While in Dublin, I took a bus tour out into the countryside (so easy, no driving for me in Ireland). One of the places we stopped was Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow, which is only about 20 minutes outside of Dublin. Unfortunately, the house suffered a serious fire many years ago and the inside was never completely rebuilt so there is not much to see inside the house other than little shops. People really come here to see the gardens.
The first thing you see when you exit out the back of the house are the Italian gardens with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background.
Designed in the 1840s and influenced by Villa Butera in Sicily, the series of terraces took over 12 years to build with over 100 laborers.
If you exit the House and turn left, you can see all the gardens in a giant loop. The first stop is Tower Valley and its Pepperpot Tower, which was modeled on a pepperpot from Lord Powerscourt's dining room table.
After Tower Valley is the Japanese Garden. Laid out in 1908, this garden is full of azaleas and my favorite, maples, which were starting to turn.
Eventually I found myself in the walled garden, where a visitor had decided to dress to match the flowers there.
Just outside the walled gardens were...you guessed it...more gardens.
After exploring the gardens, I had some time to buy a sandwich and enjoy it on the patio outside overlooking the Italian gardens in the beautiful sunshine before we off to our next stop: Glendalough.