The tranquil gardens at Fota House are a haven for garden lovers, walkers, and young explorers alike!
Rare plants flourish here, thanks to the gentle climate offered by Cork harbour, and Fota’s renowned gardens attract garden lovers and specialists who travel from across the world to see our arboretum, gardens, and plant collections up close and learn about their history, conservation, and development.
They’re wonderful places to relax in nature, learn, and explore for visitors of all ages, so plan your visit to enjoy their rich history and natural beauty throughout the changing seasons.
Visit Fota Arboretum & Gardens
- Explore varied, well-stocked gardens laid out by James Hugh Smith-Barry in the first half of the 19th century.
- Take time to appreciate Fota’s Italianate sunken garden and orangery, as well as its exquisite rose collection.
- Or join us for one of our garden events, which explore different aspects of Fota’s garden history before treating yourself in the excellent Bakestone Café.
What Is an Arboretum?
An arboretum is a botanical collection that focuses mostly on trees. In an arboretum, specimens of trees, shrubs, and sometimes herbaceous plants are specifically planted for scientific and educational purposes.
You could say that the creation of the 11-acre arboretum in the 19th century began Fota’s focus on education and biodiversity – issues we continue to champion to this day!
Fun for All the Family
Pick up our garden guides which help younger visitors to learn and have fun as they explore the gardens and grounds.
- Our Little Explorer’s Tree Trail stimulates children’s interest in nature and their skills in making sense of the environment. It’s perfect for young explorers under six!
- Fota’s Junior Plant Hunter Trail encourages young visitors of seven years and over to hunt for trees in the arboretum, mark their location on the map, and note their country of origin on the atlas.
A Sustainable Approach
Our Irish Heritage Trust gardening team and dedicated volunteers take a sustainable approach to maintaining and developing Fota House’s outdoor spaces. We practise sustainability through activities such as composting and sustainable food production, and we support learning about biodiversity and sustainability too.
Volunteer To Help Our Gardens Bloom!
Would you like to help Fota’s gardens and arboretum flourish? Or would you love to share their stories with visitors?
Our innovative and award-winning volunteer programme at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens involves our local community in helping our gardens thrive.
Guided Garden Tours
We regularly welcome garden visits from private groups and groups organised by garden tour specialists and cruise tour operators. We will be delighted to offer a range of guided tour options on request, tailored to your group’s requirements. Fota Gardens is proud to be part of the West Cork Garden Trail, and so we can also advise on ways to build an extended garden itinerary around your visit.