The Bantry House Gardens and French Armada Centre

The Bantry House Gardens and French Armada Centre


A grand, mid 18th century mansion set on a slope above Bantry Bay with the mountains behind. Wander formal Italianate gardens with a tall stone stairwell to the sky. Sip tea in plush wicker chairs while watching the rain wet rose petals outside. Browse the leather-backed books in the library where tapestries woven for Marie Antoinette drape the walls. Learn about the history of the Surveillante in the French Armada Centre. Or stay overnight in a fully restored room.

The descendents of the White family still live in this home. It has been in their family since the early 1700s. It was built foremost as a family home and also to reflect the status and wealth of the Earls of Bantry. It has served many purposes throughout history: serving as a Hospital during the Civil War and as barracks during the Emergency. In 1947, Clodagh and Geoffrey Shelswell-White opened its doors to the public. Restorations in 1978 help make the house both accessible to tourists and a location for functions and events. It has since served as a setting for world-class festivals.

How to get there

By car:

From Kenmare, take N71 south to Bantry.

From Cork, take N22 west to outside Crookstown. From Crookstown, take R585 southwest to Kealkill to main N71 highway. Take N71 south to Bantry.

By bus:

See website for all current travel details and restrictions.

Opening times

Open daily; March – October, 10AM to 6PM.

Admission Fees

House, Gardens, and Armada Centre: 10 euro

Gardens and Armada Centre: 5 euro

Children under 14 years of age accompanied by and adult: free

Dogs must be kept on a lead.


The Bantry House and Gardens

Bantry, Co. Cork

Tel: +353 037 50047



When to go

Callino Quartet and Friends in April. West Cork Chamber Music Festival at the beginning of July – highly recommended. Masters of Tradition in mid August.


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

 Yes      No

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