Hi everyone, Niamh here from Niamhs_Adventure and I’m here to discuss the crown jewel in the Kingdom - Muckross House. Below is all the info you need before scratching this gorgeous house off your Scratchable Map Ireland.
Muckross House is located in the heart of Killarney National Park, sitting on the shores of Muckross Lake. The national park covers a vast area over 25 acres including lakes, islands and historic buildings such as Muckross Abbey and Ross Castle.
Muckross House is a Victorian Mansion originally built for the Herbert family, the home was so impressive that building began in 1839 and lasted until 1843 followed by years of extensive renovation and expansion works. The Herbert family almost went bankrupt in the 1860’s preparing for Queen Victoria’s visit; the lavish visit began on August 27th, 1861 where the Queen would stay for a two-night stay. The elaborate renovation work crippled the family’s finances and the house ended up passing to new owners multiple times.
Muckross House and estate was passed over to the Irish state around 1930 and the house became Irelands first National Park.
What is there to do at Muckross House?
Muckross House is located in Killarney town, just a short drive from the centre of town, many also opt to cycle to the grounds as the views are spectacular along the way. The entrance to Muckross House is that of grandeur, you witness a long driveway sweeping through Killarney Park down towards the House and visitor centre.
I usually start my visit to Muckross by taking a stroll through the gardens (which is free) then grab a coffee in the Muckross Garden Restaurant, there’s a beautiful terrace out the back of the building looking onto the groomed rose garden and trees that are sky high. It’s definitely a great spot for an ice cream during the summer too.
After this I either complete a tour of the house, or take a wander around the grounds by myself. The house can be visited only with a guide and will cost €9.25 per adult or €15.50 if you want to visit the traditional farms too. Children under 12 go free which is fantastic! I should mention that the majority of attractions surrounding Muckross House can be enjoyed free of charge if you wish to visit Killarney National park, Muckross Abbey and the gardens.
You can easily get lost enjoying the grounds of Muckross House; you can take a ride with the jarveys through the grounds, experience a boat trip across Muckross Lake or see the gorgeous sights by foot. Muckross house and the surrounding area are incredibly family friendly and ideal for an affordable day out for all. It would also be the ideal setting for a couple to watch the sunset or have some lunch. If the sun shines nothing can beat sitting on the grass with Muckross House behind you as you look towards the incredible view of Muckross Lake and the surrounding mountains.
The gardens surrounding Muckross House are absolutely magnificent, They are well kept and in fantastic condition, there are tall trees that are hundreds of years old alongside beautifully kept bushes of wild Kerry flora and fauna along with groomed gardens and some glass houses, you could pass an afternoon looking at just the array of plants on show.
Everything you need to know
Is there parking? Yes, there is free parking and there is plenty of it. The gates close at 8pm sharp every evening.
How much are the tickets? Ticket prices vary depending on the attractions you wish to visit, an adult ticket cost €9.25 for a guided tour of the house, children under 12 go free and tickets for children aged 13-18 cost
Distance from Killarney Town Centre? 6km (3.6 miles) via car, bus, jaunting car, by foot or bike as there are wide cycle lanes along the majority of the route.
Tips for visiting Muckross House:
Arrive early if you want to avoid crowds as Muckross House is incredibly busy, if you are looking to take images of the rolling lawns without people you are best to arrive early in the morning or late evening during the week.
If you do not wish to buy food from the Muckross Garden restaurant there are plenty of benches and grassy areas around so my tip is to bring a picnic basket and a blanket and have a picnic overlooking Muckross Lake.
Give yourself more time than you think, you could easily spend an entire day exploring Killarney National Park so give yourself time to take in the views, walk around and enjoy the experience.
Attractions close to Muckross House – Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle, Lady’s view, Torc Waterfall, Killarney town centre… really there is so much to do in and around Muckross House.
Nearby restaurants –Killarney has so many restaurants, bars and cafes that it can be hard to choose. My top recommendation is Killarney Lake Hotel just a few minutes’ drive from Muckross House, the bar food is very reasonable and the views over the lower lakes are spectacular if you opt to eat outside. During winter months you can enjoy the views from inside also.
J.M Reidy’s is also an incredibly popular spot in Killarney for dinner/drinks. The bar is a spectacle for the eyes which has been restored to resemble it as a former sweet shop, stable and a courtyard full of colourful shop fronts. They do a fantastic coffee and also have a great food menu.
If you are a group of friends who love to explore, a couple looking for a gorgeous date location or a family looking for a fun day out, Muckross House is a must see along your Ring of Kerry trip. For more information about travelling in Kerry you can check out my Instagram page Niamhs_adventure.