Garnish Island

18 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

September, 2018

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Reasons for trip

Garnish (Garinish) Island is a small island off the coast of County Cork in the Bantry Bay area in West Cork. It’s reachable via a short (15 /20 minute) and inexpensive small ferry boat ride from the mainland from the town of Glengarriff. The tourist office in Bantry town will recommend ferry boat operators and give you money off coupons. There is car parking at the small harbour. On the short ferry trip you will see seals basking off the small islands dotted along the route – interestingly they were many different coloured seals so perhaps there’s something special about the area. There’s a small fee of 5 euros to enter the gardens on the island (nothing else on the island) which are maintained by the Office of Public Works, similar to National Trust. The gardens were designed in 19th century for a private owner and visitors to the island include George Bernard Shaw. There are exotic plants and trees, italianate follies, a Martello tower, a walled garden, a cafe and lovely views of the mainland. A quiet and peaceful retreat with history – you can visit the house on timed tours but it was pleasant weather when we visited in September so we preferred to walk across the whole island (it’s not huge!) Ferries are about every 20 mins and you need about 2 hours to see everything and have a cup of tea. Good walking shoes recommended although much of the walk is paved. Good photo opportunities with the seals, flowers and views from the top of the tower.


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