Fota House Gardens and Wildlife Park

Fota House Gardens and Wildlife Park

Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork


The Fota House is a former 18th century hunting lodge turned family home in the early 19th century. It is set on a 780 acre estate that encompassed all of Fota Island. Today, it is in the process of being restored, but you can still visit the home. The rooms on the ground floor have been restored, and they retain a sense of the lifestyle of its historic inhabitants. See a beautiful collection of watercolor paintings, painted by artist Daphne Haggard. See artifacts of the life of a lady of leisure, who practiced the arts of lace making, letter writing, and musicianship. Tour the amazing kitchen and scullery, equipped with what were the modern conveniences of the past. Watch a video of a chef preparing early 19th century recipes in the kitchen.

The Gardens are vast and spectacular. Begun in the early 19th century, they were developed by the Smith Barry family over the generations. We got just a little taste, walking under the massive trees and brushing through the fern garden, which felt like a peaceful, tropical paradise. I saw a heron by the lake.

The Wildlife Park has 70 acres of open countryside where animals roam freely. It is literally a zoo - the brochure reads "bring your little monkeys to meet our monkeys." Because it was overcrowded with people, we didn't venture in.

How to get there

By car:

From Cork City, take N25 east toward Rosslare, turn on R624 south toward Cobh, follow the signs to Fota.

By bus:

See website for all current travel details and restrictions.

Opening times


Open all year.

Monday-Thursday 9AM to 4:30PM.

Friday 9AM to 3:30PM.

April-August, open on Sunday from 2PM to 5PM.


Open daily all year.

Monday-Saturday 10AM to 5PM.

Sunday 11AM to 5PM.

Last admission each day is at 4:30PM.

Tea Room:

Open daily from 11AM to 5PM.

Wildlife Park:

Open all year.

Spring/Summer Opening Times (March 17th 2007-November 4th 2007):

Monday-Saturday opens at 10AM.

Sunday opens at 11AM.

Last admission each day is at 5PM.

Gates lock each day at 6PM.

Autumn/Winter Opening Times (November 5th 2007-March 16th 2008):

Monday-Saturday opens at 10AM.

Sunday opens at 11AM.

Last admission each day is at 3:30PM.

Gates lock each day at 4:30PM.

Admission fee

Free entry to Gardens.


Adult 5.50 euro

Family 13 euro

Child 2.20 euro

Wildlife Park Standard Rates:

Adults 12.50 euro

Children (3-16)/Students 8.00 euro

Seniors and Disabled 8.00 euro

Toddlers under 3 years old Free

Wildlife Park Group Rates*:

Adults 10.50 euro

School Children (primary and secondary) 6.50 euro

Students, Seniors, and Disabled 6.50 euro

Toddlers under 3 year old Free

FOTA Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) 50.00 euro

For school groups: One adult is admitted free with every 10 pupils.

*A group is 20 people or more. It is appreciated if your group visit is booked at least one week in advance (021 4812678).

Car Park Charge:
3 euro (payable when leaving)

Tour Coach Parking:


Fota House
Co. Cork
Tel: +353 (0)21 4815543


Written by Liz O'Malley - Summer of Travel 2007

Get discounts and updates for Discovering Ireland Vacations

Sign up now for the official Discovering Ireland Vacations Update e-newsletter, designed to keep you up-to-date on what's new and exciting at Discovering Ireland and indeed in Ireland travel itself! You will also be among the first to know about our great special offers, vacation in Ireland deals and trip to Ireland cost!

Sign Up for News and Offers

Start planning your vacation... Enquire Now

Leave this field empty
JavaScript is required in order fully to use this site. Please enable it now and reload the page.