Muckross House and Gardens: visit info & what’s nearby (2024)

Everything you need to know about your visit to Killarney’s Muckross House and Gardens, a Victorian marvel in the heart of Killarney. 

Muckross House and Gardens: visit info & what’s nearby (2024).

Visiting the Victorian mansion Muckross House and its surrounding gardens is one of the best things to do in Killarney, indeed in all of County Kerry.

Knowing what to expect in terms of how to get there, the cost and the best activities and amenities nearby is crucial to enjoying your visit to Muckross House and Gardens. That’s why we’ve compiled this essential guide with all you need to know.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Muckross House and Gardens:

  • The driving distance from Dublin to Muckross House is 333 km (200 mi). Cork is 83 km (50 mi) away, and Galway is 250 km (150 mi) away.
  • Muckross House and Gardens are just a ten-minute drive from Killarney along the N71. If you wish to get active, you can also cycle or walk from the town.
  • A car park provides direct access to Muckross House and Gardens and the main reception of Muckross Traditional Farms.
  • Muckross House and Gardens border the beautiful Killarney National Park, so make sure to bring walking gear and get exploring.

Muckross House and Gardens – a brief history

Muckross House and a tree in its surrounding gardens.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Trustees of Muckross House

Building work for Muckross House started on Muckross Peninsula, between Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, in 1839 and finished in 1843.

It was designed by renowned Scottish architect William Burn and built for Anglo-Irish politician Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, artist Mary Balfour Herbert.

The Herberts undertook extensive renovations ahead of a visit from Queen Victoria in 1861, the cost of which left the family in financial difficulty. The great-grandson of Guinness founder Arthur Guinness bought the property in 1899.

Muckross House changed hands again in 1911 when it was sold to Californian mining magnate William Bowers Bourn. It remained with the Bourn family until 1932 when it was donated to the Irish state.

At this point, the gardens were named the Bourn-Vincent Memorial Park. It became Ireland’s first national park and formed the basis for Killarney National Park today.

READ MORE: See where Muckross House ranks on Ireland Before You Die’s list of the top 10 things to do in Killarney

Essential info – planning your trip to Muckross House and Gardens

Useful info on Muckross House and Gardens.
Credit: Flickr / Julie from Wexford, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED

Tour of Muckross House

The tour takes around 45 minutes and leads you through the luxurious three-storey mansion. Entry times to Muckross House vary throughout the year and are as follows:

  • January – March: 9:15 am – 5:30 pm (last admission 4 pm)
  • April–June: 9:15 am – 6 pm (last admission 4:40 pm)
  • July–August: 9:15 am – 7 pm (last admission 5:40 pm)
  • September–October: 9:15 am – 6 pm (last admission 4:40 pm)
  • November–December: 9:15 am – 5:30pm (last admission 4 pm)

Furthermore, visitors must pay an admission fee to enter Muckross House and Gardens. The fees are as follows:

  • Adult: €7.00
  • Seniors/Students: €6.00
  • Child (6–18): €5.00
  • Child (3–5): Free
  • Family (two adults, two kids): €20.00
  • Family (two adults, three kids): €23.00

The adjoining Muckross Traditional Farms have similar admission prices, but visitors can avail of a joint ticket at a reduced rate. Visitors can access the gardens and Killarney National Park free of charge.

Facilities

Facilities at Muckross House and Gardens.
Credit: Flickr / Thomas Haeusler, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

The car park at Muckross House and Gardens is free and is located close to the entrance to the house and the farm.

The vast majority of Muckross House and Gardens is wheelchair accessible. However, certain parts may be unreachable due to the historic building’s limitations. Bathroom facilities include a spacious, well-equipped disabled bathroom.

The grounds feature the Mucros Weavers craft shop, Muckross Pottery, and Bookbinders, and a 170-seat garden restaurant open seven days a week throughout the year.

Address: Muckross, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland

RELATED: Muckross House is part of why Killarney National Park and Lakes ranks as top of IB4UD’s list of the 10 best things to do in County Kerry

What’s nearby – the best attractions, pubs, restaurants, and hotels near Muckross House and Gardens

Attractions

Killarney National Park is near Muckross House and Gardens.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / Hu O’Reilly

The obvious attraction close to Muckross House and Gardens is Killarney National Park, but this area is home to some other great attractions. The house is a stone’s throw from the historic Muckross Abbey and just a 12-minute drive from Ross Castle.

SEE MORE: Killarney National Park: Bitesize guide for visiting

Pubs

The closest pub is Colgan’s along the Muckross Road, but Killarney is the place to head for a pint after visiting Muckross House and Gardens. Home to the likes of John M. Reidy and Murphy’s, Killarney is full of great pubs.

MORE: Take your pick from our ranking of the top 5 best pubs in Killarney

Restaurants

On top of the Muckross Garden Restaurant, Yew Tree offers fine dining on the way back to Killarney. Just like with the pubs, however, your best bet for variety is to head back into town, where you’ll find the likes of Bricín and the Porterhouse.

Hotels

Muckross Park Hotel and Spa is a great place to stay near Muckross House and Gardens.
Credit: Fackbook/ Muckross Park Hotel

Muckross Park Hotel & Spa is a luxurious five-star hotel just minutes from Muckross House and Gardens. Meanwhile, Killarney features a host of fantastic hotels for all budgets that you can check out here.

Notable mentions

Natural beauty: Muckross Gardens houses a wonderful selection of natural beauties, including a fine collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, a water garden, and a rock garden made of natural limestone.

Picnic area: Although Ireland’s weather is notoriously temperamental, you can’t quite beat a picnic at the gardens’ picnic areas on a sunny day.

Your questions answered about Muckross House and Gardens

Your questions answered about Muckross House and Gardens.
Credit: Flickr / Anita, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

If you’ve still got questions about Muckross House and Gardens, we’ve got you covered! In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions about this topic, along with those that appear often in online searches.

Can you go into Muckross House?

Yes, visitors can go into Muckross House. Bear in mind that opening times vary throughout the year. The opening times are as follows. Muckross House opens daily at 9:15 am and closes between 5:30 pm and 7 pm depending on the time of year.

Did Queen Victoria stay in Muckross House?

Queen Victoria and her royal entourage spent two nights at Muckross House as guests of the Herbert family during a visit to Killarney in 1861.

Do you have to pay for Muckross House?

Admission to Muckross House costs between €5 and €7 for single tickets. Children under five years of age go free, and there are discounts available for families. Admission fees to the adjacent farm are similar, but visitors can avail of a joint ticket at a reduced rate.

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