Russborough House and Parklands is situated in Blessington, County Wicklow and is reputed to be the longest house in the country – measuring to 210m in length. The house was built between 1741 and 1755 by Joseph Leeson, a wealthy Dublin brewer, who was also the first Earl of Milltown.
Things to do:
1. Russborough House guided tours
During the tour, you’ll be guided through the house to see furnishings, intricate plasterwork and the art collections, taking in the history of 300 years. You’ll also learn about the residents of the castle and life in the castle. The tour takes about 1 hour to visit the house and some extra time to take a look at the 3D exhibition centre.
2. National Bird of Prey centre
The guided tour at the bird of prey centre will show you their 40 birds of prey from across the world, and give information about each bird. You’ll have a chance to see some of Ireland’s own birds of prey: the Golden Eagle; White Tailed Sea Eagle and the Red Kite.
At the end of the tour, you’ll have an opportunity to handle one of their hand-reared birds.
There are hawk walks and owl experiences which are available throughout the year.
3. Parklands Walks
There are walking trails available from Russborough which can be explored: a 2km wildlife trail; and a 2km woodland and rhododendron trail. The walks provide a peaceful setting, with views of the castle in the background.
4. The Maze
There is a 2000m beech hedge maze situated by the castle with a cupid statue in the middle which allows you to find your way. You can visit the maze every day from March till November.
5. Walled Garden
Russborough’s has an 18th-century walled garden which is currently being restored to its former glory.
6. Artisans of Russborough
There are a variety of artisans available at Russborough: Eleanor Swan Ceramics; Hennessy & Byrne Stonemasons; Calnan & Anhøj Blacksmiths; Eamonn Heffernan, Wood Sculptor; Cruthú: Paintings, Photography & Craft.
7. Activities for Kids
Besides for the Bird of Prey Centre and the house which may be interesting to children, there is also a playground and a fairy trail available.