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Powerscourt House, Gardens & Waterfall

Gormanston, Stamullen and Powerscourt House, Gardens and Waterfall

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Yesterday afternoon the weather wasn't great - overcast, with occasional light drops of rain - but I decided to go for a walk to the nearby village of Stamullen anyway, as I hadn't had the chance to go out of the college grounds (apart from to the botanic gardens on Thursday) since last Saturday, and the nearest supermarket/ convenience store is there too, so I hoped I'd be able to get bigger and cheaper drinks than from the vending machines at the college. It was a 25-30 minute walk each way, including a bridge over the M1 motorway. I also looked round little Stamullen Graveyard, which contains the tiny 15th-century ruins of St Christopher's chapel as well as several Celtic crosses. The prices in the Centra convenience store turned out to be quite high, which I was initially a little taken aback by but then realised that the equivalent in the UK is usually pricier than supermarkets too.

The trip today to Powerscourt House, Gardens & Waterfall went well.


They are all part of an 18th century country estate, with stately home, extensive and stunning landscaped gardens (including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, statuary, wrought iron gates, flower gardens, some trees which had been trimmed so the foliage looked like perfect upturned bowls...)


...and a large pond with waterlilies and a fountain in the middle.


Like at the botanic gardens on Thursday, we were allowed to let everyone just wander round as they wished, including ourselves. It turned out that the house itself, or at least the part which visitors are allowed into, now contains several high-end shops, pretty expensive but nice to look round even though I didn't buy anything. There was also a café and a coffee and ice cream kiosk, though I didn't have anything from them. A garden centre was attached a bit further along, as well, plus a whiskey distillery which was closed today due to a private event.

We had to get back on the coach for a 20-minute-or-so drive to the waterfall. It was absolutely beautiful, and pretty impressive, especially when up close and you could feel the spray. It's 398 feet tall. We were were able to get very close, right up to its foot - there were lots of boulders to clamber around on. Luckily, nobody had any accidents! The water was very clear, yet once flowing in the river rather than falling through the air, a rich reddish-brown - maybe because of peat in the area; it was like the rivers and streams I've seen in the Scottish Highlands & Islands. Like at the house and gardens, there was a wonderful view of a mountain which is part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, as well as other beautiful scenery.


Tomorrow I'm going to relax, prepare for teaching on Monday, meet several new teachers (as there'll be 17 of us next week - the busiest week of the summer, apparently) and hopefully take a walk to find the holy well and the prehistoric passage tomb I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

Posted by 3Traveller 18:09 Archived in Ireland Tagged landscapes waterfalls mountains cemetery ireland explorations

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