Imagine wandering through a glorious garden all on your own. Just you and the flowers and the trees and the birds guiding you from above. Is this heaven for fairies?
Kilmokea House is a gorgeous Irish manor home in the southeast of Ireland in County Wexford. It feels like something out of an Agatha Christie novel but set in the lush countryside of Ireland. The foyer is warm with stacks of books to peruse or even steal away with to a spot in front of the fireplace. If there weren’t so many things to see outside! And further afield!
We arrived at Kilmokea just before dusk so I was anxious to get outside and explore the property before the sun disappeared. While the husband required a nap after our long drive east, I set out alone into the cool and quiet evening. I could not be more excited!
I wasn’t out too long when a clatter started above my head. These birds, believed to be starlings, were hurriedly flying from giant tree to giant tree. And the noise! I didn’t feel alone anymore, thank you very much. Back and forth they went for about five minutes when they finally decided on a tree for the night. (I hope!)
The map shows a gap in the gardens, with a hop across the road, and a few instructions upon heading from one to the next:
This side is much denser, darker and not a sound to be had now that the birds have settled. Until something very noisy decided to arise from this bright green algae-covered lake! What could be next…
All remained peaceful along lovely, long paths with flowers ready for slumber.
Making my way back now as the sky is losing light by the moment and wanting to get back past the lake without incident. Ah! Is that the gate ahead? Yes, a quick dash across the street brings me back to the more formal garden and the house should be in view soon.
The next morning we were greeted with abundant sunshine and blue skies for our first full day in County Wexford. How lucky are we? Breakfast is served in the formal dining room with bowls of freshly-picked berries, homemade jams and breads and the beckon of porridge and brand-new eggs from the chickens heard in the early morning hours. Delicious mushrooms grown and seasoned with herbs from the garden made these vegetarians quite happy!
After a hearty and local breakfast, we both set out to explore the gardens and make it to the far end of their land. Everything looks new in the morning light! The once-closed asters opened up and invited dozens of butterflies (and buzzing bees!) to perch and pose for this delighted photographer.
See, there is evidence of fairies! Don’t cross that path… And the ever-abundant fuchsia! Varying shades of bright pinks, deep purples and blinding reds are everywhere in this country in autumn.
Heading back to the road that divides the gardens, we followed the map to a tiny graveyard.
Not too far from Kilmokea, our host Mark advised us to take a short drive near the JFK Arboretum for some of the best views of the county. We were told to drive up and up (this was during a few glasses of wine by the fire so my recollection is not the clearest but we made it!) until we found a small car park. We got out along with a handful of others taking in this somewhat balmy Sunday. She did not disappoint!
After our adventures in the garden, and County Wexford, we were ready for an evening by the fire to enjoy this beautiful home. Hosts, Mark and Emma are simply delightful and cannot do enough for you. This truly is your home while you visit. Dinner can be arranged with a stunning wine list, by the way, and afternoon tea is served upon arrival. The orange drizzled cake (says this chocolate lover) is sublime and hits the spot after a long drive! An honor bar is stocked with just about every kind of spirit, should you be moved for a tipple…
This is an old manor home, which is lovingly maintained and has all the earmarks of grandeur while showing that a family lives here. The best kind, really. It has its creaks, original doorknobs and gorgeous old glass windows. But its history envelops you. And Mark is more than willing to tell you stories about the storms it has weathered and the restoration process (always ongoing!) of this long-lived and impressive dwelling. We cannot wait to go back and stay here again!
Kilmokea House is located in County Wexford near the city of New Ross. It’s a short drive into the country but well worth the jaunt!
It’s not far from the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross or the Passage East Ferry that goes between Waterford and Wexford and the Hook Lighthouse.
One of our absolute favorite foodie pubs is the StrandTavern in Duncannon or if you like fancy food, the amazing Dunbrody House is nearby too.
Kilmokea is not only a bed and breakfast but you can also tour the gardens and pop in for afternoon tea in the conservatory. Check the website for opening times as this is wintertime now and the garden is open March – November. The home is open year-round. Tel: + 353 – 51 – 388109 or E-mail: email@example.com