodturning, dating back to the late Bronze Age. Come along and watch Eoin Donnelly as he demonstrates the polelathe, turning green-wood timber into various useful items, using traditional tools, devices and skills. Eoin has over 30 years experience of using the pole-lathe and working with greenwood and a vast knowledge of traditional timber crafts.
Time: From 12.00pm on the Lawn
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: World War One and its Impact on the Gardens of Kilmacurragh
Saturday 30th August

100 years ago this year, members of the Acton family, then landowners of Kilmacurragh, and many of their staff left to fight in the First World War, never to return. The legacy they left behind is the wonderful garden that survives today. Now recognised as a Botanic Garden and managed under the National Botanic Gardens, it is famous for its giant flowering tree-like rhododendrons that bloom abundantly in spring, rejuvenated wildflower meadows, herbaceous borders that are at their height in summertime and many fine specimen trees and shrubs.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Heroes of Gardening history - the Lobbs
Saturday 6th September

the nineteenth century plant collectors William and Thomas Lobb. Arguably, both the most majestic and the most familiar of cultivated plants found in Irish gardens and landscape today were originally introduced by William Lobb. His brother Thomas, who collected in the Far East, introduced many tender plants, such as orchids and pitcher plants that thrill us still. Come and see the many Lobb introductions that flourish at Kilmacurragh, those old familiars and others very rare.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Trees and their Timber
Saturday 13th September

Trees have been used for an amazing variety of purposes down through the ages, from weaponry to chess pieces. Trees are valued throughout the world, not only for their timber for carpentry and building but for their many other uses also. Join us on a voyage of discovery to find out all about trees from around the world and their uses.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Guided Walk at Kilmacurragh: Medicinal plants around you
Saturday 20th September

From early folkloric remedies, to the development of physic gardens and modern medicine, plants have played a key role in fighting disease. From traditional cures to modern scientific discoveries, find out how so many of the plants we take for granted have been used to treat a variety of ailments.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park
Tree Day Walks at Kilmacurragh for School Groups
Thursday 9th October

In celebration of Tree Day, special tours will be available for school groups. Join our guides for an autumnal walk through the trees of Kilmacurragh, learn all about native trees such as oak and ash and trees from further afield such as the Giant Redwood from California.
Free Admission, advance booking essential (0404 48844)


Education workshops for schools

Special themed guided tours are available for primary and secondary school groups
  • Fascinating Plants - How do plants survive in the desert? What plants trap their own food? Why do trees have thorns? What's the fastest growing plant in the world? Find out the answers to these questions and view some amazing plants growing here in th
  • Learning the Links - exploring the interdependence between plants, animals and people.
  • Why do Trees have leaves? - Discover how amazing trees are - find out all about trees and how to tell an ash from an oak!
  • ‘Ireland’s Own’ Learn about the uses, mythology and identification of plants on your doorstep.
  • ‘Plants and Us’ – Learn all about plants and the role they play in our lives.


Sustainability workshops for second level.
Sustainability - What's That?

This workshop is designed for second level students, exploring and developing the principles of sustainability, biodiversity, plant conservations and the importance of plants in our lives. It includes presentations, tours and discussion. The education tea
All education workshops must be booked in advance. For further details please phone 01 857 0909.
Extended programme also available in partnership with the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun. All education workshops are free of charge but must be booked in
August 2014
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
September 2014
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
October 2014
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19



















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top


















Back to top