The eclectic Farmleigh House is the official government ‘guesthouse’ where foreign dignitaries will typically stay if they are in Ireland for any length of time. It is located on an estate of 78 acres in the Phoenix Park on the outskirts of Dublin and was formally the residence of the Guinness family. For most if its history it has been in private ownership but was bought by the state in 1999 for €29m.
The house has large private gardens with varied trees, a pond, and a herd of rare Kerry cattle – one of the oldest known cow breeds in the world. Many of the artworks of the Guinness family are still on display in the house. The Benjamin Iveagh collection of manuscripts, rare books and bindings is held in the Library.
During the summer months there is a lot for the family to do including puppet shows, music, storytelling and the Farmleigh Gallery. There are also food markets every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. . The Boathouse Café is also fantastic for a fine dining experience. Events will generally be free but due to demand some of these will be ticketed so keep an eye on their website for what’s on at the time of your visit.
The estate is open daily from 10am to 6pm with guided tours every day. Occasionally the house may be closed where for example official government business is taking place. Farmleigh is a fine addition to the cultural heritage of the city. What we love about it is that there is something for everyone once you get there, it’s a perfect stop on your holiday or vacation to Dublin.
Getting there: By bus take the number 37 to the Castleknock Gate and Farmleigh House is a 15 mimute walk from it. The Pheonix Park Shuttle bus goes from Park Gate Street every 30 minutes, seven days a week. See www.farmleigh.ie for more.