Nineteenth-century Victorian mansion Muckross House is a wonderfully serene stop to make on a trip to Killarney. Set against the backdrop of the Killarney National Park and on the shores of Muckross Lake, the house is a great starting point for exploring the landscape of this beautiful part of Ireland.
Muckross House was originally built for politician Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife Mary Balfour Herbert. Mary was a watercolourist who was inspired by the Killarney landscape, so the aesthetic gardens also play a huge role in the heritage of the house, and can be found in her artwork on display as you look round.
With around 70% of the artefacts thought to be original, the interior of Muckross House offers an authentic experience, telling the story of how life would've been lived by the land-owning classes of the 19th century.
Look out for the trophy stags heads on the walls and the giant stuffed trout which represent how the house was originally built as a hunting and fishing lodge, alongside the detailed portraits and tapestries which also adorn the walls.
The antique furniture is another aesthetic feature of this house, with inlaid scenes of the surrounding landscapes. Persian rugs and delicate silverware and china add to the opulence of the house, all specially commissioned for a visit made by Queen Victoria in 1861.
Renowned for their beauty, a stroll round the Muckross Gardens is essential to any visit to the house. The grounds underwent extensive development in the 1850s in preparation for Queen Victoria's visit and remain just as beautiful today.
One thing to look out for are the famous rhododendron flowers which are in bloom from April to July, adding a splash of colour to the lush green gardens.
There is also a sunken garden, a rock garden, and a stream garden, so there's loads to discover after you've finished exploring the house.
The house is located around 5 kilometres south of Killarney and is clearly signposted from the N71 if you're arriving by car. It's also easy to access the house on foot, by bicycle, or by traditional jaunting car (a kind of horse drawn carriage), if you prefer.
July 1st to August 31st
September 1st to June 30th
Entry to Muckross House
Muckross House and Gardens
Ireland V93 CK73