•Explore a country estate with 47 acres of parkland and the highest waterfall in Ireland
•Snap a photo in front of a fountain based on Rome’s stunning Fontana del Tritone
•Pick up an chunky Irish wool sweater, a tartan lambs wool throw, or an adorable baby blanket woven in the Irish countryside
The beautifully verdant gardens of the Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, a 20-minute drive from Dublin, make it a verdant spot to unwind away from the city. A car is really the best way to explore outside the city (there is a Hertz rental office on Haddington Road, a 15-minute walk from Conrad Dublin). However, urban adventurers can also get to Powerscourt by taking the No. 44 bus from near the hotel to the village of Enniskerry (it takes approximately 50 minutes), and then walking to the entrance of Powerscourt. The grand country estate was laid out in the 1730s and, with 47 acres of rolling parkland, views of the sweetly named Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest waterfall in the country, and a fountain modeled on one in the Piazza Barberini in Rome, it is a neat example of why County Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland. Keen golfers can tee off on one of the two championship courses on the estate. Even deeper in the countryside, the mist-shrouded, otherworldly monastic settlement of Glendalough is a 30-minute drive away in Wicklow Mountains National Park and is worth a visit for its lovely lakes and 10th-century round tower. On the way back into town, stop by Avoca, a wonderful food market and design shop in the village of Kilmacanogue. This is the place to get that chunky Irish sweater and big, colorful throws: the pure-wool designs, woven in Avoca’s mill in County Donegal, are particularly cozy. Fragrant lemon and orange trees fill the bright and buzzy Fern House Café, which serves delicious salads, seafood boards with crab and monkfish, and decadent cream-filled cakes.
Powerscourt Estate is a 50-minute bus ride away on the 44 bus. After that there is a short walk to the estate. Glendalough is a 30 minute drive away from the city. Avoca is in Kilmacognue, between the Wicklow Mountains Country Park and the city. The Fern House Café is in the same building.
POWERSCOURT ESTATE: Enniskerry; +353-(0)1-204-6000; powerscourt.com
GLENDALOUGH: Wicklow Mountains National Park; glendalough.ie
AVOCA: Kilmacanogue; +353-(0)1-274-6900; avoca.com
FERN HOUSE CAFÉ: Kilmacanogue; +353-(0)1-274-6990; avoca.com