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Powerscourt Eastate

imagePowerscourt Estate is located just outside the town of Enniskerry, a suburb of Dublin about 25km from the city center.  The original castle was built in the thirteenth century by the Baron La Poer (which eventually became Power, hence the name).  German Richard Cassels carried out an extensive renovation between 1731 and 1741.  The new facade was in the Palladian style, bookended by two domed towers.  The third story was added later.  The castle suffered a devastating fire on November 4, 1974, necessitating a renovation which was not completed until 1996.

The estate covers 64 square km and the landscaping was done in the mid-19th century by Daniel Robertson.  The style is largely influenced by the grand Italian gardens perfected on the continent.  It features sweeping terraces, ornamental lakes, statues, and secret hollows.  There are more than 200 types of trees, shrubs, and flowers planted here.

Some highlights of the grounds include the Dolphin Pond, which features a beautiful 19th century Parisian statue, the tranquil Japanese Garden, and the terraced Italian Garden.  Tower Valley features a distinctive Pepper Pot Tower which provides spectacular views of the grounds amidst towering conifer trees.  A few kilometers from the main estate is the Powerscourt Waterfall,  the tallest waterfall in the British Isles at 121m.  It is an excellent place for picnics and barbecues on nice days.

The Powerscourt Estate is perfect for a retreat from Dublin.  In addition to the activities around the castle, the town of Enniskerry is quite pleasant.  There are art galleries, cafes, and organic grocers.  If you're in the mood for luxury, right next door to the estate is a Ritz-Carlton.  This 200 room hotel is built in the same Palladian style.  It overlooks two championship caliber golf courses and includes a wonderful spa. 

The Powerscourt Estate is perfect for a retreat from Dublin.  It and Enniskerry are easily accessible from the city, whether by bus or with an organized tour.  Hour long tours of the gardens are also available.  Try to visit on a sunny day.  Good weather can make the experience a lot better.

Location: Enniskerry, County Wicklow
Telephone:  +353 01 204 6000
Website: www.powerscourt.ie
Hours: Open daily 09:30-17:30; gardens close at dusk in winter.
Admission (estate/waterfall):
   € 7.80/5.00 Adult
   € 7.00/4.50 Senior
   € 6.50/4.50 Student
   € 5.00/3.50 Children (5-16)
   Free for children under 5.

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