Powerscourt is a large estate with vast gardens in the Wicklow Mountains. Some gardens are themed, such as the Italian and Japanese Gardens and the Walled Garden, and were begun by the Viscount Powerscourt in the 18th century. There is also a waterfall (with a separate entrance fee) within walking distance.
There’s a golf course across the road which, before it was a golf course, was where a lot of the movie Braveheart was filmed.
Dublin Bus Tours runs a Southcoast and Powerscourt tour which takes you on a double-decker bus the coast south of Dublin, into the Wicklow Mountains to Powerscourt Estate near the town of Enniskerry, at the foot of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountains.
Upon entering the gardens from the house, you immediately look down on a long walkway ending in two Winged Horses flanking a large pond with a fountain, the Wicklow Mountains in the background. It is a beautiful sight.
Powerscourt wasn’t in full bloom yet, I don’t think, when I visited in March. There were beautiful views of the mountains, and ponds and water fountains, a tower, numerous unusual trees and shrubs, sculptures and a sad pet cemetery (a lot of dead pets – dogs, horses and even a cow memorialized here). There are shops and a cafe in the house.
On the drive back, the tour goes through “the Scalp” (a ravine in the Wicklow Mountains), and passes by Samuel Beckett’s birthplace.