Russborough House, Blessington
Russborough House & Parklands is a mansion that was designed in 1741 and sits at the foot of the Wicklow mountains overlooking Blessington Lakes.
With parklands of 200 acres outside the historic house, it is nestled within the Garden of Ireland. A visit to Russborough House & Parklands makes a great day out for the whole family, with plenty of outdoor activities to take part in.
Guided Tour of Russborough House
When Russborough was left to the Irish public in 1978, Sir Alfred and Lady Beit also left the gift of learning, art, and architecture for everyone to enjoy. Today, we delight in subtle traces of a bygone world thanks to their generosity.
Our guided tour of the house includes 50 paintings and drawings in the world-famous Beit Collection and the Milltown Collection. Accumulated for nearly 300 years, the plasterwork, furnishings, and furniture make Russborough the finest great house open to the public in Ireland today.
The exhibition includes a short film that starts in 2D and then moves to the third dimension. We display 3D images taken by Sir Alfred on his world travels in the 1920s and 1930s.
3D glasses are supplied for the convenience of our guests. This private auditorium is arguably one of the most interesting rooms in the house, and was created by Sir Alfred himself when he bought Russborough so that he could share his adventures with friends and enjoy movies on the silver screen.
Please allow one hour to visit the house and 30 to 50 minutes for the 3D exhibition centre.
A Great Day Out for the Family
From beautiful walks to discovering our magical fairy trail and maze, exploring the parklands and 18th century walled garden is unforgettable. We offer a variety of hidden Irish gems for you to delve into.
Find your way to the statue of Cupid in the centre of our maze!
The 2000m2 beech hedge maze is a fascinating feature at Russborough. Designed by Adrian Fisher and Randoll Coate of Minotaur Designs, the maze was planted in 1989.
The design reveals a clue to the identity of its owners, the Beits, so you’ll have to see if you can figure it out!
A statue of Cupid stands proudly on a column at the centre of the maze to help you find your way.
Very popular with children, the maze is open every day of the week.
Children’s Play Area
Children aged three to 12 will love our play area. It contains a mix of fun and challenging equipment such as slides, swings, and climbing frames.
Lady's Island at Russborough is the home of Faylinn the fairy and his fairy friends.
They have lived in their beautifully quaint homes for more than 270 years.
When you visit us and take part in our magical fairy trail, you are able to learn the fairy language, enjoy fairy games and puzzles, and colour in Shaylee, our shyest fairy.
You can also discover more about fairy flowers, fauna, and natural materials that the fairies use for their clothing and jewellery
Woodland walks in the beautiful Wicklow countryside
You can enjoy the picturesque walkways through the Russborough parklands at your leisure.
You are able to choose from the 2km wildlife trail, which passes through our wildlife habitat, the 2km woodland and rhododendron trail, or combine them for a longer, more satisfying walk.
There are information boards along both routes so you can pick up interesting facts about Russborough and its flora and fauna as you go.
You can then finish your walk perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee in our beautiful tearooms.
The 18th century walled garden will be open during July & August on Wednesday & Sunday from 10.30 a.m - 3.30 p.m and other afternoons from 2 p.m -5 p.m.
No country house estate worth its salt was complete without a walled garden. Russborough’s 18th century walled garden is currently being restored by volunteers from the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland (RHSI). In 2011, the Alfred Beit Foundation and the RHSI signed a long-term agreement for members of the RHSI to bring the garden back to its previous majesty.
The restoration work is impressive and includes reinstating the garden paths to their original layout and dimensions.
There have been repairs made to the surrounding brick and stone walls using traditional techniques and materials, replanting of the hornbeam hedge, and restoring the curvilinear glasshouse, using curved glass as originally designed.
The overgrown vegetable garden is being set to rights and work is being carried out to restore the Pleasure Garden.
The Bird of Prey Centre
At our National Bird of Prey Centre, you are able to discover more about magnificent eagles, owls, hawks, and falcons.
You can participate in a handling session with some of our hand-reared birds and finish off with an exciting flying display. Proprietor Tommy will be very pleased to answer any questions that you may have.
Russborough House & Parklands is the perfect place for your school tour or alternatively to improve your education as an adult.
Based in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, we offer the opportunity to learn about Ireland and combine your learning with fun, interesting activities and the great outdoors.
With plenty of space for little ones to let off some steam, we’ve put together some great school tours and packages filled with the best features and events that our historic house and parklands have to offer.
Tours for Post-Primary Schools
When your students are aged 11 and older, Russborough House & Parklands provides an age-appropriate guided tour of the house as well as a walk through the 3D exhibition centre.
They will really relate to the approach that our professionals take to talk about the way people lived in times gone by.
These tours also include some fun outdoor activities similarly to the primary school tours, including a visit to the bird of prey centre, an interactive sheepdog demonstration, and discovering the fairy trail, maze, and playground.
Tickets are only €20 per child and we suggest four hours for the visit.
Please call us on +353 (0)45 865 239 arrange your tour.