The vast estate has been some 800 years in the making: from the original castle built by the Anglo-Norman de la Poer (Power) family that was transformed into a magnificent 18th-century Palladian mansion by the 1st Viscount Powerscourt, to more than 250 varieties of trees planted to grow through time into today’s splendour.
Leaving aside temptations of shopping and two championship golf courses, back you then wander, map in hand, to explore the irresistible gardens shaped through 250 years: imagining inimitable, gout-ridden architect Daniel Robertson directing operations in the Italian Garden as he was wheeled about in a barrow while sipping sherry; admiring the quirky Pepperpot Tower in its wooded valley, statuary, roses and the exotic Japanese Garden.
Head gardener Alex Slazenger, whose family are the present custodians of Powerscourt, hosts fascinating guided walks. And down the road, there’s amazing Powerscourt Waterfall, Ireland’s highest waterfall at 121m (398ft).
Returning for tea in Powerscourt’s Terrace Café or in the Georgian parlour-style of Powerscourt Hotel, it’s humbling to think that the Big House gardening dreams of so many people have become your reality.