Officially known as Ilnacullin, but usually referred to as Garnish (or “Garinish”), this little island is a beautiful and tranquil place. It used to be little more than a barren outcrop, whose only distinguishing feature was a Martello tower left over from the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. Then, in 1919, the English landscaper Harold Peto was commissioned to create an elaborately planned Italianate garden, with classical pavilions and myriad unusual plants and flowers. The island’s unusually mild microclimate allows a number of subtropical plant species to thrive here; George Bernard Shaw is said to have written St. Joan under the shade of its palm trees. The island can be reached for €10 per person round-trip (€5 children ages 6–15) on a covered ferry operated out of Glengarriff by Blue Pool Ferry (www.bluepoolferry.com; 027/63333), or Harbour Queen Ferries (www.harbourqueenferry.com; 027/63116). Boats run back and forth about every 20 to 30 minutes. Note: The Harbour Queen doesn’t take credit cards. The nearest ATMs are in Bantry.
West Cork› Attraction
Ilnacullin (Garinish Island)
Glengarriff, Co. Cork
Our Rating Hours July–Aug Mon–Sat 9:30am–5:30pm, Sun 9:30am–6pm. June Mon–Sat 10am–5:30pm, Sun 10am–6pm. Apr–May and Sept–Oct daily 10am–5:30pm. Last landing 1 hr. before closing. No landings Nov–Mar Phone 027/63040 Prices Admission (gardens) €5 adults; €4 seniors; €3 students and children; €13 families Web site Ilnacullin (Garinish Island)