Fota House, Gardens, and Arboretum – warmly welcoming visitors for almost 200 years.
Once the home of the Smith-Barry family, who had a great love for hospitality, Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens continues to delight visitors today. The Irish Heritage Trust is proud to carry on the Smith-Barry’s traditions, caring for the house, gardens, and arboretum for the enjoyment of all in perpetuity.
There’s lots to see and do for visitors of all ages at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens. So, step onto Fota Island – the only island in Ireland with its own railway station – and immerse yourself in living history!
Unlock the island’s story at Fota House, an impressive mansion that represents the finest example of Regency architecture in Ireland. On a guided tour of the house, you’ll hear fascinating stories about Fota’s vibrant past, above and below stairs.
Explore Fota’s lush grounds and encounter the great diversity of exotic plants and towering trees that thrive here. Experience for yourself the unique microclimate that has helped grow the important horticultural collection developed at Fota over 200 years.
You’ll quickly sense the energy, enthusiasm and vision that shaped the estate and continues to fuel our packed programme of events and activities here at Fota throughout the year!
Tour Fota House
- Learn about the close bonds between the Smith-Barry family and their local community as you explore this opulent mansion and its vast servants’ wing.
- View one of Ireland’s most important landscape art collections, which adorns the walls of this East Cork mansion.
- Discover how the estate’s fortunes changed over the centuries and why Fota is still a vibrant hub of activity in the 21st century!
Visit Fota’s Gardens
- Explore varied garden spaces, from the elegant orangery to the tranquil walled gardens.
- Enjoy the richness and variety of the world-renowned collection of rare tender and exotic trees in Fota’s arboretum.
- Burn off energy, find adventure. and learn about nature on our family-friendly trails through the changing seasons.
Explore the Victorian Working Garden
- Explore Fota’s impressive restored glasshouses and pit houses and discover how they’ve found fresh purpose through innovative collaborations with our local community.
- Chat with our busy volunteers in this bustling garden, where you can buy plants grown in our glasshouses and pick up tips for your own outdoor space!
- Take in the atmosphere and admire the blooms from a well-positioned garden bench.
Relax in the Bakestone Café
Call in to the Bakestone Café after your adventures to enjoy great coffee, meals prepared with fresh local produce, and delicious treats. Don’t forget to stock up on Fota’s seasonal preserves and lovely gifts while you’re there!
Meet at Fota House
Host meetings and corporate events that make the most of the estate’s natural beauty and elegant heritage interiors, as well as our excellent air, rail, and sea connections.
Plan a group visit
Start planning a visit to Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens with your group. We regularly welcome cruise tour groups from nearby Cobh, school tours, special interest clubs, and other groups.
Events at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens
We host a range of special indoor and outdoor events throughout the year. Whether it is a concert, recital, exhibition or family fun day, there is something for everyone.
Say ‘I Do’ at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens
Fota House and its spectacular gardens provide the perfect backdrop for weddings and vow renewal ceremonies. Our dedicated wedding planner is on hand to help you create the day of your dreams.
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Support Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens and the Irish Heritage Trust
Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens is managed and cared for by the Irish Heritage Trust – a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving and preserving Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens and the stories of the people who lived and worked on its estate over the generations for the enjoyment for all.