Field Visit: Guided Tour of Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens - Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Kilmaccuragh Gardens
Start Date
End Date
Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, East Wicklow

As part of the celebration of its Golden Jubilee The IBIOLI invites its members, families, friends and general public to Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, for a Free guided Tour.

About Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens

Kilmaccuragh Gardens arboretum
Kilmaccuragh Gardens

Located in east County Wicklow, Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens is the centrepiece of an 18th century estate that once covered over 5000 acres (2000 ha). Seat of the Acton family for three centuries, it is now an outpost of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. The milder climate, higher rainfall and deeper, acidic soils of this historic Wicklow garden, provide a counterpoint to the collections at Glasnevin. The association of Kilmacurragh with the National Botanic Gardens began in 1854, when Thomas Acton inherited the estate and greatly benefited from the advice and support of Dr. David Moore and his son Sir Frederick Moore, Curators of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin in Dublin.

Kilmacurragh provided a more advantageous situation for growing plants from the Himalaya and the Southern Hemisphere and is today famous for its conifers and calcifuges.

In 1996, a 52 acre (21 ha) portion of the old demesne comprising the house, arboretum, entrance drive and woodlands officially became part of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. By then the house was in ruins due to a series of disastrous fires in and the following ten years were spent rescuing valuable trees from a crippling tangle of cherry laurel, sycamore and Rhododendron ponticum. (from National Botanic Gardens Web site,


Further Information:

For further information on National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, go to

To facilitate with our planning, please advise if you plan to join us on the day (give the number of persons in the group), by emailing

Looking forward to meeting you there

Frank McGourty
Hon. Secretary, 
Institute of Biology of Ireland

Getting to Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens

Participants meet at the Car Park. The gardens are located south of Dublin in east Wicklow, just 3km from the N11 road, between Wicklow town and Rathdrum.

If driving South from Dublin on the N11, you need to turn right at the Beehive pub, which lies c.3 km after the second junction to Rathnew/Wicklow, this is also c.1km South of where the dual carriageway turns to single carriageway.

Keep to the main route, and you will find the entrance on your left after 5 km.

If driving FROM the south on the N11, take the first left after Lil Doyles, a bit less than a kilometre further on, at The Tap pub. Drive c. 2 1/2 km to a T-junction and turn left. The arboretum is 300m on your left.

If driving from Rathdrum, leave the village on the R752, signposted as Deputys' Pass. After 4km turn right and after a further 2.5km you will come to a T-junction. Turn right and the arboretum is on your left after c. 1km.

GPS users 

  • either use the Garmin loc8 system with this code: SLP-21-LP9
  • or input the following latitude 52.9341 and longitude -6.1529.