Received a warm welcome to Bantry House in August 2016. Wandered around for the House tour, meeting the owner and having a chat about her very ambitious project to restore the House and massive gardens. The tour was taken by a very entertaining and knowledgeable lady who made the tour so very interesting and down to earth. The interior of the House is lovely, very different to many of the other great houses we have visited; still needs a lot of TLC which is being done as they can afford it, using young conservator university students where possible. Few grants available so all done with gate takings, wedding bookings, photo shoots, B & B accommodation and tea shop etc. Many years ago, many of the interior furnishings were purchased secondhand in France at the Palace of Versailles sale of excess furnishings after their refurbishment, so many quality pieces.
After the House tour we wandered around the massive gardens, following a little stream, picking out the remnants of the old garden rooms that had been left to deteriorate over the years by previous generations. All to be restored in the future apparently. Gardens around the House and the walled garden have been restored to magnificence as have the 100 steps at the back of the House. The embankments beside the steps are currently in the process of restoration. The view over the Bantry House roof top to Bantry Bay from the top of the steps is stunning. Then on to the stable blocks, one of which has been restored with the other still in ruins. After all this walking we visited the tea room for a very refreshing cuppa. I hope I can return to in 5-10 years to see the progress achieved by this very energetic family.
You can spend from 1 to 4+ hours visiting this estate, great off road parking, refreshments available and very friendly hosts.
I encourage everyone travelling to Republic of Ireland to visit Bantry House both for the experience and future preservation of Bantry House.